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Matter of State of New York v. Swartz – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Matter of State of New York v. Swartz, 18 Misc 3d 594, 597, 852 NYS2d 689 (Sup Ct, Chenango County 2007), the court concluded that the civil management scheme of article 10 is not limited to those persons about to conclude their terms of incarceration or detention but is also applicable to persons who are released (or about to be released) into the community after such incarceration or detention to serve their terms of parole or postrelease supervision. (18 Misc 3d at 598.)

In Swartz the court held that, as the respondent was in the custody of OMH at the time the Mental Hygiene Law §10.05 (b) notice was required, and it was properly made, respondent's subsequent release to the DOP before the petition was filed did not invalidate the petition. (Id. at 597-598.)

There, the court examined the language of article 10 and refused to dismiss the article 10 petition that was filed against the respondent for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, concluding that the absence of express language in the statute detailing the earliest date upon which an article 10 petition could be filed (or proceeding commenced) means no such prohibition exists and, thus, the court was vested with jurisdiction. (18 Misc 3d at 598.)

In drawing that conclusion, the court failed to examine the requirements of subject matter jurisdiction itself--ripeness, a justiciable controversy, immediacy of consequence (not hypothetical or speculative)--and cited no authority (other than the absence of express language in the statute) or legislative finding for finding subject matter jurisdiction in that case. (Id.)