BY THE COURT
legislature intended the Kansas Offender Registration Act
(KORA) to be civil and nonpunitive for all classes of
Because the legislature intended KORA to be a regulatory
scheme that is civil and nonpunitive, only the clearest proof
will suffice to override legislative intent and transform
what has been denominated a civil remedy into a criminal
of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in an unpublished
opinion filed July 11, 2014.
from Riley District Court; John F. Bosch, judge.
Tate Mann, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office, argued the
cause, and Adam D. Stolte, of the same office, was with him
on the briefs for appellant.
Bethany C. Fields, deputy county attorney, argued the cause
and Barry Wilkerson, county attorney, and Derek Schmidt,
attorney general, were with her on the brief for appellee.
Steven Meredith committed his qualifying drug offense, the
Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA), K.S.A. 22-4901
et seq., required him to register for 10 years.
However, the 2011 KORA amendments extended Meredith's
registration period to 15 years. For the first time on
appeal, Meredith argues that any retroactive imposition of
the 15-year registration period violates the Ex Post Facto
Clause of the United States Constitution. But the Ex Post
Facto Clause is implicated only when punishment is
retroactively imposed. We hold that the legislature intended
KORA to be a civil, nonpunitive remedial scheme, and Meredith
has failed to demonstrate by the clearest proof that
KORA's effects on drug offenders are sufficient to
overcome the legislature's nonpunitive intent. Therefore,
we conclude that the current 15-year KORA registration period
applies to Meredith. Accordingly, we affirm and remand for
correction of the 2013 nunc pro tunc journal entry of
judgment that states otherwise.
and Procedural Background
April 2009, Meredith pled no contest to possession of
methamphetamine with intent to distribute in violation of
K.S.A. 2008 Supp. 65-4161(a). At the time Meredith committed
the offense, KORA required him to register as an offender for
10 years. See K.S.A. 22-4902(a)(11)(C); K.S.A. 22-4906(a)(1).
The district court sentenced Meredith to 24 months'
probation and imposed an underlying 30-month prison sentence.
the court did not inform Meredith of his duty to register as
a drug offender at the plea hearing or sentencing, the 2009
journal entry of judgment stated that Meredith was required
to register. However, the journal entry erroneously stated
that Meredith violated K.S.A. 65-4159 or K.S.A. 65-7006 and
"such manufacture or possession was for personal
use." The offender registration supplement attached to
the journal entry showed that Meredith was required to
register, but the second page-which would specify the length
of registration-is missing from the record on appeal. Thus,
the court did not pronounce-and the journal entry did not
specify-the number of years Meredith was required to
the next few years, Meredith struggled to successfully
complete his probation. On May 21, 2012, the court terminated
Meredith's probation when it discovered that Meredith had
tested positive for methamphetamine. The court did not
reference Meredith's KORA registration requirement in
either open court or in the probation revocation journal
entry of judgment.
February 15, 2013, Meredith moved through counsel "for
clarification on the status of the defendant's need to
register." In the motion, Meredith noted that he was not
informed of any duty to register at the time of his
conviction or sentencing. Upon his release from prison in
2012, however, the Department of Corrections ordered Meredith
to register. According to the motion, Meredith had since
registered. The motion did not assert an ex post facto
violation but simply asked the court to "hold a hearing
on the matter for final determination." The ...