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In re Registrant B.B.

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

October 31, 2019

IN THE MATTER OF REGISTRANT B.B. IN THE MATTER OF REGISTRANT A.V.

          Argued October 3, 2019

          On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, Docket Nos. ML-99-07-0009 and ML-99-07-0140.

          James H. Maynard argued the cause for appellant B.B. in A-0060-18 and appellant A.V. in A-0572-18 (Maynard Law Office, LLC, attorneys; James H. Maynard, on the briefs).

          Frank J. Ducoat, Special Deputy Attorney General/Acting Assistant Prosecutor, argued the cause for respondent State of New Jersey (Theodore N. Stephens II, Acting Essex County Prosecutor, attorney; Frank J. Ducoat, of counsel and on the brief).

          Before Judges Koblitz, Whipple and Mawla.

          OPINION

          WHIPPLE, J.A.D.

         We hold improper a superfluous misleading paragraph added to orders relieving sex offenders from N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6.4, their Community Supervision for Life (CSL) obligations. Community Supervision Megan's Law registrants B.B. and A.V. both sought and received relief from CSL obligations. The court entered an order dated August 6, 2018, releasing B.B. from CSL, which contained the following language:

[Ordered] that this [c]ourt renders no decision as to any obligations that the Registrant may have in any other State or jurisdiction as a result of the Registrant's status as a convicted Sex Offender, and that, if applicable, same shall remain within the jurisdiction and purview of the laws of that State and shall remain in full force and effect unless and until relief is granted by that State or jurisdiction[.]

         On September 11, 2018, the court entered an order releasing A.V. from his obligations under N.J.S.A. 2C:7-1 to -23, Megan's Law, as well as CSL.

[Ordered] that any obligations that the Registrant may have in any other State or jurisdiction as a result of the Registrant's status as a convicted Sex Offender shall remain within the jurisdiction and purview of the laws of that State and shall remain in full force and effect unless and until relief is granted by that State or jurisdiction[.]

         In these consolidated appeals, both B.B. and A.V. appeal from the inclusion of such language. We agree that the paragraphs are unnecessary and improper and reverse.

         In 1996, B.B. pled guilty to two counts of second-degree sexual assault, N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2(c), and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a). See In re Registrant B.B., No. A-5376-16 (App. Div. July 25, 2018) (slip op. at 1). B.B. was sentenced to concurrent five-year terms on the sexual assault counts, and a concurrent four-year term for the endangering count, to be served at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center. Id., slip op. at 2. B.B. was required to register under Megan's Law, N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2(g), and was subject to CSL upon his release from incarceration pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6.4(b). On May 9, 2017, B.B. petitioned under N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6.4(c) to terminate his CSL obligations. The motion judge denied the motion, finding that he was "not firmly convinced that B.B. is not likely to pose a threat to the safety of others if released from CSL." Id., slip op. at 5. B.B. appealed the denial, and we reversed and remanded the matter for entry of an order terminating B.B. from CSL. Id., slip op. at 12.

         B.B.'s counsel submitted a proposed form of order to the trial court, which was also served on the State. Although it is not clear from the appellate record, counsel asserts the State submitted a separate proposed form of order to the court, but did not copy him. B.B.'s counsel received a copy of the State's proposed order from the court and wrote a letter to the court objecting to the inclusion of the subject paragraph. The motion judge entered the order granting B.B.'s petition to be released from CSL, but included the subject paragraph. B.B. appealed.

         In 1998, A.V. was convicted of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4(a). As part of his sentence he was ...


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