U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Sex Offender Registration Act Amendments
Ex Post Facto — Regulatory in Nature
Doe v. Cuomo
Judges Leval, Hall and Lohier
Background: The plaintiff appealed from summary judgment in favor of the defendants dismissing his as-applied constitutional challenge to the enforcement amendments to the notification and registration requirements of the New York State Sex Offender Registration Act. The amendments post-dated the plaintiff’s plea of guilty to misdemeanor attempted possession of a sexual performance by a child, which classified him as a level-one sex offender.
Ruling: The Second Circuit affirmed. The court held that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that the amendments were punitive rather than regulatory. Specifically, the notification provisions were related to the offender’s perceived risk of re-offense, regulated public access to and limitations on the dissemination of a registrant’s information, and protected against misuse of that information.
Zachary A. Margulis-Ohnuma for the plaintiff-appellant; Valerie Figueredo, assistant Solicitor General, for the defendants-appellees