This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).


In the Matter of: Andre T. Bell.

Filed August 24, 1999
Appeal dismissed
Schumacher, Judge

Hennepin County District Court
File No. P29960088

Gregory R. Solum, 5275 Edina Industrial Boulevard, Suite 105, Edina, MN 55439 (for appellant Bell)

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

Considered and decided by Randall, Presiding Judge, Kalitowski, Judge, and Schumacher, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


Andre T. Bell appeals his commitment as chemically dependent. Because the district court discharged his commitment shortly after he filed his notice of appeal, we dismiss the appeal as moot.


The district court committed Bell as chemically dependent. Less than two weeks after Bell appealed, the district court discharged him from commitment. Having reviewed memoranda on the issue of mootness that the parties filed pursuant to this court's order, we now dismiss the appeal as moot.


An appellate court will decide only actual controversies. In re Schmidt, 443 N.W.2d 824, 826 (Minn. 1989). If an event occurs pending the appeal that makes a decision on the merits unnecessary, the appellate court will dismiss the appeal as moot. In re Inspection of Minn. Auto Specialties, Inc., 346 N.W.2d 657, 658 (Minn. 1984). Bell contends his appeal is not moot because he could suffer collateral consequences and the issues he raises are capable of repetition yet evading review. See State ex rel. Doe v. Madonna, 295 N.W.2d 356, 360 (Minn. 1980) (discussing these exceptions to mootness doctrine). After considering these arguments, we hold that Bell's appeal is rendered moot by his full discharge from commitment.

Nonetheless, we briefly address the merits of Bell's arguments. First, the Carver County District Court's findings that Bell did not reside in or have contacts with Carver County are not clearly erroneous. Therefore, the proceeding is properly venued in Hennepin County. See Minn. Stat. § 253B.07, subd. 2(a) (1998) (providing petition may be filed in county of proposed patient's residence or presence). Next, the district court correctly denied Bell's motion to dismiss because the challenged petition and prepetition screening report provide a legally sufficient basis to proceed on the petition. See Elzie v. Commissioner of Public Safety, 298 N.W.2d 29, 32 (Minn. 1980) (describing standard of review for motion to dismiss).

In addition, the district court was correct in finding that the evidence of Bell's numerous detox admissions and his inability to provide for his physical or medical needs supported his commitment as chemically dependent by clear and convincing evidence. See Minn. Stat. § 253B.02, subd. 2 (1998) (defining chemically dependent person). Finally, while the district court dually committed Bell to the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center and the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center, respondent does not point to any evidence in the record supporting commitment to Fergus Falls, nor could this court find any. See Minn. Stat. § 253B.09, subd. 1 (1998) (requiring least restrictive treatment program). But this issue is likewise moot because Bell, who was admitted to Fergus Falls, has been discharged from the facility.

Appeal dismissed.