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In denying Snyder petition, Supreme Court upholds Sixth Circuit ruling

By Melissa Nann Burke . . . The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that “sweeping” conditions imposed retroactively under Michigan’s sex offender registry law were unconstitutionally punitive.

Michigan had appealed a 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision in 2016 that said retroactively applying changes to people already on the list would unconstitutionally increase punishments after offenders’ convictions. The Article 1 of the Constitution bars the states from passing any “ex post facto law,” meaning ones that increase or decrease punishment after the fact.

By declining to hear the case in a Monday order, the nation’s highest court upheld the lower court’s ruling.

The American Civil Liberties Union Fund of Michigan filed the suit in 2012 with the University of Michigan Clinical Law Program on behalf of five plaintiff offenders.

The ACLU said Monday’s ruling effectively requires state lawmakers to replace the existing law on sex registries, which they called “bloated and ineffective.”

“Courts have repeatedly recognized that Michigan’s sex offender registry is not just unconstitutional, but it’s an abject failure,” ACLU of Michigan senior staff attorney Miriam Aukerman said in a statement.

“Our communities deserve effective public-safety measures that are based in facts and research, not wasteful and counterproductive policies based in fear.”

Michigan said it revised its law in response to a 2006 federal law imposing minimum standards for sex-offender registries. States that fail to follow those minimum standards can lose out on federal law-enforcement funds. Michigan argued that the case was important to all states trying to comply with federal law.

“We will work with the governor and the State Police on next steps,” said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette spokeswoman Andrea Bitely.

The retroactive changes to the state registry law in 2006 and 2011 included prohibiting registrants from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of a school, and a requirement that registrants be divided into tiers based on their crime of conviction.

Registrants were also supposed to appear in person to update their information, such as new addresses, vehicles or email addresses.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit unanimously ruled last year that the Michigan statute as amended imposed “sweeping” conditions that resemble “in some respects at least, the ancient punishment of banishment” and “some traditional shaming punishments,” finding the geographical restrictions “very burdensome,” particularly in densely populated areas.

The judges said effect of the retroactive changes was imposing punishment after the offenders’ convictions and was therefore unconstitutional.

The statute “brands registrants as moral lepers solely on the basis of a prior conviction,” wrote Judge Alice Batchelder, an appointee of former President George H.W. Bush, for the panel.

“It consigns them to years, if not a lifetime, of existence on the margins, not only of society, but often, as the record in this case makes painfully evident, from their own families, with whom, due to school zone restrictions, they may not even live.”

Batchelder’s decision was joined by Judges Gilbert Merritt, a former President Jimmy Carter appointee, and Bernice Donald, an appointee of former President Barack Obama.

Source: The Detroit News with contributions from the Associated Press.

This topic contains 85 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Fred 5 days, 9 hours ago.

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  • #22960 Reply

    Lilah

    I hope other courts start to follow. Which courts effect Nevada should I be watching out for ?

  • #22963 Reply

    Chris

    Robin,

    This is great news for NCRSOL’s suit against North Carolina, I’m guessing. How many of North Carolina’s registry stipulations are similar enough to Michigan’s to hope for a similar ruling in your suit? Also, since the Supreme Court (in effect) agrees that Michigan’s registry scheme is punitive as applied, would it be prudent (or even possible) to amend the suit to include not only violations of ex post facto and due process protections but also a violation of 8th amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment? I kind of feel like the eighth amendment argument is where we want all of this to eventually go. The Colorado ruling a few weeks ago looks promising, but why put all of our eggs in one basket?

    • #22971 Reply

      Robin
      Keymaster

      The outcome in Snyder certainly doesn’t harm NARSOL’s posture in the North Carolina case. Having the matter closed clears the air of speculation over what the Supreme Court was planning to do. I would stop short, however, in presuming too much about the high court’s rejection. It was a procedural decision, not a decision on the merits of the underlying claims. The effect of a denial can be described as sustaining the lower court’s ruling, but only strictly. It does NOT mean that SCOTUS necessarily agrees with the outcome or the analysis used to arrive at that outcome. That wasn’t the question before the Court in considering whether or not to grant the petition.

      At this point in time, there is no way to amend the complaint in NC. Surely the Eighth Amendment door is pushed further ajar, but I think we’d better wait and see how the Tenth Circuit handles the appeal before we get too far ahead of ourselves in advancing this argument. Winning on an Ex Post Facto claim is far less challenging at this point and just as useful for most of the people who populate the registry in NC (and, depending on how it is received in the Fourth Circuit, SC, VA, WV and VA, as well). Plus, in order to win an Ex Post Facto claim, the courts who consider the question have to find certain aspects of registration and notification punitive. That lays the groundwork.

