In re Quillen, No. 120,184 (Kan. Ct. App. 2019)
Nature of Case: Appellant was civilly committed under Kansas state law, and pursuant to state law sought transitional release. A jury trial was eventually held, though the trial court refused to tender jury instructions which would have required the jury to find that the state was required to prove “that [Appellant’s] mental abnormality or personality disorder makes it seriously difficult for him to control his dangerous behavior.” The state maintained that this element was not required in a hearing on transitional release. Appellant’s petition for release was denied, and he appealed.
Holding: Kansas Court of Appeals reversed. Despite the state statute not requiring the state to prove those elements beyond a reasonable doubt in a release hearing, the Court found that in order to comport with constitutional Due Process protections and established caselaw, the state was required to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Appellant would have serious difficulty controlling his behavior.