The opinion of the court was delivered by: POLITAN
ORIGINAL ON FILE WITH THE CLERK OF THE COURT
This matter is presently before the Court on plaintiff E.B.'s application for an Order to Show Cause why defendants
should not be enjoined from implementing the provisions of the Registration and Community Notification Laws (hereinafter "Megan's Law"), N.J.S.A. 2C:7-6 to 11, and why a Preliminary Injunction should not issue pending a final disposition of the matter. For the reasons stated herein, plaintiff's application is GRANTED, and defendants are TEMPORARILY ENJOINED from implementing Tier Two and Tier Three notifications under Megan's Law until further Order of this Court.
STATEMENT OF FACTS & PROCEDURAL HISTORY
This case arises out of the inevitable conflict between the differing opinions of the Federal District Court and the New Jersey Supreme Court regarding Megan's Law.
In 1974, plaintiff E.B. pled guilty in New Jersey Superior Court to three separate offenses of sexual abuse against young boys. For this plea, plaintiff was sentenced to thirty-three years in the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center ("ADTC"). Thereafter, on January 21, 1976, plaintiff pled guilty in the Circuit Court of Petersburg, Virginia, to two separate counts of murder. As a consequence of this plea, plaintiff received two concurrent sentences of twenty years' incarceration. This sentence was to run consecutive to the New Jersey sentence.
On June 5, 1979, plaintiff was paroled from the New Jersey sentence, after serving only five years and ten months of a thirty-three year sentence. Plaintiff was then extradited to Virginia to serve the concurrent twenty year sentences for murder. Plaintiff was paroled, slightly over ten years later, by Virginia on June 15, 1989. Currently, plaintiff is free, subject to supervised release by the New Jersey Bureau of Parole until July 23, 2006.
Since his release, plaintiff has been employed, receives aftercare at the ADTC, and attends Church. Plaintiff is also married and owns a home in Englewood, New Jersey. In accordance with Megan's Law, plaintiff registered with the Englewood Police Department on February 25, 1995. Thereafter, on October 24, 1995, plaintiff was notified by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office that he was classified as a Tier Three Offender.
As a result of this classification, the Prosecutor's Office proposed to notify the following of plaintiff's criminal history: all public and private educational institutions and organizations within a one-half mile radius of plaintiff's home, as well as people who reside or work within a one-block radius of plaintiff's home.
In an objection to the proposed notification, plaintiff submitted an application for judicial review of the classification and notification. On December 7, 1995, the New Jersey Superior Court, Law Division, held a hearing on plaintiff's application. On December 18, 1995, Judge Peter Ciolino affirmed plaintiff's classification and permitted notification to all public and private educational institutions and licensed day care centers and summer camps in Englewood, Teaneck, Bergenfield, Tenafly, Englewood Cliffs, Leonia and Fort Lee. Furthermore, the court ordered notification to all residences within a one-block radius of plaintiff's house.
On the same date, plaintiff filed a Notice of Appeal and Emergent Application for a Stay of Notification with the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division. The appellate court granted the Emergent Stay on December 20, 1995. Subsequently, the court affirmed the Law Division on December 22, 1995, but provided that the Stay would remain in effect until December 26, 1995. At the expiration of the court-ordered stay, the parties entered into a Consent Order staying notification until further order of the New Jersey Supreme Court. On January 18, 1996, the New Jersey Supreme Court denied plaintiff's petition for certification of appeal.
Plaintiff filed suit in this Court on January 19, 1996, challenging defendants' ability to proceed with the notification under Megan's Law. Plaintiff requested a Temporary Restraining Order to prevent such notification until final disposition of this case. At a hearing held by the Court on January 22, 1996, the parties entered into a Consent Order which stayed the notification until further Order of the Court. Expedited briefing was required, and the Court heard oral argument on February 1, 1996.
Plaintiff has requested a preliminary injunction which would prevent defendants from disseminating information about his criminal history to the public in accordance with Megan's Law. As the parties have acknowledged, this Court has previously analyzed Megan's Law. See Artway v. Attorney General of New Jersey, 876 F. Supp. 666 (D.N.J. 1995), appeal pending, Nos. 95-5157, 95-5194, 95-5195 (3d Cir.). After an exhaustive review of the law, the Court concluded that the retrospective application of Megan's ...