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In re Civil Commitment of S.B.M.

April 16, 2007

IN THE MATTER OF THE CIVIL COMMITMENT OF S.B.M., SVP-308-03.


On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Doc. No. SVP-308-03.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted: March 12, 2007

Before Judges Lintner and King.

This is an appeal from the trial judge's annual review of S.B.M.'s involuntary civil commitment, pursuant to the New Jersey Sexual Violent Predator Act (SVPA), N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24 to -27.38. S.B.M. asserts generally that the SVPA is unconstitutional, the State failed to produce an appropriate expert witness, and the trial judge abused her discretion in continuing S.B.M.'s commitment and in her evidentiary rulings. Specifically, in his brief S.B.M. raises these five points for reversal:

POINT ONE - S.B.M.'S INITIAL INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT UNDER THE SVPA VIOLATES THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, ARTICLE I, SECTION 10, CLAUSE 1 AND NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTION ARTICLE IV, SECTION 7, PARAGRAPH 3 (EX POST FACTO CLAUSES) (not raised below).

POINT TWO - S.B.M.'S INITIAL INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT UNDER THE SVPA VIOLATES THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTION ARTICLE I, PARAGRAPH 1 (EQUAL PROTECTION AND SUBSTANTIVE DUE PROCESS CLAUSES) (not raised below).

POINT THREE - THE STATE FAILED TO SATISFY THE STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS FOR COMMITMENT WHEN IT DID NOT PRODUCE A PSYCHIATRIST WHO WAS A MEMBER OF S.B.M.'S TREATMENT TEAM FOR THE HEARING (not raised below).

POINT FOUR - THE COURT ERRED IN RELYING ON HEARSAY CONTAINED IN EXHIBITS AND THE TESTIMONY OF EXPERT WITNESSES TO MAKE FINDINGS OF FACT AND IN REACHING ITS INITIAL DECISION TO INVOLUNTARILY COMMIT S.B.M. AND IN REACHING ITS DECISION TO CONTINUE S.B.M.'S INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT AT THE REVIEW HEARING (not raised below).

POINT FIVE - THE STATE FAILED TO PROVE BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT S.B.M. SHOULD HAVE BEEN INVOLUNTARILY COMMITTED.

A. Standard of Review.

B. At the Review Hearing, the State failed to prove S.B.M. suffered from a mental abnormality that caused him to be predisposed ...


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