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In re D.M.W.

Superior Court of Pennsylvania

October 10, 2014

IN RE: D.M.W

Submitted August 11, 2014

Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas, Berks County, Civil Division, No(s): 3-14 MH. Before GRIM, J.

Richard A. Joyce, Jr., Reading, for D.M.W, appellant.

Christine M. Sadler, Reading, for Berks County Soliciter, appellee.

BEFORE: LAZARUS, J., MUNDY, J., and STABILE, J.

OPINION

Page 493

MUNDY, J.

Appellant, D.M.W., appeals from the January 8, 2014 order continuing his involuntary civil commitment for a period of one year. After careful review, we affirm.

We summarize the relevant factual and procedural history of this case as follows. On February 17, 2009, the Commonwealth filed a petition in juvenile court, alleging Appellant was delinquent for committing acts that if committed by an adult would constitute the crimes of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, and indecent exposure.[1] The juvenile court conducted a hearing at which Appellant admitted committing the delinquent acts. The juvenile court adjudicated Appellant delinquent and in need of treatment. As a result, Appellant was committed to a juvenile treatment facility.

At some point, the Juvenile Probation Office requested that the juvenile court conduct a review of Appellant's file. The juvenile court directed Appellant's file be forwarded to the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board (SOAB). The SOAB conducted an assessment, the results of which were sent to the juvenile court on May 13, 2012. On June 8, 2012, the juvenile court found prima facie evidence that Appellant " was in need of involuntary treatment[.]" Trial Court Opinion, 4/8/14, at 2; see also 42 Pa.C.S.A. § § 6358(f), 6403(b)(1). On July 6, 2012, Berks County (the County) filed a petition, with juvenile court, for involuntary treatment pursuant to Section 6403(b). On January 8, 2013, the civil division[2] of the trial court conducted a hearing, at the conclusion of which the trial court concluded Appellant met the criteria necessary for involuntary civil commitment under Section 6403(d). Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal to this Court on February 6, 2013. On February 14, 2014, this Court affirmed the commitment order. In re D.M.W., 2014 PA Super 26, 86 A.3d 235 (Pa. Super. 2014), appeal denied, 97 A.3d 745, 169 MAL 2014 (Pa. 2014). Our Supreme Court denied Appellant's petition for allowance of appeal on August 14, 2014. Id.

Meanwhile, on January 5, 2014, the trial court received the SOAB's new assessment and evaluation of Appellant. On January 8, 2014, the trial court conducted an annual review hearing pursuant to Section 6404(b)(2). At the conclusion of said hearing, the trial court renewed the commitment order for a period of one year. On February 6, 2014, Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal.[3]

On appeal, Appellant presents one issue for our review.

A. [Whether] the trial court erred by failing to hold a timely review hearing pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 6404(b)(2) or [whether] 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 6404(b)(1) [was] violated by the failure of the [SOAB] and Torrence State Hospital to provide the [trial] court ...

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