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In re Ellison

Court of Appeals of Kansas

July 24, 2015

In the Matter of the Care and Treatment of TODD ELLISON

Page 1064

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1065

Appeal from Sedgwick District Court; BENJAMIN L. BURGESS, judge.

SYLLABUS

1. Both the adjudication and commitment of a person under the Sexually Violent Predator Act, K.S.A. 59-29a01 et seq., impair that person's substantive due process right to liberty and, in turn, require procedural due process protections.

2. Constitutionally sufficient procedural due process requires that a person be afforded a right to be heard in a meaningful way before being deprived of life, liberty, or property. A hearing ceases to be constitutionally meaningful if it is materially delayed and, thus, untimely.

3. The multifactor test set forth in Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 92 S.Ct. 2182, 33 L.Ed.2d 101 (1972), to assess constitutional speedy trial rights in criminal cases provides an appropriate model for measuring the procedural due process right to a timely adjudication of a civil commitment petition under the Sexually Violent Predator Act.

4. The Barker decision identified four considerations in evaluating a possible constitutional violation based on the lapse of time in bringing a criminal defendant to trial: (1) the length of delay; (2) the reasons for the delay; (3) the defendant's assertion of the constitutional right; and (4) the prejudice to the defendant arising from the delay. Those factors are discussed in the context of a civil commitment proceeding under the Sexually Violent Predator Act.

Natalie Chalmers, assistant solicitor general, for appellant.

Michael P. Whalen, of Law Office of Michael P. Whalen, of Wichita, for appellee.

Before MALONE, C.J., PIERRON and ATCHESON, JJ.

OPINION

Page 1066

[51 Kan.App.2d 752] Atch ...


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