Reimers v. State

Decision Date27 June 2011
Docket NumberNo. 107.440,Division No. 4.,Released for Publication by Order of the Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma,107.440
Citation2011 OK CIV APP 83,257 P.3d 416
PartiesErick L. REIMERS, Plaintiff/Appellant,v.The STATE of Oklahoma, ex rel. DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS and The City of Bethany, Defendants/Appellees.
CourtUnited States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma

257 P.3d 416
2011 OK CIV APP 83

Erick L. REIMERS, Plaintiff/Appellant,
v.
The STATE of Oklahoma, ex rel.
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS and The City of Bethany, Defendants/Appellees.

No. 107.440

Released for Publication by Order of the Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma

Division No. 4.

Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma, Division No. 4.

Feb. 14, 2011.Rehearing Denied April 26, 2011.Certiorari Dismissed June 27, 2011.


[257 P.3d 417]

Appeal from the District Court of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma; Honorable Patricia G. Parrish, Trial Judge.REVERSED.Michael S. “Mickey” Homsey, Terry R. McMillan, Homsey & Associates, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for Appellant.David A. Davis, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for Appellee City of Bethany.E. Scott Pruitt, Office of the Attorney General, John D. Hadden, Assistant Attorney General, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for Appellee State of Oklahoma Department of Corrections.JERRY L. GOODMAN, Presiding Judge.

¶ 1 Plaintiff Erick L. Reimers appeals two trial court orders entered in separate cases. Each order is final and presents the same question for our review. Plaintiff was convicted of a sex crime in 1992 and completed all registration requirements of the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registration Act (OSORA), 57 O.S. Supp.1991, §§ 581 through 587 (now 57 O.S.2001 and Supp. 2009, §§ 581 through 590.2), then in effect. The question before this Court is whether Plaintiff must continue to register as a sex offender pursuant to subsequent amendments to OSORA that became effective after he completed his sentence?

¶ 2 We answer the question in the negative, but in doing so we need not address Plaintiff's argument that the amended statute is an unconstitutional ex post facto law. We hold that under the specific facts of this case, OSORA does not apply to this Plaintiff because the amendments are substantive in nature and not merely procedural. Finding no legislative intent to retroactively apply a substantive change in the law, Plaintiff is entitled to the relief sought.

¶ 3 In this appeal, No. 107,440, we address Plaintiff's request for injunctive and declaratory relief. In the second appeal, No. 108,070, issued this date, we address Plaintiff's request for monetary damages arising from attempts to enforce OSORA's amendments against him.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

¶ 4 Plaintiff filed a petition in Oklahoma County District Court on March 18, 2009, in case number CJ–2009–2610. He sought to temporarily and permanently enjoin defendants Department of Corrections (DOC) and City of Bethany (COB) from enforcing provisions of OSORA. He also sought to prevent the publication of any information regarding his status as a registered sex offender and sought a declaration that OSORA's amendments were an ex post facto law or bill of attainder, and therefore unconstitutional.

¶ 5 DOC and COB filed motions to dismiss Plaintiff's claim on procedural and substantive grounds. At the hearing on those motions the parties' arguments mainly addressed the substantive issue, i.e., whether the amendments to OSORA created ex post facto laws. Subsequently, the trial court dismissed Plaintiff's suit without stating its reason. That order, filed July 28, 2009, is the subject of this opinion,

¶ 6 On September 1, 2009, Plaintiff filed a second suit in Oklahoma County, Case No. CJ–2009–8268, in which he sued DOC, COB, and Sharon Cadle, a police officer employed by COB (collectively, Defendants). Plaintiff again alleged the amendments to OSORA created unconstitutional ex post facto laws,

[257 P.3d 418]

and alleged various tort claims against all Defendants. All of the tort claims arose from Defendants' attempts to enforce the amendments to OSORA's registration requirements against Plaintiff. A motion to dismiss was filed, which the trial court treated as a motion for summary judgment. After a hearing it granted and entered judgment in favor of all Defendants. That order, filed February 6, 2010, was appealed in No. 108,070, which we treat as a companion case and issue a separate opinion on this date.

FACTS

¶ 7 Plaintiff's petition states that in 1992 he was charged with indecent exposure pursuant to 21 O.S.1991 and Supp.1996, § 1021(A)(1), (now 21 O.S.2001 and Supp. 2008, § 1021(A)(1)). He pled guilty to the charge and received a five-year suspended sentence. He successfully completed all the terms and conditions of his five-year sentence including the successful completion of DOC's sex offender treatment program.

