State v. Brown, No. A-39-19 (N.J. 2021)
Nature of Case: Appellees were individuals who were required to register under New Jersey law. Subsequent to that requirement, New Jersey lawmakers increased the penalties for failing to register under Megan’s Law. Both the Appellees were subsequently arrested and charged with failing to register, and both succeeded in arguing that to impose the enhanced requirements on them would violate state and federal prohibitions against ex post facto punishments. The New Jersey Supreme Court accepted review.
Holding: The New Jersey Supreme Court held that because Megan’s Law is administrative and non-penal in nature, and because failing to comply with it was a new crime, the enhanced penalties for failing to register could be applied retroactively without implicating ex post facto concerns.