This opinion will be unpublished and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
John Petraborg, Acting Commissioner of Human Services,
Filed September 17, 1996
Judicial Appeal Panel
File No. 163
Stephen D. Radtke, 299 Valley Office Park, 10800 Lyndale Avenue South, Bloomington, MN 55420 (for Appellant)
Hubert H. Humphrey, III, Attorney General, Theresa Couri, Assistant Attorney General, 900 NCL Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-2127; Michael O. Freeman, Hennepin County Attorney, Gayle C. Hendley, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, Minneapolis, MN 55487 (for Respondent)
Considered and decided by Amundson, Presiding Judge, Norton, Judge, and Peterson, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant John Joelson contends that the discharge procedures applicable to his indeterminate psychopathic personality commitment are unconstitutional. We affirm.
John Joelson has spent a considerable period of his life in various institutions and has a long history of sexual involvement with young males. After 1978, he became more forceful and assaultive in his sexual activities, causing emotional and physical harm. Joelson was committed for an indeterminate period as a psychopathic personality in 1982.
Joelson is currently diagnosed with pedophilia, same sex, paraphilia, not otherwise specified, and antisocial personality. He still fantasizes about young boys and has indicated he would go as far as killing their parents to get at the young boys. Joelson's treatment history is sporadic and he has indicated that he is not motivated to be involved in treatment.
Joelson petitioned the Commissioner of Human Services for full or provisional discharge from his commitment. The special review board recommended that the petition be denied, and the Commissioner issued an order denying the petition. Joelson then petitioned the judicial appeal panel for rehearing and reconsideration. While the hearing was pending, he moved for an order declaring the discharge procedures unconstitutional. The panel upheld the constitutionality of the discharge procedures and affirmed the Commissioner's order denying the petition. This appeal followed.
D E C I S I O N
Joelson does not challenge the merits of the appeal panel decision, but raises a number of constitutional challenges to the discharge procedures. Identical issues were raised in a case recently decided by this court. See Caprice v. Gomez, ___ N.W.2d ___ (Minn. App. Aug. 6, 1996), pet. for review filed (Minn. Sept. 5, 1996).
Joelson argues that Minn. Stat. § 253B.19, subd. 2 (1994), which places the initial burden of going forward with the evidence on the patient seeking discharge in a judicial appeal panel proceeding, is unconstitutional. This court rejected the argument, noting the ultimate burden of persuasion is on the state. Caprice, ___ N.W.2d at ___.
Joelson also contends that the phrase "the burden of going forward with the evidence" in Minn. Stat. § 253B.19, subd. 2, is unconstitutionally vague. This court disagreed, concluding the term has been defined. Caprice, ___ N.W.2d at ___.
Appellant argues that the discharge statute violates substantive due process because it allows continued commitment of patients no longer meeting commitment criteria. The supreme court rejected this argument in Call v. Gomez, 535 N.W.2d 312, 319 (Minn. 1995) review denied (Jan. 19, 1996). Caprice, ___ N.W.2d at ___. This court likewise rejected the claim that the discharge procedures violated equal protection because one committed as mentally ill and dangerous is entitled to discharge if that patient is no longer mentally ill and dangerous, while one committed as a psychopathic personality is not. As this court noted in Caprice, the supreme court has held in both cases the patients may be required to meet statutory discharge criteria, even if the disorders have improved slightly. See Caprice, ___ 535 N.W.2d at ___.
Appellant also contends his commitment is criminal in nature, requiring application of standards applied to criminal challenges, and that it violates double jeopardy. As we noted in Caprice, ___ N.W.2d at ___, the supreme court has rejected the double jeopardy argument. Call, 535 N.W.2d at 319-20. Likewise, the argument that the commitment is criminal in nature fails. Caprice, ___ N.W.2d at ___.
Finally, appellant claims that the amendment to the psychopathic personality statute adding the burden of proof provisions in Minn. Stat. §subd. 2, violated the provision in Minn. Const. art. IV, § 17, that no law shall embrace more than one subject, which shall be expressed in its title. This court disagreed. Caprice, ___ N.W.2d at ___. Thus, we conclude that the discharge procedures applicable to Joelson's commitment are not unconstitutional.