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State of Idaho v. Alex Paul Giovanelli

April 4, 2012

STATE OF IDAHO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
ALEX PAUL GIOVANELLI,
DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.



Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District, State of Idaho, Kootenai County. Hon. Lansing L. Haynes, District Judge. Hon. Barry E. Watson, Magistrate.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Melanson, Judge

2012 Opinion No. 16

Stephen W. Kenyon, Clerk

Appeal from order of the district court, on intermediate appeal from the magistrate, affirming order dismissing petition to transfer juvenile to the adult sex offender registry, dismissed.

The State of Idaho appeals from the district court's decision affirming the magistrate's order dismissing the state's petition to transfer Alex Paul Giovanelli to the adult sex offender registry. For the reasons set forth below, we dismiss the appeal based upon a lack of jurisdiction to rule on the merits.

I.

FACTS AND PROCEDURE

Giovanelli was adjudicated as a juvenile with a crime that required him to register as a juvenile sex offender pursuant to I.C. § 18-8407. Giovanelli reached age twenty-one on October 13, 2009. On October 14, 2009, Giovanelli received a letter from the Idaho State Police sex offender registry unit informing him that his obligation to register as a juvenile sex offender expired on his twenty-first birthday, he was no longer required to register under I.C. § 18-8407, and his registry information had been deleted from the central sex offender database. On December 2, 2009, the state filed a petition to transfer Giovanelli to the adult sex offender registry pursuant to I.C. § 18-8410. For reasons not explained by the record, the petition was filed in Giovanelli's juvenile case and a hearing on the petition was held before a magistrate. The magistrate denied the petition, ruling that, because Giovanelli was twenty-one years old and pursuant to I.C. § 20-507, it no longer had jurisdiction to hear the petition. The state appealed to the district court. The district court affirmed the magistrate on different grounds. The district court determined that the magistrate had jurisdiction to decide the petition but that the petition was barred because it was not timely filed under I.C. § 18-8410. The state again appeals.

II.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

On review of a decision of the district court, rendered in its appellate capacity, we review the decision of the district court directly. State v. DeWitt, 145 Idaho 709, 711, 184 P.3d 215, 217 (Ct. App. 2008). We examine the magistrate record to determine whether there is substantial and competent evidence to support the magistrate's findings of fact and whether the magistrate's conclusions of law follow from those findings. Id. If those findings are so supported and the conclusions follow therefrom and if the district court affirmed the magistrate's decision, we affirm the district court's decision as a matter of procedure. Id.

III.

ANALYSIS

The state argues that the district court erred in affirming the denial of its petition to transfer Giovanelli to the adult sex offender registry. Specifically, the state asserts the district court incorrectly applied the law in determining that the language of I.C. § 18-8410 required the state to file the petition to transfer prior to Giovanelli's twenty-first birthday. The state also asserts that the magistrate erred in concluding it was without jurisdiction to hear the petition. The facts of this case are similar to the facts in State v. Johnson, 152 Idaho 41, 266 P.3d 1146 (2011). In that case, an adult sex offender filed a petition in his previously dismissed criminal case seeking an exemption from his duty to register as a sex offender. The petition was denied. On appeal, our Supreme Court held that it had no jurisdiction to decide the appeal because sex offenders seeking exemption from filing under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification and Community Right-to-Know Act (SORA) must file their petition as a new civil action if their criminal case has been dismissed or fully adjudicated and the time for appeal has run. Here, when Giovanelli reached the age of twenty-one years, ...


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