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Get Off the Megan's Law Registry...Really!

We had recently blogged that folks that had committed offenses prior to April 22, 1996 were able to get off the Megan’s Law (SORNA II) Registry. A new case provides guidance.

Many folks are listed on the Megan’s Law Registry with the Pennsylvania State Police, roughly 20,000. However, by our estimation, there are roughly 800 of those folks that do not belong on the list at all. We all agree with the basic proposition that the registry is a darn good thing. It provides proper community notice of offenders that are in our neighborhoods, school districts, near daycares, churches, and near our playgrounds. Children and adults alike all need to be protected.

However, there is a large part of that “Megan’s Law” group that is ages 65-90 years old that do not belong on this list. Their offense occurred well-prior to the effective date of even the first iteration of Megan’s Law– April 22, 1996. The Commonwealth Court has agreed in an en banc (all the judges) decision issued on May 11, 2020 that offenders whose offense was committed prior to the effective date of Megan’s Law I, do not belong on the list. This is despite when they were sentenced, got out of jail, got off probation or parole.

So, if your offense occurred prior to April 22, 1996, you can file an appropriate action to get off the list. The State Police will not likely voluntarily remove you. The decision of the Commonwealth Court can be appealed by the State Police directly to the Supreme Court as a matter of right, which will likely occur. However, there is a likelihood that the decision will not be overturned.

For a consult, you may contact us via email. We do teleconferencing via Zoom® or can simply talk over the phone. For a free copy of our book, you may call, email, or write. The glossary contains background information regarding Megan’s Law and SORNA that you may be astonished to read.

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