from the District Court of Stutsman County, Southeast
Judicial District, the Honorable Cherie LaVonne Clark, Judge.
A. Schoenack, Assistant State's Attorney, Jamestown, ND,
for petitioner and appellee.
J. Morrow, Grand Forks, ND, for respondent and appellant.
Lawrence Didier appeals from an order denying his petition
for discharge from civil commitment as a sexually dangerous
individual. On appeal, Didier argues the district court's
factual basis was insufficient to legally conclude he met the
substantive due process requirement of the inability to
control his behavior. Didier also argues he did not receive a
fair hearing that comports with procedural due process. We
Didier has previously been convicted of two counts of sexual
assault, one count of gross sexual imposition, and one count
of indecent exposure occurring in 1988, 1998, and 2008. After
these convictions, in May 2010, the State petitioned the
district court to commit Didier as a sexually dangerous
individual. In November 2010, the court ordered Didier's
commitment pursuant to N.D.C.C. ch. 25-03.3. Didier applied
for discharge in April 2018. On January 9, 2019, the court
held a hearing on his application. Dr. Deirdre D'Orazio,
a doctor of clinical and forensic psychology, completed an
annual re-evaluation of Didier. On January 15, 2019, the
court issued an order denying Didier's application.
"This Court reviews civil commitments of sexually
dangerous individuals under a 'modified clearly
erroneous' standard of review." In Interest of
Voisine, 2018 ND 181, ¶ 5, 915 N.W.2d 647. "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. We give great deference to the
court's credibility determinations of expert witnesses
and the weight to be given their testimony." In the
Interest of Tanner, 2017 ND 153, ¶ 4, 897 N.W.2d
901 (citation omitted). We have explained that the district
court is "the best credibility evaluator in cases of
conflicting testimony and we will not second-guess the
court's credibility determinations." In re
Wolff, 2011 ND 76, ¶ 5, 796 N.W.2d 644.
At a discharge hearing, the State bears the burden of proof
to show by clear and convincing evidence the committed
individual remains a sexually dangerous individual. N.D.C.C.
N.D.C.C. § 25-03.3-01(8), the State must prove three
(1) the individual has engaged in sexually predatory conduct;
(2) the individual has a congenital or acquired condition
that is manifested by a sexual disorder, a personality
disorder, or other mental disorder or dysfunction; and (3)
the disorder makes the individual likely to engage in further
acts of sexually predatory conduct.
Voisine, 2018 ND 181, ¶ 6, 915 N.W.2d 647
(citing Tanner, 2017 ND 153, ¶ 4, 897 N.W.2d
901). Additionally, to comport with the statute's
language and constitutional substantive due ...