Nolan v. Cuomo

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Civil Rights

New York Law Journal

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Judge Denis Hurley

Convicted of third-degree attempted rape in 1998, Nolan was imprisoned and designated a sex offender under New York's Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA). In 1999 he was classed a Level II sex offender. Under SORA, he was required to register annually with the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) for 10 years. Amendments to SORA in 2006 required Level II offenders to register with DCJS "annually for life" but also permitted them—but not Level Î offenders—to seek relief from the duty to register. In 2009, based on the 2006 amendments to SORA and a 2008 ruling in Woe v. Spitzer, Nolan sought "declassification." Declassification was denied but the judge modified Nolan's risk level to Level I. District court dismissed Nolan's civil rights suit. In addition to barring claims against New York, the Eleventh Amendment barred Nolan's damages claims against the governor, the DCJS commissioner and the prosecutor, officially. Further, the prosecutor was immune from liability for a §1983 suit based on prosecutorial actions intimately related to the judicial phase of the criminal process. Such was the prosecutor's opposition to Nolan's bid for "declassification" as Level II sex offender.

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