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State v Divine

1-28-2011 Kansas:

State v Divine
No. 102,907.

Anthony Divine directly appeals from the district court's determination that he must continue to register as a sex offender despite an expungement of the conviction for which he was required to register. Finding that the expungement provisions of K.S.A. 2010 Supp. 21-4619 do not provide for the disclosure of the expunged offense through sex offender registration, we reverse.

FACTUAL OVERVIEW

In 2003, Divine pled guilty to lewd and lascivious behavior. The district court convicted Divine and placed him on probation. Thereafter, pursuant to the Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA), K.S.A. 22-4901 et seq., Divine was required to register as a sex offender for 10 years. In addition, the registration requirement was made a condition of Divine's probation. Ultimately, Divine successfully completed his probation in 2005. He continued to register as a sex offender.

Some 3 years after completing probation, Divine filed a petition for expungement of the lewd and lascivious conviction. Apparently, the court did not conduct a formal hearing on the petition but rather it accepted and executed a journal entry which had been approved by the prosecutor and defense counsel. The expungement order was filed November 26, 2008.

Thereafter, Divine filed a motion to lift the registration requirement, arguing that the expungement had erased the conviction for which he was required to register. The State responded that the district court lacked jurisdiction to address the issue because Divine was statutorily required to register because of the conviction, rather than as a condition of probation. The district court found that K.S.A. 22-4908 prevented the court from granting Divine's motion. Divine was ordered to continue registering as a sex offender until July 8, 2013.

Divine filed a timely notice of appeal to the Court of Appeals. This court transferred the appeal on its own motion, pursuant to K.S.A. 20-3018(c).

... ... ...

In conclusion, we find that the expungement of Divine's lewd and lascivious conviction terminated his status as an offender required to register under KORA. The expungement statute does not provide an exception for the disclosure of the expunged conviction through KORA registration, and the expungement order in this case did not make such disclosure a special exception under K.S.A. 2010 Supp. 21-4619(f)(3). The district court should have found that Divine's registration requirement terminated as a matter of law, and such an order would not have run afoul of K.S.A. 22-4908.

The district court is reversed. The matter is remanded with directions to the district court to rescind its order that Divine must register until July 8, 2013, and to enter an order that Divine's registration requirement has terminated as a matter of law.
Reversed and remanded with directions.

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