Doe v. HarrisAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff entered into a plea agreement under which he pled nolo contendere to one count of lewd and lascivious acts upon a child. Plaintiff filed a plea form stating that Plaintiff must register as a sex offender under Cal. Penal Code 290. Plaintiff registered as required by section 290. The Legislature later amended the law and provided a means by which the public can obtain personal information of the State's registered sex offenders. The legislature made the public notification provisions retroactive and thus applicable to Plaintiff's conviction. Plaintiff filed a civil complaint, contending that requiring him to comply with the amended law's public notification provisions would violate his plea agreement. The district court concluded that publicly disclosing any of Plaintiff's previously confidential sex offender registration information would violate the terms of Plaintiff's plea agreement. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals asked a question of the California Supreme Court, which responded by answering that under California law of contract interpretation as applicable to the interpretation of plea agreements, the fact that parties enter into a plea agreement does not have the effect of insulating them from changes in the law that the legislature intended to apply to them.