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Name: People v. North
Case #: A097247
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 10/09/2003
Subsequent History: Modif. without change in jmt. 10/20/03

The language in Penal Code section 290, which requires sex offenders who have no residence to register where they are “located” within five working days of changing their “location,” does not give transient sex offenders fair notice of what they must do to conform with the requirements, and is therefore unconstitutionally vague. Transient offenders can only guess at what is meant by the requirement that they register at every “location” they regularly occupy in a single jurisdiction. Since section 290 fails to provide even minimal guidelines for registering authorities, arbitrary enforcement is encouraged. However, the basic registration requirements for transient offender – that they register in each jurisdiction in which they are regularly located, and update registration every sixty days -can be easily understood by both offenders and authorities, and therefore remain valid. The Legislature should develop a more comprehensive registration system for transient sex offenders. Here, North’s conviction for failing to register when he left one hotel for another must be reversed.