California IML challenge dismissed as premature

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Associated Press . . . A lawsuit challenging a law that requires a marker to be placed in the passports of people convicted of sex offenses against children is premature because the marker provision is not yet in effect, a federal judge said Friday in a ruling dismissing the suit.

U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton said it was also not clear yet who would be subject to the passport identifier and what form the identifier would take.

The Department of Justice has said the passport identifier provision of the International Megan’s Law will not go into effect until officials have developed a process for implementing it, submitted a report to Congress and taken other steps.

President Barack Obama signed the legislation in February. It also requires that other countries are notified that registered sex offenders are traveling there.

The DOJ says the law attempts to address cases where people evade such notifications by traveling to an intermediate country before going to their final destination.

Opponents of the marker have called it a “Scarlet Letter” that would wrongly imply that passport holders had engaged in child sex trafficking or child sex tourism and subject them to danger.

Janice Bellucci, the attorney challenging the law, said she plans to file another lawsuit in a different district court.

“It really is our goal to prevent anybody’s passport from being marked with a conspicuous, unique identifier,” she said.

Hamilton also rejected constitutional challenges to the law that were raised by the lawsuit, including the claim that it would unlawfully compel speech. (source: The Washington Post)

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18 Thoughts to “California IML challenge dismissed as premature”

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  1. G from AlaOppressionBama

    Is Judge Hamilton’s first language English?

    1. rwvnral

      Apparently. She was born in Jacksonville, Illinois. She’s also the chief judge of the Northern District of California.

  2. Wait, who is really defined here?

    If I read this correctly, this law covers any registered citizen, not just those who are convicted where a minor was concerned. They define the “covered sex offender” as anyone who has to register, not just those as mentioned above. Why not just pass a law that states that and avoid the grandstanding of making it sound like minors are the key to the law? Oh wait, votes…all about the votes with smoke and mirrors……

    Additionally, I cannot find Sec. 240 of Public Law 110-457. It seems to stop at Sec 239 in the copies online through the GPO…..if someone does find Sec 240, please post.

  3. Phasma

    It seems hopeless

    1. rwvnral

      It’s not hopeless. Challenging? Daunting? Difficult? Yes on all accounts. While the outcome on the IML challenge is disappointing, it is not entirely unexpected. Ripeness is a significant obstacle to litigation. Pressing forward before there is ample development of the facts or before a cause of action has fully matured makes for good theater, but it is not the wisest course of action. Judge Hamilton may have actually done us all a favor here. She did not dismiss the suit with prejudice. She simply stated, in legal jargon, that the time has not yet arrived for a full and thorough disputation of the case and controversy. Prosecuting a civil action prematurely is a waste of precious capital . . . capital our movement has very little of and must use in accordance with the most frugal and shrewd of intentions.

      1. Phasma

        Thanks… I needed to hear that

    2. Tim lawver

      Given that a law was written(typed) and passed; Means it’s on the books thereby reviewable by judicial branch. “Databases are being used for political security,–Tim L.

    3. User123

      Absolutely not hopeless. What the REST of us need to do is Donate what we can to these groups for efforts of litigation and Congress lobbying to start changing these archaic ‘witch hunt’ laws.

  4. I know Janet plans to file another lawsuit in another district.

  5. Rick

    Well, beating on another door, seems endless and retarded. Anyways, our constitution provides for the well being of its citizens, not the citizens of foreign nations. Now we’re in the business of alerting the world, lol.

    True communism, make everyone informants and spies for the government. Now if a host nation lets you visit, you become a target for crimes from sex vindicators and more crusaders, and their police will treat you like garbage.

    Im tired of this nonsense, its simple, if we have no rights, they have no rights.this is not our country anymore, we are not citizens by de facto law. Illegals have more rights than we have and so does every other person convicted of any other crime.

    When your rights are completely taken away what course of action do you have. Suing doesnt work, common sense is irrelevant, and your just wondering whats next. Heck, save the money, give me 100 grand, ill give up this worthless citizenship.

    Do we really live in america or in russia, heck we would have more rights in russia. I just dont understand why they just dont denationalize officially. They can get away with anything. All of this talk about reintegration is worthless, hell u dont forget how to live just because you u were in prison. Like I said we live in a nation of complete ignorance, no brains left in it. People stiil think this is the 1950s. I dontt want these intolerant people having authority over my grandchildren, they will grow up to be nazis, like them. Like I said, if theyre so afraid of life, tell them to moveback to europe, or wherever tey come from.its ronic though, they werent afraid to rob, rape, and murder the indians, but TV nw theyre ed afraid of kids learning about themselves. They disgust me in every way possible. I dont want to hear about kind old america, its the most hateful nation on this a planet no matter how it claims to be be otherwise.

    1. User123

      Would gladly move away from this sorry excuse for a ‘free country’. They let the real Monsters down on Wall Street get a slap on the wrist, while they label all of us as the most dangerous people. I’m pretty sure someone who committed a violent assault on another human being is more dangerous and unpredictable than most people on the Sex Offender Registry, but that’s just common sense speaking. Back to the point, how do you get a green card with a foreign country if you have a non-contact sex offense felony on your record?

