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Beyer v. Deslauriers

United States District Court, D. Kansas

June 7, 2019

HERBERT J. BEYER, Plaintiff,
v.
AUSTIN DESLAURIERS, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          SAM A. CROW U.S. SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on a Motion to Dismiss filed by the defendants in this matter (ECF No. 17). Plaintiff has filed a response (ECF No. 19). For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motion is granted.

         Summary of Complaint

         Mr. Beyer was convicted of a sexual offense in Wisconsin in 1986 and sentenced to serve ten (10) years. On May 15, 1987, Mr. Beyer was sentenced under a plea agreement in Sedgwick County, Kansas, to 5 to 10 years on one count of indecent liberties with a child and 5 to 20 years on one count of aggravated sodomy. The judge stated at the sentencing hearing that the Kansas sentences would “run consecutive one with the other” but “run concurrent with [Plaintiff's] Wisconsin time.” ECF No. 5 at 8. According to Plaintiff, the judge also stated, “My intent is that you go serve your Wisconsin time. When they release you, you're released.” Id. Mr. Beyer was returned to Wisconsin, where he was released on parole two years later, on April 20, 1989. He was immediately turned over to the custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections on a detainer. He remained incarcerated in Kansas until February 11, 2002, at which point he was civilly committed under the Kansas Sexually Violent Predator Act (KSVPA), K.S.A. § 59-29a01, et seq. He remains in the custody of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services as a resident in the Sexual Predator Treatment Program (SPTP) at Larned State Hospital.

         Plaintiff complains of the inadequacy of the SPTP. Plaintiff alleges the annual examinations of his mental condition mandated by the KSVPA to determine if he may be released have been perfunctory and ineffective. ECF No. 5 at 8. He further alleges the treatment he has received has been inadequate. He receives 1½ hours of group therapy per week and, at most, one individual therapy session per month. Plaintiff states there are seven therapists for over 257 SPTP residents, only one of whom is licensed while the other six are interns or doctoral students. Also, Mr. Beyer asserts that Defendants have failed to provide qualified educational counselors with a degree and specific training in the class/subject they are teaching. ECF No. 5 at 4. Plaintiff further states he “has suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable mental and emotional injury” as a result of the treatment inadequacies (ECF No. 5 at 9) and is deprived of a “realistic opportunity to progress through the program.” ECF No. 5 at 4. Moreover, Mr. Beyer alleges that the grievance procedure in the SPTP is a “sham, ” and his grievances are “almost never given serious consideration.” ECF No. 5 at 10.

         Mr. Beyer names Tim Keck, Secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability; Michael Dixon, Administrator of the SPTP; Austin DesLauriers, Clinical Program Director of the SPTP; and Bill Rein, Superintendent of Larned State Hospital, as defendants. He brings five counts against these defendants. Count I alleges Defendants violated his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights by depriving him of adequate treatment to give him the opportunity to regain his freedom. Count II alleges the same defendants violated his right under the Eight Amendment to be free from cruel and unusual punishment by confining him in Kansas when he should have been released at the conclusion of his Wisconsin sentence. Count III appears to be the same as Count I, alleging the same defendants violated Plaintiff's right to “adequate treatment and civil rights of civilly committed persons” under the Fourteenth Amendment. Count IV alleges the defendants violated “court ordered treatment under K.S.A. § 59-29a01 through K.S.A. § 59-29a24, ” again based on the inadequacy of the treatment program. Count V alleges Plaintiff's civil commitment violates the Double Jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment.

         Plaintiff requests relief in the form of immediate release from the SPTP program, as well as actual, nominal, compensatory, and punitive damages.

         Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 17)

         Defendants argue Plaintiff fails to allege facts showing he receives treatment so inadequate that it constitutes a substantial departure from accepted professional judgment or shocks the conscience, as required to state a constitutional violation. Rather, Defendants point out that Plaintiff's allegations show he is in fact receiving treatment, though he complains of the amount and the practitioners providing the treatment, and that his allegations fail to overcome a presumption of validity attached to the professional judgment of treatment providers. Defendants point out a recent Eighth Circuit case, Karsjens v. Piper, 845 F.3d 394 (8th Cir. 2017), rejected a similar challenge to Minnesota's sexual predator treatment program, which has no annual review of those involuntarily committed to the program and has had no one successfully complete the program and be released. Defendants argue Plaintiff's complaint contains no allegations of egregious, malicious, or sadistic conduct to satisfy the “shocks the conscience” standard for a due process violation.

         As for Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment and Double Jeopardy counts, Defendants argue it is well-settled that the KSVPA is not government-imposed punishment, and the Act has a legitimate nonpunitive governmental objective to protect the public (citing Kansas v. Hendricks, 521 U.S. 346, 363 (1997)).

         Legal Standards

         Rule 12(b)(6)

         “To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain ‘enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Schrock v. Wyeth, Inc., 727 F.3d 1273, 1280 (10th Cir. 2013) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). When applying this standard, a court must accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations and then ask whether those facts state a plausible claim for relief. See Id. at 679. Viewing the complaint in this manner, the Court must decide whether the plaintiff's allegations give rise to more than speculative possibilities. Id. “[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not ‘show[n]'-‘that the pleader is entitled to relief.'” Id. (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).

         28 U.S.C. ...


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