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Woe v Spitzer

8-4-2008 New York:

Woe v Spitzer
571 F.Supp.2d 382 (2008)

The court held:

This is a civil rights action in which Plaintiff, referred to herein only by the pseudonym, "Alan Woe" ("Plaintiff") alleges a deprivation of his right to due process of law as guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Plaintiff seeks to have this court hold a provision of the New York State Sex Offender Registration Act of 1995, codified at Section 168-h(1) of the New York State Correction Law ("SORA"), unconstitutional.1 Presently before the court is Defendants' motion, pursuant to Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, to dismiss the complaint. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted and the complaint is dismissed.

The relevant facts supporting Plaintiff's claim are not in dispute and are set forth below.

Plaintiff is a designated sex offender pursuant to the terms of SORA. At the time of his designation, Plaintiff was required to register as a sex offender with law enforcement authorities for a period often years. That period began as of the date of enactment of SORA, January 21, 1996. Three days before the ten year period was set to expire, SORA was amended to provide for a twenty year period of registration for sex offenders classified within Plaintiff's category of risk. Thus, instead of Plaintiffs registration period expiring on January 21, 2006, it is now set to expire on January 21, 2016.

Plaintiff does not challenge the Constitutionality of SORA as a whole. Instead, this action is limited to the claim that the statutory amendment extending the registration period from ten to twenty years has deprived Plaintiff of his right to procedural due process as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Specifically, Plaintiff argues that the newly amended statutory scheme deprives him of the procedural right to petition for relief from the twenty year registration requirement.

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