Breaking: Fourth Circuit holds NC premises statute unconstitutional
By Robin . . . In a broadly worded opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has affirmed a lower court ruling previously holding most of North Carolina’s premises and proximity restrictions applied to registered sex offenders as unconstitutional.
The Court of Appeals held subsection (2) of § 14-208.18 as unconstitutionally overboard and admonished the state for failing to provide evidence to support its intent: “Without empirical data or other similar credible evidence, it is not possible to tell whether subsection (a)(2) . . . responds at all to the State’s legitimate interest in protecting minors from sexual assault.”
The Court of Appeals held subsection (3) of § 14-208.18 as unconstitutionally vague stating that “neither an ordinary citizen nor a law enforcement officer could reasonably determine what activity was criminalized” by the statutory language.
The North Carolina General Assembly enacted a new premises statute which took affect on September 1, 2016. The new statute is set to be challenged in federal court by NCRSOL, National RSOL’s affiliate in North Carolina.