No. A-55-15 (076345)

Feb. 7, 2016 (Date Decided)


FOR APPELLANTS: Fletcher C. Duddy, Deputy Public Defender (Joseph E. Krakora, Public Defender, attorney; Mr. Duddy and Jesse M. DeBrosse, Assistant Deputy Public Defender, on the briefs).

FOR RESPONDENT: LaChia L. Bradshaw, Assistant Prosecutor (Robert D. Bernardi, Burlington County Prosecutor, attorney); William Scharfenberg, Senior Assistant Prosecutor (Joseph D. Coronato, Ocean County Prosecutor, attorney).

Appellate Division affirmed order of the trial courts that denied appellants A.D., J.B., and C.M applications to terminate their registration obligations under Megan’s Law. A.D. was convicted of 3rd-degree endangering the welfare of a child. More than 15 years after his conviction, A.D. filed an application to be relieved of registration obligations for not committing a sex offense within 15 years, which was denied when the trial court learned that A.D. had violated a condition of his parole in 2005. J.B. pleaded guilty to 2nd-degree sexual assault, subjecting himself to registration obligations, and was convicted of 4th-degree failure to notify when he moved and failed to register his current address, which the trial court held was a bar to termination of his registration obligation. C.M. pleaded guilty to 3rd-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact, and applied to terminate his registration obligation more than 15 years after his conviction, which was denied by the trial court due to an intervening conviction for violating a restraining order. The Appellate Division affirmed the trial courts’ orders, ruling that the bar to termination of registration obligation for an intervening “offense” pursuant to N.J. S.A. 2C:1-14(k) meant any offense, including a crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty offense, and was not simply limited to a sex offense. The Appellate Division held that this interpretation of the term “offense” was consistent with the N.J. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the term under the statute. On appeal, the court affirmed the Appellate Division’s decision for substantially the same reasons.