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In re Connie Ann Rodden

6-29-2010 California:

In re Connie Ann Rodden
(See HERE for Updates)

In this habeas corpus proceeding, we address whether California‟s sex offender registration requirement may be imposed on the basis of facts gleaned from a probation report prepared after a guilty plea was entered in Kentucky state court.

Petitioner Connie Ann Rodden seeks to vacate her guilty plea to failure to register as a sex offender in California within five days of coming into, or changing residence within, a county. (Pen. Code, §§ 290, subd. (b), 290.005, subd. (a), 290.018, subd. (b).)1 She argues that the least adjudicated elements of her Kentucky conviction do not satisfy those of any California offense for which sex offender registration is required.

After reviewing the petition, informal opposition, and reply, as well as the appellate record in petitioner‟s direct appeal,2 we issued an order to show cause to be returned to this court. After considering the return and traverse, we shall issue the writ.

As we shall explain, an out-of-state conviction requires a defendant to register as a sex offender in California only when the least adjudicated elements of the offense satisfy all of the elements of a crime enumerated in subdivision (c) of section 290 or when the foreign jurisdiction required the defendant to register as a sex offender. Here, the least adjudicated elements of the offense for which petitioner was convicted in Kentucky do not meet all of the requirements for any registerable offense in California.

Consequently, petitioner did not unlawfully fail to register as a sex offender, and her guilty plea to the same must be vacated.

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