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IN: No Registration for Registrants From Other States If Their Crime Wouldn’t Require it in Indiana

Appeal from the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division.
No. 1:16-cv-02865-RLY-TAB — Richard L. Young, Judge.
Before ROVNER, WOOD, and ST. EVE, Circuit Judges.
ROVNER, Circuit Judge. Sex offender registration and notification
laws have a unique place at the intersection of criminal
and civil law. These civil laws impose cumbersome and
often lifelong burdens on former criminal perpetrators, many
of whom have finished all forms of imprisonment and post-imprisonment
supervision. For this reason, they are frequently
challenged as unconstitutional. In this case, the plaintiffs
have challenged Indiana’s Sex Offender Registration
Act (SORA) as it applies to offenders who have relocated
to Indiana from other states after the enactment of SORA, and
who are forced to register under the law, but would not have
been required to do so had they committed their crimes as
residents of Indiana prior to the enactment of the relevant
portions of SORA and maintained citizenship there. The district
court found the registration requirements to be unconstitutional,
and we uphold the district court’s finding that this
application of SORA violates the plaintiffs’ right to travel.

Download a PDF of the decision

Hope vs. Indiana Comm. DOC in United States Court of Appeals


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So what is the effective date of Indiana’s SORA law ?

This is fantastic! This seems like it would nullify all the SOR provisions in so many states that say “if you are moving my from out of state, you must follow the registry requirements in the state in which you were originally convicted.” This has kept me from moving from states where my offense would be a 10 year registration offense, or not public at all, because my state, Michigan, makes it a mandatory 25 year registration term and, in my limited research, most states default to using the more onerous requirement. Right now this presumably just applies to Indiana, but it seems like it’s grounds to challenge these provisions in other states as well.

I have a 1990 crime from florida. i moved to indiana in 2009 and was not required to register, then moved out of state. I moved back to indiana in 2015 and have been required to register ever since. does the Hope decision mean that i should be removed from indiana’s registry? if so, how do i go about being removed?


Consult an Indiana atty or maybe ask the National Office for a referral to an Indiana atty who could help.

according to the indiana department of corrections website the department has been ordered to remove all registrants who fit the criteria listed in the Hope case. however, they refuse to remove me even tho i fit all the criteria. finding a pro bono attorney has been an exercise in futility. none of the suggestions made by ACSOL have panned out. anyone know of an attorney/organization who would help me?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x