Noe v. SORB, 102 N.E.3d 409 (Mass. 2018)
Nature of Case: Petitioner sought reclassification by Massachusett’s Sex Offender Review Board. Petitioner had been convicted of non-contact offenses in 1990 and 2004 and was classified as a Level 3 sex offender. Petitioner sought review and downward reclassification by SORB, which was denied on the basis that he had failed to prove reclassification was warranted by clear and convincing evidence. Petitioner then sought judicial review. Trial court found that placing burden of proof on petitioner in reclassification proceeding violated procedural due process and SORB appealed.
Holding: Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held that SORB procedures violated the Petitioner’s Procedural Due Process rights. At reclassification, burden of production was with the individual who sought reclassification, but that burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence that current classification is correct must be with the government.