      Has anyone here tried to obtain citizenship or a green card in another country after they’ve been committed and finished probation? Would absolutely love to know.

  6. "A certainly impending" she said

    Hamilton wrote, “Because the passport provisions are not yet in effect (and the procedures have not been finalized), plaintiffs cannot show a certainly impending injury.”

    However, the US Government can send notifications overseas that “a certainly impending” sex offense will occur by RC’s traveling to other countries based upon a person’s history or because of a government provided label based upon history?

    The US Government can actually make that case with fact?

    No, I doubt the US Gov’t can do that.

  7. tom

    I wonder why all SOR laws are not resubmitted to the Supreme Court. The original Smith v. Doe decision was clearly stated as upheld on the basis that 80% re-offend, a fallacy that has been unequivocally disproved . The FBI has valid, published statistics that clearly show far lower numbers. No state government, or federal, can meet even a rational basis test, never mind the strict scrutiny which must apply since this involves a privacy issue. The statistics simply do NOT exist. It also flies in the face of the ‘paid their debt to society’ concept.
    Additionally, why are these laws not challenged under the ‘Bill of Attainder’ provision. Why is it that the public needs to be ‘protected’ against sex offenders, but NOT against any other type of criminal ? Murderers, drug dealers, burglars, assaulters, etc., we’re safe from them and only one class of ‘criminal’ poses a risk to others ?
    Food for thought.
    One other thought i’ll add here. It’s time RSO’s stop going along with these compliance checks. Unless on probation or parole, RSO’s are under no obligation to even answer the door, never mind answer questions about ‘compliance’. The police are conducting a “Knock & Talk. There’s no such thing as a compliance check, no matter what they WANT to call it. Either ignore their presence by not answering the door or tell them you’re not interested in answering their questions. You have NO LEGAL obligation to do so. I know of cases where they threaten to get a warrant. Let them try. Unless the state notified them that you didn’t comply with registration requirements; they have no probable cause for a warrant, and are in fact, harassing you in violation of state laws that prohibits harassment of RSO’s. The occupant of ANY private residence has NO legal obligation to even identify themselves or answer ANY questions.

    1. greg

      I agree with you 1000000000000% Well Said!!!!!

    2. Jeremy Heady

      While I do agree with you, defiance, in my opinion, is not the answer to a political battle. We’ve seen in history that it’s actually not that effective except in very unique case and usually promotes more division. They also have these laws written in ways that you can be considered non-compliant for stupid things. For instance, in my state, they require you to have your actual address on your driver’s license or you’re non-compliant. There’s no justification at all for that rule other than a loophole to arrest you if you stand up for your rights. Now in New York where it’s a private organization doing the checks, by all means tell them to get off your property before you have them arrested for trespassing, but let’s pick our battles. Advocacy is better fought when you have people on the other side on your side.

    3. Solicitor General error correction

      There is a way to possibly correct the prevailing “high recidivism” thought train with SCOTUS.

      As has been noted many times previously, the “high recidivism” rate was provided by the USG’s Solicitor General (SG) as noted in an “‘Frightening and High’: The Supreme Court’s Crucial Mistake About Sex Crime Statistics” (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2616429) to SCOTUS for use in their considerations of the case at the time.

      Come to find out, there is a way for this error could be possibly corrected as noted in this article “Inside the Supreme Court’s little-known revision process” (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/inside-supreme-courts-little-known-revision-process/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=pbsofficial&utm_campaign=newshour&_utm_source=1-2-2)

      The question becomes does the Atty General (AG) get petitioned to correct the error if enough people contact them or if an online petition is submitted with an atty generated letter asking the AG to correct the error through the SG? Is it that simple? SG works for the AG by the way. Obviously there is enough data to overcome the “high recidivism” rate thinking. If they can correct a 200 year old error, see the PBS article, then there should be no reason why they cannot correct an error 13 years later.

      Of course, in the end, you are asking the SG to acknowledge their own error and correct it. Have to wonder if that would get any traction and action.

  8. Any successful driver's license identifier legal challenges to use in passport challenge?

    Has there been a successful legal challenge to the special identifier for RCs on the driver’s license showing it to be illegal? What about specific license plates? This could be a foothold on what it could take to do away with the passport identifier.

    There are many states, e.g. DE, LA, FL, OK, GA, TN & AL to name a few, where RCs have special driver licenses (DL) which are the same as a passport, used for identification. LA, GA, FL and OK have it brazenly written on the front of the license. It looks like CA was considering to have a DL like this at one time.

    I am not sure if there are any states with specific RC license plates, from what I can see at least, but it too would fall under the identifier issue. If no specific license plates, what is holding them back, e.g. harassment, etc? Could that be used a foothold of reasoning into why identifiers are not good?

    If there has not been any successful challenges (yet), is there any knowledge of cases filed challenging the identifiers on the driver’s licenses?

    Just thinking out loud for a possible success in a similar identification area.

    1. FL has RC identifier on driving records

      Just learned FL has the RC identifier on the driving records for insurance agencies to see. Does anyone know if the other states mentioned do that?