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The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 9: Petitions for examination and discharge

Section 9. Any person committed to the treatment center shall be entitled to file a petition for examination and discharge once in every twelve months. Such petition may be filed by either the committed person, his parents, spouse, issue, next of kin or any friend. The department of correction may file a petition at any time if it believes a person is no longer a sexually dangerous person. A copy of any petition filed under this subsection shall be sent within fourteen days after the filing thereof to the department of the attorney general and to the district attorney for the district where the original proceedings were commenced. Said petition shall be filed in the district of the superior court department in which said person was committed. The petitioner shall have a right to a speedy hearing on a date set by the administrative justice of the superior court department. Upon the motion of the person or upon its own motion, the court shall appoint counsel for the person. The hearing may be held in any court or any place designated for such purpose by the administrative justice of the superior court department. In any hearing held pursuant to the provisions of this section, either the petitioner or the commonwealth may demand that the issue be tried by a jury. If a jury trial is demanded, the matter shall proceed according to the practice of trial in civil cases in the superior court.

The court shall issue whatever process is necessary to assure the presence in court of the committed person. The court shall order the petitioner to be examined by two qualified examiners, who shall conduct examinations, including personal interviews, of the person on whose behalf such petition is filed and file with the court written reports of their examinations and diagnoses, and their recommendations for the disposition of such person. Said reports shall be admissible in a hearing pursuant to this section. If such person refuses, without good cause, to be personally interviewed by a qualified examiner appointed pursuant to this section, such person shall be deemed to have waived his right to a hearing on the petition and the petition shall be dismissed upon motion filed by the commonwealth. The qualified examiners shall have access to all records of the person being examined. Evidence of the person's juvenile and adult court and probation records, psychiatric and psychological records, the department of correction's updated annual progress report of the petition, including all relevant materials prepared in connection with the section six A process, and any other evidence that tends to indicate that he is a sexually dangerous person shall be admissible in a hearing under this section. The chief administrative officer of the treatment center or his designee may testify at the hearing regarding the annual report and his recommendations for the disposition of the petition. Unless the trier of fact finds that such person remains a sexually dangerous person, it shall order such person to be discharged from the treatment center. Upon such discharge, notice shall be given to the chief administrative officer, to the commissioner of correction and the colonel of state police, to the attorney general, to the district attorney in the district from which the commitment originated, to the police department of the city or town from which the commitment originated, the police department of the town of Bridgewater, the police department where such person is anticipated to take up residency, any employer of the resident, the department of criminal justice information services, and any victim of the sexual offense from which the commitment originated; provided, however, that said victim has requested notification pursuant to section three of chapter two hundred and fifty-eight B. If such victim is deceased at the time of such discharge, notice of such discharge shall be given to the parent, spouse or other member of the immediate family of such deceased victim.