The Second Department, upon remittal from the Court of Appeals, adhered to its prior decision finding defendant’s certification as a sex offender unlawful. The Court of Appeals ruled that sex-offender certification is not part of a sentence and therefore is not covered by an exception to the preservation requirement. But, because the Appellate Division, unlike the Court of Appeal, has “interest-of-justice” jurisdiction, the prior decision was upheld in the interest of justice by the Second Department, despite the lack of preservation:
In an opinion dated November 23, 2021, the Court of Appeals concluded that sex offender certification is not part of a defendant’s sentence, and thus, a contention regarding sex offender certification does not fall within the exception to the preservation rule for challenges to unlawful sentences … . However, the Court of Appeals noted that although it does not have interest-of-justice jurisdiction to review unpreserved issues, the “Appellate Division may have authority to take corrective action in the interest of justice based upon defendant’s unpreserved challenge to the legality of his certification as a sex offender” … . Accordingly, the Court of Appeals remitted the matter to this Court for further proceedings … .
We now reach the defendant’s unpreserved contention in the exercise of our interest of justice jurisdiction (see CPL 470.15[c]; [a]). For the reasons stated in our prior opinion and order, the defendant’s certification as a sex offender was unlawful … .People v Buyund, 2022 NY Slip Op 03004, Second Dept 5-4-22
Practice Point: The Court of Appeals does not have interest-of-justice jurisdiction and therefore cannot consider appellate issues that are not preserved. The Appellate Division, however, can invoke interest-of-justice jurisdiction to consider unpreserved appellate issues.