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Judge believes court could remove man from sex offender list

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Indiana Court of Appeals Chief Judge Margret Robb dissented from her colleagues in a case involving a man who wanted his name taken off the Indiana Sex Offender Registry.

Jeremiah Cline had sex with a 15-year-old and 14-year-old in February and June 2001. An amendment to the Indiana Sex Offender Act effective July 1, 2001, required someone with Cline’s Class C felony sexual misconduct with a minor convictions to register as a sex offender.

When he was released from prison, he was required to register. In 2011, he sought to have his name removed from the registry. The trial court found he had no obligation to continue to register but that it lacked authority to “expunge” his existing information from the registry.

Judges L. Mark Bailey and Paul Mathias agreed, pointing out that Cline argues for complete expungement of his name and information from the registry because retention of that information has a punitive effect upon him. The majority declined to read Wallace v. State, 905 N.E.2d 371, 384 (Ind. 2009), as broadly as Cline wants and won’t add a provision to include expungement, Bailey wrote.

Although Indiana Code 11-8-8-22, the statute created as a result of Wallace to provide for how to remove one’s name from the registry, provides a mechanism to petition the court for relief from obligation of continued registration and disclosure, the majority believed that Cline must go through administrative routes with the Department of Correction to remove his name.

Robb wrote that the majority misused the term “expungement” and that Cline wanted removal of his name, not a complete erasure of his record. She believed that I.C. 11-8-8-22, which “is poorly written and confusing,” allows the trial court to remove one’s name from the registry. If the statute does not mean that a court may remove an offender’s name and information, then it has no meaning at all, she wrote.


 

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  • Constitution
    I think all judges need to read, study and try to understand our U.S. condtitution and state constitution, especially article 1 section 19 of the Indiana Constitution, which states that in all criminal cases whatever, the jury, shall have the right to determine the law and the facts. In the abscence of a jury, the judge is the jury.

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  1. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  2. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  3. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

  4. I am one of Steele's victims and was taken for $6,000. I want my money back due to him doing nothing for me. I filed for divorce after a 16 year marriage and lost everything. My kids, my home, cars, money, pension. Every attorney I have talked to is not willing to help me. What can I do? I was told i can file a civil suit but you have to have all of Steelers info that I don't have. Of someone can please help me or tell me what info I need would be great.

  5. It would appear that news breaking on Drudge from the Hoosier state (link below) ties back to this Hoosier story from the beginning of the recent police disrespect period .... MCBA president Cassandra Bentley McNair issued the statement on behalf of the association Dec. 1. The association said it was “saddened and disappointed” by the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown. “The MCBA does not believe this was a just outcome to this process, and is disheartened that the system we as lawyers are intended to uphold failed the African-American community in such a way,” the association stated. “This situation is not just about the death of Michael Brown, but the thousands of other African-Americans who are disproportionately targeted and killed by police officers.” http://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/local/2016/07/18/hate-cops-sign-prompts-controversy/87242664/

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