United States v. Clements

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 08-22-2011
  • Case #: 09-10034
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam; Circuit Judges Rawlinson and Bea; Dissent by Circuit Judge O’Scannlain
  • Full Text Opinion

For persons convicted of sex offenses prior to the Sex Offender Registration Notification Act, the registration requirements were not effective until August 1, 2008.

Clements appeals his conviction for failing to register as a sex offender as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). SORNA was established under Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. Under SORNA, a sex offender has three business days to register his or her location after release from prison, moving to a new residence, gaining new employment or entering a new school. The criminal penalties under SORNA, however, do not apply to offender’s whose interstate travel occurred prior to the effective date of SORNA. Clements was convicted on June 3, 1998. SORNA was not enacted until July 27, 2006. On February 28, 2007, the Attorney General attempted, through an interim regulation, to apply the registration requirements of SORNA retroactively for some offenses. On appeal, Clements challenges the interim regulations’ legality for failure to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The Ninth Circuit held that for persons convicted of sex offenses prior to SORNA’s enactment, the registration requirements did not become effective until August 1, 2008 because the Attorney General failed to comply with the APA. REVERSED and REMANDED.

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