The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled Wednesday that Suffolk County’s decision to contract with a nonprofit to verify the home addresses of registered sex offenders did not violate Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

A unanimous panel of the appeals court upheld the district court’s ruling, which rejected claims from a convicted Level 1 sex offender, who argued that multiple visits from the group Parents for Megan’s Law were unconstitutional.

Judge Christopher F. Droney, however, said the arrangement was constitutional under the “special need doctrine,” a narrow exception to seizure rules, which generally require a court warrant or an objective basis for suspecting legal wrongdoing. Writing for the court, Droney said the check-ins advanced the government’s interest in reducing sex offender recidivism by improving the accuracy of the New York’s registries.

“We conclude that the district court correctly determined that the verification visits, which served a special need, were reasonable, even if they constituted seizures,” Droney wrote in a 29-page opinion.

Jones v. Suffolk and Parents for Megan’s Law 9-4-19

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Let's Spread Truth

Share this post!