In re Commitment of Snapp, No. 126176 (Ill. 2021)
Nature of Case: Respondent is an individual committed to the Department of Corrections under the Sexually Dangerous Persons Act (725 ILCS 205/0.01 et seq.). In 2010, respondent filed an application for recovery seeking release from his civil commitment. Based on testimonial evidence, the circuit court denied respondent’s application for recovery, finding that he was “still a sexually dangerous person and in need of confinement.”
On appeal, respondent argued that the circuit court erred in failing to make an explicit finding that he was substantially probable to re-offend if not confined as required by People v. Masterson, 207 Ill. 2d 305 (2003).
The appellate court agreed with respondent, vacated the circuit court’s judgment, and remanded for a new hearing on respondent’s recovery application. Justice Schmidt, however, dissented, noting that the legislature amended the Act in 2013 to include the requirement of a substantial probability to re-offend within the statutory definition of a sexually dangerous person. The state petitioned for leave to appeal.
Holding: The Supreme Court of Illinois reversed the judgment of the appellate court concluding that under the amended Act, it is unnecessary for a circuit court to make a separate express finding that the respondent is substantially probable to re-offend after finding the respondent is a sexually dangerous person.