Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Civil Commitment of Kropp

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

April 10, 2017

In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of: Eugene Phillip Kropp.

         Judicial Appeal Panel File No. AP15-9046 Stearns County File No. 73-P2-97-002023

          Lori Swanson, Attorney General, Aaron Winter, Assistant Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant commissioner of human services)

          Janelle P. Kendall, Stearns County Attorney, St. Cloud, Minnesota (for respondent Stearns County)

          Kathleen A. Heaney, Sherburne County Attorney, Erin O'Toole-Tomczik, Assistant County Attorney, Elk River, Minnesota (for respondent Sherburne County)

          Ron Thorsett, Eden Prairie, Minnesota (for respondent Eugene Phillip Kropp)

          Considered and decided by Kirk, Presiding Judge; Schellhas, Judge; and Bratvold, Judge.

         SYLLABUS

         Under Minn. Stat. § 253D.28, subd. 3 (2016), the legislature has vested the judicial appeal panel with the power to grant or deny petitions for provisional discharge from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP); therefore, the executive director of MSOP cannot unilaterally prevent provisional discharge by refusing to approve placement to a residential location that otherwise complies with the approved provisional-discharge plan.

          OPINION

          KIRK, Judge

         Appellant, the Minnesota Commissioner of Human Services, challenges the judicial appeal panel's grant of provisional discharge from MSOP to respondent Eugene Phillip Kropp. On appeal, the commissioner argues that the panel erred by: (1) granting provisional discharge to a nonexistent placement, (2) improperly delegating judicial authority to the executive director of MSOP, and (3) concluding that the commissioner failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that provisional discharge should be denied. Because we conclude that the panel did not err, we affirm.

         FACTS

         Kropp, who is 74 years old, was civilly committed as a sexually dangerous person and sexual psychopathic personality in 1998. He advanced to MSOP phase III but was moved back to phase II of treatment in 2010 due to his lack of transparency. In 2013, Kropp was transferred to Community Preparation Services (CPS) after successfully petitioning for transfer.

         In 2014, Kropp petitioned for a provisional discharge. In March 2015, the special review board (SRB) held a hearing to consider Kropp's petition. The SRB recommended denying provisional discharge because Kropp had only recently re-engaged in treatment, lacked a sustained record of treatment progress, and failed to present a provisional-discharge plan with sufficient specificity. Kropp petitioned for rehearing and reconsideration. In April 2015, Kropp advanced to MSOP phase III.

         In January 2016, the judicial appeal panel held a hearing to consider Kropp's petition for rehearing and reconsideration. At the conclusion of Kropp's case in chief, the commissioner of human services moved to dismiss the matter pursuant to Minn. R. Civ. P. 41.02(b), and Sherburne County joined in the motion. The panel denied the motion to dismiss and ordered the executive director of MSOP to develop a provisional-discharge plan in conjunction with Kropp as required by Minn. Stat. § 253D.35, subd. 2 (2016). The order provided that the plan must be filed within 30 days. It stated that the plan "does not need to contain a specific placement if one cannot be identified in this timeframe, " but the plan must identify the type of placement that would best meet Kropp's needs and address public safety. The panel remanded the matter to the SRB for consideration of Kropp's provisional-discharge plan and ordered that the matter be set for a phase II hearing before the panel after the SRB issued its findings of fact and recommendation.

         A provisional-discharge plan created by MSOP and Kropp was presented to the SRB. In March 2016, the SRB held a hearing to consider Kropp's renewed request for provisional discharge. After reviewing the evidence before it, the SRB recommended granting Kropp's petition for provisional discharge. The commissioner filed a petition for rehearing and reconsideration.

         In October 2016, a phase II hearing was held before the judicial appeal panel. At the hearing, the panel heard testimony from Kropp, an MSOP associate clinical director, a forensic evaluation department supervisor employed by the department of human services, and a court-appointed, independent examiner. Both the MSOP clinical director and the forensic evaluation department supervisor testified that Kropp should not be provisionally discharged. However, Dr. Nadia Donchenko, the court-appointed examiner, supported provisional discharge.

         In November 2016, the judicial appeal panel issued an order granting Kropp's petition for provisional discharge. The commissioner of human services now appeals ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.