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Doe -v- Shurtleff

10-26-2010 Utah:

Doe -v- Shurtleff
No. 09-4162.

10-26-2010 ORDER -and- 12-1-2010 ORDER

District Ct Order 8-20-2009

District Ct Decision 9-25-2008

In this case John Doe, a registered sex offender living in the state of Utah, appeals the district court's decision to allow enforcement of a Utah statute requiring all sex offenders living in Utah to register their "internet identifiers" and the corresponding websites with the state. We now uphold that decision based on our conclusion that the statute does not violate the First or Fourth Amendments or the Ex-Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution, made applicable to Utah through the Fourteenth Amendment.

BACKGROUND
Appellant, proceeding anonymously as Mr. John Doe, was convicted by the United States military court system of sex offenses involving a minor and sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment. After serving thirteen months of this sentence, Mr. Doe was released without being placed on probation or supervised release. However, as a resident of Utah and a convicted sex offender, Mr. Doe was still required to register with the Utah Department of Corrections, pursuant to Utah Code Ann. § 77-27-21.5 (West 2008). Among its many provisions, this registry law required Mr. Doe to provide all "Internet identifiers1 and the addresses [he] uses for routing or self-identification in Internet communications or postings." Id. § 77-27-21.5(14)(i).2 The statute also required that Mr. Doe provide "all online identifiers and passwords used to access" websites where he was using an online identifier, with the exception of identifiers used for employment or financial accounts. Id. § 77-27-21.5(12)(j) & (29).

Believing that these requirements violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights as well as the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution, Mr. Doe refused to provide the requested information and brought a lawsuit challenging the law. Upon Mr. Doe's motion for summary judgment, the district court invalidated the statute based on its conclusion that the statute, which provided "no restrictions on how the [State] c[ould] use or disseminate registrants' internet information," improperly infringed on Mr. Doe's First Amendment right to anonymous speech. (Appellant's App. at 208.) Shortly after this ruling, the Utah legislature amended the statute. First, the legislature removed any requirement that offenders disclose their passwords, and second, it placed some limits on how a state official can use identifiers provided by an offender. Specifically, the statute now3 provides that

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( Doe v Shurtleff at. el., 2010 WL 4188248 (U.S. Dist Court, the District of Utah 2008) (C.A.10 (Dec. 1, 2010), decision was appealed to the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS). SCOTUS denied the Pet. for Cert. on March 7, 2011.



Article: The 10th Cir Court of Appeals issues decision on "Internet anonymous free speech" of Utah's sex offenders
UPDATE 3-10-2011: Many thanks to the reader for this important update: "The Doe v Shurtleff at. el., 2010 WL 4188248 (C.A.10 (Dec. 1, 2010), decision was appealed to the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS). SCOTUS denied the Pet. for Cert. on March 7, 2011. This does not mean that SCOTUS did agreed with the Tenth Circuit, it just means they will not hear the case. They are well aware that the White v. Baker decision out of Georgia says it is unconstitutional. There is a preliminary injunction in Doe v. Nebraska as well on this issue. A new lawsuit was filed in Feb. 2011 against New York's E-STOP as well."

From Wikipedia: Doe v. Shurtleff

From Jonathan D. Frieden: Law Requiring Convicted Sex Offender to Disclose All Internet Identities is Constitutional (Excellent Explanation by Lawyer)

See Also: Six Myths Why We Can't Manage Sex Offender's Computer/Internet Use

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