      Litigation about constitutional questions touching on new facts and circumstances is a game of finesse. It’s a bit like chess. It’s important to think a few steps (cases) ahead rather than take the risk that a single bad move loses the entire game.

  • #22965 Reply

    Mike

    McGuire is an expost facto and retroactive case in the 11th Circuit. It controls Alabama, Florida and Georgia. The 11th Circuit has already referred to Snyder in it’s 2017 decision to refuse to dismiss the residency restriction case in Miami Dade. I see no reason (especially now that SCOTUS upheld Snyder) for the 11th Circuit to also consider the McGuire case unconstitutional.

    Here is the latest case filing: http://equaljusticeunderlaw.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Supplemental-Brief.pdf

  • #22967 Reply

    David Israel

    Anyone have any idea if they’re doing similar attacks against registration requirements in South Carolina?

  • #22969 Reply

    David

    I think everybody is missing the point here if the sex offender registry is punishment punitive in nature then it is a double jeopardy violation for everyone who is on it and therefore unconstitutional for anyone.

    • #22984 Reply

      Robin
      Keymaster

      Double jeopardy will never attach as a reasonable argument against the registries. The prohibition against double jeopardy protects a citizen from being tried twice for the exact same offense or from being punished under more than one statute that contains the same elements or fewer of the same elements already included in the more serious charge (a lesser, but entirely included, offense).

      While they are punitive, the statutes requiring registration are not criminal statutes and there is no criminal process involved except for the mere fact of one’s conviction of a sexually based offense. No legislative body has ever explicitly declared that the intent of registry is to punish anyone. Just the opposite, they’ve bent over backwards to make declarations of their civil, non-punitive purpose. And, thus far, no court has ever declared that a state deliberately set out to punish anyone by requiring them to register as a sex offender. And, even were that to happen, it still wouldn’t open the door to a claim of protection from Double Jeopardy (5th Amendment claim) but would throw the door wide open for Fourteenth Amendment Due Process and Eighth Amendment C&U claims.

      • #22996 Reply

        DW

        Robin,

        In Padilla, didn’t the SCOTUS say that they make no distinction between civil/collateral versus punitive consequence because “deportation is intimately related to the criminal justice system”; therefore, Padilla had a right to prior knowledge of the mandatory deportation consequences of his plea.

        If the above logic was applied to a defendant whose attorney had access to legislation that mandated his deportation, why would the SCOTUS’s same logic not be applied to RSO’s who had their right to reflection denied via absence of existing legislation that become “mandatory” once passed if their pleas were entered prior to the registry’s creation? It would be impossible to argue that SORNA, AWA or Megan’s Law are not “intimately related to the criminal justice system.” Yet in Doe v. Alaska, did SCOTUS not say that the registry was a civil, collateral consequence of a prior conviction and not punishment? Seems as if that is a big contradiction to their Padilla language. Why are those RSO’s who pleas were entered prior to the 1994 enactment not granted relief as was Padilla.

        Also, does the 6th DISTRICT’s ruling apply to the removal of registrants whose original offense pre-dates any registration laws whatsoever, thereby allowing them to move to any State in the 6th DISTRICT without having to register since the words ex-post facto punishment are included in the ruling?

        Really appreciate your knowledge in such matters, and would love to know what you think.

        • #23003 Reply

          Robin
          Keymaster

          Put simply, relief hasn’t been granted to RSOs under this theory because the Court hasn’t had occasion to consider the question or the analogy. I can see how you’re extending the argument and it makes some sense to me. But, that’s just academic. For the Court to provide relief of any kind, relief must first be sought….and that requires a long and arduous process beginning in a federal district court and ending at the U.S. Supreme Court (IF it is willing to hear whatever question survives all the legal wrangling underneath).

          In response to your second question, I think that it’s difficult to say. NO court (outside of Colorado) has yet to state that the essential requirement to register, in and of itself, is unconstitutional. Registration was not under assault in the Michigan case. The enhancements (added restrictions and requirements) were under assault in Snyder. So, just speculating here, but I suspect that the answer to your question is probably no. It will likely not provide relief to people who were required to retroactively register years after the date of their convictions. The Sixth Circuit has not declared registration itself as punishment. It has declared the consequences (either intended or collateral) of being registered punishment and, therefore, unconstitutional. How Michigan’s legislature responds to that is essential to ascertaining subsequent and prospective legal opportunities.

