Thomas v. Blocker, No. 19-1774 (3rd Cir. 2020)
Nature of Case: Appellant was convicted of sex offenses in Pennsylvania in 1991 and received a custodial sentence. When he was released in 2018, Pennsylvania authorities told him that he would be required to register as a sex offender. Appellant objected to this and ultimately brought a lawsuit challenging this requirement, as his offenses predated Pennsylvania’s sex offense registry acts and state law held that retroactive application was unconstitutional. Appellant sought a preliminary injunction in the suit, which was denied. Appellant then sought review of that denial.
Holding: 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of the request for a preliminary injunction. The Court held that because federal law imposed an independent duty to register on him, the fact that he had not engaged in interstate travel and had committed a state offense notwithstanding. This federal duty mandated that he register in Pennsylvania, even if he would not have been required to do so under state law.
- 3rd Circuit Opinion | view via Google Scholar
- Appellant’s Brief
- Appellee’s Brief
- Reply Brief
- District Court R&R