United States v. Mattix

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 09-17-2012
  • Case #: 12-30013
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam; Circuit Judges B. Fletcher and Pregerson; District Judge Marshall
  • Full Text Opinion

Under United States v. Valverde , 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a) applies retroactively to a sex offender who fails to register after August 1, 2008.

Mattix, a convicted sex offender, moved from Oregon to Nevada in 2010 but failed to notify Oregon or register in Nevada. He was then convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a), which is part of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act ("SORNA"), for failure to register as a sex offender. The district court denied his motion to dismiss the indictment because it reasoned that, under United States v. Valverde, “SORNA’S registration requirements became effective on August 1, 2008 for persons who were convicted of sex offenses prior to SORNA’S enactment.” Mattix appealed, and the Ninth Circuit reviewed the case de novo. The Ninth Circuit noted, (1) the Valverde court made clear that it was addressing the broad issue of when SORNA became retroactive, (2) the Valverde court “expressly concluded that SORNA “bec[a]me effective against pre-enactment offenders . . . [on] August 1, 2008…,” (3) that all of the holding in Valverde is binding law in the Ninth Circuit, and (4) that other panels within the Ninth Circuit had relied on Valverde’s holding. The Ninth Circuit held that under Valverde, “SORNA applied retroactively to Mattix at the time he failed to register as a sex offender.”

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