This is a proceeding wherein the petitioner commenced this CPLR article 78 proceeding seeking to annul the determination that he is a sex offender subject to registration pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration Act.
Supreme Court granted the petition and annulled the determination, concluding that petitioner was not subject to SORA’s registration requirements.
The criminal court agrees with respondent that petitioner, who was on probation in Wyoming for sex offenses within the meaning of Correction Law § 168–a(2)(d)(i) on the effective date of SORA, is required to register as a sex offender in New York. Therefore, the court concludes that the judgment should be reversed and the petition dismissed.
SORA, which went into effect on 21 January 1996 imposes registration requirements on sex offenders, i.e., “any person who is convicted of” certain sex offenses enumerated in the statute under Correction Law § 168–a. SORA applies to sex offenders incarcerated or on parole or probation on its effective date, as well as to those sentenced thereafter, thereby imposing its obligations on many persons whose sex crimes were committed prior to the effective date as held in Doe v. Pataki and People v. Carey.
Pursuant to Correction Law § 168–a(2)(d), certain defendants convicted of sex offenses in other jurisdictions must register as sex offenders in New York as in People v. Kennedy. As relevant here, “a person convicted of a felony in another jurisdiction has been subject to registration in New York if the foreign offense ‘includes all of the essential elements’ of one of the New York offenses listed in SORA” akin to Matter of North v. Board of Examiners of Sex Offenders of State of N.Y.
In 1999, the Legislature added another basis for registration arising from a foreign conviction, that is, that an offender must register in New York if he or she was convicted of a felony “for which the offender is required to register as a sex offender in the jurisdiction in which the conviction occurred”. Where a sex offender is convicted in another jurisdiction and then relocates to New York, Correction Law § 168–k (1) provides that he or she “shall notify the division of criminal justice services of the new address no later than  calendar days after such sex offender establishes residence in New York.”
The court agrees with the petitioner that the 1999 amendments to Correction Law § 168–a do not apply to petitioner. Those amendments are retroactive only with respect to “persons convicted of an offense committed prior to January 1, 2000 who, on such date, have not completed service of the sentence imposed thereon”.
In the case at bar, petitioner was discharged from probation in Wyoming and thus completed service of his sentence in June 1996. As the court properly concluded and petitioner correctly concedes, however, the crimes of which petitioner was convicted in Wyoming qualify as sex offenses in New York under the “essential elements” provision of Correction Law § 168–a(2)(d)(i).
To Be Cont….
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