¶ 8 At the time of his conviction, 57 O.S.Supp.1989, § 503(C) required convicted sex offenders who had successfully completed DOC's sex offender treatment program to register with DOC (but not with a local municipality) for two years following their date of discharge from DOC supervision. Repeat offenders, and those who did not complete DOC's treatment program, were required to register for ten years.

¶ 9 Plaintiff completed his sentence in 1997, and registered as a sex offender for two more years. He has not registered since 1999. He moved to Bethany, Oklahoma, and lives in a home located less than 2,000 feet from a school. The subsequently amended § 590 of OSORA prohibits persons subject to its provisions from living within 2,000 feet of a school.

¶ 10 In 1997, the year Plaintiff completed his sentence, and the first year he registered as an offender, OSORA was amended to require all offenders to register with DOC for ten years, and additionally, to register for five years with the local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over an offender's intended place of residence. The provisions reducing the length of registration for completion of an offender treatment program were stricken.

¶ 11 In its current version, § 583(C)(1) and (D)(1) each require a level one offender (such as Plaintiff) to register with DOC and local law enforcement for 15 years following the completion of their sentence. The length of time required to register is now dependent upon the “level” of offence. A level one designation is given to an offender who is considered a lower risk or danger to the community and because he is not likely to repeat such offense. A level three classification represents a higher risk or danger to the community because the offender is likely to commit repeated offences. See, 57 O.S.2001 and Supp. 2009, § 582.5(C).

¶ 12 On September 17, 2007, Plaintiff was charged with failing to register as a sex offender, but this charge was dismissed on January 24, 2008.1 On January 25, 2008, a judge of the Oklahoma County District Court entered an “Order Clarifying Sex Offender Status” in Plaintiff's original criminal case which declared Plaintiff's requirement to register as a sex offender terminated in 1999 when two years elapsed following the completion of his sentence. 2

[257 P.3d 419]

¶ 13 On April 14, 2008, Cadle, a police department employee of COB, mailed Plaintiff a letter demanding he move from his residence and register as a sex offender or face another charge of failure to register.

¶ 14 Plaintiff refused these demands, hired counsel, and demanded all information regarding his status be removed from COB and DOC databases, citing as authority the trial court's 2008 Order Clarifying Status. Plaintiff also filed an administrative grievance with DOC on May 12, 2008. This grievance was denied causing Plaintiff to pursue a timely administrative appeal of the denial.

¶ 15 Plaintiff's demands were denied. DOC notified Plaintiff by letter that the registration requirements applied to him and that DOC believed the trial court's Order Clarifying Status was void because registration was a civil matter and administered by DOC, not by the courts, and as a result, the trial court had no subject matter jurisdiction to enter the order.

¶ 16 On May 29, 2008, COB's employee,...

To continue reading

Request your trial
8 cases
  • Starkey v. Okla. Dep't of Corr.
    • United States
    • Oklahoma Supreme Court
    • 25 Junio 2013
    ...of Oklahoma v. Timothy Lynn Smith, S–2009–944, filed October 28, 2010. His supplemental brief also cites Reimers v. State ex rel. Dept. of Corrections, 2011 OK CIV APP 83, 257 P.3d 416, a published Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals opinion, which found State v. Timothy Lynn Smith persuasive. ......
  • Mireles v. State (In re L.M.)
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Civil Appeals of Oklahoma
    • 30 Marzo 2012
    ...bar’ of restraint. Constitutional questions should not be reached in advance of strict necessity.” Reimers v. State ex rel. Department of Corrections, 2011 OK CIV APP 83, ¶ 29, 257 P.3d 416, 421 (quoting Russell v. Board of County Commissioners of Carter County, Oklahoma, 1997 OK 80, ¶ 32, ......
  • State v. Hurt, S–2013–476.
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • 4 Diciembre 2014
    ...expression that the Act only have prospective effect. Reimers v. State, ex rel. Dept. of Corrections, 2011 OK CIV APP 83, ¶ 32, 257 P.3d 416, 421. Similar language has also always been present within § 583. 57 O.S.Supp.1989, § 583. If the language had been added at the same time that the am......
  • State v. Hurt
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • 4 Diciembre 2014
    ...Act since its initial passage and was the Legislature's expression that the Act only have prospective effect. Reimers v. State, ex rel. Dept. of Corrections, 2011 OK CIV APP 83, ¶ 32, 257 P.3d 416, 421. Similar language has also always been present within § 583. 57 O.S.Supp.1989, § 583. If ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT