The New Jersey Supreme Court majority concluded with the following in relevant part: Review of those cases reveals that Doe is the most relevant to the circumstances present here, and adherence to Doe’s determination that registration is not punitive should have precluded reliance on cases dealing with punitive consequences such as PSL, CSL, and SOMA in the context of a challenge predicated on the registration requirement.
For those reasons, we disapprove of the analysis of Timmendequas and reverse the Appellate Division’s decision in this matter, which relied on Timmendequas to find an ex post facto violation in the third-degree charges brought against defendants.
In rejecting the arguments pressed on behalf of defendants, we agree with the position advanced by the State that adoption of such a view would raise uncertainty regarding the State’s ability to enforce Megan’s Law’s registration requirements against any offender whose predicate convictions predated the law’s passage — a position clearly understood in Doe. Those requirements have been in place for over two decades, and we are unaware of any support for the proposition that their enforcement against pre-1994 offenders raises ex post facto concerns. And, if the Legislature has the authority to create new penalties for noncompliance with administrative obligations, as it did in Megan’s Law, it would be incongruous if it could not prospectively upgrade the penalty for violating an existing administrative obligation.
The judgment of the Appellate Division is reversed. R.B.’s matter is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion’s holding. We reinstate H.B.’s conviction and sentence.
Justice Albin filed a dissent in which he did not see any basis to treat retroactively imposed increased punishments for violations of CSL requirements and Megan’s Law registration requirements differently for ex post facto purposes. Justice Albin notes that both the CSL requirements and the Megan’s Law registration requirements are conditions imposed at the time of sentencing for a defendant’s predicate sex offense; both mandate lifetime compliance; and violations of both are punishable as crimes, subjecting offenders to potential prison terms. Justice Albin opines that the Court should not retroactively aggravate the penalty for failing to register based on an arbitrary distinction between CSL and Megan’s Law registration. Justice Albin concludes that the 2007 amendment increased the punishment for defendants’ violation of a condition of their sentences — the registration requirement — and therefore materially altered their sentences to their disadvantage in violation of the prohibition on ex post facto laws.
The Timmendequas case cited by the majority refers to sex offender Paul Timmendequas. He is the brother of sex offender Jesse Timmendequas, the man who was convicted of sexually assaulting and murdering Megan Kanka. Megan’s Law is named after her.