On appeal from the Final Agency Decision of the New Jersey State Parole Board.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Cuff and Waugh.
Appellant Terrill Paul, who is subject to community supervision for life (CSL) pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6.4, appeals the final agency decision of the New Jersey State Parole Board requiring him to return to New Jersey from Georgia and to reside in New Jersey so that he can be subject to regular supervision by the Parole Board in New Jersey. We remand to the Parole Board for the development of a full factual record and a clear articulation of the Parole Board's reasons for requiring Paul's physical presence in New Jersey in light of the disruption it would cause for him and his family, a mere four months before he can seek release from CSL.
We discern the following factual and procedural background from the relatively sparse record before us.
In 1995, Paul pled guilty to endangering the welfare of a child, contrary to N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a). The charge was apparently based upon consensual sexual conduct with a younger female when Paul was eighteen years old. Paul was sentenced to two years of probation, community service, and the required penalties and fees. At the time of sentencing, Paul had no other adult offenses.*fn1
Although such a conviction should have subjected Paul to CSL, he was not sentenced to CSL at that time. He successfully completed his period of probation. He apparently complied with N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2, which required him to register as a sex offender. For example, in 2000, his registration reflected that he was in the United States Army Reserve, serving in Kosovo. Paul moved to the State of Georgia in 2004 and registered his change of address pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2. On December 17, 2004, an official in Georgia verified his new address on a New Jersey sex offender registration form. Paul married, found employment, and established a family in Georgia.
In 2004, it was discovered that Paul had not been sentenced to CSL. His sentence was amended in April 2004 to include CSL. Because there is no transcript from the resentencing, it is not clear from the record whether Paul was present at the resentencing or was notified that it had occurred. Although the Parole Board suggests that he was notified and that he signed a document acknowledging the requirements of CSL, that document is not contained in the record. In addition, it is not clear whether he moved to Georgia before or after his sentence was amended to include CSL, or whether he was aware of the CSL amendment when he moved to Georgia.
In July 2005, Paul was charged with a fourth-degree offense, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6.4(d), for violating three conditions of CSL: failing to report as instructed, moving from his approved residence, and relocating out of state.*fn2 It is not clear when Paul learned of the indictment. After missing a pre-arraignment conference for these charges, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. Paul was subsequently arrested in Georgia and returned to New Jersey. He was released on his own recognizance on January 5, 2006, and the charges were later dismissed.
It appears that, after consultation with a parole officer, Paul was permitted to return to Georgia pending disposition of an application to have his parole supervision transferred to Georgia. As part of that process, he was required to have a psychological evaluation. The psychologist concluded that Paul had no "signs of mental illness" and was "under low stress because he has good coping resources." The examiner found "[n]o abnormal sexual ideation," and indicated that "his profile is different from a confirmed pedophile." The examiner concluded, based upon the available information, that there was no evidence that Paul is "dangerous to a child or a risk to the community," that he had "a low probability of a repeat offense," and that he was "not seen as a danger to the children of his wife."
After returning to Georgia, Paul began reporting to his parole officer in New Jersey by telephone. The Parole Board attempted to transfer his supervision to Georgia on two occasions. Georgia declined both requests. The first denial was based on the fact that Paul was living with a non-biological child, his wife's child from a prior relationship, in violation of Georgia's own parole regulations. After that situation was apparently remedied, the second denial was based on his having moved to Georgia prior to submission of the ...