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Bench Book - 3.7 Sex Offender Registration

Courts have generally upheld sex offender registration requirements for offenders whose supervision transfers under an interstate Compact so long as such registration requirements are not discriminatory. Thus, a receiving state may impose sex offender registration requirements on transferees so long as the requirements are the same as imposed on in-state offenders.

In Doe v. McVey, 381 F. Supp. 2d 443, 451 (E.D. Penn. 2005) aff’d sub nom. Doe v. Pennsylvania Bd. of Prob. & Parole, 513 F. 3d 95 (3d Cir. 2008), the court struck down the application of Pennsylvania’s “Megan’s Law” to an out-of-state offender. The court determined that under the law as applied, an in-state offender was entitled to a civil hearing to determine whether they were a “sexually violent predator” before required registration. An out-of-state offender seeking transfer of supervision was subject to the requirement of automatic registration without the corresponding hearing available to an in-state offender. The court found that, although protecting citizens from sex offenses was a legitimate state interest, subjecting one group of sex offenders to community notification without the same procedural safeguards accorded to other sex offenders, based solely on where the predicate offense was committed, was not rationally related to consistent protection from sex offenses. Thus, according to the court, Pennsylvania's Megan's Law violated the Equal Protection Clause.



Click terms below to reveal definitions used in this rule.

Sex Offender – means an adult placed under, or made subject to, supervision as the result of the commission of a criminal offense and released to the community under the jurisdiction of courts, paroling authorities, corrections, or other criminal justice agencies, and who is registered or required to register as a sex offender in the sending or is under sex offender terms and conditions in the sending state and who is required to request transfer of supervision under the provisions of the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision;