Dustin J. Merryfield, Appellant,
Shawn Sullivan, Secretary of Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, et al., Appellees. Richard A. Quillen, Appellant,
Shawn Sullivan, Secretary of Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, et al., Appellees
Appeal from Pawnee District Court; Bruce T. Gatterman, judge.
BY THE COURT
1. A specific statute controls over a general statute.
2. Whenever a person civilly committed under the Sexually Violent Predator Act, K.S.A. 59-29a01 et seq., files a petition pursuant to K.S.A. 60-1501 et seq., the costs incurred shall be taxed to the county responsible for the costs. Any district court receiving a statement of costs from another district court shall forthwith approve the same for payment out of the general fund of its county except that it may refuse to approve the same for payment only on the ground that it is not the county responsible for the costs.
Dustin J. Merryfield and Richard A. Quillen, appellants Pro se.
Corrine E. Johnson, of Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, of Topeka, for appellees.
Before Malone, C.J., Hill and Arnold-Burger, JJ.
In this combined appeal, Dustin J. Merryfield and Richard A. Quillen, both involuntary participants in the Kansas Sexual Predator Treatment Program, filed petitions for writs of habeas corpus under K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 60-1501. In their petitions, the two argued that a policy called RIGHT-106 violated their constitutional rights. The district court summarily dismissed both petitions. The court also assessed court costs against both. Because this policy has never been applied to Merryfield or Quillen, we hold that they have no standing to contest the constitutionality of this policy. With respect to the assessment of costs, we hold the court applied an incorrect statute concerning court costs and we vacate the court's ruling on that and remand for reconsideration.
In this case Merryfield and Quillen challenge the constitutionality of RIGHT-106. That policy establishes the procedures for reducing privilege levels, imposing general restrictions, imposing restrictions on purchases, and assigning restriction level status for sexual predator treatment program residents. Both Merryfield and Quillen assert that the procedures under RIGHT-106 are unconstitutional. Neither contend that RIGHT-106 has been applied to them.
A litigant lacks standing to challenge the constitutionality of legislation that is not being applied to that person. See State v. Baker, 281 Kan. 997, 1022, 135 P.3d 1098 (2006). Simply put, because Merryfield and Quillen challenge a policy that was not applied to them, they lack standing to challenge its constitutionality. We do not render advisory opinions. State v. Montgomery, 295 Kan. 837, 840, 286 P.3d 866 (2012). In our view, the district court correctly held that Merryfield and Quillen lack standing to challenge RIGHT-106. It properly dismissed their petitions on this point.
We need not reach the issue concerning exhaustion of administrative remedies because no procedure has ...