NJ: N.J. Supreme Court sides with sex offender seeking removal from Megan’s Law registry

Source: nj.com 8/9/21

An amendment to Megan’s Law that tightens the rules on who can seek to be removed from a sex offender registry can’t be applied retroactively to crimes committed before the amendment was passed, New Jersey’s Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The case involved a man, identified by the initials J.D.-F., who was working as a manager at a McDonald’s in Hillsborough in 2001 when he was accused of improperly touching two teenage boys who worked there. He was convicted in December 2002 of criminal sexual contact and child endangerment and sentenced to time in the county jail and probation.

Under Megan’s Law, he was required to publicly register with law enforcement as a sex offender. The law allows offenders to apply to be removed from the list if they are offense-free for 15 years and are no longer considered a safety threat to others.

Earlier in 2002, between when J.D.-F’s crimes were committed and his conviction, the state Legislature had amended Megan’s Law to prohibit those convicted of certain offenses or of more than one offense from applying to end their registration requirements.

After J.D.-F applied for removal from the registry in 2019, a trial court and, subsequently, an appeals court denied his request on the grounds that the amendment applied to him since it was passed before he was convicted.

In Monday’s 7-0 ruling, however, the Supreme Court reversed and wrote that the amendment couldn’t be applied retroactively to J.D.-F’s case since the crimes had occurred before it was passed, and the date of those actions “triggers the legal consequences from which a person seeks relief.”

The case now goes back to the trial court for reconsideration.

A message seeking comment was left Monday with the attorney general’s office, which argued on behalf of the state.

Download a PDF of the decision in the Matter of Registrant J.D-F. (A-24-20) (084397) New Jersey Supreme Court | Decision Aug. 9, 2021


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Great news! This should be super interesting in CA when a bunch of people who could’ve been off of the register via COR (like me) are now in Tier 3 due with no direct way off. Likewise, I’d expect this to ripple down in CA back to the amendment that rendered 1203.4 useless to this regard as well.

It’s fantastic to see all the rulings coast-to-coast that are chipping away all this BS. I’m glad the higher courts are finally starting to call a Spade the Spade that it is.

Bet Chris Smith is pissed to hear this. But who cares what that asshole thinks? Good ruling.

i thought I heard screaming from my northeast, so it could of been Chris Smith. Hopefully he loses his sex trafficking expertise or maybe we’ll find out he’s engaged in sex trafficking.

This PDF makes many of the same points I’ve been making in my own defense on FTR charges here in Rock County, WI. The basic facts that come clear to a jury, are essentially no different than the facts in front of a panel of judges. Too bad so many ex post registrants don’t demand a proper defense.

Great News !! Dont let them Jacks rewrite the law while your judge is sleeping like what happened to us here in Michigan … Win…Win…Lose ! Do Not Negotiate !

This is what needs to happen for us in Michigan who committed our crimes and were convicted BEFORE the registry ever existed. The registry was created in Michigan THREE YEARS after my conviction, yet I was forced on it with the reasoning that I “was under supervision when the law was written”. I and many others disagree. Its retroactive punishment and a violation of ex post facto.
I’m glad to see some courts finally rule the right way.

Interesting. While not a perfect correlate, many of us in Michigan saw our criminal codes added to the “cannot be expunged” list in the 00s and 10s, after we’d already been convicted. Because of the Does case and resulting legislation, Michigan now will remove registrants if they have their conviction expunged. Based on this New Jersey case, it sounds like it should be a pretty straightforward case to sue for eligibility for expungement based on ex post facto. Anyone else here in the same boat and want to try?

I agree even the new California SB384 teir law is being applied retroactively and applies more time/punishment to people who’ve been arrested for FTR in the past.

Good luck