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In re J.B.

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania

December 29, 2014

IN THE INTEREST OF: J.B., A MINOR; APPEAL OF: COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; IN THE INTEREST OF: D.L., JR., A MINOR; APPEAL OF: COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; IN THE INTEREST OF: D.E., A MINOR; APPEAL OF: COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; IN THE INTEREST OF: K.O.H., A MINOR; APPEAL OF: COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; IN THE INTEREST OF: A.E.M., A MINOR; APPEAL OF: COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; IN THE INTEREST OF: J.A.T., A MINOR; APPEAL OF: COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; IN THE INTEREST OF: D.G.T., A MINOR; APPEAL OF: COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

Argued: May 6, 2014

As Corrected December 30, 2014.

87 MAP 2013

Appeal from the order of the York County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, dated November 1, 2013 at No. CP-67-JV-726-2010. Trial Court Judge: John C. Uhler, Senior Judge.

88 MAP 2013

Appeal from the order of the York County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, dated November 1, 2013 at No. CP-67-JV-295-2010. Trial Court Judge: John C. Uhler, Senior Judge.

89 MAP 2013

Appeal from the order of the York County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, dated November 1, 2013 at No. CP-67-JV-599-2010. Trial Court Judge: John C. Uhler, Senior Judge.

90 MAP 2013

Appeal from the order of the York County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, dated November 1, 2013 at No. CP-67-JV-788-2010. Trial Court Judge: John C. Uhler, Senior Judge.

91 MAP 2013

Appeal from the order of the York County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, dated November 1, 2013 at No. CP-67-JV-315-2010. Trial Court Judge: John C. Uhler, Senior Judge.

92 MAP 2013

Appeal from the order of the York County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, dated November 1, 2013 at No. CP-67-JV-413-2010. Trial Court Judge: John C. Uhler, Senior Judge.

93 MAP 2013

Appeal from the order of the York County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, dated November 1, 2013 at No. CP-67-JV-215-2010. Trial Court Judge: John C. Uhler, Senior Judge.

87 MAP 2013

For Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, APPELLANT: Caleb Curtis Enerson, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office; Thomas L. Kearney III, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office; James Edward Zamkotowicz, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office.

For J.B., APPELLEE: Bruce Piersoll Blocher, Esq.; Catherine Elizabeth Feeley, Esq. Juvenile Law Center; Abigail Esther Horn, Esq. Defender Association of Philadelphia; Marsha Levick, Esq. Juvenile Law Center; Aaron Joshua Marcus, Esq. Defender Association of Philadelphia; Riya Saha Shah, Esq. Juvenile Law Center; Anthony J. Tambourino, Esq. York County Public Defender's Office.

88 MAP 2013

For Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, APPELLANT: Caleb Curtis Enerson, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office; Thomas L. Kearney III, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office; James Edward Zamkotowicz, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office.

For D.L., APPELLEE: Bruce Piersoll Blocher, Esq.; Catherine Elizabeth Feeley, Esq. Juvenile Law Center; Abigail Esther Horn, Esq. Defender Association of Philadelphia; Thomas Korey Leslie, Esq. Korey Leslie, L.L.C.; Marsha Levick, Esq. Juvenile Law Center; Aaron Joshua Marcus, Esq. Defender Association of Philadelphia; Riya Saha Shah, Esq. Juvenile Law Center; Anthony J. Tambourino, Esq. York County Public Defender's Office.

89 MAP 2013

For Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, APPELLANT: Caleb Curtis Enerson, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office; Thomas L. Kearney III, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office; James Edward Zamkotowicz, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office.

For D.E., APPELLEE: Bruce Piersoll Blocher, Esq. York County Public Defender's Office; Catherine Elizabeth Feeley, Esq. Juvenile Law Center; Abigail Esther Horn, Esq. Defender Association of Philadelphia; Aaron Joshua Marcus, Esq. Defender Association of Philadelphia; Riya Saha Shah, Esq. Juvenile Law Center; Anthony J. Tambourino, Esq. York County Public Defender's Office.

90 MAP 2013

For Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, APPELLANT: Caleb Curtis Enerson, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office; Thomas L. Kearney III, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office; James Edward Zamkotowicz, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office.

