Reply To: SCOTUS Denies to Hear Muniz




By Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC on Sunday, March 4, 2018.

Megan’s Law V was enacted into law on February 21, 2018

By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini

Governor Wolf signed House Bill 631 into law, indexed as Act 10 of 2018. The registration and community notification provisions were made IMMEDIATELY EFECTIVE. The intent of the law is to rectify SORNA in light of the PA Supremely Court decisions in Muniz (registration is punishment and cannot be applied ex post facto) and Butler (SVP determinations punishment). The Act, in essence, reverts acts that occurred between April 22, 1996 (Megan’s Law I) and December 20, 2012 (SORNA) to the prior registration provisions under Megan’s Law II. The Act is now a hybrid for registering offenders under the Tier System (SORNA) for acts that were committed on or after December 20, 2012 and pre-SORNA requirements that prescribes registration for some offenses at 10 years and others at life. Prior SVP registrants must still register under the hybrid.

Notably, there is a provision from Megan’s Law III (declared void ab initio in 2013) that permits one to petition the court after 25 years to be released from the registration requirements. Also, only SVP’s must attend counseling on a monthly basis. There is no quarterly reporting requirements for non-SVP’s. Only annual reporting for sexual offenders.

Curiously, all the community notification requirements are still present. This includes internet notice of name, address, license plate, car make, model, year and color. It also includes GPS tracking. These are all items that the majority in Muniz railed against as “punishment.”