In June of 2010, the New York State Court of Appeals (the highest court in New York) ruled that the civil commitment statute for sex offenders, pursuant to article 10 of the New York Mental Hygiene Law, applies to “dangerous inmates who are detained sex offenders”. The court went on to find that the statute applies to them even if they are being held illegally.
The case before the court involved two inmates who were detained illegally after their return to prison for violations of various post-release supervision provisions. Overturning the lower courts, the Court of Appeals ruled that the state could proceed with involuntary commitment procedures despite acknowledging that the men were improperly imprisoned in the first place.
The court’s interpretation of the statute passed by the New York State legislature gives an expansive view to the civil commitment statute. The court found that there is no injustice in holding dangerous sex offenders in civil confinement even after their jail term is up. This decision benefits society at large since keeping sex offenders off the streets, even after they have served their appropriate sentences, is in the interest of public good.
Should you have any questions regarding child abuse, sex offenders, family law, matrimonial law, spousal abuse, orders of protection or any other legal issue, please contact Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo at 1-800-344-6431, or by email.