NEW: (# Failure to Register Technicality
NEW: Failure to Register a Sex Offense???
CAUTION: SORNA EFFECTIVE even if state has not enacted it
Plea Bargains: Santabello v New York
Forced to Carry Gov't Message Issue: See HERE
Blog also contains "Unfavorable" and "Informational" decisions and relevant news articles. All can be useful in framing arguments for new court actions. (i.e., avoid pitfalls or inform courts.) Or refuting charges, check facts of cases v yours.
Leagle is our main court decision resource.
Find State decisions by the Federal Circuit a State is in.

CAUTION: Decisions are meant to be educational.
For "Personal Life Decisions" consult with a lawyer.

The ERROR in Oregon's STATE v. DEPECHE

4-14-2011 Oregon:

Readers are always hearing me talk about the forms, the forms, well here is a Oregon case that will make most folks mad as heck: STATE v. DEPECHE.

The FACTS: This fellow moves from wherever to a new address, he and his Mother go to the local police to report his address change. Under Oregon's law he has to have proof that he lives at the new address and according to the police -on that day (within time limits for reporting)- he did not have that proof. As a result he was charged and convicted of failure to report his change of address. He then appeals, thats where we are now.

From the case:
Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for one count of felony failure to report as a sex offender, ORS 181.599 (2005),1 assigning error to the trial court's denial of his motion for a judgment of acquittal. He argues that the evidence is insufficient to prove that he committed the offense because he attempted to make a timely report and was prepared to comply with all of the statutory requirements for reporting, but his report was refused. As explained below, we agree with defendant that his statutory obligation to report was satisfied and, accordingly, reverse.

The relevant facts are few and undisputed. Defendant was required to comply with the sex offender registration statutes as a result of his 1995 conviction for sexual abuse in the second degree, a felony for which he was sentenced to 60 months' probation. Sometime in early May 2007, defendant moved out of his residence in Portland and into a new one. On Monday, May 14, 2007, defendant went with his mother to the Beaverton Police Department to report his change of address, as required by ORS 181.596(4)(b)(A). The police department had no record of defendant's report and was unable to confirm that defendant had visited the department in May. However, the state does not dispute that defendant timely attempted to report his change of address with the Beaverton Police Department on May 14, "but, because he did not have proof of his new address—as is required by that police department—the department did not complete the registration form necessary to fulfill defendant's reporting requirement." He was subsequently charged, in Multnomah County Circuit Court, of one count of felony failure to report as a sex offender based on his failure to report his change of address. ORS 181.599(1)(c).2

Defendant was convicted, following a bench trial, of one count of felony failure to report as a sex offender.3 He now appeals.

On appeal, defendant contends that he satisfied his legal obligation to report because he presented himself in person to the Beaverton Police Department within the required timelines and was fully prepared to comply with the statutory reporting requirements, but was refused.4 The state responds that more is required under the statute than merely attempting to report; rather, according to the state, "defendant has reported only when he has provided sufficient information for an agency or official to complete a sex offender registration form." The address verification requirement, in the state's view, is a "logical" requirement for completing the form, given the purpose of the sex offender registration statutes to facilitate tracking of convicted sex offenders. Because defendant did not provide that verification or, alternatively, report to another law enforcement agency (presumably one that did not require proof of address), the state contends, the evidence was sufficient to convict defendant of the offense.

Now you can read how the case was resolved by the appellate court, yes he was not convicted according to them, but there is another reason, far more relevant that the entire court process missed.

Its obvious that "Mom's Word that he was living at the new address is not proof that sex offender registration laws will accept." Yes, I have seen other cases where Mom's Word was used to convict someone, but to exonerate someone, sorry Charlie, no good!

For now have a great day and a better tomorrow.

No comments: