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Appeals court looks at revised law on sex-offense status

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The Indiana Court of Appeals remanded a case today with instructions to re-examine a case about a man’s disputed classification as a sexually violent predator.

Issuing a five-page opinion in Stuart A. Clampitt v. State of Indiana, No. 54A01-1002-CR-64, the appellate panel remanded the case to Montgomery Circuit Judge Thomas Milligan and reversed his decision about Clampitt’s motion to remove the SVP status.

Clampitt was convicted of felony sexual misconduct charges in Hendricks and Marion counties in 1996 for a relationship with a 15-year-old girl. Though he’s still incarcerated on these offenses, Clampitt learned that he’s listed as a “sex predator” on the state’s online sex offender registry and sought to have his name removed.

The Court of Appeals issued a decision in May that affirmed Marion Superior Judge Grant Hawkins’ decision denying Clampitt’s motion to remove his SVP status, but he couldn’t reach a decision about whether the record showed he should have had that classification. The appellate panel instructed Clampitt to file a petition in Montgomery County, and he did late last year in compliance with Indiana Code 11-8-8-22 that lawmakers had amended.

But in holding a hearing on the matter, Judge Milligan determined he didn’t have the authority to remove that status because he hadn’t heard the original criminal case.

Today, the appellate court sent the case back with instructions.

“The procedures set forth in the amended statute allow the trial court, and this court on appeal, to be fully informed of a sex offender’s circumstances, including the offender’s full criminal history, dates of offenses, and reason for being required to register,” Judge Patricia Riley wrote. "Further, § I.C. 11-8-8-22(e) allows the trial court to provide notice of the proceeds to all interested parties and then set a hearing. For these reasons, we direct the trial court in the county where he filed his amended petition to consider the petition in light of § I.C. 11-8-8-22(e).”
 

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