WICHITA – (July 18, 2017) – A federal judge has dismissed a legal challenge to the Kansas sexually violent predator civil commitment program, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.
U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten yesterday granted the state’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which had been filed on behalf of more than 20 patients currently undergoing treatment as sexually violent predators at Larned State Hospital. The lawsuit had argued the state’s program, which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1997, was managed in a way that rendered it unconstitutional and a violation of the patients’ legal rights. But the court concluded the lawsuit failed to state a legal claim that a court could remedy.
“We appreciate the decision of the federal district court,” Schmidt said. “The civil commitment and treatment program for sexually violent predators makes important contributions to public safety in Kansas, and the court’s decision leaves the program intact.”
The legislature in the 1990s enacted the Kansas Sexually Violent Predator Act, which establishes a system for the civil commitment and treatment of persons found to be sexually violent predators and determined, if not treated, likely to engage in repeated acts of sexual violence. The attorney general’s office handles civil litigation related to the commitment of sexually violent predators while the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services manages the care and treatment program for persons who are civilly committed.
The case is Baker et al. v. Keck et. al. A copy of the judge’s order dismissing the case is available at http://bit.ly/2uFZ8s8.