North Carolina v. Fuller, No. 2021-NCSC-20 (N.C. 2021)
Nature of Case: The defendant was convicted of the state law offense of secret peeping, and the trial court ordered that he register as a sex offender. Under North Carolina law, there are a number of offenses that automatically required registration, but secret peeping required registration only if the court finds that an individual presents a danger to the community.
The trial court found that the defendant did present such a danger and ordered his registration. The defendant thereafter appealed to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the order, and then sought review from the state Supreme Court.
Holding: The North Carolina Supreme Court affirmed both the trial court order and the Court of Appeals decision. The Court noted that the phrase “danger to the community” was not defined by statute, and so the Court undertook its own analysis and concluded that the trial court appropriately determined that the defendant presented such a danger and that the order requiring him to register was not in error.