IN THE MATTER OF REGISTRANT H.D. IN THE MATTER OF REGISTRANT J.M.
October 29, 2018
appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex
County and Salem County, Docket Nos. ML-98-07-0091 and
Fletcher C. Duddy, Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause
for appellant H.D. (in A-5321-16) (Joseph E. Krakora, Public
Defender, attorney; Fletcher C. Duddy, of counsel and on the
briefs; Stephanie A. Lutz, Assistant Deputy Public Defender,
on the briefs).
M. DeBrosse, Assistant Deputy Public Defender, argued the
cause for appellant J.M. (in A-5322-16) (Joseph E. Krakora,
Public Defender, attorney; Jesse M. DeBrosse, on the briefs).
J. Ducoat, Special Deputy Attorney General/Acting Assistant
Prosecutor, argued the cause for respondent State of New
Jersey (in A-5321-16) (Theodore Stephens II, Acting Essex
County Prosecutor, attorney; Frank J. Ducoat and Maria I.
Guerrero, Special Deputy Attorneys General/Acting Assistant
Prosecutors, of counsel; Frank J. Ducoat, on the brief).
M. Galemba, Assistant Prosecutor, argued the cause for
respondent State of New Jersey (in A-5322-16) (John T.
Lenahan, Salem County Prosecutor, attorney; David M. Galemba,
of counsel and on the brief).
Judges Messano, Gooden Brown and Rose.
consolidate these two appeals that were argued back-to-back
to issue a single opinion because they involve only one
common legal issue.
J.M. and H.D. were convicted of sex offenses, see
N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2(b), in 1994 and 1998 respectively, and
sentenced to periods of probation. Pursuant to the provisions
of Megan's Law, N.J.S.A. 2C:7-1 to 11, both were
sentenced to community supervision for life (CSL) as required
by N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6.4(a), the Violent Predator Incapacitation
Act (VPIA), "enacted as a 'component' of
Megan's Law at the time of its passage in 1994."
In re G.H., 455 N.J.Super. 515, 524 (App. Div. 2018)
(quoting State v. Schubert, 212 N.J. 295, 305
(2012)). J.M. and H.D. also registered as sex
offenders pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2(a) and (c).
2001, J.M. was convicted of computer-related theft, N.J.S.A.
2C:20-29, a disorderly persons offense, and sentenced to one
year of probation. Also in 2001, H.D. was convicted of
fourth-degree failure to register as a sex offender, N.J.S.A.
2C:7-2(a)(3), and sentenced to one year of probation. Both
J.M. and H.D. have remained offense free since 2001.
to N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2(f) (subsection (f)), any registrant may
apply "to the Superior Court . . . to terminate the
[registration] obligation upon proof that the person has not
committed an offense within [fifteen] years following
conviction or release from a correctional facility for any
term of imprisonment imposed, whichever is later, and is not
likely to pose a threat to the safety of others." In
2017, J.M. moved to be relieved of his registration
sought the same relief in 2017, and additionally moved to
terminate CSL pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6.4(c), which
[A] judge may grant a petition for release from a special
sentence of [community] supervision for life only upon proof
by clear and convincing evidence that the person has not
committed a crime for [fifteen] years since the last
conviction or release from incarceration, whichever is
later, and that the person is not likely to pose ...