Friday, November 02, 2012

Park bench is not a new residence

Meryl Carver-Allmond won in State v. LeClair, No. 101,201 (Oct. 26, 2012), reversing a Saline County failure to register conviction.  Mr. LeClair, who was required to register within 10 days of changing his residence, "left his Salina residence on June 1, 2007. He then traveled the southwest United States for approximately 3 weeks before settling in Las Vegas, Nevada, and registering as an offender on July 9." Mr. LeClair argued that he had not established a new residence during that period and, therefore, was not required to notify the sheriff.  The KSC agreed:
There is no inconsistency or repugnancy because the statute distinctly requires that once the offender "changes the address of the person's residence," the offender must register within 10 days of obtaining "the new address" of residence. (Emphasis added.) K.S.A. 22-2904(b). So we must reject the State's contention at oral argument that LeClair's "address of residence" could be a one-night stay on a park bench. Among other things, it is difficult to imagine how under 22-4904(b) an offender should inform law enforcement of his "new [residential] address" as a "park bench in Albuquerque." And it is equally difficult to imagine how that park bench for one night establishes a "change [in] the address of the person's residence." Consequently, we conclude that under K.S.A. 22-4904(b), an offender does not change the address of residence until obtaining a new place of habitation where the person intends to remain. This conclusion necessarily rejects the panel's holding that under this statute an address of residence simply means one's bodily presence at a location.

Given this construction of the statute, and given the unrefuted evidence that Mr. LeClair had not established a new residence, the KSC reversed the conviction due to insufficient evidence.

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