D.C. resident John Doe was convicted in Virginia of simple possession of child pornography, a crime that does not require registration on the D.C. sex offender registry (“Megan’s List”). But his parole officer advised him to register, and the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA) registered him by listing him as having been convicted of a more serious crime. We filed a statutory review proceeding in D.C. Superior Court, and after CSOSA conceded these facts the court ordered Doe removed from the registry. Simultaneously, we filed a lawsuit seeking damages for Doe’s wrongful posting to the Internet as a sex offender and challenging a federal sex offender registration statute that CSOSA identified as an alternative basis for registering Doe. Had this second suit proceeded, we would have argued that the federal statute is unconstitutional because it exceeds Congress’ authority to regulate interstate commerce. After our victory in Superior Court, however, CSOSA elected not to re-register Doe, which mooted the constitutional challenge.  We settled the damages claim in January 2010.

Date filed

June 29, 2009