In re Dakota K., No. S-15428, 2015 WL 5061844 (Alaska Aug. 28, 2015)

Appeals challenging the sufficiency of the evidence in involuntary commitment cases are moot after the commitment period has passed; the respondent has the burden to establish factual basis for a finding of collateral consequences

Background: Dakota K. sought to appeal 30-day involuntary psychiatric commitment. Even though the appeal came after the passage of the entire commitment period, Dakota argued that the collateral consequences exception to the mootness doctrine applied as the Supreme Court of Alaska has presumed that collateral consequences will flow from a respondent's first involuntary commitment.

Holdings: The court held that the burden of proving a first involuntary commitment lay with the respondent, who must “make some evidentiary showing at least raising a genuine issue of material fact, that the commitment was a first involuntary commitment—or make an evidentiary showing attempting to establish some factual basis for a finding of collateral consequences.”

Found in DMHL Volume 34 Issue 3