In the Interest of Raymond Voisine Jonathan Byers, Special Assistant State's Attorney, Petitioner and Appellee
Raymond J. Voisine, Respondent and Appellant
from the District Court of Sheridan County, South Central
Judicial District, the Honorable Gail Hagerty, Judge.
Jonathan R. Byers, Special Assistant State's Attorney,
Office of the Attorney General, petitioner and appellee.
M. Morrow, for respondent and appellant.
VandeWalle, Chief Justice.
1] Raymond Voisine appealed a district court order finding he
remains a sexually dangerous individual and denying his
petition for discharge from the North Dakota State Hospital.
2] Stemming from his conviction of gross sexual imposition in
2008, the State petitioned to commit Voisine to the state
hospital as a sexually dangerous individual under N.D.C.C.
3] Voisine's actions, leading to his civil commitment as
a sexually dangerous individual, have resulted in six
previous appeals to this Court. See Voisine v.
State, 2008 ND 91, 748 N.W.2d 429 (reversing and vacating
revocation of probation in postconviction proceeding);
Matter of Voisine, 2010 ND 17, 777 N.W.2d 908
(reversing commitment as sexually dangerous individual and
remanding for further proceedings); Interest of
Voisine, 2010 ND 241, 795 N.W.2d 38 (summarily affirming
commitment as sexually dangerous individual); Interest of
Voisine, 2012 ND 250, 823 N.W.2d 786 (summarily
affirming denial of request for discharge from commitment as
sexually dangerous individual); Voisine v. State,
2014 ND 98, 859 N.W.2d 930 (summarily affirming denial of
petition for postconviction relief); In re Voisine,
2014 ND 178, 859 N.W.2d 930 (summarily affirming denial of
request for discharge from commitment as sexually dangerous
4] In December of 2014, Voisine again petitioned for
discharge. The district court held a hearing in January of
2016. At the hearing, the State called one witness, Dr.
Jennifer Krance, a psychologist at the state hospital. Dr.
Krance testified Voisine remained a sexually dangerous
individual because Voisine suffered from a congenital or
acquired condition that is manifested by a sexual disorder,
personality disorder, or mental disorder or dysfunction, he
was likely to reoffend, and has serious difficulty in
controlling his behavior. Dr. Stacey Benson, a clinical
psychologist, testified for Voisine. Dr. Benson disagreed
with Dr. Krance's findings and testified she did not
believe Voisine remained a sexually dangerous individual. In
February 2016, the district court issued an order finding
Voisine remained a sexually dangerous individual and
continued his commitment.
5] At a discharge hearing, the burden is on the State to
prove by clear and convincing evidence that the committed
individual remains sexually dangerous. In re J.T.N.,
2011 ND 231, ¶ 4, 807 N.W.2d 570. For the State to meet
its burden, it "must prove three statutory elements and
establish an additional constitutional requirement that is
not a fourth element, but 'is a part of the definition of
a "sexually dangerous individual."'"
Id. (quoting Matter of Midgett, 2010 ND 98,
¶ 7, 783 N.W.2d 27). Under N.D.C.C. §
25-03.3-01(8), "sexually dangerous individual" is
an individual  who is shown to have engaged in sexually
predatory conduct and  who has a congenital or acquired
condition that is manifested by a sexual disorder, a
personality disorder, or other mental disorder or dysfunction
 that makes that individual likely to engage in further
acts of sexually predatory conduct which constitute a danger
to the physical or mental health or safety of others.
State must also prove an additional constitutional
requirement which requires the finding that the committed
individual has serious difficulty controlling his or her
behavior. J.T.N., 2011 ND 231, ¶ 5; Kansas
v. Crane, 534 U.S. 407, 413 (2002).
6] Civil commitments of sexually dangerous individuals are
reviewed under a modified clearly erroneous standard of
review. Midgett, 2010 ND 98, ¶ 6. This Court
We will affirm a trial court's order denying a petition
for discharge unless it is induced by an erroneous view of
the law or we are firmly convinced it is not supported by
clear and convincing evidence. In reviewing the trial
court's order, we give great deference to the court's
credibility determinations of expert witnesses and weight to
be given their testimony. The trial court is the best
credibility evaluator in ...