March 21, 2020

Lambert v. California - 355 U.S. 225 (1957) - Supreme Court of the United States

FACTS: L.A. has a law which requires all convicted felons to register with the city. Lambert was a felon who was arrested on suspicion of another offense and charged w/ violating the registration laws.

HISTORY: Jury found her guilty and fined $250 and 3 years probation.

ISSUE: Is it a violation of the Due Process if the person has no actual knowledge of their duty to register, and no showing is made of the probability of such knowledge?  

HOLDING: Yes 

RATIONALE: Engrained in the concept of DUE Process is the requirement of notice. Circumstances which might move one to inquire about registering are also lacking. 

DISPOSITION: Reversed. 

DISSENT: Cannot distinguish a difference between someone convicted of innocently violating a law and one (who already has been imprisoned) who is also charged w/ violating a law they didn't know existed.