from the District Court of Fremont County The Honorable
Norman E. Young, Judge
Representing Appellant: Katherine A. Strike, Stanbury &
Strike, P.C., Lander, Wyoming.
Representing Appellee:Peter K. Michael, Attorney General;
Christyne M. Martens, Deputy Attorney General; Jessica Frint,
Senior Assistant Attorney General.
DAVIS, C.J., and FOX, KAUTZ, BOOMGAARDEN, and GRAY, JJ.
Appellant Gordon James Gunsch obtained an order granting him
relief from the requirement to register as a sex offender.
The State subsequently moved to vacate the order pursuant to
W.R.C.P. Rule 60(b)(1). The district court granted the
W.R.C.P. Rule 60(b) motion and revived Mr. Gunsch's
registration requirement. Mr. Gunsch appeals. We affirm.
We consolidate the parties' arguments into a single
Did the district court abuse its discretion when it granted
the State's motion for relief under W.R.C.P. Rule 60(b)?
In 1990, Mr. Gunsch was convicted of incest as an adult and
was required to register as a sex offender. Later, in 2008,
he received three years of unsupervised probation after being
convicted on two counts of failing to meet this obligation.
Since 2008, he has registered as required and has had no
other conviction for any misdemeanor or felony offense.
In June of 2018, Mr. Gunsch petitioned the district court to
terminate his duty to register as a sex offender under Wyo.
Stat. Ann. § 7-19-304(a)(i). Mr. Gunsch claimed that he
met the statutory requirements-he continuously registered for
at least ten years, maintained a "clean record" for
ten years, and, for his specific crime, he was an offender
"adjudicated as a delinquent." (Emphasis added.)
The petition alleged the reporting requirement was a
substantial burden because of Mr. Gunsch's age (64),
numerous health problems (including legal blindness,
ambulatory challenges, and kidney failure), and the
inconvenience to his spouse (also his caregiver). The State
urged the district court to deny relief based on the
egregious nature of Mr. Gunsch's incest conviction and
his subsequent convictions for failure to register. However,
it conceded Mr. Gunsch "appears to meet the statutory
requirements for termination of his duty to register as a sex
offender pursuant to W.S. § 7-19-304(a)(i)."
The district court entered its "Order Terminating Duty
to Register" on July 13, 2018, finding Mr. Gunsch
"meets all statutory requirements set forth in Wyoming
Statute § 7-19-304(a)(i) and (d), and, therefore, is
eligible for relief under the same." Ten days later, the
State filed a W.R.C.P. Rule 60 motion alleging Mr. Gunsch was
not eligible for relief from the duty to register because he
was convicted of incest as an adult and not "adjudicated
as a delinquent." Based on this mistake, the State asked
the district court to vacate its "Order Terminating Duty
to Register" and deny the Petition for Termination of
Duty to Register.
The district court granted the motion and entered the Order
that is the subject of this appeal ("Order Granting
State's W.R.C.P. 60 Motion for Relief from Order
Terminating Duty to Register"). It found that Mr. Gunsch
was not statutorily eligible for termination because he was
"not adjudicated as [a] delinquent for a violation of
that statute; rather, he was convicted [of incest] as an
adult." The court concluded it "had no subject
matter jurisdiction, and it was error on ...