The First Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the SORA court should not have reopened the SORA risk-level hearing to amend its prior risk-level ruling. The criteria for a motion to renew were not met and the other justifications for re-opening the hearing were not applicable:
… [T]here are three ways in which a court could amend its SORA determination…. First, a party may move for leave to renew. A court may grant a motion for leave to renew only where (1) the motion alleges new facts and (2) the movant provides reasonable justification for not offering those facts in the original proceedings (CPLR 2221[e], ; …). The court has discretion to determine what constitutes a reasonable justification … and to relax the requirements of CPLR 2221(e) in the interest of justice … . * * *
Second, a court has an inherent authority to reopen a hearing “to correct its own order to rectify a mistake of law or fact” on a SORA decision … . This inherent authority stems from the “overriding purposes and objectives of SORA” to, inter alia, “protect  vulnerable populations and . . . the public from potential harm” …. .
Here, the motion court could not have acted based on its inherent authority because the motion court did not make a mistake in its initial decision … . * * *
Third, a new hearing can be ordered to give the People an opportunity to make an application for an upward modification where the People refrained from making that argument when the motion court assessed points which resulted in the defendant being assigned presumptively to the level sought by the People … . * * *
Here, the motion court properly gave the People time to respond to defendant’s assertions and the People chose to introduce the new materials only belatedly. People v Adams, 2023 NY Slip Op 04490, First Dept 9-7-23
Practice Point: The three ways a SORA motion court can amend a risk-level determination are described in detail. None were applicable here.