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In re Civil Commitment of Hogy

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

December 16, 2013

In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of: Steven Merrill Hogy.

UNPUBLISHED OPINION

Goodhue County District Court File No. 25-PR-07-1705

Steven Merrill Hogy, Moose Lake, Minnesota (pro se appellant)

Lori Swanson, Attorney General, Angela Helseth Kiese, Assistant Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota (for respondent state)

Considered and decided by Ross, Presiding Judge; Bjorkman, Judge; and Minge, Judge.

MINGE, Judge [*]

Appellant challenges the district court's denial of his request for relief under Minn. R. Civ. P. 60.02(e), claiming that the judgment civilly committing him as a sexual psychopathic personality (SPP) and a sexually dangerous person (SDP) should no longer have prospective application because the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) is not offering adequate treatment. Because we conclude that on this record rule 60 does not provide a basis for consideration of appellant's claims and that appellant has and has had other remedies, we affirm.

FACTS

Appellant Steven Merrill Hogy was civilly committed to MSOP as an SDP and SPP in 2008. In June 2010, Hogy moved pursuant to Minn. R. Civ. P. 60.02 (d), (e)-(f), for dismissal of the judgment of commitment or transfer to an accredited sex-offender treatment program. The district court denied his motion without an evidentiary hearing. Hogy appealed to this court, which affirmed the district court's order. In re Civil Commitment of Hogy, No. A10-1615 (Minn.App. Jan. 25, 2011). On May 15, 2012, the supreme court vacated this decision and remanded the matter to this court "for further proceedings consistent with In re Civil Commitment of Lonergan, . . . [811 N.W.2d 635 (Minn. 2012)]."

This court issued an opinion after remand, affirming the district court's order in part and reversing and remanding in part. In re Civil Commitment of Hogy, A10-1615, 2012 WL 5289686 (Minn.App. Oct. 29, 2012), review denied (Minn. Jan. 15, 2013). We affirmed the district court's order insofar as it dealt with Hogy's request for discharge or transfer but reversed and remanded as to his denial-of-treatment claims made under Minn. R. Civ. P. 60.02(e). Id. at *2-3. In doing so, this court noted that "Hogy's claim that he personally has been denied treatment is one that goes to the heart of the justification for his commitment order." Id. at *3.

On remand, the district court once again denied Hogy's motions. The district court concluded that (1) a patient's proceeding under rule 60 must focus on individual denial-of-treatment claims, not on generalized claims against the MSOP, and that Hogy failed to make a prima facie case that he was denied treatment; (2) Hogy's bald assertions are not meritorious as a matter of law because the record is replete with documents indicating that the MSOP has provided treatment including periodic reviews discussing his treatment since 2008; (3) to the extent that Hogy is asking the court to address generalized deficiencies in treatment, the district court has no jurisdiction over the MSOP because it was not made a party to his motion; and (4) Hogy has a potential remedy as a party to a class action in federal district court that seeks to address patients' claims of inadequate treatment.

Hogy appeals this decision. Recently this court decided In re Civil Commitment of Moen, 837 N.W.2d 40, 43 (Minn.App. 2013), review denied (Minn. Oct. 15, 2013), which held that "a person committed as an SDP [who] brings a motion for relief from a commitment order pursuant to rule 60.02(e) . . . based on the alleged inadequacy of treatment in the MSOP . . . does not state a viable claim for relief under the rule." Our Moen decision addresses certain issues in Hogy's case.

DECISION

We review a district court's denial of a rule 60.02 motion for an abuse of discretion. In re Welfare of Children of Coats, 633 N.W.2d 505, 510 (Minn. 2001); Moen, 837 N.W.2d at 44-45. Hogy has the burden of proof in a rule 60.02 proceeding. ...


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