FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF CRAWFORD COUNTY Honorable Kelly W.
BURRELL, J. - OPINION AUTHOR.
Lee Strosnider ("Plaintiff") appeals the judgment
denying his petition for declaratory judgment seeking to have
his name removed from the Missouri sex offender registry.
See section 589.400. Plaintiff's sole point on
appeal claims "[t]he trial court erred as a matter of
law . . . because [Plaintiff] did not knowingly fail to
comply with the sex offender registration requirements of
§ 589.400." Finding no merit in the claim, we
Principles of Review and Governing Law
Although the trial court denied [Plaintiff's] declaratory
judgment and issued a judgment in favor of the Respondents,
we review this case under the same standard as if the
declaratory judgment was ordered. This court reviews a
declaratory judgment under the standard applicable to other
court-tried cases. We affirm the trial court's judgment
regarding issues of fact unless there is no substantial
evidence to support it, it is against the weight of the
evidence, or it erroneously declares or applies the law. We
review questions of law de novo.
Andresen v. Bd. of Regents of Mo. W. State Coll., 58
S.W.3d 581, 585 (Mo. App. W.D. 2001) (footnotes omitted).
time of Plaintiff's guilty plea, a person required to
register on the sexual offender registry ("the
registry") had to do so "within ten days of . . .
placement upon probation" after being convicted of a
qualifying sexual offense. Section 589.400.1 and
Unless certain exceptions apply, registration is a life-long
requirement. Section 589.400.1, .2 and .3. One exception is
for a registrant who "petition[s] the court for removal
or exemption from the registry under subsection . . . 8 of
this section and the court orders the removal . . . of such
person from the registry." Section 589.400.3(4).
589.400.8 provides that someone on the registry
having pled guilty . . . to an offense included under
subsection 1 of this section may file a petition after two
years have passed from the date the offender . . . pled
guilty . . . in the civil division of the circuit court in
the county in which the offender . . . pled guilty . . . to
the offense . . . for removal of his or her name from the
registry if such person was nineteen years of age or younger
and the victim was thirteen years of age or older at the time
of the offense and no physical force or threat of physical
force was used in the commission of the offense[.]
the petition is filed, "[t]he court may grant such
relief under subsection . . . 8 of this section if such
person demonstrates to the court that he or she has complied
with the provisions of this section and is not a current or
potential threat to public safety." Section
589.400.9(1). A person whose name is removed from the
registry based upon subsection 8 "shall no longer be
required to fulfill the registration requirements . . .
unless such person is required to register for committing
another offense after being removed from the registry."
and Procedural Background
testified at the hearing on his petition in October 2015. No
exhibits or other testimony was presented. Plaintiff's
testimony was as follows.
February 2006, Plaintiff pleaded guilty to child molestation
in the second degree ("the offense"), a
misdemeanor, and he was ordered to complete a period of
probation. See section 566.068, RSMo 2000. The
victim was 15 at the time ...