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Horton v. State

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division

April 13, 2015

MARK J. HORTON, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent-Respondent

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF NEWTON COUNTY. Honorable Timothy W. Perigo, Circuit Judge.

For Appellant: Carol A. Wetherell of Joplin, MO.

For Respondent: Chris Koster (Attorney General) and Todd C. Lucas of Jefferson City, MO.

Nancy Steffen Rahmeyer, J. - Opinion Author. Mary W. Sheffield, P.J. - Concurs, Don E. Burrell, J. - Concurs.

OPINION

Nancy Steffen Rahmeyer, J.

Page 771

Mark J. Horton (" Petitioner" ) appeals the trial court's denial of his petition for the removal of his name from Missouri's sex offender registry. We affirm the trial court's judgment because Petitioner " has been . . . required" to register under the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act ("SORNA" )[1] and, as a result, is required to register under Missouri's Sex Offender Registration Act ("SORA" )[2] even though he may no longer be required to register under SORNA.

Facts and Procedural History

As the appellant, Petitioner had the responsibility to prepare a record on appeal that is sufficient to permit us to resolve his claim in this appeal. Rule 81.12(c)-(e); [3]Hall v. Hall, 345 S.W.3d 291, 292 n.1 (Mo.App. S.D. 2011). Petitioner has failed to do so. The legal file contains only a docket sheet, a one-page petition, and a one-page judgment. Only a single transcript was filed with us, and that transcript reflects a hearing at which no evidence was tendered or admitted, and the trial court's only substantive action at the hearing was to take judicial notice of state and federal statutes. No exhibits were deposited with us. We present the facts that are accepted as true by both Petitioner and the State.[4]

Page 772

These " agreed" facts are the following. In January 1996, Petitioner entered an Alford plea of guilty to the class A misdemeanor of sexual abuse in the second degree for conduct that occurred in 1993 in Newton County in violation of section 566.110, RSMo Cum.Supp. 1990.[5] At the time of the offense, Petitioner was older than twenty and Petitioner's victim was thirteen. Petitioner's misdemeanor offense caused him to be " a tier I sex offender" under SORNA.

In addition, the record shows that, on December 11, 2013, in Newton County, Petitioner filed a petition to remove his name from the " sexual offender registry." Among other facts alleged in the petition are that Petitioner " has duly registered" and " [u]nder Section 16915(a)(1) of SORNA (42 U.S.C. § 16915), [Petitioner] no longer has a duty to register." The trial court held a hearing on February 14, 2014. At the hearing, the trial court expressed the view that " [i]t's a legal issue, not factual," and counsel for Petitioner responded " [a]ll right. That sounds good." No evidence was tendered or admitted at the hearing, and the trial court's only substantive action at the hearing was to take judicial notice of state and federal statutes. The trial court denied Petitioner's petition on April 2, 2014.

Analysis

In his sole point relied on, Petitioner claims that the trial court erred in denying his petition to remove his name from Missouri's sex offender registry because Missouri's Sex Offender Registration Act does not apply to Petitioner's pre-2000 plea to a misdemeanor, and because Petitioner is a " federal tier I sex offender" and " may be removed from the registry 15 years after" his ...


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