Incompetent Wards and the Sex Offender Registry

I received an interesting question recently when I taught about the intersection of criminal defense and Chapter 35A incompetency. Suppose a person is adjudicated incompetent in a Chapter 35A proceeding and a guardian is appointed. Suppose that same person had been convicted of a crime requiring registration as a sex offender and compliance with the other obligations of Chapter 14, Article 27A. The person is required to register changes to their address (including providing notice to law enforcement of an intention to move out-of-state), to their academic and employment status, and to notify the State of changes to their name or online identifiers, including e-mail addresses. G.S. 14-208.7; G.S. 14-208.9. What effect does declaration of incompetency have on these registration requirements? Who is responsible for ensuring that the incompetent adult complies with these registration obligations—the adult or their guardian?

Read more

Halloween and Sex Offenders

Each Halloween also seems to bring a wave of news stories related to sex offenders. There apparently isn’t evidence to back up the concern, but some jurisdictions have laws prohibiting registered offenders from participating in Halloween activities. In Missouri, for example, all registrants were required to remain indoors between 5:00 and 10:30 p.m. on October … Read more