Appellate Division, Fourth Department
State v. Calhoun
Appealed from Supreme Court, Jefferson County
Background: A criminal defendant was convicted in state court of sex offenses and afterward in federal court for additional sex offenses. He received a federal sentence was 22 years imprisonment, making him first eligible for release in 2032.
Upon his release from state custody, though, the state attorney general brought a civil commitment proceeding. The inmate’s motion to dismiss the proceeding for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction was denied.
Ruling: Order was reversed and civil commitment proceeding was dismissed. The issue was the meaning of the word “release” – does it apply to release from state custody or does it encompass release from custody in all jurisdictions? An article 10 determination on civil commitment would have no immediate effect on an offender who will not be released from federal prison for 19 to 22 years. Further, a sex offender who at one point is found to be dangerous, may be found later to no longer be dangerous.
Craig P. Schlanger for the respondent; Kathleen M. Arnold for NYS Attorney General