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United States District Court Rules in Favor of Plantiff in Due Process Case

Registered sex offenders face significant restrictions in their daily lives. See, e.g., N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-208.18(a)(3) (preventing registered sex offenders from going to libraries, arcades, amusement parks, recreation parks, and swimming pools). Failure to register when required to by law is a felony, and there is no procedure enabling sex offenders to challenge the registration determination. Id. § 14-208.l l(a). Sex offenders are also subject to reporting requirements and random visitation by law enforcement. Id. §§ 14-208.9A, 14-208.14. The minimum registration period is ten years, but the standard period is thirty years. Id. § 14-208.12A.

In October 2017, after registering as a sex offender, plaintiff filed this lawsuit. [DE 1]. Plaintiff argues that the mechanism through which North Carolina places those convicted of out-of-state sex offenses on the sex offender registry violates his procedural due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. Id. ifif 60-66. Plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief. [DE 1, p. 15-16]. In May 2018, this Court denied defendants’ motion to dismiss. [DE 30]. In response, both plaintiff and defendants moved for summary judgment. [DE 32, 34].

In sum, plaintiff has standing to bring his claims, none of which are moot, and defendants are not entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity. Plaintiff is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law that his procedural due process rights are being violated, given that he is not afforded either notice or the opportunity to be heard prior to the determination that he must register as a sex offender. For the above reasons, defendants’ motion for summary judgment [DE 34] is DENIED and plaintiffs motion for summary judgment [DE 32] is GRANTED.

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