This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Cal Ludeman, Commissioner of Human Services,
Filed April 3, 2007
Toussaint, Chief Judge
Concurring specially, Randall, Judge
Lori Swanson, Attorney
General, Daniel S. Goldberg, Assistant Attorney General, 900
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
TOUSSAINT, Chief Judge
Appellant Wayne Nicolaison challenges the district court’s denial of his petition for writ of habeas corpus requesting discharge from his commitment as a psychopathic personality. Because the record demonstrates that the district court did not err in denying appellant’s petition, we affirm.
This court gives great
weight to the district court’s findings in considering a petition for habeas
corpus and will uphold its findings on appeal if they are reasonably supported
by the evidence. State ex rel. Allen v. Fabian, 658 N.W.2d 913, 915 (
A writ of habeas corpus is a statutory civil remedy
available “to obtain relief from [unlawful] imprisonment or restraint.”
In his petition, appellant argued that the conditions of
his confinement were unconstitutional.
This court’s review of a habeas petition is limited to (1) whether the
committing court acted without jurisdiction; (2) whether the law pursuant to
which his proceedings were taken was unconstitutional and therefore void; and
(3) whether his detention constitutes a violation of his constitutional
rights. State ex rel.
The district court found that appellant challenges the conditions of his confinement in the Minnesota Sex Offender Program’s behavior therapy unit, “complaining about the Unit’s rules, expectations, privileges, restrictions, and disciplinary procedures.” The district court did not err in concluding that none of appellant’s claims is appropriate for habeas corpus review and that appellant did not allege facts implicating the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
argues that the district court should have “at the least” ordered an
evidentiary hearing. A petitioner has the burden
of establishing the illegality of a detention.
Loyd v. Fabian, 682 N.W.2d
688, 690 (
In his petition appellant requested an evidentiary hearing but failed to assert the existence of a factual dispute. Thus, the district court did not err in denying appellant’s request for an evidentiary hearing.
Appellant argues that his due-process rights were
violated because the conditions of his confinement in the behavior therapy unit
are harsher than the conditions in other units. To state a due-process claim, appellant must
allege that the state has deprived him of a constitutionally protected
The Minnesota Sex Offender Program may limit certain statutory rights provided in the patient’s rights provisions in Minn. Stat. §§ 144.651 and 253B.03. Minn. Stat. § 253B.185, subd. 7 (2004). These rights “may be limited only as necessary to maintain a therapeutic environment or the security of the facility or to protect the safety and well-being of patients, staff, and the public.” Minn. Stat. § 253B.185, subd. 7(a) (2004). Specifically, rights pertaining to patient personal privacy, private communications, patient use and retention of personal property, management of personal financial affairs, meeting with visitors, participating in groups, corresponding with others, receiving visitors, and making telephone calls may be limited. See Minn. Stat, § 253B.185, subd. 7(b).
Here, appellant contends that his due-process rights and the order of commitment were violated when he was moved to the behavior therapy unit because that unit is harsh, punitive, and discriminatory. Appellant argues that his “confinement is now more onerous and punitive than either a prisoner or jail detainee,” and he states that he is “denied the simple right to purchase a candy bar or a soda pop.” Other alleged violations of appellant’s due-process rights are restricting him to non-contact visits and punitively moving him to the behavior therapy unit because of his non-compliance with treatment requirements. But appellant was placed in the behavior therapy unit because of his disruptive behavior, which had to be dealt with to ensure a safe environment for other patients. The restrictions that appellant complains of fall well within Minn. Stat, § 253B.185, subd. 7(b).
Appellant also argues that his civil commitment is
punitive, but he fails to allege facts demonstrating that the policies and
practices in the behavior therapy unit are punitive. A secure facility may impose restrictions and
conditions upon its patients as long as the restrictions do not amount to
next argues that his commitment is preventative detention, which violates his due-process
rights. But civil commitment does not
amount to preventative detention: “[E]ven
when treatment is problematic, and it often is, the state’s interest in the
safety of others is no less legitimate and compelling. So long as civil commitment is programmed to
provide treatment and periodic review, due process is provided.” In re
Blodgett, 510 N.W.2d 910 (
matter of law, appellant’s preventative detention argument fails because the
commitment statute does not violate due process.
Appellant argues that his commitment is punitive and
preventative. These claims are
unfounded. Commitment of an individual
for treatment as a psychopathic personality does not violate the constitutional
prohibition against double jeopardy. Call, 535 N.W.2d at 319-20. “[O]ur decision in Blodgett clearly establishes that commitment under the psychopathic
personality statute is remedial and does not constitute double jeopardy because
it is for treatment purposes and is not for purposes of preventative
Appellant failed to assert any facts to establish that his conditions of confinement rise to the level of unconstitutional punishment. The district court did not err in rejecting appellant’s double jeopardy and ex post facto claims.
RANDALL, Judge (concurring specially).
concur in the result. Sexual psychopath
and sexual predator “civil” commitments are a legalized form of preventive
detention. We have carved out that
exception in our constitutional right to only be confined for crimes that we
did, not crimes that we “might” do in the future. The law is settled. I acknowledge that. But the law is a deviation from the Bill of
Rights. See Joelson
v. O’Keefe, 594 N.W.2d 905, 918 (Minn. App. 1999) (Randall, J., concurring
specially), review denied (Minn. July
28, 1999) (“As a husband and a father, I could be persuaded that preventive
detention of sexual predators, despite being a violation of the Bill of Rights,
is good public policy. It is just that
as a judge, I hate lying about it.”); In
re Linehan, 544 N.W.2d 308, 321 (Minn. App. 1996) (Randall, J.,
dissenting), aff’d, 557 N.W.2d 171 (
Plessy v. Ferguson, 163