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In re Civil Commitment of L.P.

October 1, 2008

IN THE MATTER OF THE CIVIL COMMITMENT OF L.P. SVP-442-06


On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Civil Part, Essex County, Docket NO. SVP-442-06.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted: September 10, 2008

Before Judges Parrillo and Lihotz.

L.P. appeals from a judgment that determined he is a person in need of commitment as a sexually violent predator pursuant to the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA), N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.24 to -27.38, and ordered his civil commitment to the Special Treatment Unit (STU). See N.J.S.A. 30:4-27.34(a). On appeal, L.P. presents these arguments for our consideration:

POINT I

THE APPLICABLE CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE STANDARD OF PROOF FOR COMMITMENT UNDER THE SVPA WAS NOT MET BY THE STATE REGARDING ANY OF THE REQUIRED ELEMENTS JUSTIFYING COMMITMENT UNDER THE ACT.

POINT I(A)

EVIDENCE FAILED TO SHOW BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT L.P. IS CURRENTLY SUFFERING FROM A MENTAL ABNORMALITY WHICH MAKES HIM HIGHLY LIKELY TO ENGAGE IN ACTS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE - EXPERT'S OPINION WAS BASED ALMOST ENTIRELY UPON COMPLEX DIAGNOSES OF OTHER PSYCHIATRISTS.

POINT I(B)

EVIDENCE FAILED TO SHOW BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT L.P. IS CURRENTLY SUFFERING FROM A MENTAL ABNORMALITY WHICH MAKES HIM HIGHLY LIKELY TO ENGAGE IN ACTS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE - THE COURT ERRED IN ITS EVALUATION OF DR. MOSHKOVICH'S OPINION THAT THE DEFENDANT WAS NOT A HIGH RISK TO RE-OFFEND.

POINT I(C)

DEFENDANT'S COMMITMENT UNDER THE SVPA WAS ERRONEOUS WHERE THE EXPERTS RELIED SUBSTANTIALLY UPON OTHER ACTS EVIDENCE THAT RESULTED IN DISMISSALS OR NOT GUILTY VERDICTS.

POINT II

THE JUDGMENT OF THE LAW DIVISION SHOULD BE VACATED BECAUSE THERE WAS NO TESTIMONY FROM A PSYCHIATRIST ON L.P.'S TREATMENT TEAM WHO CONDUCTED A PERSONAL ...


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