Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Monday, December 01, 2014

McIlwain: Prior Commitment to mental institution satisfies 922(g)(4)

In U.S. v. McIlwain, No. 14-10735 (Nov. 25, 2014), the Court held that the defendant, prior to possession of a firearm, had been “committed to a mental institution” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(4), and therefore affirmed his conviction under this statute. The Court noted that McIlwain received a formal hearing before the state probate court, was represented by counsel, and the court heard sworn testimony and made substantive findngs of fact that it included in its formal order of commitment. The Court further noted that, just as a convicted felon could not mount a collateral attack on the validity of a prior state conviction under § 922(g)1), McIlwain was not allowed to mount a collateral attack on an underlying state order of commitment under § 922(g)(4).