Monday, July 8, 2013

Waiving The Psychotherapist-Patient Privilege

Original Article

Diigo Post Excerpt:
The case involved a civil commitment proceeding to determine whether respondent Bolander was a “sexually dangerous person” under the Adam Walsh Act, 18 U.S.C. § 4248. Under the statute, an individual who completed his prison term may be subject to further civil commitment upon a determination that the person may be “sexually dangerous to others” if “the person suffers from a serious mental illness, abnormality, or disorder as a result of which he would have serious difficulty in refraining from sexually violent conduct or child molestation if released.” 18 U.S.C. § 4247(a)(6). The respondent had given two prior Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP) reports to his expert who was asked to opine about his mental condition. Prior to the civil commitment evidentiary hearing, the respondent moved to exclude the two reports. The district court denied the motion to exclude the two reports under the privilege. The district court concluded that that there was clear and convincing evidence that the respondent was a sexually dangerous person and should be committed. On appeal, he challenged the admission of the two reports.

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