868 F.3d 561 (7th Cir. 2017), 16-1662, Murphy v. Rychlowski

Docket Nº:16-1662
Citation:868 F.3d 561
Opinion Judge:Williams, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:PAUL MURPHY, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. DEBORAH RYCHLOWSKI, et al., Defendants-Appellees
Attorney:For PAUL MURPHY, Plaintiff - Appellant: Jeff Scott Olson, Attorney, Madison, WI. For DEBORAH RYCHLOWSKI, GAIL FAUST, SUE KLEMANN, Defendants - Appellees: Colin Thomas Roth, Attorney, WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Special Litigation and Appeals, Madison, WI.
Judge Panel:Before WOOD, Chief Judge, and RIPPLE and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:August 18, 2017
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
SUMMARY

Murphy was convicted of rape by force in Los Angeles 37 years ago and was required, while he resided in the state, to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Murphy moved to Wisconsin 21 years later and was convicted of aggravated assault. While he never registered in Wisconsin as a sex offender, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections determined that because of his California... (see full summary)

 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 561

868 F.3d 561 (7th Cir. 2017)

PAUL MURPHY, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

DEBORAH RYCHLOWSKI, et al., Defendants-Appellees

No. 16-1662

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

August 18, 2017

Argued September 29, 2016.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. No. 3:14-cv-00685-jdp -- James D. Peterson, Chief Judge.

For PAUL MURPHY, Plaintiff - Appellant: Jeff Scott Olson, Attorney, Madison, WI.

For DEBORAH RYCHLOWSKI, GAIL FAUST, SUE KLEMANN, Defendants - Appellees: Colin Thomas Roth, Attorney, WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Special Litigation and Appeals, Madison, WI.

Before WOOD, Chief Judge, and RIPPLE and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Williams, Circuit Judge.

Paul Murphy was convicted of rape by force in Los Angeles County, California 37 years ago. Because of that conviction, California law required Murphy, while he resided in the state, to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Murphy moved to Wisconsin 21 years after he committed this offense and was arrested and convicted of aggravated assault. While he never registered with the State of Wisconsin as a sex offender, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (the " Department" ) determined that because of his California conviction, Murphy should register as a sex offender for the rest of his life once he was released from prison, in Wisconsin.

In 2012, Murphy challenged the Department's determination that he must register as a sex offender. After a short investigation, the Department concluded that he was not required to register in Wisconsin. It removed Murphy from the registry, and for almost two years, Murphy was free from the restrictions placed upon sex offenders and from the state's registration requirements. But, when Murphy brought this current suit, the Department determined that it had erred when it relieved Murphy of these obligations, and returned him to the registry in October 2014.

Murphy brings suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He argues that he was denied his constitutional right to due process before being placed on the registry by the Department. Because he did not receive prior notice and an opportunity to be heard, Murphy believes he was erroneously listed as a sex offender. We disagree, as the Supreme Court has been clear that the Constitution does not require that a state provide individuals with process before being placed on a sex offender registry if the decision to do so is based upon an individual's conviction. Because Murphy's registration status in California is dependent upon his conviction in that state, Murphy was not entitled to process before being placed on the Wisconsin registry and we affirm the district court's grant of summary judgment to the defendants.

I. BACKGROUND

A. California Conviction

On August 28, 1979, Paul Murphy raped a 35-year-old woman during a robbery. He was 19 years old at the time. He was convicted of rape by force in January 1980, in Los Angeles County, California. As a result, he served a prison sentence and was released on September 7, 1986, remaining on parole until March 6, 1990. Because of this conviction and pursuant to California law, Murphy, for the remainder of his life, must register with California's Sex Offender Registry while residing in California.

B. Wisconsin Incarceration

In March of 2001-11 years after completing parole--Murphy moved to Wisconsin. Although required to register for the remainder of his life as a sex offender in California, Murphy did not register as a sex offender with the State of Wisconsin. Five months after his move, he was involved in a fight with two men in Madison, Wisconsin. Although the dispute was perhaps racially motivated, there was no sexual element to the incident. Murphy was convicted of battery in Wisconsin state court and was sentenced to a 15-year bifurcated sentence, which consisted of seven and a half years' confinement followed by an equivalent term of extended supervision.

C. Murphy Required to Register as Sex Offender

While incarcerated, Murphy was evaluated by a clinical psychologist who concluded that despite Murphy's prior conviction, sex-offender treatment was not recommended. The Department also determined that Murphy would not be referred for any further evaluation as a sexually violent person because there was insufficient evidence to label him as such. Nor would a special bulletin be issued upon his release.

But before his release, the Department concluded that Murphy's 1980 California conviction, and the resulting life-time registration requirement, required him to register as a sex offender while residing in Wisconsin. Murphy was released from the state's custody on February 17, 2009. Three days later, on February 20, 2009, he received a letter from the State of Wisconsin's Sex Offender Registration Program that informed him of the...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP