A divided Appellate Division, First Department, panel has upheld a sex offender’s high-risk designation even though he was not provided the full 20-day notice required by law. Citing the “remarkably strong case” for the designation, the three-judge majority was satisfied that Julio Rodriquez received due process even though he was notified of a risk-level hearing 19 days in advance—one day shy of the requirement. But two judges said the statutory requirement was not met and would have remanded.
People v. Rodriguez, 2013 NY Slip Op 00117, arose from Manhattan, where Supreme Court Justice Cassandra Mullen (See Profile) adjudicated the defendant a Level III, sexually violent offender. Records show Rodriguez’s attorney was sent a letter June 3, 2011, advising that a hearing under the Sex Offender Registration Act would be held on June 22. Justices Angela Mazzarelli (See Profile), John Sweeny Jr. (See Profile) and Dianne Renwick (See Profile) found no evidence that Rodriguez was in any way prejudiced or compromised by the day-late notice. But in dissent, Justices Helen Freedman (See Profile) and Karla Moskowitz (See Profile) said it is undisputed that the legal requirements were not met and a brief adjournment would have easily remedied the problem.
Lisa Packard of the Center for Appellate Litigation represented Rodriguez. Assistant District Attorney Karinna Arroyo appeared for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.