In the Interest of G.L.D.
G.L.D., Respondent and Appellant Allen Koppy, State's Attorney, Petitioner and Appellee
from the District Court of Morton County, South Central
Judicial District, the Honorable Daniel J. Borgen, Judge.
M. Koppy, Morton County State's Attorney, Mandan, ND,
petitioner and appellee.
J. Morrow, Grand Forks, ND, for respondent and appellant.
VANDEWALLE, CHIEF JUSTICE.
G.L.D. appealed from a district court order denying his
petition for discharge from civil commitment as a sexually
dangerous individual. We conclude the district court did not
make sufficient findings of fact, and we remand for further
G.L.D. was civilly committed as a sexually dangerous
individual in 2007. This Court has affirmed G.L.D.'s
commitment. In re G.L.D., 2016 ND 26, 876 N.W.2d 485
(per curiam); In re G.L.D., 2016 ND 25, 876 N.W.2d
485 (per curiam); In re G.L.D., 2014 ND 194, 855
N.W.2d 99; In re G.L.D., 2012 ND 233, 823 N.W.2d 786
(per curiam); In re G.L.D., 2011 ND 52, 795 N.W.2d
346. G.L.D. petitioned the district court for discharge in
April 2016, and a discharge hearing was held in June 2019. At
the hearing, Dr. Richard Travis testified for the State. Dr.
Travis testified that G.L.D. remains a sexually dangerous
individual subject to continued civil commitment. G.L.D. did
not call any experts in support of his petition for
discharge. At the conclusion of the hearing, the district
court orally issued the following findings of fact and
conclusions of law:
Thank you. And for the record, the Court does weigh this that
the State is the one moving forward, has the burden and that
burden beyond a clear and convincing evidence and we go into
this Prong 1 as stipulated to.
Prong 2, there is a diagnosis. We had - the diagnosis was
testified to. The State had called one expert. No other
experts were called. There was some possible impeachment by
the respondent attempts, but I find the weight and the
credibility of the expert that was called very credible and
I'm giving it great weight particularly when we go on to
Prongs 3 and 4. And when - I intermingle these a little bit
because he testified that it is very likely that [G.L.D.]
would reoffend if released into the community. I wrote that
down specifically. He said that right before he said,
"[G.L.D.] would have serious difficulties controlling
his behavior if he was released into the community."
And I'm giving great weight and credibility to the expert
in that regard. And when we look at In the Interest of
J.M., which the Court has in front of it, I know that,
Mr. Morrow, you had indicated in that 2016 case that just not
participating in treatment can't be used. But the Court
in your - in this latest case reflects that J.M. not
only had not acted out sexually and not had any sexual nature
rule violations, he has either completed his sexual offender
treatment and made substantial - or made substantial progress
since his last evaluation.
The Court goes on to say that the standard is an individual
may only be committed when the individual has serious
difficulties controlling his or her sexual predatory behavior
making that individual a danger to others.
In the case at hand, Dr. Travis said that [G.L.D.] would have
serious difficulties controlling his behavior in the
community and that he would be very likely to reoffend. So
the Court's making that finding that with the diagnosis
and - paraphilia diagnosis with the other two diagnoses and
the substance abuse issue that's been in remission for a
long time because of the controlled environment, I'm not
really weighing that. There's been at least, it looks
like, 20 years of sobriety here whether it be forced or not,
I don't - I'm not weighing that part of it.
What I'm really looking at is the nexus between the
diagnosis and the fact that the doctor feels that based on
all the circumstances, and that includes behaviors as recent
as February where [G.L.D.] refused to take part in providing
any more information that may have helped the doctor to make
any kind of different diagnosis, his being uncooperative with
the - with the doctor, it's hard for the Court to find
any other way than the commitment would have to continue and
the State's met its burden.
After it issued its findings, the district court requested
the State draft a proposed order that G.L.D. remain civilly
committed. The proposed order submitted by the State
incorporated by reference the court's oral findings and
did not contain any additional or more specific findings of
fact. The ...