Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dumont: SORNA criminalizes failure to register, not interstate travel

In U.S. v. Dumont, No. 08-11187 (Jan 26, 2009), the Court upheld a conviction for failing to register as a sex offender, as required by 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a) of SORNA.
On February 28, 2007, the Attorney General issued a rule stating that SORNA’s registration requirements applied retroactively. This required persons who had traveled in interstate commerce to update their registration. Dumont claimed that this registration requirement did not apply to him because he had traveled two weeks before the Attorney General made SORNA’s registration requirement retroactive.
The Court distinguished U.S. v. Madera, because that case involved a failure to register before the Attorney General’s retroactive rule. Here, Dumont was prosecuted for failing to register after the Attorney General issued his rule. The Court rejected Dumont’s argument that the law should not apply to him because his travel, which triggered the registration requirement, occurred before the Attorney General issued his rule. The statute does not criminalize travel. It criminalizes failure to register.