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Sex Offender Registration and Notification: Case Law Summary, January 2008-July 2009

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2009
23 pages
Case law relevant to sex offender registration and notification is summarized for court decisions made between January 2008 and July 2009.
Case law that pertains to sex offender registration addresses convictions that trigger registration, an out-of-state conviction, the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) and the requirement to register, and subsequent amendments to the registration statute. Another section of this report addresses case law that pertains only to the registration of a juvenile as a sex offender. A third major section of this report addresses court decisions that have dealt with constitutional issues in the crafting and application of laws related to sex offender registration and notification. The constitutional issues addressed in court decisions included ex-post-facto application of such laws to persons convicted of sex offenses prior to the enactment of sex offender registration and notification legislation. Other constitutional issues addressed by courts related to double jeopardy, procedural due process, substantive due process, ineffective assistance of counsel, and trial by jury. A fourth major section of the report focuses on the identifying items of a sex offender required in registration, with a focus on DNA and Internet identifiers. Other major topics involved in court decisions relevant to sex offender registration and notification are community notification (posting on a public registry website and challenges to notification); failure to register (continuing offense, "knowing," multiplicity, notice, strict liability, sufficiency, and trial issues); and "miscellaneous" (federal housing, governing law, habeas corpus, homeless offenders, immigration, offenses based on registration status, removal of information from the registry, residency restrictions, and transient offenders).

Date Published: September 1, 2009