On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket Nos. SVP-351-03 & SVP-351-03.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued telephonically December 21, 2006
Before Judges Stern, A. A. Rodríguez and Lyons.
T.J.N. appeals from an order of April 8, 2004 involuntarily committing him to the Special Treatment Unit under the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA), N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24 to .38, following a hearing at which a psychiatrist and psychologist testified for the State, and appellant and his aunt testified for the defense. The proofs and findings clearly satisfy the statutory requirements for commitment, as detailed in In re Commitment of W.Z., 173 N.J. 109 (2002), but appellant asserts that the background information on which the State's experts relied was misconstrued or misunderstood and constituted inadmissible hearsay. Appellant argues that without that background information, the State did not satisfy its burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence, that T.J.N. has been convicted of offenses involving sexually violent behavior, "suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder" and is "likely to engage in acts of sexual violence . . . ."
N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.26. Specifically, appellant contends that:
POINT I THE PETITION FOR CIVIL COMMITMENT WAS INVALID ON ITS FACE AS ONE OF THE REQUISITE CLINICAL CERTIFICATES FAILED TO SUPPORT A PRIMA FACIE CASE INSOFAR AS IT FAILED TO ALLEGE THAT T.J.N. WAS HIGHLY LIKELY TO RECIDIVATE IN THE REASONABLY FORESEEABLE FUTURE.
POINT II THE DECISION OF THE COURT BELOW SHOULD BE REVERSED BECAUSE IT FAILED TO CONSIDER LESS RESTRICTIVE ALTERNATIVES.
A. THE STATE FAILED TO MEET THE BURDEN OR EVEN TO ADDRESS THE BURDEN OF SHOWING THAT IT COULD NOT REACH ITS DESIRED OBJECTIVE BY LESS RESTRICTIVE MEANS PURSUANT TO THE STRICT SCRUTINY TEST.
B. IT WAS INCUMBENT UPON THE COURT TO ADOPT T.J.N.'s
DISCHARGE PLAN OR TO MOLD THE LEAST RESTRICTIVE ...