Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Third-party-notification condition unduly vague

Condition 12 of the standard conditions of supervised release adopted in Kansas (D. Kan. Standing Order No. 16-2, tracking USSG § 5D1.3(c)) provides:
If the probation officer determines that you pose a risk to another person (including an organization), the probation officer may require you to notify the person about the risk and you must comply with that instruction. The probation officer may contact the person and confirm that you have notified the person about the risk.
Last month, the Sixth Circuit agreed with the pro se appellant in United States v. Sexton that this condition is unconstitutionally vague, joining the Seventh Circuit, which held in United States v. Thompson, 777 F.3d 368, 379 (7th Cir. 2015), that this condition is "riddled with ambiguities." Exactly what sorts of risks must be disclosed to what third parties?

Object to this condition. Otherwise, your client may end up like Mr. Sexton, whose probation officer concluded that he was required to disclose all of his romantic liaisons, so that the officer could notify Sexton’s partners of his federal conviction. Not the best start to a relationship.

Image result for risk warning

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