LJC is delighted to report to you that registrants with non-New Mexico convictions will soon be entitled to due process before they are listed on the New Mexico Department of Public Safety (NMDPS) website. This is a direct result of LJC’s lawsuit and subsequent work, and it becomes effective today, July 1, 2021. This is a monumental achievement and we are grateful to Barry Porter and Ashley Cloud for their work in making this dream come true. We are not aware of a state that has such a robust process for those relocating from other states. The process does include the opportunity for judicial review for those who disagree with the equivalency determination. Unfortunately, we were unable to get this process applied retroactively which may mean another lawsuit. The full rule is available here.
The critical point is that the New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC) now clarifies that it is the Department of Public Safety (DPS) who must make the determination, not the local sheriff. The fact that the determination is made by the DPS provides some insulation from a sheriff that believes a person should have to register here if the person was required to register in another jurisdiction.
10.2.3.10 (A) NMAC provides “Within forty-five calendar days after the department receives the initial registration information the out-of-state registrant is required under Section 29-1 lA-4 NMSA 1978 and Section 10.2.3.9 above to provide to the sheriff, the department shall complete a translation and advise the out-of-state registrant and the sheriff whether the out-of-state registrant was convicted in another jurisdiction of a sex offense equivalent to one or more of those sex offenses identified in Subsection I of Section 29-1 lA-3 NMSA 1978 and is required to register as a sex offender in New Mexico.
10.2.3.10 (B) NMAC reads as follows. “The standard to be used by the department in determining whether the out-of-state conviction is equivalent to a sex offense listed in Section 29-1 lA-4 NMSA 1978 is one of clear and convincing evidence.”
10.2.3.10 (D) NMAC provides protection for the registration. “While the translation is pending, no information regarding the out-of-state registrant shall be entered in the public facing portion of the local or state central registry.”
LJC is gratified about the outcome and we are looking forward to reporting how this process is working once it’s fully operational. LJC would not have been able to undertake this project or the other work we do without the financial support we receive from you.