Cornelio v. Connecticut, No. 20-4106 (2d Cir. 2022)
Nature of Case: Plaintiff, an individual required to register under Connecticut’s sex offense registration law, brought an action against the State of Connecticut, the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP), and police officers asserting claims under § 1983 arising from state laws requiring that he notify the DESPP when he created a new email address, instant messenger address, or other internet communication identifier and requiring that he verify his residential address every 90 days or on a quarterly basis. The district court for the District of Connecticut dismissed the action. Plaintiff appealed.
Holding: The Second Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the district court. The Second Circuit reversed the dismissal of Plaintiff’s First Amendment claim, concluding that (1) the statutory disclosure requirement for Internet communication identifiers burdened protected speech under the First Amendment, triggering strict scrutiny, (2) the State’s asserted governmental interest in such disclosure requirement was too speculative to support dismissal of the First Amendment claim, and (3) the Plaintiff plausibly alleged that the disclosure requirement was overbroad in violation of the First Amendment.
After reversing the dismissal of the First Amendment claim, the Court affirmed the district court’s dismissal of Plaintiff’s Ex Post Facto and malicious prosecution claims, and remanded to the district court for further proceedings.