United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
OPINION & ORDER
ALGENON L. MARBLEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
motion comes before the Court on Motion to Dismiss Indictment
by Defendant Edward Charles Robinson. (ECF No. 22). The
United States filed a Response in Opposition to
Defendant's Motion. (ECF No. 23). For the following
reasons, this Court DENIES Defendant's
November 19, 1991, Defendant was arrested and charged in
Suffolk County, New York with Rape 1st Degree: intercourse
with a person less than eleven years old in violation of
130.35 SUB 03. (ECF No. 1 at ¶ 4). On February 18, 1992,
Defendant was convicted of this crime and was sentenced to
serve 3-9 years in prison as a level two sex offender.
Id. at ¶ 5. As part of his conviction,
Defendant was required to register as a sex offender for life
as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification
Act (SORNA). Id. In 2015, Defendant registered as a
sex offender in New York and provided an address.
Id. at ¶ 7. In 2016, Defendant changed his
address by signing the New York State Sex Offender Change of
Address Form. Id. Later that year, a failure
notification was sent to the Suffolk County Police Department
to notify them that Defendant did not update his sex offender
registration. Id. at ¶ 8. Another failure
notification was sent in November 2017. Id. at
February 2018, the case was referred to the United States
Marshall's Service because Defendant's location was
unknown. Id. at ¶ 10. Additional investigation
revealed Defendant had an identification card and an address
in Pickaway County, Ohio but had not registered as a sex
offender there. Id. at ¶ 11 -12.
31, 2018, Defendant was indicted for knowingly failing to
update his sex offender registration as required by SORNA
after travelling in interstate commerce in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 2250(a). (ECF No. 12). On September 17, 2018,
Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss Indictment alleging SORNA
was an unconstitutional delegation to the Attorney General.
(ECF No. 22). Within this motion, Defendant requested this
Court to defer a ruling until the Supreme Court issued an
opinion in Gundy v. United States, No. 17-6086. The
United States filed a Response in Opposition citing Sixth
Circuit precedent that contradicted Defendant's
arguments, even before Gundy. (ECF No. 23). This
Court held Defendant's Motion to Dismiss in abeyance
awaiting a decision on Gundy. (ECF No. 24). On June
20, 2019, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in
Gundy. The parties filed a joint notice regarding
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and advised this Court that
this matter can be scheduled for trial. (ECF No. 27).
12(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure guides a
Motion to Dismiss. Rule 12(b)(1) prescribes that "a
party may raise by pretrial motion any defense, objection, or
request that the court can determine without a trial on the
merits." District courts have the authority to
"dispose of motions before trial if they are capable of
determination without trial of the general issue."
United States v. Jones, 542 F.2d 661, 664 (6th Cir.
1976). If a court finds that the undisputed evidence cannot
prove a defendant's culpability beyond a reasonable
doubt, the court can dismiss the indictment. United
States v. Levin, 973 F.2d 463, 466 (6th Cir. 1992).
instant case, Defendant argues the United States cannot meet
its burden of proving his culpability beyond a reasonable
doubt because SORNA is an unconstitutional delegation of
Congress's power to the Attorney General. (ECF No. 22).
The nondelegation doctrine provides that Congress "may
not transfer to another branch 'powers which are strictly
and exclusively legislative.'" Gundy, slip
op. at 4. Defendant asserts that Congress's delegation to
the Attorney General to decide SORNA's applicability to
offenders convicted before the act was instituted is a
violation of that doctrine. However, the United States argues
there is Sixth Circuit precedent that directly contradicts
Sixth Circuit has held "Congress' delegations under
SORNA possess a suitable 'intelligible principle' and
are 'well within the outer limits of [the Supreme
Court's] nondelegation precedents.'" United
States v. Felts, 674 F.3d 599, 606 (6th Cir. 2012). The
Supreme Court agreed, noting in Gundy that,
"under § 20913(d), the Attorney General must apply
SORNA's registration requirements as soon as feasible to
offenders convicted before the statute's enactment. That
delegation easily passes constitutional muster." Slip
op. at 1.
both the Supreme Court and the Sixth Circuit have held that
SORNA is not unconstitutional under the nondelegation
doctrine, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Indictment is