Richard Greenberg Obtains Summary Judgment

12.08.17

Serving as local counsel, Richard Greenberg helped obtain a summary judgment holding that the state must have a rational basis for registration requirements for sex offenders (John Doe vs. Rick Swearingen, Commissioner, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, CASE NO. 4:16cv459-RH/CAS).

In this case, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was looking to require an individual to register as a sex offender because in his former state, where the offense occurred, he is required to register in a registry available only to law enforcement. Because Florida does not have such a registry, it was seeking to have Doe register publicly even though Florida would not require registration of the individual for the same offense had it occurred in Florida.

According to the Summary Judgment Order, “the case presents an exceedingly narrow issue: may Florida require a person to publicly register based on a crime committed in Connecticut, even though Florida would not require registration at all if the crime had been committed in Florida, and even though Connecticut would not require public registration if the person lived in Connecticut.”

U.S. District Judge Robert L Hinkle found in favor of Doe and held that “when neither Florida nor Connecticut has determined that this crime warrants public registration, the person cannot be required to publicly register.”

“These types of cases are very fact specific and are based on the law of the state where the crime occurred,” said Greenberg. “This is one of the first, if only, rulings in a Florida federal court looking at the issue of sex offender registrations across state lines,” he explained.