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In re Detention of Curtiss

Supreme Court of Iowa

March 13, 2015

IN RE THE DETENTION OF STEPHEN C. CURTISS, STEPHEN C. CURTISS, Appellant

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Steven J. Oeth, Judge. A person committed under the Sexually Violent Predator Act appeals the district court's revocation of his release with supervision.

AFFIRMED.

Steven L. Addington and Thomas J. Gaul, Assistant State Public Defenders, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Gretchen Witte Kraemer, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

OPINION

Page 894

WIGGINS, Justice.

The court placed Stephen Curtiss in the Civil Commitment Unit for Sexual Offenders (CCUSO) in 2008 following a hearing in which the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he was a sexually violent predator. At an annual review hearing on January 17, 2011, the district court found the State failed to meet its burden to prove Curtiss was likely to commit a sexual offense if discharged and ordered Curtiss discharged from CCUSO. However, the district court determined that " any such discharge must be supervised as per Iowa Code Section 229A.9A." The district court order Curtiss " released with supervision" to the House for New Life in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The State filed a motion to enlarge or amend the findings of the court, challenging Curtiss's placement in the House for New Life, an out-of-state facility. On February 17, 2012, the district court granted the motion and found the facility was not an agency with jurisdiction as defined by the Code.[1] The district court then ordered Curtiss released with supervision and ordered the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) to develop a new release plan for Curtiss. DHS created a release plan for Curtiss releasing him to the transitional release program within CCUSO under a release with supervision status. The district court approved the plan on September 5, 2012. Curtiss did not appeal any of these orders.

While released with supervision, Curtiss had a number of violations of his release conditions. These included his (1) failure to fully participate in counseling, (2) failure to identify a primary healthcare provider in the community, (3) failure to establish a case manager, (4) failure to complete his GED and procure employment, (5) failure to fully participate in group treatment discussions during sex offender treatment, and (6) the use of his six community outings to shop and dine out rather than work on procuring housing and community support. In April 2013, DHS alerted the court to these violations.

In July, the court conducted a hearing concerning his release condition violations. Prior to the presentation of any testimony,

Page 895

the court and the parties made the following record.

MS. KRAEMER [(attorney for the State)]: . . . We have filed a motion to revoke the release with supervision status under Iowa Code 229A.9B, and we're prepared to present information on that today.
THE COURT: Okay. And, Mr. Addington [(Curtiss's attorney)], do you agree that that's the issue before the court, whether ...

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