Doe v. Rausch, No. 17-CV-00217 (E.D. Tenn. 2019)
Nature of Case: Doe was required to register due to offenses that he committed in 2006 in North Carolina. Subsequently, he moved to Tennessee and complied with Tennessee’s requirements for sex offense registration. In 2014, Tennessee law changed to remove the possibility that Doe could petition for removal from the registry after ten years. The 2014 change required that he comply with state SORA for life. Doe then brought a § 1983 lawsuit challenging the 2014 Amendment on an as-applied basis, on Ex Post Facto and Due Process grounds.
Holding: The District Court held that, while the Amendment did not violate Doe’s Due Process rights in light of prior Supreme Court precedent, it did violate Doe’s Ex Post Facto rights. The Amendment was punitive in effect as it applies to Plaintiff, and therefore cannot be applied in his case. The court granted summary judgment for Doe.