The Court held that it was error not to consider if appropriate supervision of J.S. could continue. In Sanchez v. N.J. State Parole Bd. (2006), we reversed a decision by the Parole Board denying petitioner’s request to live in New York State. New York declined the Board’s request to accept supervision of petitioner because of our Board’s limitation in enforcement if the petitioner violated conditions of his release or supervision. In reversing the Board, we held that if the petitioner has “good cause” to move to another state and that state will not accept supervision, this was “an insufficient reason for keeping a CSL defendant here. The spirit of the original Megan’s Law is best served by interpreting it to permit CSL defendants who otherwise qualify for residence in another state under the then current parole transfer rules to live in that state even if that state declines supervision.” We held that “the Parole Board may make the change in residence subject to conditions appropriate to protect the public and foster rehabilitation.”
It may be that there are adequate procedures to supervise J.S. consistent with his level of risk and the way he is currently supervised, but the record is devoid of any information about his level of supervision or how that may or may not be able to continue because the Board simply assumed his petition was one for termination and not for permission to transfer residence and supervision. The Board can impose conditions appropriate for the protection of the public and for rehabilitation. It certainly had the ability to require J.S. to suggest appropriate conditions. However, on this record, the Board did not undertake an informed consideration of any conditions that might be appropriate before denying J.S.’s application. We deem arbitrary the Board’s decision to reject summarily J.S.’s request by treating it as an application to terminate CSL without considering the merits of his application.
It is hard to believe that the Board’s being unaware of the relief that J.S. was seeking was the reason that they did not address it. Given that this is a published Appellate Division case, it is more likely that our courts had not yet spoken on the issue and it was just easier for the Board to treat the issue as though it were a familiar one, i.e. whether supervision should be terminated. Judge Suter authored the appellate panel’s decision.