Compact Online Reference Encyclopedia (CORE)

Looking for information on a specific topic, training, rule, or process? Through one search here, you can find the information you need from ICAOS’ white papersadvisory opinionstraining modulesrules and the bench book. All results are cross-referenced with links to make navigation easy and intuitive.

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Because Compacts are statutes and contracts, courts interpret interstate Compacts in the same manner as interpreting ordinary statutes and by applying contract law principles. PRACTICE NOTE: No court has explained when to apply statutory construction…
Where state law and a Compact conflict, courts are required under the Supremacy Clause (for Compacts with consent) and as a matter of contract law to apply the terms and conditions of the Compact to a given case. The fact that a judge may not like the…
Special Considerations for Litigation Involving Interstate Commissions
In Texas v. New Mexico, the Supreme Court sustained exceptions to a Special Master’s recommendation to enlarge the Pecos River Compact Commission, holding that one consequence of a Compact becoming “a law of the United States” is that “no court may order…
The Eleventh Amendment guarantees state sovereign immunity from suit in federal court. The Eleventh Amendment ensures that states retain certain attributes of sovereignty, including sovereign immunity. Hans v. Louisiana, 134 U.S. 1, 13 (1890). Over the…
Some Compacts authorize the interstate commission to seek judicial action to enforce the Compact against a party state. Article XII.C of the ICAOS is a good example. See Interstate Comm’n for Adult Offender Supervision v. Tennessee Bd. of Prob. &…
For additional information on interstate Compact law and interstate Compacts generally, see MICHAEL L. BUENGER, JEFFREY B. LITWAK, MICHAEL H. MCCABE & RICHARD L. MASTERS,, THE EVOLVING LAW AND USE OF INTERSTATE COMPACTS 2d ed. (ABA Publ’g 2016) and…
In 1934, Congress authorized the creation of interstate Compacts on crime control, which led to the 1937 Interstate Compact for the Supervision of Parolees and Probationers. Also referred to as the Interstate Compact for Probation and Parole or the…
The intent of the ICAOS is not to dictate judicial sentencing or place restrictions on the court’s discretion relative to sentencing. See Scott v. Virginia, 676 S.E.2d 343, 347 (Va. App. 2009). The ICAOS contains no provisions directing judges on…
As a general proposition, convicted persons enjoy no right to interstate travel or a constitutionally protected interest to supervision in another state. See Jones v. Helms, 452 U.S. 412, 418-20 (1981); Griffin v. Wisconsin, 483 U.S. 868, 874 (1987); U.S…
The ICAOS was written to address problems and complaints with the ICPP. Chief among the problems and complaints were: Lack of state compliance with the terms and conditions of the ICPP; Enforceability of its rules given there was no enforcement mechanism…
Against this backdrop, concerned parties proposed a new Compact to the states. Defined in Article I, the purpose of the Compact provided: [T]he framework for the promotion of public safety and protect the rights of victims through the control and…
As previously discussed, the ICAOS received advanced congressional consent pursuant to 4 U.S.C. § 112 (2004). Accordingly, the agreement created a Compact that must be construed as federal law enforceable on member states through the Supremacy Clause and…
Like any other interstate Compact, the ICAOS inaugurated when state legislatures passed similar statutes enacting the provisions of the agreement. In the case of the ICAOS, the threshold requirement for activation of the Compact was adoption of the…
As discussed, offenders have no constitutional travel rights and states have no constitutional obligations to open their doors to offenders from other states. Thus, ICAOS is the only mechanism by which states can regulate the interstate movement of adult…
The following are key features of the ICAOS: The creation of a formal Interstate Commission comprised of Commissioners representing each of the member states and vested with full voting rights, the exercise of which is binding on the respective state.…
The following definitions should be of particular interest to judicial authorities: Adult – means both individuals legally classified as adults and juveniles treated as adults by court order, statute, or operation of law. Compact Administrator – means…
The ICAOS creates an Interstate Commission to oversee the operations of the Compact nationally, enforce its provisions on the member states, and resolve any disputes that may arise between the states. The Commission is comprised of one voting…
The powers of the Commission appear in Article V of the ICAOS. Among its primary powers, the Commission: Promulgates rules, which are binding on the states and have the force and effect of statutory law within each member state; Oversees, supervises, and…
Of the powers of the Commission, none is more unique and all encompassing than its rulemaking authority. The rules promulgated by the Commission have the force and effect of statutory law within member states and therefore must be given full effect by all…
One of the key features of ICAOS is the Commission’s enforcement tools to promote state compliance with the Compact. The tools provided to the Commission are not directed at compelling offender compliance; such compliance is a matter for the member states…
The Commission possesses significant enforcement authority against states deemed in default of their obligations under the Compact. The decision to impose a penalty for noncompliance rests with the Commission as a whole or its executive committee acting…
The Commission can initiate judicial enforcement by filing a complaint or petition in the appropriate U.S. district court. A member state that loses in any such litigation is required to reimburse the Commission for the costs incurred in prosecuting or…
States are bound to the Commission’s rules under the terms of the Compact. The rules adopted by the Commission have the force and effect of statutory law and all courts and executive agencies shall take all necessary measures to enforce their application…
Overview The legal environment for Compacts involves an amalgamation of Compact texts and case law from federal and state courts throughout the country. Because there are relatively few court decisions establishing legal principles in any particular court…
Interstate Compacts are binding on signatory states, meaning once a state legislature adopts a Compact, it binds all agencies, state officials and citizens to the terms of that Compact. Since the very first Compact case, the U.S. Supreme Court has…
Beginning with the Articles of Confederation, states used Compacts to settle boundary disputes. In 1918, Oregon and Washington enacted the first Compact solely devoted to joint supervision of an interstate resource (fishing on the Columbia River). Three…
Understanding the legal nature of an interstate Compact begins with this basic point: interstate Compacts are formal agreements between states that exist simultaneously as both (1) statutory law, and (2) contracts between states. The contractual nature…
An interstate Compact is not a “uniform law” as typically construed and applied. Unlike interstate Compacts, uniform laws are not contracts; a state adopting an interstate Compact may not select provisions of an interstate Compact to adopt; and, a state…
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