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In re Stanley

Court of Appeals of Colorado, Division A

March 9, 2017

In the Matter of Douglas Roy Stanley, Petitioner-Appellant,
District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District, State of Colorado, Respondent-Appellee.

         Arapahoe County District Court No. 15CV30140 Honorable Elizabeth A. Weishaupl, Judge

          Forrest W. Lewis, P.C., Forrest W. Lewis, Golden, Colorado, for Petitioner-Appellant

          George H. Brauchler, District Attorney, Richard H. Orman, Chief Deputy District Attorney, Centennial, Colorado, for Respondent-Appellee



         ¶ 1 Petitioner, Douglas Roy Stanley, is a sex offender convicted in California of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. He appeals the district court's denial of his petition to discontinue sex offender registration in Colorado based on California's decision to terminate his registration requirement in that state. We affirm the district court's order. I. Background ¶ 2 In 2001, Stanley pleaded no contest and was subsequently convicted and sentenced in California of a sexual offense under California Penal Code section 261.5(d) (West 2016), "Unlawful sexual intercourse with [a] person under 18." Stanley, then twenty-nine years old, had sexual intercourse with a fifteen-year-old girl.

         ¶ 3 Stanley successfully completed his California probation, and his conviction was eventually reduced to a misdemeanor.[1]

         ¶ 4 In November 2014, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) notified Stanley in a letter that his statutory requirement to register in California as a sex offender under California Penal Code section 290 (West 2016) had been terminated. The California DOJ did not give a reason for the termination of the registration requirement.

         ¶ 5 In January 2015, Stanley filed a pro se petition in the Arapahoe County District Court to discontinue sex offender registration in Colorado for a non-Colorado conviction under section 16-22-113, C.R.S. 2016.[2] The petition filed by Stanley was a form document that tracked the language of section 16-22-113 by listing the various circumstances under which an offender can petition to discontinue registration. See JDF 473, Petition to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration Non-Colorado Conviction or Juvenile Adjudication or Disposition (revised Oct. 2013), On the form, offenders are required to state that none of the statutory prohibitions regarding ineligibility as set forth in section 16-22-113(3) apply to them, and check the box next to their circumstances of conviction that would allow them to petition for removal from the registry. Id.

         ¶ 6 In his petition, Stanley checked the following as his conviction circumstances:

The offense for which I was required to register was a class 4, 5, or 6 felony or was a class 1 misdemeanor of unlawful sexual contact or third degree sexual assault and it has been 10 years since my final release from the jurisdiction of the Court or discharge from the Department of Corrections. I have not been subsequently convicted or adjudicated for any offense involving unlawful sexual behavior[.]

         Stanley failed to check the box that affirmed "[t]he statutory prohibitions regarding ineligibility to file this Petition as set forth at § 16-22-113(3), C.R.S. do not apply to me."

         ¶ 7 On the same date the petition was filed, a Colorado attorney representing Stanley filed a supplement to the petition. The supplement stated that, although Stanley currently resided in California, he had family in Arapahoe and Jefferson Counties in Colorado, and he wanted to travel to and stay in Colorado for potentially prolonged periods of time, recognizing that travel would result in him being considered a temporary resident of Colorado for purposes of sex offender registration. The supplement also set forth additional facts regarding Stanley's rehabilitation and attached supporting documentation that he was no longer required to register as a sex offender in the State of California (the California DOJ letter). The supplement also conceded that Stanley's offense, if committed in Colorado, would be a violation of section 18-3-402, C.R.S. 2016, sexual assault, or section 18-3-404(1.5), C.R.S. 2016, unlawful sexual contact.[3] The supplement to the petition did not correct Stanley's failure to affirm that none of the prohibitions in section 16-22-113(3) applied to his situation.

         ¶ 8 In a written order, the district court reviewed the plain language of the relevant sex offender registration statutes and denied Stanley's petition, concluding that, as a matter of law, he was ineligible for relief under section 16-22-113(3) because his crime, if committed in Colorado, would have been a violation of section 18-3-402 and consequently required lifetime sex offender registration.

         ¶ 9 Stanley now appeals, arguing that the district court erred as a matter of law in its interpretation of section 16-22-113(3).

         II. Standard of Review

         ¶ 10 Statutory interpretation is a question of law that we review de novo. E.g., Curtiss v. People, 2014 COA 107, ¶ 6. "As with any statute, our primary task is to give effect to the General Assembly's intent by first examining the statute's plain language." Id. We must read and consider the statute as a whole in order to give consistent, harmonious, and sensible effect to all of its parts. Id. ...

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