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State v. Ratumaimuri

Supreme Court of Nebraska

May 11, 2018

State of Nebraska, appellee,
v.
Antonio D. Ratumaimuri, appellant.

         1. Convicted Sex Offender: Proof. Under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-4011(1) (Reissue 2016), the State must prove that the defendant (1) is required to register under the Sex Offender Registration Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-4001 et seq. (Reissue 2016), and (2) violated a section of the act.

         2. Convicted Sex Offender. Under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-4003(1)(b)(i)(B) (Reissue 2016), a trial court must determine whether a defendant who has committed one of the offenses listed therein is subject to the Sex Offender Registration Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-4001 et seq. (Reissue 2016), during the proceedings on the underlying conviction and sentence.

         3. Judgments: Words and Phrases. A judgment is an adjudication of all the matters that are essential to support it, and every proposition assumed or decided by the court leading up to the final conclusion and on which such conclusion is based is as effectually passed upon as the ultimate question which is finally resolved.

         4. Criminal Law: Judgments: Sentences: Appeal and Error. In a criminal case, the judgment from which the appellant may appeal is the sentence.

         5. Convicted Sex Offender: Appeal and Error. Whether a defendant is subject to the Sex Offender Registration Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-4001 et seq. (Reissue 2016), based on a guilty plea or conviction for an offense that is not inherently sexual must be reviewed on direct appeal from the underlying conviction and sentence.

         6. Judgments: Collateral Attack. When a judgment is attacked in a way other than by proceeding in the original action to have it vacated, reversed, or modified, or by a proceeding in equity to prevent its enforcement, the attack is a collateral attack.

         7. ___: ___. A judgment that is not void, even if erroneous, cannot be collaterally attacked.

         [299 Neb. 888] 8. Convicted Sex Offender: Collateral Attack: Appeal and Error. A challenge to a determination that the Sex Offender Registration Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-4001 et seq. (Reissue 2016), applies to a defendant for a listed offense that is not inherently sexual outside of a direct appeal from the underlying conviction and sentence is an impermissible collateral attack.

         9. Courts: Judgments: Appeal and Error. Upon further review from a judgment of the Nebraska Court of Appeals, the Nebraska Supreme Court will not reverse a judgment which it deems to be correct simply because its reasoning differs from that employed by the Court of Appeals.

          Petition for further review from the Court of Appeals, Pirtle, Riedmann, and Arterburn, Judges, on appeal thereto from the District Court for Lancaster County, Susan I. Strong, Judge. Judgment of Court of Appeals affirmed.

          Joseph D. Nigro, Lancaster County Public Defender, and Nathan J. Sohriakoff for appellant.

          Douglas J. Peterson, Attorney General, and Joe Meyer for appellee.

          Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, and Funke, JJ., and Derr and Urbom, District Judges.

          Funke, J.

         The Lancaster County District Court convicted Antonio Y. Ratumaimuri of violating the registration requirements of the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA).[1] Before the Nebraska Court of Appeals, Ratumaimuri assigned as error that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction. Specifically, he argued the State had failed to prove he was subject to SORA's requirements, because it failed to present evidence that-during the proceedings for a previous conviction and sentence- the county court for Lancaster County had made a factual finding pursuant to § 29-4003(1)(b)(i)(B).

         [299 Neb. 889] The Court of Appeals affirmed Ratumaimuri's conviction on the sufficiency of the evidence. However, rather than relying on the determination in the previous proceedings-that Ratumaimuri was subject to SORA-alone, the Court of Appeals concluded that determination was valid because it was based on an implied factual finding pursuant to § 29-4003(1)(b)(i)(B).

         On further review, we hold that (1) a determination that a defendant is subject to SORA must be reviewed on direct appeal from the underlying conviction and sentence and (2) such a determination is not subject to an impermissible collateral attack in subsequent proceedings. Accordingly, the Court of Appeals erred in analyzing whether the determination in the previous proceedings was valid. While our reasoning differs from that employed by the Court of Appeals, our ultimate conclusion on the judgment is the same. Therefore, we affirm.

         BACKGROUND

         In November 2015, a police officer found Ratumaimuri sleeping in a parking garage in Lincoln, Nebraska. The officer determined Ratumaimuri was a registered sex offender but had not updated his address since July 2015, when he was incarcerated. Ratumaimuri admitted he had been transient since he was released from prison, in September 2015, and was in violation of his SORA requirements because he had not registered with the Lancaster County Sheriff's Department. The officer arrested Ratumaimuri for violating SORA by failing to update his address or status.

         The offense that subjected Ratumaimuri to SORA's requirements was a 2014 conviction for third degree assault. The State had amended the charge from third degree sexual assault in exchange for Ratumaimuri's agreeing to plead no contest. The State informed Ratumaimuri, however, that the county court could still determine he was subject to SORA, under the plea bargain. At the plea hearing, the county court ruled that Ratumaimuri was subject to SORA's requirements and that he had committed a "sexual offense." Ratumaimuri was provided with a "Notification of Registration Responsibilities [299 Neb. 890] Under [SORA]" form, which stated: "Your conviction or guilty plea has caused you to be subject to [SORA]." At the sentencing hearing, the county court questioned Ratumaimuri ...


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