This case challenges the registration requirement for those sex offenders who completed their sentence before the registry went into effect.  In this case, the ACLU-NH has argued, among other things, that the law violates the Ex Post Facto Clause of the New Hampshire Constitution clause because it inflicts a punishment after the completion of the sentence.  Doe’s Petition for Declaratory Relief is here.

On June 13, 2013, the Superior Court granted the State’s motion for summary judgment, concluding that the registration requirement did not violate the Ex Post Facto Clause because it was more regulatory in purpose than punitive in purpose.

The ACLU-NH appealed this decision to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.  Our briefs before the Supreme Court can be found here and here.

On February 12, 2015, the New Hampshire Supreme Court sided with the ACLU-NH and held that New Hampshire’s law requiring the registration of certain criminal offenders is unconstitutional as applied to our client because the law retroactively imposes lifetime restrictions on individuals who were convicted before these lifetime restrictions were enacted.  In short, the Court held that the law's retroactive, lifetime registration requirements were “punitive in effect” and therefore unconstitutional as applied to our client.  The New Hampshire Supreme Court decision is here.

Attorney(s)

William Chapman of Orr and Reno, P.A.

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Orr and Reno, P.A.

Date filed

June 13, 2013

Court

New Hampshire Supreme Court

Status

Decided

Case number

No. 2013-0496

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