This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).







Mark Prather, petitioner,


Michael O'Keefe,
Commissioner of Human Services,


Filed December 30, 2003


Wright, Judge


Carlton County District Court

File No. C3-02-1130



Brian C. Southwell, Suite 500, 710 Fourth Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN  55415 (for appellant)


Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County Attorney, John L. Kirwin, Assistant County Attorney, A-2000 Government Center, 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN  55487 (for respondent)



            Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge; Wright, Judge; and Crippen, Judge.*

U N P U B L I S H E D  O P I N I O N




Appealing from an order denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus, appellant asserts that he is entitled to a new trial to determine whether he should be civilly committed as a sexually dangerous person because Kansas v. Crane, 534 U.S. 407, 122 S. Ct. 867 (2002), changed the legal standard for civil commitment.  We affirm.



The facts from which appellant Mark Prather’s civil commitment arises are set forth in In re Prather, No. C0-00-987, 2000 WL 1778321, at *1 (Minn. App. Nov. 21, 2000).  On April 12, 2000, the district court determined that Prather was a sexually dangerous person, applying the standard set forth in In reLinehan, 594 N.W.2d 867 (Minn. 1999) (Linehan IV).  Prather petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus on August 21, 2002.  This appeal followed the denial of Prather’s petition.



We give great weight to the district court’s findings in considering a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.  Northwest v. LaFleur,583 N.W.2d 589, 591 (Minn. App. 1998), review denied (Minn. Nov. 17, 1998).  We will uphold the district court’s findings if the evidence reasonably supports them.  Id.  However, we review questions of law de novo.  Id.

Prather asserts that, because there has been a change in the law since his first commitment trial, he should be afforded a new trial on the issue of his inability to control his sexual impulses.  The district court determined that Prather is not entitled to habeas relief because the standard in Linehan IV, 594 N.W.2d at 876 (holding that civil commitment of sexually dangerous persons requires a finding that the sex offender lacks adequate control of his or her sexual impulses), which Prather was found to meet, satisfies the standard in Crane, 534 U.S. at 413, 122 S. Ct. at 870 (holding that civil commitment as a sexual offender requires a finding that the sex offender has “serious difficulty in controlling [his or her] behavior”).  Since Prather’s lack of adequate control has already been decided under the proper legal standard, the district court concluded that Prather is precluded from litigating the issue for a second time.

Whether the standard articulated in Linehan IV satisfies the constitutional standard established in Crane has been addressed by this court recently in In re Martinelli, 649 N.W.2d 886, 889-90 (Minn. App. 2002), review denied (Minn. Oct. 29, 2002), cert. denied, 123 S. Ct. 1583 (2003), and In re Ramey, 648 N.W.2d 260, 266-67 (Minn. App. 2002), review denied (Sept. 17, 2002).  In Martinelli, we held that “the lack of adequate control standard . . . satisfies the constitutional standard set by Crane.”  649 N.W.2d at 890 (quotation omitted).  Similarly, in Ramey, we concluded that “the requirement of an inability to control behavior to some degree, as required by Crane, is satisfied by the interpretation of the [Minnesota Sexually Dangerous Person Act, Minn. Stat. § 253B.02, subd. 18c (1998)] as set forth in Linehan IV.”  648 N.W.2d at 267.  Thus, we have previously determined that Crane does not create a new standard in which those civilly committed under the lack-of-adequate-control standard of Linehan IV may seek redress.  Accordingly, the district court properly denied Prather’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus. 


*  Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.