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Lieberman v. Budz

April 8, 2005

BRAD LIEBERMAN, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
TIMOTHY BUDZ, FACILITY DIRECTOR, ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, TREATMENT/DETENTION FACILITY, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will County, Illinois, No. 03-MR-911. Honorable Barbara J. Badger, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice O'brien

In 2000, the Cook County circuit court ordered the petitioner, Brad Lieberman, to be civilly detained (725 ILCS 207/30 (West 2002)) pending trial for commitment under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act (Act) (725 ILCS 207/1 et seq. (West 2002)). Initially, Lieberman was detained at the Sheridan Correctional Center, but later he was transferred to a secure facility in Joliet. In 2003, Lieberman filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus with the Will County circuit court, naming Timothy Budz, the facility director for the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS), as the respondent. The trial court granted the respondent's motion to dismiss under section 2--615 of the Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/2--615 (West 2002)) and denied Lieberman's motion to reconsider.

[9]     On appeal, Lieberman argues that the trial court erred by denying his motion to reconsider because (1) the Cook County court violated section 25(c)(1) of the Act (725 ILCS 207/25(c)(1) (West 2002)) by holding a detention hearing without Lieberman being present; (2) the DHS was not authorized by the detention order to transfer him from the Sheridan facility to the Joliet facility; (3) the detention order was improperly based on an "out-dated" mental health evaluation; and (4) his due process rights are being violated because he is currently detained at the Joliet facility with others adjudicated to be sexually violent persons without the court holding either a probable cause hearing or a trial to determine whether he is a sexually violent person. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

The record does not contain a copy of the State's petition seeking Lieberman's civil commitment as a sexually violent person under the Act. However, the record indicates that such a petition was filed with the Cook County circuit court on January 5, 2000.

On January 6, 2000, the Cook County court held a proceeding to consider whether Lieberman should be detained under the Act. Lieberman was not present at that proceeding. During the proceeding, the assistant State's Attorney said, "I will ask the Court, I know the Court has reviewed this petition. I am asking the Court to find that *** there is cause to--Brad Lieberman is eligible for petition under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act; and that the Court, today, issue an order for his detention." The judge stated that the court would issue the detention order.

On January 8, 2000, the Cook County court issued its detention order. In the order, the court directed the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC) to detain Lieberman and then to "transfer [Lieberman] to the Sexually Violent Persons Treatment and Detention Center at Sheridan Correctional Center."

Lieberman filed his habeas petition on December 16, 2003, with the Will County circuit court. In his petition, Lieberman stated that the DHS had transferred him from the Sheridan facility to "the Joliet Correctional Center-Annex which is the 'Secure Residential Facility For Sexually Violent Persons.' " In the petition, Lieberman made the same arguments that he is making on appeal.

On March 15, 2004, the State filed its section 2--615 motion to dismiss Lieberman's petition on Budz' behalf. The court issued its order granting the dismissal motion on March 21, 2004. Concerning Lieberman's first argument, the trial court wrote, "Mr. Lieberman's complaint *** is *** directed at *** the initial review by the Court under Subsection 207/30(a). This type of review is not unlike the Court's initial review of a post-conviction petition *** and due process does not require the Petitioner's presence."

The trial court denied Lieberman's motion to reconsider. Lieberman appealed.

ANALYSIS

Habeas corpus relief is available where a person who is in civil custody is entitled to immediate release. Turner v. Campagna, 281 Ill. App. 3d 1090, 667 N.E.2d 683 (1996). A writ of habeas corpus is available to obtain the immediate release of a person (1) who is in custody under a judgment of a court which lacked jurisdiction; or (2) when there has been some occurrence subsequent to the person being taken into custody which entitled him to release. Barney v. Prisoner Review Board, 184 Ill. 2d 428, 704 N.E.2d 350 (1998).

In a section 2--615 motion to dismiss, the trial court must determine whether the allegations of the petition, when viewed in the light most favorable to the petitioner, are sufficient to state a cause of action upon which relief can be granted. Morissette v. Briley, 326 Ill. App. 3d 590, 761 N.E.2d 333 (2001).

We review a trial court's ruling on a motion to reconsider for abuse of discretion. Stringer v. Packaging Corp. of America, 351 Ill. ...


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