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In re Civil Commitment of Guy

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

July 15, 2013

In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of: John Myron Guy

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

Becker County District Court File No. 03-P4-06-000895

Lori Swanson, Attorney General, Noah Cashman, Assistant Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Michael D. Fritz, Becker County Attorney, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota (for respondent state)

John Myron Guy, Moose Lake, Minnesota (pro se appellant)

Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge; Johnson, Chief Judge; and Toussaint, Judge.

TOUSSAINT, Judge [*]

Appellant John Myron Guy was civilly committed as a sexually dangerous person (SDP) in 2007. In this appeal, appellant challenges the district court's denial of his motion for relief under Minn. R. Civ. P. 60.02, arguing that the district court abused its discretion by denying his request for an evidentiary hearing and that the court erred by denying his motion for appointment of counsel. Because appellant is seeking a discharge from his commitment based only on generalized complaints about the MSOP, and not based on any individualized treatment concerns, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying his rule 60.02(e) motion. We affirm.

FACTS

Appellant was committed to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) as an SDP in 2007 after a two-day trial. A subsequent treatment report supported his continued commitment, and appellant waived a review hearing. The district court issued a final commitment order in April 2007, and appellant did not file an appeal. In April 2010, appellant filed a pro se motion for relief under Minn. R. Civ. P. 60.02(f). The district court denied the motion, and this court affirmed. In re Commitment of Guy, No. A10-1392 (Minn.App. Feb. 22, 2011), review denied (Minn. May 15, 2012).

On January 14, 2013, appellant filed a motion for relief under Minn. R. Civ. P. 60.02(e). Appellant argued that "changed circumstances" rendered his commitment impermissible because the MSOP does not provide adequate treatment. Appellant appeared to base this claim on a March 2011 report by the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor (March 2011 report) that was issued following an evaluation of the MSOP and the civil-commitment process.[1] He also noted that he has the "right to challenge the adequacy or denial of treatment" based on "changed circumstances" under the Minnesota Supreme Court's ruling in In re Commitment of Lonergan, 811 N.W.2d 635 (Minn. 2012). Appellant requested that the court grant an evidentiary hearing to determine if "changed circumstances" existed. Appellant also moved for appointment of counsel.

On January 22, 2013, before the state had a chance to respond, the district court denied appellant's motion, concluding that the motion did not have "any basis in fact or law." The court also noted that the "issues in this motion are the same or similar issues" that were raised and rejected by the district court and the Minnesota Court of Appeals in appellant's previous rule 60.02 motion and that "nothing has occurred since then to merit a different outcome."

Appellant filed this appeal in March 2013. In addition to his adequacy-of-treatment claims[2], appellant also argues on appeal that he has been illegally confined to the MSOP for profit, that the MSOP has committed fraud on the court, and that the MSOP has exacerbated the punitive nature of its program. He again supports his claim that the MSOP does not provide adequate treatment by citing to the March 2011 report. He argues that his "individualized claim that he personally has been denied treatment is one that goes to the heart of the justification for the commitment order" and that the district court should have granted an evidentiary hearing to determine whether changed circumstances exist that render his commitment impermissible. Appellant asks this court to vacate his commitment and also requests "any other relief that [the court] deems just and proper."

DECISION

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