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In re D.W.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth District

September 13, 2013

In re D.W.

Trial Court No. 12223423 01.

Timothy Young, State Public Defender, and Brooke M. Burns, Assistant State Public Defender, for appellant.

Julia R. Bates, Lucas County Prosecuting Attorney, and Lori L. Olender, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.

DECISION AND JUDGMENT

JENSEN, J.

(¶ 1} In August 1993, in Lenawee County, Michigan, D.W. entered an admission to three counts of criminal sexual conduct for acts that occurred when he was 15 years old. D.W. was adjudicated delinquent and sentenced to a juvenile detention facility. He was released in October 1997.

(¶ 2} Michigan records indicate D.W. was classified and began registering as a juvenile sexual offender in December 1995. In the years following D.W.'s release from detention, Michigan's sex offender registration and notification laws underwent several changes. The most recent change came in 2011, when the Michigan legislature implemented its version of the federal Adam Walsh Act. Under Michigan's version of the act, D.W. was classified as a Tier III sex offender. As a Tier III sex offender, D.W. was required, for the rest of his life, to report in-person to the proper law-enforcement agency and verify his address. Because D.W. was adjudicated as a juvenile, however, he was not displayed on the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry website.

(¶ 3} In April 2012, D.W. moved to Toledo and reported to the Lucas County Sheriff as required by law. D.W. was informed that he would be designated a Tier III juvenile sexual offender under the current version of R.C. Chapter 2950, 2007 Am.Sub.S.B. No. 10 ("S.B. 10"), Ohio's version of the federal Adam Walsh Act. D.W. was further informed that the department would mail notification postcards to his neighbors. When D.W. noted that community notification had never been imposed on him as a registrant in Michigan, the sheriff agreed to delay notification for a few days so that D.W. could consult with an attorney.

(¶ 4} D.W. contacted the public defender's office who, in turn, filed a request with the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, to stay the community notification portion of D.W.'s registration. The trial court granted D.W.'s request and ordered the sheriff to refrain from mailing community notification postcards until further order.

(¶ 5} In June 2012, D.W. filed a petition for declassification under the Megan's Law version of Chapter 2950 of the Ohio Revised Code. The state opposed D.W.'s motion asserting that the former version of R.C. 2950.09(F) was not applicable to D.W. because D.W. was classified under Michigan's Adam Walsh Act prior to relocating to Ohio. D.W. filed a timely reply.

(¶ 6} On September 10, 2012, the trial court issued an order holding that D.W. "is not subject to community notification as to his registration as a juvenile sex offender." On September 14, 2012, a hearing was held before a magistrate on D.W.'s motion for declassification. In a decision journalized October 1, 2012, the magistrate held, in relevant part, as follows:

[D.W.] was adjudicated a delinquent child in the State of Michigan in 1993 based upon his admission to three counts of criminal sexual conduct. As a result, upon his release from a juvenile correctional facility in MI, he has been required to register as a sexual offender. Based upon his relocation to Toledo, Ohio in April 2012, counsel now asks this Court to declassify him as a sexual predator and terminate his requirement to register. Given that [D.W.'s] offense and subsequent adjudication and dispositions originated in the State of Michigan, this Court does not believe it has jurisdiction to alter or vacate another state's decisions. Even assuming this Court has jurisdiction to do so, no evidence was presented outside of proffers by [D.W.'s] counsel that would allow this Court to have a reasonable expectation of the community's safety if it granted [D.W.'s] request. [D.W.'s] request to be declassified, therefore, is denied for good cause not shown. [D.W.] shall continue to meet the requirements of registration per his orders through the State of Michigan, albeit without community notification.

The trial court adopted the decision of the magistrate in a judgment entry journalized October 4, 2012. The judgment entry was mailed to trial counsel on October 18, 2012.

(¶ 7} On October 31, 2012, D.W. filed a motion for leave to file objections to the magistrate's decision and simultaneously filed his objections to the magistrate's decision and a motion for sex offender assessment. The trial court did not issue rulings on any of these motions.

(¶ 8} D.W. filed a notice of appeal on November 2, 2012. He raises three assignments of ...


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