229A.8  Annual examinations, discharge petitions by persons committed.

1.  Each person committed under this chapter shall have a current examination of the person's mental abnormality made once every year. The person may retain, or if the person is indigent and so requests, the court may appoint a qualified expert or professional person to examine such person, and such expert or professional person shall be given access to all records concerning the person.

2.  The annual report shall be provided to the court that committed the person under this chapter. The court shall conduct an annual review and probable cause hearing on the status of the committed person.

3.  Nothing contained in this chapter shall prohibit the person from otherwise petitioning the court for discharge at the probable cause hearing. The director of human services shall provide the committed person with an annual written notice of the person's right to petition the court for discharge over the director's objection. The notice shall contain a waiver of rights. The director shall forward the notice and waiver form to the court with the annual report.

4.  The committed person shall have a right to have an attorney represent the person at the probable cause hearing but the person is not entitled to be present at the hearing. If the court at the hearing determines that probable cause exists to believe that the person's mental abnormality has so changed that the person is safe to be at large and will not engage in predatory acts or sexually violent offenses if discharged, then the court shall set a final hearing on the issue.

5.  At the final hearing, the committed person shall be entitled to be present and is entitled to the benefit of all constitutional protections that were afforded the person at the original commitment proceeding. The attorney general shall represent the state and shall have a right to a jury trial and to have the committed person evaluated by experts chosen by the state. The committed person shall also have the right to have experts evaluate the person on the person's behalf. The court shall appoint an expert if the person is indigent and requests an appointment. The burden of proof at the hearing shall be upon the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the committed person's mental abnormality or personality disorder remains such that the person is not safe to be at large and if discharged is likely to engage in acts of sexual violence.

Section History: Recent form

  98 Acts, ch 1171, §8

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