View decisions by the Federal Circuit States belong to.
Friday, September 26, 2014
Wallace -v- State
In this case ("Wallace"),1 nine individuals ("Plaintiffs") claim that New York State sex offender registration requirements and residency restrictions punish them retroactively for offenses they already committed and, thus, violate the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 9, Clause 3); and that similar residency restrictions under County and Town laws are not only unconstitutional, but preempted by state law. (Dkt. No. 5 ("Am. Compl.") ¶¶ 1-3.)
Plaintiffs also claim that, as a result of the County residency restrictions, they are, or have been, homeless and relegated to County-run trailers, subject to living conditions that infringe upon their Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection under the law. (Id. ¶¶ 45-46.)
Defendants—the State of New York (the "State")2; the County of Suffolk (the "County") and Susan Westergaard, in her official capacity on behalf of the Suffolk County Department of Social Services3 (the "County DSS") (collectively, the "County Defendants")4; Mark Epley, in his official capacity as Mayor on behalf of the Town of Southampton5 (the "Town")6; and Alexander Roberts, in his official capacity as Executive Director of Community Housing Innovations, Inc. ("CHI")—move the Court to dismiss the claims against them in the Wallace Complaint. (Dkt. Nos. 68-70; 79.)
For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants Defendants' motions in their entirety and dismisses the Wallace Complaint with prejudice, except Plaintiffs' state law preemption claims as to which the Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction and dismisses without prejudice.
Monday, September 22, 2014
Riley -v- NJ Parole Board
Sex offenders can not be subjected to punishments under newly created laws if they committed their offense and served their time before the legislation was passed, the state Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 decision Monday.
In 1986, George Riley was convicted of aggravated sexual assault on a minor and given a 20-year sentence. About six months after his release in 2009, when Riley was under no form of parole, the parole board said he would have to comply with the 2007 Sex Offender Monitoring Act meaning that he would have to wear an ankle bracelet form the rest of his life. He appealed the requirement of what he said was a new punishment constituting life time parole imposed after he had committed his act and after he served his prison term.
“A well established principle of ancient origin is that the Legislature cannot increase the punishment for a crime after it has been committed,” wrote Justice Barry Albin.
“Parole is a form of punishment under the constitution,” Albin wrote. “When applied to Riley, [the monitoring act] violates both the federal and state constitutional guarantees.”
The decision affirms an appeals court ruling that sided with Riley. The parole board argued that Riley should be subject to the ankle bracelet because the law mandated that someone in his risk category, which was determined to be high, must be subject to a monitoring bracelet.
Paille -v- Indiana
MUNCIE – A Muncie man convicted of sex crimes in Florida does not have to register locally as a sex offender, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
In a 3-0 ruling, the appeals court also ordered local authorities to dismiss two criminal charges pending against 44-year-old Michael Troy Paille that stemmed from his failure to register with the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.
In this month's decision, Judge Cale Bradford acknowledged that when Paille most recently was released from a Florida prison, in 2011, he was "required to register in Florida as a sex offender for at least 25 years."
However, because Paille's Florida crimes and convictions predated the 1994 enactment of Indiana's Sex Offender Registry Act, he is not required to register here, Bradford wrote. He noted a 2009 ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court that "the application of INSORA to crimes committed before INSORA's 1994 enactment was unconstitutional."
Thursday, September 11, 2014
USA -v- Brewer
Defendant appealed his conviction for failing to register as a sex offender under 18 U.S.C. 2250(a). In 2006, Congress enacted the Sex Offender Registration Notification Act (SORNA), 42 U.S.C. 16901-16991. In 2007, the Attorney General promulgated an Interim Rule that made registration requirements applicable to all pre-Act offenders without establishing a period for pre-promulgation notice and comment and bypassed the 30-day publication requirement.
Defendant argued that the Attorney General lacked good cause and thereby violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 551 et seq. The court joined the Third, Fifth, Sixth, and Ninth Circuits and found that the Attorney General's stated reasons for finding good cause to bypass the 30-day advance-publication and notice-and-comment requirements were insufficient.
Because the Attorney General lacked good cause to waive the procedural requirements of notice and comment when promulgating the Interim Rule, and this procedural error prejudiced defendant, SORNA did not apply to defendant in 2007. Therefore, his conviction for failing to register is invalid.
The court did not address defendant's remaining argument that SORNA violates the nondelegation doctrine.
The court reversed and remanded for the district court to vacate the conviction.