Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Norton

Supreme Court of North Dakota

June 27, 2019

State of North Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellee
v.
Spencer Brent Norton, Defendant and Appellant

          Appeal from the District Court of Burleigh County, South Central Judicial District, the Honorable James S. Hill, Judge.

          Julie A. Lawyer, Burleigh County State's Attorney, Bismarck, North Dakota, for plaintiff and appellee; submitted on brief.

          Russell J. Myhre, Enderlin, North Dakota, for defendant and appellant; submitted on brief.

          OPINION

          TUFTE, JUSTICE

         [¶1] Spencer Norton appeals from a judgment entered after the district court denied his motion to dismiss and accepted his conditional guilty plea to the charge of failure to register as an offender against children. We conclude N.D.C.C. § 12.1-32-15(3) imposed a statutory duty on Norton to register, and we affirm.

         I

         [¶2] In May 2018, while Norton was in custody on unrelated charges, the State charged him with willfully failing to register as an offender against children from June 28, 2017, through May 21, 2018. The charge against Norton was based on his February 1997 convictions in North Carolina for abduction of a child and second degree kidnapping. Norton moved to dismiss the charge, arguing the State could not prove he was required to register and the complaint was premature. Norton contended he was fifteen years old at the time of the North Carolina convictions, he was never ordered to register by a North Carolina court, and the North Carolina judge never stated a registration requirement on the record. He claimed the State must prove his sentence complied with due process by personally advising him of the registration requirement. He also contended the complaint was premature, because he had been continually incarcerated since November 7, 2017, and could not go to the Bismarck Police Department to register in person.

         [¶3] The State responded that Norton was required to register under N.D.C.C. §§ 12.1-32-15(1)(a) and 12.1-32-15(3), that inmates are afforded the opportunity to register during their incarceration, and that impossibility is not a valid defense because he never tried to register and he told officers he refused to register.

         [¶4] The district court denied Norton's motion to dismiss, citing N.D.C.C. § 12.1-32-15(3) for registration requirements when a court has not previously ordered an individual to register in this state. The court explained:

At the hearing, the State laid out for the Court and for Norton the evidence the State anticipates it would present at trial, including three exhibits. The State contends that Norton was required to register due to his North Carolina convictions (as cited in the Complaint) being equivalent to Kidnapping, in violation of Section 12.1-18-01 of the North Dakota Century Code.
Norton does not dispute his North Carolina convictions for Abduction of a Child and Second Degree Kidnapping . . . . Defendant Norton argued, however, that he was never ordered to register by the court in North Carolina which means he could not be required to register in North Dakota. Norton's argument was riddled almost entirely with hearsay statements which he argued came from his out-of-state attorneys, his federal probation officer and officials in North Carolina who purportedly told him he did not have to register.
The Court finds there is no legal basis warranting dismissal of this complaint. The Court adopts the State's arguments as outlined in its [written response to the motion to dismiss] and those made at the hearing.
The Court was not persuaded by Norton's arguments in favor of dismissal. Norton's arguments, in particular his argument that he did not have an opportunity to register due to being incarcerated. The Court concluded that they are more properly brought before a jury for a factual determination.

         Norton entered a conditional guilty plea to the charge, reserving his right to appeal ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.