IN RE: THE APPLICATION OF STATE OF

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department.

IN RE: THE APPLICATION OF STATE OF NEW YORK, PETITIONER–RESPONDENT, v. WILLIAM D., AN INMATE IN CUSTODY OF THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND COMMUNITY SUPERVISION, FOR CIVIL MANAGEMENT PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 10 OF THE MENTAL HYGIENE LAW, RESPONDENT–APPELLANT.

CA 15–01713

Decided: April 28, 2017

PRESENT:  WHALEN, P.J., SMITH, CENTRA, TROUTMAN, AND SCUDDER, JJ. EMMETT J. CREAHAN, DIRECTOR, MENTAL HYGIENE LEGAL SERVICE, UTICA (MICHAEL H. MCCORMICK OF COUNSEL), FOR RESPONDENT–APPELLANT. ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN, ATTORNEY GENERAL, ALBANY (KATHLEEN M. TREASURE OF COUNSEL), FOR PETITIONER–RESPONDENT.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

It is hereby ORDERED that the order so appealed from is unanimously affirmed without costs.

Memorandum:  Respondent appeals from an order denying his motion to vacate an order pursuant to CPLR 5015(a) or, alternatively, pursuant to Supreme Court's inherent power to vacate its own orders.  We note at the outset that respondent's attorney acknowledged in his supporting affirmation that relief is not available under any of the grounds set forth in CPLR 5015(a), and thus respondent relies only upon the court's inherent power to vacate its own orders.

The underlying order, entered pursuant to Mental Hygiene Law article 10, sets forth that respondent currently suffers from a mental abnormality as defined by Mental Hygiene Law § 10.03(i) and directs that he be confined to a secure treatment facility (see § 10.09[f] ).  Respondent did not appeal from the underlying order.  Contrary to respondent's contention, we conclude that the court properly denied his motion.  Respondent sought vacatur of the underlying order on the ground that the evidence presented at the jury trial was not legally sufficient to show “a congenital or acquired condition, disease or disorder that affects the emotional, cognitive, or volitional capacity of a person in a manner that predisposes him or her to the commission of conduct constituting a sex offense” (§ 10.03[i];  see generally Matter of State of New York v Donald DD., 24 NY3d 174, 190–191).  Although it is well settled that “a court may vacate its own judgment for sufficient reason and in the interests of substantial justice” (Woodson v. Mendon Leasing Corp., 100 N.Y.2d 62, 68), under the circumstances of this case we cannot say that the court abused its discretion in denying his motion for discretionary vacatur.  Respondent's confinement is subject to annual review pursuant to Mental Hygiene Law § 10.09(b) (see generally Matter of Groves v State of New York, 124 AD3d 1213, 1214), and he may petition for discharge or release under a regimen of strict and intensive supervision pursuant to Mental Hygiene Law § 10.09(f).  In our view, those provisions “provide a more appropriate remedy for any of respondent's substantive claims” (Matter of State of New York v. C.B., 147 AD3d 499, 500).

Frances E. Cafarell

Clerk of the Court