For K.O.H., APPELLEE: Bruce Piersoll Blocher, Esq. York County Public Defender's Office; Catherine Elizabeth Feeley, Esq. Juvenile Law Center; Abigail Esther Horn, Esq. Defender Association of Philadelphia; Aaron Joshua Marcus, Esq. Defender Association of Philadelphia; Traci Leigh McPate, Esq. Griest, Himes, Herrold, Schaumann, Reynosa, L.L.P.; Riya Saha Shah, Esq. Juvenile Law Center; Anthony J. Tambourino, Esq. York County Public Defender's Office.

91 MAP 2013

For Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, APPELLANT: Caleb Curtis Enerson, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office; Thomas L. Kearney III, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office; James Edward Zamkotowicz, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office.

For A.E.M., APPELLEE: Bruce Piersoll Blocher, Esq. York County Public Defender's Office; Catherine Elizabeth Feeley, Esq. Juvenile Law Center; Abigail Esther Horn, Esq. Defender Association of Philadelphia; Aaron Joshua Marcus, Esq. Defender Association of Philadelphia; Riya Saha Shah, Esq. Juvenile Law Center; Anthony J. Tambourino, Esq. York County Public Defender's Office.

92 MAP 2013

For Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, APPELLANT: Caleb Curtis Enerson, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office; Thomas L. Kearney III, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office; James Edward Zamkotowicz, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office.

For J.A.T., APPELLEE: Kurt A. Blake, Esq. Blake & Gross, L.L.C.; Bruce Piersoll Blocher, Esq. York County Public Defender's Office; Catherine Elizabeth Feeley, Esq. Juvenile Law Center; Abigail Esther Horn, Esq. Defender Association of Philadelphia; Aaron Joshua Marcus, Esq. Defender Association of Philadelphia; Riya Saha Shah, Esq. Juvenile Law Center; Anthony J. Tambourino, Esq. York County Public Defender's Office.

93 MAP 2013

For Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, APPELLANT: Caleb Curtis Enerson, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office; Thomas L. Kearney III, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office; James Edward Zamkotowicz, Esq. York County District Attorney's Office.

For J.A.T., APPELLEE: Bruce Piersoll Blocher, Esq. York County Public Defender's Office; Catherine Elizabeth Feeley, Esq. Juvenile Law Center; Abigail Esther Horn, Esq. Defender Association of Philadelphia; Aaron Joshua Marcus, Esq. Defender Association of Philadelphia; Riya Saha Shah, Esq. Juvenile Law Center; Anthony J. Tambourino, Esq. York County Public Defender's Office.

BEFORE: MR. JUSTICE BAER. CASTILLE, C.J., SAYLOR, EAKIN, BAER, TODD, McCAFFERY, STEVENS, JJ. Mr. Chief Justice Castille, Messrs. Justice Saylor and Eakin, and Madame Justice Todd join the opinion. Mr. Justice Stevens files a dissenting opinion.

OPINION

Page 2

MR. BAER, JUSTICE

In this case, we consider the constitutionality of provisions of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) as applied to juveniles. 42 Pa.C.S. § § 9799.10-9799.41. Pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 722(7), we review this case directly from the order of the York County Court of Common Pleas holding the statute unconstitutional as violative of the ex post facto clause, protections against cruel and unusual punishment, and due process rights through the use of an irrebuttable presumption. In the Interest of J.B. et al., No. CP-67-JV-726-2010 (CP York Nov. 1, 2013) (" Tr. Ct. Op." ).[1] After review, we affirm the determination that SORNA violates juvenile offenders' due process rights through the use of an irrebuttable presumption.

As detailed in the trial court's decision, the seven juveniles in this case (" the Juveniles" ) were previously adjudicated delinquent in regard to specific sexual crimes and were subject to juvenile court supervision on SORNA's effective date.[2] Accordingly,

Page 3

the Juveniles became subject to lifetime registration under 42 Pa.C.S. ยง 9799.15(a)(4), see infra at 9. The Juveniles filed motions for nunc pro tunc relief asserting SORNA's unconstitutionality, which were consolidated by the trial ...


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