Brown v. Watters, 599 F.3d 602 (7th Cir. 2010)
Nature of Case: Petitioner, civilly committed in Wisconsin, filed federal habeas corpus petition in federal district court following the Wisconsin state courts affirming his civil commitment.
Petitioner alleged that civil commitment proceedings violated his due process rights in that his commitment, inter alia, was based on diagnoses of paraphilia NOS (not otherwise specified) and antisocial personality disorder, that the commitment court erred in failing to adhere to a Daubert evidentiary standard. Petitioner further alleged that procedural default for failing to raise due process claims on direct appeal should be excused in that he received ineffective assistance of counsel.
Holding: Seventh Circuit held that petitioner was not denied due process of law on any of the grounds alleged. Petitioner was not denied effective assistance of counsel, as there is no constitutional right to appellate counsel in civil commitment cases, so as not to excuse AEDPA’s procedural bar requirement. However, in light of claim of “actual innocence” of SVP status by petitioner, Court addressed remainder of claims, finding that commitment on the basis of diagnoses that he received did not violate due process rights, nor did application of more lax evidentiary standard than that outlined in Daubert.
- Seventh Circuit Opinion | view via Google Scholar
- Petitioner-Appellant Brief
- Respondent-Appellee Brief
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