Van Orden et al. v. Stringer et al., No. 17-3093 (8th Cir. 2019)
Nature of Case: Group of persons civilly committed whom Missouri deemed sexually violent predators brought class action lawsuit alleging that Missouri’s SVP Act was unconstitutional and as-applied. Following a bench trial, district court held that the Act was unconstitutional as-applied, but denied relief on the facial challenge. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently issued its decision in Karsjens v. Piper, and state defendants moved for reconsideration of the District Court’s as-applied ruling. The District Court denied the motion, and Plaintiffs sought review.
Holding: 8th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal. Karsjens requires in the context of as-applied challenge that the plaintiffs demonstrate “both that the state defendants’ conduct was conscience-shocking, and that the state defendants violated one or more fundamental rights that are deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition, and implicit in the concept of ordered liberty, such that neither liberty nor justice would exist if they were sacrificed.” There were no facts in this case that were more shocking than those in Karsjens, and thus the dismissal was proper in the class action context.
- 8th Circuit Opinion
- District Court Reconsideration Opinion | view via Google Scholar
- District Court Pre-Karsjens Opinion
- Appellant’s Brief (8th Cir.)
- Appellee’s Brief (8th Cir.)
- Appellant’s Reply Brief (8th Cir.)