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Case Law Summary

Sex Offender Registration and Notification in the United States
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July 2023

The Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) tracks state and federal case law about sex offender registration and notification. This summary is current through July 2023 and addresses the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA),[1] including SORNA’s requirements, and provides information about case law impacting state and federal sex offender registration and notification laws across the country. It is provided as an overview and identifies areas of law that impact sex offender registration and notification and that have been subject to litigation.

Section I of this overview summarizes the requirements under SORNA, including who is required to register, what registration requires, where registration is required, and when registration is required. Section I also covers public registry website requirements and community notification, registration in Indian Country, and federal incarceration. This section also covers reduction of registration periods and failure to register.

Section II of this overview summarizes locally enacted sex offender requirements, including residency restrictions, employment restrictions, and risk assessment practices.

Section III summarizes legal challenges, including challenges under the U.S. and state constitutions, and under federal and state law.

Disclaimer: This summary is for informational purposes and is not intended to provide legal advice to any individual or entity. The U.S. Department of Justice makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of this summary nor is this information intended to provide legal advice or purport to represent the legal position and/or argument(s) of the U.S. Department of Justice on these cases, or any related matter. The U.S. Department of Justice expressly disclaims liability for any errors and omissions in the contents of this summary. Practitioners are advised to conduct their own research to confirm that they are using the most current information available and applicable in their jurisdiction.

Further Information

For any additional information or clarification, contact the SMART Office at [email protected].