This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. ' 480A.08, subd. 3 (1994).

STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
C7-96-639

In the Matter of:
Joanne S. Nelson

Filed August 6, 1996
Affirmed
Klaphake, Judge


Hennepin County District Court
File No. P2-86-31892

Nancy K. Olkon, Olkon & Olkon, P.A., 2444 Centre Village, 431 South Seventh Street, Minneapolis, MN 55415 (for Appellant Nelson)

Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Colleen Brady, Assistant County Attorney, A-2000 Government Center, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for Respondent Hennepin County)

Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Huspeni, Judge, and Crippen, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N

KLAPHAKE, Judge

Joanne Nelson was committed as mentally ill under Minn. Stat. ' 253B.02, subd. 13 (1994) and moved for a new trial. Before the trial court ruled on the motion, Nelson moved for discharge under Minn. Stat. ' 253B.17, subd. 1 (1994), a motion the hospital did not oppose. The trial court then ordered Nelson discharged and declared the motion for a new trial moot. Nelson appeals, claiming the trial court erred in concluding her motion for a new trial was moot. We reverse and remand.

D E C I S I O N

A court will not rule on moot issues, although an exception arises for issues capable of repetition yet evading review. In re Schmidt, 443 N.W.2d 824, 826 (Minn. 1989). Collateral consequences can also preclude a finding of mootness. State ex rel. Doe v. Madonna, 295 N.W.2d 356, 360 (Minn. 1980) (proof of collateral consequences required in challenge to prehearing confinement, because once release occurs possibility of collateral consequences may be minimal).

Nelson challenges the merits of her commitment, not her prehearing confinement. Cf. In re Robledo, 341 N.W.2d 278, 279 (Minn. 1983) (appeal moot where patient admitted mental illness and had been provisionally discharged); Doe, 295 N.W.2d at 360. The use of a commitment in subsequent civil commitment proceedings may be a collateral consequence to the commitment. In re Ballay, 482 F.2d 648, 651-53 (D.C. Cir. 1973); see Elzie v. Commissioner of Pub. Safety, 298 N.W.2d 29, 32 (Minn. 1980) (case not moot where possibility of adverse collateral legal consequences exist). In addition, the short duration of a commitment may preclude review on the merits. See Minn. Stat. ' 253B.09, subd. 5 (1994) (initial commitment period not to exceed six months); Minn. Stat. ' 253B.13, subd. 1 (1994) (continued commitment not to exceed one year). In this case, Nelson was committed less than four months before she was discharged. For these reasons, we conclude the issues raised in the motion are not moot and should be decided.

While respondent addresses the merits of Nelson's commitment, the trial court has not ruled on the motion and Nelson neither raised nor addressed the merits of her commitment in this appeal. Therefore, the merits of the commitment are not before this court. See Thiele v. Stich, 425 N.W.2d 580, 582 (Minn. 1988) (reviewing court should consider only issues considered by trial court).

We reverse the trial court's decision as to mootness and remand for decision on Nelson's motion for a new trial.

Reversed and remanded.