Certiorari to the Utah Court of Appeals
District, Salt Lake The Honorable Paul G. Maughan No.
Adams, Bountiful, Cherise M. Bacalski, Orem, Sara Pfrommer,
North Salt Lake, for petitioner
D. Reyes, Att'y Gen., Erin T. Middleton, Asst. Solic.
Gen., Amanda N. Montague, Justin Anderson, Asst. Att'ys
Gen., Salt Lake City, for respondents
Justice Durrant authored the opinion of the Court, in which
Associate Chief Justice Lee, Justice Himonas, Justice Pearce,
and Justice Petersen joined.
JUSTICE DURRANT, JUDGE.
Matthew Jay Holste pled guilty in Idaho to a sex offense that
required him to register as a sex offender. The entry of
judgment was withheld, and Mr. Holste was placed on probation
for eight years, after which the court set aside his plea. He
moved to Utah and now argues that he should not be required
to register as a sex offender here. The district court
dismissed his motion for declaratory judgment, and the court
of appeals affirmed. Mr. Holste petitioned this court for a
writ of certiorari, which we granted.
While living in Idaho, Matthew Holste pled guilty to one
count of lewd conduct with a minor child under sixteen. The
Idaho court withheld entry of judgment and placed Mr. Holste
on probation for eight years. During this time, he was
required to register as a sex offender in Idaho. Upon
successful completion of his probation, the court set aside
his plea. His rights were restored, but he is still required
to register as a sex offender under Idaho law.
Sometime later, Mr. Holste moved to Utah and was informed by
the Department of Corrections that he needed to register as a
sex offender in Utah. He did so and has remained in
compliance with the sex offender registry statute. He later
filed a lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment that he was
not required to register in Utah. He argued that he was never
actually convicted in Idaho, and therefore he did not fall
into any of the registration categories under Utah Code
The Department of Corrections moved to dismiss, and the
district court granted its motion. It held that Utah law
requires all individuals to register in Utah if they must
register in another jurisdiction. Mr. Holste appealed to the
court of appeals, which affirmed the district court, holding
that Utah Code section 77-41-105(3)(a) required Mr. Holste to
register, regardless of whether he was convicted because he
met the definition of an "offender." He then
petitioned this court for certiorari, which we granted. We
have jurisdiction pursuant to Utah Code section
The central issue in this appeal is whether Utah Code section
77-41-105 requires individuals to register in Utah even
though their conviction in another jurisdiction has been set
aside. On certiorari, we review "the court of
appeals' decision for correctness, without according any
deference to its analysis."
The court of appeals concluded that Mr. Holste is required to
register as a sex offender in Utah because he meets the
definition of an "offender" under the Utah sex
offender registry statute. Mr. Holste concedes that he
qualifies as an offender under the statute, because he is
required to register in another state, but he argues that
being an "offender" is not enough. He asserts that
unless he is an offender who has been "convicted"
in another jurisdiction, he is not required to register.
After analyzing the language of Utah's sex offender
registry statute,  we affirm the decision of the court of
appeals on the ground that anyone who meets the statutory
definition of the term "offender" is required to
register. Additionally, we hold that even were we to assume
that a "conviction" in another ...