Adam Walsh Act
These forms are provided to help you file pleadings in your case without the assistance of a lawyer. You can print these forms, fill in the blanks, and file them with the court. Be sure to carefully read and follow the instructions. If possible, please consult with an attorney about your case.
Petition to Contest Reclassification: File this motion within 60 days of the day you received your Notice of New Classification from the Ohio Attorney General, if you want to contest your reclassification. Use this form if you were convicted as an adult in common pleas court. (Click here for a Rich Text Format version)
Motion for Relief from Community Notification: If you were previously labeled a sexually oriented offender or a habitual sex offender and were not subject to community notification, and you have now been reclassified a Tier III offender with a community notification requirement, you can file this motion to ask the court to relieve you of the new community notification requirement. (Click here for a Rich Text Format version)
Lawsuit Challenging SB 10
On October 15, 2007, the Office of the Ohio Public Defender, the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, ACLU of Ohio Foundation, and Equal Justice Foundation filed a direct action in the Supreme Court of Ohio, challenging the constitutionality of Senate Bill 10’s retroactive application. The complaint asserts that SB 10 violates the ex post facto, double jeopardy, and separation of powers provisions of the Ohio Constitution and the United States Constitution. Click below to view the following documents.
On December 12, 2007, the Supreme Court of Ohio dismissed this challenge to SB 10. Please check this website regularly, as information about future challenges to SB 10 will be posted soon.
On July 27, 2006, President Bush signed into law a bill known as the Adam Walsh Act. States must comply with this federal legislation by July 27, 2009, or risk losing 10% of a federal law enforcement grant. The Ohio General Assembly chose to implement the Adam Walsh Act this year, and passed Senate Bill 10 and Senate Bill 97 in an effort to comply with the federal legislation.
New tier structure
The Adam Walsh Act and Ohio Senate Bill 10 organize sex offender classification into three Tiers. Classification is based solely on the offense of conviction; a person’s likelihood to reoffend will no longer be considered.
Registration and verification duties:
Tier I: registration duties last 15 years for adults, 10 years for juveniles; in-person verification at the county sheriff’s office is required annually.
Tier II: registration duties last 25 years for adults, 20 years for juveniles; in-person verification is required every 180 days.
Tier III: registration duties last a lifetime for adults and for juveniles; in-person verification is required every 90 days.
Click here for a chart of which Ohio offenses fall into which Tier.
Testimony offered by the Office of the Ohio Public Defender
The Office of the Ohio Public Defender testified several times in opposition to this legislation as it moved through the state legislature. OPD’s opposition focused primarily on two points: retroactivity and juvenile offenders. Click below to read the testimony offered by OPD:
In May 2007, the U.S. Attorney General’s office issued Proposed Guidelines for the implementation of the Adam Walsh Act. The guidelines were open for public comment through August 1, 2007. The Office of the Ohio Public Defender submitted comments regarding retroactivity, juveniles, and substantial compliance. OPD also signed onto comment submitted by the Juvenile Justice Initiative of Voices for Ohio’s Children.
On June 29, 2007, the Ohio Attorney General sent letters to approximately 200 people whose 10-year registration duties were set to expire during the month of July 2007. This letter informed people that, due to SB 10, their registration duties may not actually expire as previously scheduled. Click here to read a copy of the letter.
The Ohio Attorney General has prepared forms that are to be given to persons convicted or adjudicated of eligible offenses between July 1, 2007 and December 31, 2007, informing them of their duties to register as of January 1, 2008.
The Ohio Attorney General’s office has prepared a summary of what Ohio’s juvenile sex offender registration system (JSORN) will look like once SB 10 comes into full effect on January 1, 2008. Click here to read this summary.
OPD prepared this one-page (front & back) handout that briefly summarizes the impact SB 10 will have on juveniles. This may be a helpful introduction to the Adam Walsh Act for children, parents, treatment providers, and other non-lawyers who will be impacted by SB 10.
Mikaloff v. Walsh: the Northern District of Ohio held that Ohio's sex offender residency restrictions are punitive and that they violate the Ex Post Facto Clause of the U.S. Constitution when applied retroactively. Click here for a copy of Mikaloff v. Walsh
Hyle v. Porter: the Supreme Court of Ohio is considering whether Ohio’s residency restrictions can be applied retroactively. Link to the Court’s docket.
State v. Ferguson: the Supreme Court of Ohio has agreed to decide whether Ohio’s current SORN law violates the Ex Post Facto and Retroactivity clauses of the U.S. and Ohio constitutions. Link to the Court’s docket.