The Third Department, finding the appeal from the denial of petitioner’s habeas corpus petitioner moot, over a dissent, considered the appeal as an exception to the mootness doctrine. The Third Department held that when a level three sex offender has completed his maximum prison time, and Sexual Assault Reform Act (SARA) compliant housing cannot be found, the inmate must be placed in a residential treatment facility (RTF) to await housing. Here, while the appeal was pending, proper housing was found for petitioner. The dissent argued there was nothing novel about the case and invoking the exception-to-the-mootness-doctrine to hear the appeal was not necessary:
This Court has previously held, and we reiterate, that “when a risk level three sex offender reaches his or her maximum expiration date, [the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision] must release the individual to either an approved residence or to an [appropriate] RTF” … . People ex rel. Jones v Collado, 2022 NY Slip Op 04768, Second Dept 7-28-22
Practice Point: Here the appeal from the denial of petitioner-sex-offender’s habeas corpus petition was moot because appropriate post-release housing had been found. The Third Department considered the appeal pursuant to the exception-to-the-mootness-doctrine to reiterate that when a level three sex offender has completed his maximum prison time he must be placed in SARA compliant housing or, or if housing is not available, in a residential treatment facility (RTF).