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Case Name Doe v. Nebraska CJ-NE-0001
Docket / Court 8:09-cv-00456 ( D. Neb. )
State/Territory Nebraska
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Case Summary
On December 16, 2009, several registered sex offenders residing in Nebraska brought suit against the State of Nebraska in the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to challenge the constitutionality of the Nebraska Sex Offender Registration Act. The state ... read more >
On December 16, 2009, several registered sex offenders residing in Nebraska brought suit against the State of Nebraska in the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to challenge the constitutionality of the Nebraska Sex Offender Registration Act. The state law banned individuals on the sex offender registry from accessing social media, criminalized their use of websites, and required consent to search. The plaintiffs claimed that this Act departed significantly from the previous sex offender registry and violated the U.S. and Nebraska Constitution:

1. by imposing retroactive criminal punishment for past acts;
2. by punishing a single offense twice;
3. by imposing a cruel and unusual punishment;
4. by permitting a continuous and unreasonable search and seize by law enforcement;
5. by violating the right to due process;
6. by violating the right to equal protection of the law and constituting special legislation;
7. by violating the right to free speech;
8. by substantially impairing the contractual plea agreements entered into by some Plaintiffs; and
9. by violating the separation of powers mandated by the Nebraska Constitution.

The plaintiff sought declaratory relief and permanent injunction and demanded a jury trial. The case was initially assigned to Magistrate Judge David L. Piester, but was later reassigned to District Judge Richard G. Kopf, then to Magistrate Judge Zwart.

On December 30, 2009, the plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction. Judge Kopf mostly denied this motion, holding that the Nebraska statute did nothing more than what was permitted or required by the United States Congress. Nonetheless, he did grant part of the preliminary injunction: As applied to individuals who had been convicted of sex offenses but had completed the entirely of their sentences, Nebraska was temporarily prohibited from enforcing the consent to search requirement and the prohibition against use of social media websites accessible to minors. 2009 WL 5184328.

Meanwhile, the plaintiffs attempted to litigate the same claims in state court. On January 7, 2010, Judge Kopk requested that the courts of the State of Nebraska refrain from issuing any orders enjoining Nebraska’s Sex Offender Registration Act and related legislative bills while cases were pending. On March 15, 2010, the plaintiffs amended the complaint, adding plaintiffs. In April, both the defendants and plaintiffs moved for summary judgment.

On August 16, 2010, both the plaintiffs’ and defendant’s motion for summary judgment were denied in part and granted in part. The court held that the consent to search requirement and internet monitoring requirements violated the Fourth Amendment. However, the court held largely in the defendant's favor, finding that: (1) the in-person reporting, public disclosure, and “offense of conviction” methodology provisions did not violate the Ex Post Facto Clause and double jeopardy; (2) the registration and public notification requirements did not violate substantive due process; (3) the amendments were also not void for vagueness; (4) the act did not violate due process or free speech rights. 734 F.Supp.2d 882.

A period of discovery followed between 2010 and 2012. On April 19, 2011, the court approved in part and denied in part the plaintiffs’ motion to compel, holding legislative intent behind amendments was relevant, but that the plaintiffs' request for documents was overly broad. 788 F.Supp.2d 975.

Ultimately, the plaintiffs prevailed on October 17, 2012. Judge Kopf found that the statutes violated the First Amendment, the Due Process Clause, and the Ex Post Facto Clause. 898 F.Supp.2d 1086. The plaintiffs were awarded attorney fees of $292,564.88. 2012 WL 6681855.

The case is now closed.

Averyn Lee - 03/01/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Equal Protection
Ex Post Facto
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Sex offender regulation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) State of Nebraska
Plaintiff Description Registered sex offenders in residing in Nebraska
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Declaratory Judgment
Attorneys fees
Source of Relief Litigation
Filing Year 2009
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Doe v. Nebraska (D. Neb. 2012)
https://mitchellhamline.edu/sex-offense-litigation-policy/2017/08/22/doe-v-nebraska-2012/
Date: Aug. 22, 2017
By: Sex Offense Litigation and Policy Resource Center (Mitchell Hamline School of Law)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
8:09-cv-00456 (D. Neb.)
CJ-NE-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/26/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
CJ-NE-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/16/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order Denying Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 92] (2009 WL 5184328) (D. Neb.)
CJ-NE-0001-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 12/30/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 100] (D. Neb.)
CJ-NE-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/07/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint [ECF# 329]
CJ-NE-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/15/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Order re: Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel [ECF# 384] (788 F.Supp.2d 975) (D. Neb.)
CJ-NE-0001-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/19/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order Denying Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 354] (734 F.Supp.2d 882) (D. Neb.)
CJ-NE-0001-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/16/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order Granting Motion to Compel [ECF# 442] (D. Neb.)
CJ-NE-0001-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/28/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Memorandum, and Order [ECF# 525] (898 F.Supp.2d 1086) (D. Neb.)
CJ-NE-0001-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/17/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order Granting in part Plaintiffs' Attorneys' Fees [ECF# 535] (2012 WL 6681855) (D. Neb.)
CJ-NE-0001-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 12/21/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Kopf, Richard George (D. Neb.) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-0002 | CJ-NE-0001-0003 | CJ-NE-0001-0005 | CJ-NE-0001-0008 | CJ-NE-0001-0009 | CJ-NE-0001-9000
Zwart, Cheryl R (D. Neb.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-0006 | CJ-NE-0001-0007 | CJ-NE-0001-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dahlquist, Rodney Jr. (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-0001 | CJ-NE-0001-0004 | CJ-NE-0001-9000
Dornan, Stuart (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-0001 | CJ-NE-0001-0004 | CJ-NE-0001-9000
Monaghan, Thomas (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-0001 | CJ-NE-0001-0004 | CJ-NE-0001-9000
Richards, Blake (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-0001 | CJ-NE-0001-9000
Troia, Jason (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-0001 | CJ-NE-0001-0004 | CJ-NE-0001-9000
Weir, Joshua (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-0001 | CJ-NE-0001-0004 | CJ-NE-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Allen, Sandra J (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-9000
Anderson, Richard C (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-9000
Cookson, David D. (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-9000
Dolan, Timothy (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-9000
Griess, Kevin (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-9000
Hart, Carl K Jr. (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-9000
Hogancamp, Julie (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-9000
Lux, Jeffrey (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-9000
O'Brien, Corey (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-9000
Peters, Tonya (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-9000
Post, Ryan S (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-9000
Smith, Michael A (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-9000
Spohn, Katherine J. (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-9000
Thew, Michael (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-9000
Whelan, Lawrence G (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-9000
Wilson, Todd (Nebraska) show/hide docs
CJ-NE-0001-9000

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