No. 108,784 No. 108,785 No. 108,786 No. 108,787 No. 108,799 No. 108,800 No. 108,803 No. 108,900 No. 108,901 No. 109,398 No. 109,431 No. 109,453 No. 109,498
Michael P. Whalen, of Law Office of Michael P. Whalen, of Wichita, was on the briefs for appellants. Lance J. Gillett, assistant district attorney, Marc Bennett, district attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, were on the brief for appellee.
NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION MEMORANDUM OPINION Review of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in an unpublished opinion filed October 24, 2014. Appeal from Sedgwick District Court; ERIC A. COMMER, judge. Opinion filed June 2, 2017. Judgment of the Court of Appeals is affirmed. Judgment of the district court is affirmed. Michael P. Whalen, of Law Office of Michael P. Whalen, of Wichita, was on the briefs for appellants. Lance J. Gillett, assistant district attorney, Marc Bennett, district attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, were on the brief for appellee.
Per Curiam: This appeal consists of 13 consolidated cases. The defendants argue the lower courts erred in determining that subject matter jurisdiction was lacking to consider their motions challenging retroactive application of the 2011 amendments to the Kansas Offender Registration Act (KORA), K.S.A. 22-4901 et seq. Although the defendants' sentences were final when they filed their motions, on appeal they maintain jurisdiction existed pursuant to the courts' authority to correct illegal sentences under K.S.A. 22-3504. The Court of Appeals affirmed. See State v. Askew, No. 108,784, 2014 WL 5609657, at *1 (Kan. App. 2014) (unpublished opinion) ("Because we determine that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to consider the merits of the defendants' claims, we dismiss this appeal."). We granted review.
In State v. Wood, No. 111,243, 2017 WL 1807396 (Kan. 2017), and State v. Reese, No. 110,021, 2017 WL 1806482 (Kan. 2017), this court recently rejected arguments identical to those presented here as grounds for reversing the district courts' dismissal of nearly identical motions raising constitutional objections to KORA's retroactive application. We held that the definition of an illegal sentence does not include a claim that a criminal sentence violates a constitutional provision, so a defendant may not file a motion to correct an illegal sentence based on constitutional challenges to his or her sentence. Wood, 2017 WL 1807396, at *2; Reese, 2017 WL 1806482, at *2. And discerning no meritorious, nonconstitutional challenges to the registration requirements in the Wood and Reese defendants' motions, we concluded that while the district courts had jurisdiction to entertain the motions to correct illegal sentences, the courts were right for the wrong reason because the defendants were not entitled to relief. Wood, 2017 WL 1807396, at *2; Reese, 2017 WL 1806482, at *2. The holdings from Wood and Reese are equally applicable in these consolidated cases.
We hold that the lower courts had jurisdiction to hear and consider defendants' motions as motions to correct illegal sentences made pursuant to K.S.A. 22-3504. But the motions advanced no meritorious arguments demonstrating the challenged sentences were illegal, so the claims fail on the merits. See State v. Williams, 303 Kan. 585, 595, 363 P.3d 1101 (2016) (affirming judgment as right for the wrong reason).
STEGALL, J., not participating.
REPORTER'S NOTE: Senior Judge Malone was appointed to hear case Nos. 108,784 et seq., vice Justice Stegall under the authority vested in the Supreme Court by K.S.A. 20-2616.