Supreme Court of California

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Johnson v. Department of Justice, S209167

In this case, plaintiff was convicted for non-forcible oral copulation by an adult over 21 years with a person under 16 years of age. He seeks to challenge the imposition of mandatory sex offender registration pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration Act (Penal Code section 290 et seq.). The Act allows for discretionary registration for those convicted of unlawful intercourse with a minor, but imposes mandatory registration for those convicted of crimes involving other types of sexual activity with a minor. Plaintiff invokes People v. Hofsheier to make his argument. In Hofsheier, the court interpreted the federal and state protection clauses as invalidating the disparate registration requirements under the Act. The judgment of the Court of Appeal finding that the Act’s registration requirement violated plaintiff’s equal protection rights is reversed and remanded for further proceedings, where the equal protection analysis in Hofsheier was wrong, as actual and plausible legislative concerns regarding recidivism, teen pregnancy, and the support of children conceived as a result of intercourse provide a rational basis for the difference in registration consequences as between those convicted of unlawful intercourse and those convicted of non-forcible oral copulation.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 01/29/2015
  • Published 01/29/2015


  • Baxter


  • Supreme Court of California