On June 24, 2008, several sex offender plaintiffs brought an action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada against several state defendants under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, alleged violation of several constitutional protections. Speficially plaintiffs' argued that new sex offender laws could not be applied retroactively, and that they resulted in excessive punishments to plaintiffs, thus seeking injunctive relief and declaratory judgment against the new state laws.
On June 30, 2008, the District Court (Hon. James C. Mahan) denied a temporary restraining order but granted a preliminary injunction, postponing the enforcement of the new sex offender laws against plaintiffs. After obtaining the preliminary injunction, the plaintiffs amended their complaint to include new parties and a jury demand against all defendants, and to remove Washoe County and all law enforcement defendants. The Court also denied third parties' motions to intervene and a motion to file an amicus curiae brief, holding that no new legal issues were being presented and that affected persons were being adequately represented.
On October 7, 2008, the Court held that because the retroactive application of the laws meant imposing a new punishment for an old crime, it violated the Ex Post Facto, Double Jeopardy, and Contracts clauses, and that because there was no procedural safeguard for the plaintiffs, it also violated the Due Process clause. Thus, the Court granted plaintiffs' revised order requesting permanent injunction against enforcing Nevada's new sex offender laws. In January of 2009, the Court also granted plaintiffs' motion for attorney fees in the amount of $145,823.50. The defendants appealed the District Court's decision, and requested that the court stay the order of attorney fees pending appeal, though the Court denied the motion to stay.
On February 10, 2012, the Court of Appeals reversed the injunction against retroactive application of Nevada's New Sex Offender laws regarding recategorization of sex offenders, citing to previous 9th Circuit decisions holding that retroactive application of similar laws was constitutional. The Court of Appeals also dismissed as moot the defendants' appeal regarding the district court's injunction against retroactive application of new laws restricting movement and residency of sex offenders, basing their decision on the defendants' admission that such laws were not meant to be interpreted as retroactively applicable; the Court of Appeals ordered the parties to create consent decree to be signed by the District Court. The injunction against the movement and residency laws was to remain in force until such a decree was signed.
However, as of June 10, 2014, the parties did not submit a consent decree. Instead, the case has remained open, with the parties resolving the matter and the Court conducting status checks, and handling a new issue regarding the scope of the injunction on the movement and residency laws. Further, the Court of Appeals held that the outcome regarding movement and residence laws was considered a ruling for the plaintiffs, and thus affirmed the District Court's grant of attorney fees to the plaintiffs; however, the amount to be paid by defendants was later settled by the parties, though the amount was not indicated in the record.
As of June 22, 2014, the parties had not submitted a consent decree.Maurice Youkanna - 06/22/2014