July 5, 2013
IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION FOR DISCHARGE OF TIMOTHY SKINNER, CONSECUTIVE NO. 126970, FROM CENTRAL NEW YORK PSYCHIATRIC CENTER PURSUANT TO MENTAL HYGIENE LAW SECTION 10.09, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
STATE OF NEW YORK, NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH, AND NEW YORK STATE DIVISION OF PAROLE, RESPONDENTS-RESPONDENTS.
Appeal from an order of the Supreme Court, Oneida County (Joseph E. Fahey, A.J.), entered March 9, 2012 in a proceeding pursuant to Mental Hygiene Law article 10. The order, among other things, continued petitioner's commitment to a secure treatment facility.
EMMETT J. CREAHAN, DIRECTOR, MENTAL HYGIENE LEGAL SERVICE, UTICA (CRAIG P. SCHLANGER OF COUNSEL), FOR PETITIONER-APPELLANT.
ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN, ATTORNEY GENERAL, ALBANY (FRANK BRADY OF COUNSEL), FOR RESPONDENTS-RESPONDENTS.
PRESENT: CENTRA, J.P., PERADOTTO, SCONIERS, VALENTINO, AND WHALEN, JJ.
It is hereby ORDERED that the order so appealed from is unanimously affirmed without costs.
Memorandum: Petitioner was previously deemed to be a dangerous sex offender requiring civil confinement and was committed to a secure treatment facility (see Mental Hygiene Law § 10.01 et seq.). Petitioner now appeals from an order, entered after an evidentiary hearing, continuing his confinement in a secure treatment facility (see § 10.09 [h]). We affirm. We reject petitioner's contention that Supreme Court failed to "state in its decision the facts it deem[ed] essential' to its determination" (Matter of Jose L. I., 46 N.Y.2d 1024, 1025, quoting CPLR 4213 [b]). "To comply with CPLR 4213 (b), a court need not set forth evidentiary facts, but it must state those ultimate facts essential to its decision" (Matter of Erika G., 289 A.D.2d 803, 804). Here, the court's "decision, despite its brevity, fully complies" with section 4213 (b) (Vance Metal Fabricators v Widell & Son, 50 A.D.2d 1062, 1063). Specifically, the decision sets forth the court's finding that petitioner continues to suffer from "a mental abnormality involving such a strong predisposition to commit sex offenses, and such an inability to control behavior, that [he] is likely to be a danger to others and to commit sex offenses if not confined to a secure treatment facility" (§ 10.03 [e]).
We reject petitioner's further contention that respondents failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he is a dangerous sex offender requiring continued confinement (see generally Matter of State of New York v High, 83 A.D.3d 1403, 1403, lv denied 17 N.Y.3d 704; Matter of State of New York v Motzer, 79 A.D.3d 1687, 1688). While there was conflicting expert testimony with respect to the need for petitioner's continued confinement, "[t]he trier of fact [was] in the best position to evaluate the weight and credibility of conflicting expert... testimony, " and here the record supports the court's determination to credit the opinion of respondents' expert over that of petitioner's expert (Matter of State of New York v Donald N., 63 A.D.3d 1391, 1394).