Doe v. Hood

At a Glance

Date Filed: 

October 7, 2016

Current Status 

On October 7, 2016, CCR filed a class action civil rights lawsuit challenging Mississippi's ongoing enforcement of its sodomy statute.

Co-Counsel 

Jacob W. Howard, Robert B. McDuff, Matthew Strugar

Client(s) 

Arthur, Brenda, Carol, Diana, and Elizabeth Doe are all Mississippi residents who have been charged under Mississippi’s Unnatural Intercourse statute or Louisiana’s Crime Against Nature by Solicitation statute, and as a result are required to register with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety as sex offenders.

Case Description 

In 2003, in the landmark decision Lawrence v. Texas, the United States Supreme Court declared that state statutes that criminalize sodomy are unconstitutional. In its sweeping decision, the Supreme Court observed that the mere existence of sodomy laws “is an invitation to subject homosexual persons to discrimination both in the public and the private spheres.”

But more than a decade later, Mississippi still has an “Unnatural Intercourse” statute on the books – and is still enforcing that statute by requiring people with Unnatural Intercourse convictions to register as sex offenders. Doe v. Hood argues that Mississippi’s discriminatory Unnatural Intercourse statute, as well as its sex offender registration requirement, is unconstitutional.

The case reaches beyond Mississippi. In 2013, CCR successfully challenged Louisiana’s requirement that people convicted of Crime Against Nature by Solicitation (CANS) register as sex offenders. That litigation resulted in the removal of over 800 people from Louisiana’s sex offender registry. However, people with CANS convictions in Louisiana who subsequently moved to Mississippi are now being forced to register there as sex offenders all over again, because Mississippi requires people with out-of-state convictions that it deems equivalent to an Unnatural Intercourse conviction to register. Doe v. Hood also challenges the application of Mississippi’s unconstitutional Unnatural Intercourse statute to those with CANS convictions from Louisiana.

The case argues that Mississippi’s ongoing enforcement of its sodomy statute, over a decade after it was struck down by the Supreme Court, violates both due process and equal protection principles.

Case Timeline

December 1, 2016
CCR files reply in support of summary judgment
December 1, 2016
CCR files reply in support of summary judgment
December 1, 2016
CCR files opposition to defendants' motion for discovery
December 1, 2016
CCR files opposition to defendants' motion for discovery
December 1, 2016
CCR files reply in support of proceeding under pseudonyms
December 1, 2016
CCR files reply in support of proceeding under pseudonyms
December 1, 2016
CCR files reply in support of class certification
December 1, 2016
CCR files reply in support of class certification
November 21, 2016
Defendants file opposition to class certification
November 21, 2016
Defendants file opposition to class certification
November 21, 2016
Defendants file opposition to pseudonymity motion
November 21, 2016
Defendants file opposition to pseudonymity motion
November 21, 2016
Defendants file opposition to summary judgment
November 21, 2016
Defendants file opposition to summary judgment
November 18, 2016
Defendants file motion for discovery
November 18, 2016
Defendants file motion for discovery
November 3, 2016
CCR files motion to proceed under pseudonyms
November 3, 2016
CCR files motion to proceed under pseudonyms
November 3, 2016
CCR files motion to certify class
November 3, 2016
CCR files motion to certify class
November 3, 2016
CCR files for summary judgment
November 3, 2016
CCR files for summary judgment
October 7, 2016
Complaint filed
October 7, 2016
Complaint filed
CCR and co-counsel file a class action civil rights lawsuit challenging Mississippi's sodomy statute and its ongoing enforcement through the state's sex offender registry scheme.