        • #23013 Reply

          DW

          Robin,

          Thanks so much for the concise explanation. I truly appreciate it.

          I had no idea that Colorado had ruled the entire registry unconstitutional. Thanks for that information as well.

          Respectfully,
          DW

        • #23010 Reply

          Alex

          @robin

          Can a case like the one in Colorado which found the registry punishment by violating 8th and 14th amendment rights make it to the U.S Supreme Court on appeal even though it was only for 3 plaintiffs as applied ? I know it’s being appealed to the 10th, but can a case like that type go even further ?

        • #23025 Reply

          Dave

          You sound like a prosecutor fighting on the other side of this issue. Are you?

        • #23246 Reply

          DW

          Thanks Robin,

          You are absolutely correct. I contacted Michigan ACLU, and was told that I had a good ex-post facto challenge and should contact a lawyer, but I would not be able to move my family to Michigan and expect not to have to register. Guess I’ll just keep playing the lotto and hope I can afford that attorney one day =)

          Thanks very much for taking the time to explain the Padilla matter. I tried Padilla, PA contract clause argument, cited the 6th, etc. etc. at the circuit level in seeking a declaratory judgement and was shot down without the state’s attorney even addressing the argument; state just used the magic word “collateral” and the judge agreed. I live in floriduh (spelling most accurate as far as I’m concerned) though, so not surprised at all.

          Thanks again.

    • #22991 Reply

      TimL

      I would presume, like Robin’ position, that DJ is not directly implicated by Schneider. The states convicted registrants on completely separate set of facts. However the state does reuse the notice of convictions to get warrant issue for arrest for ” failure to provide information”. So I see where your confusion comes from.

      It does seem that one must already be guilty (of something) before registration can be triggered by law. Using a former conviction as a touch stone was objected to by J.P. STEVERNS in Alaska v Doe.

      In my opinion, the act of making law that is on its face retroactively applied, points to punitive intent by the states. States like Alaska and Wisconsin decided by edict ( via administrative branch) to use DOC to promulgate the rules AND their application to sexually oriented offenders. Other states opted for the state police or Attorney s General. If one were to check the history of Alaska’s regime one would see Alaska supreme court rejected Doe immediately finding it punitive in all respects- much like the 9th circuit did originally.

    • #23026 Reply

      Dave

      The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides, “No person shall … be subject for the same offence [sic] to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.” This provision, known as the Double Jeopardy Clause, prohibits state and federal governments from prosecuting individuals for the same crime on more than one occasion, or imposing more than one punishment for a single offense. Each of the 50 states offers similar protection through its own constitution, statutes, and Common Law.

    • #23035 Reply

      Tony From Long Island

      Dave:

      No court as far as I know, has ruled that the registration laws are punishment per se – only that this one is punishment as applied. Even I, as a RSO, do not believe that registration laws, in and of themselves, are unconstitutional. It all depends on the details and how they are applied.

      • #23664 Reply

        Tim L

        Tony,
        Not so sure states advertising in this manner via registration laws is the path to a more perfect union. Is it possible sharing certain information publicly is inherently destructive to the social compact with the goal of security?

        I can point to the recent equifax and yahoo hacking cases where information was made public via individuals stealing it and pitting it on the dark web. Other private individuals have used the public display to plan murder, extortion and assault. As a result of public notification two homes were Burned to the ground to prevent a registrant from moving in.

        Public also means foreigners world wide can access SOR databases and see what an immoral place and people America is. Airing our dirty laundry in this manner is in my estimation counter productive and demoralizing!

        Our constitution only provides for two levels of gov’t being federal and state. The Whetterling Act acknowledges a third ” local jurisdiction” which is incongruent.(OMNIBUS1994; community policing)

  • #22979 Reply

    Rose Marie Jueden

    It is said that sex offenders Laws in sentencing in South Dakota I have found if a sex offender was sentenced in Rapid City his sentence was less then in Minnenheaa County and what is said the sex offender had never been convicted of this kind of crime before the year 2012 and because he told the truth he was given 27 years were is there Justice in the state of SD? You read the prison report and they are becoming over crowded each day.
    Keep on fighting NARSOL

  • #22987 Reply

    Wyatt

    Will RSO eventually have the ground for a civil suit involving large amounts of money? What “they” have done to myself and so many others has cost us our jobs and housing. RSO’s need money to get back on there feet!

    • #23004 Reply

      Robin
      Keymaster

      Not likely. There is no retroactive cause of action for damages in civil suits that result in a statute (or set of statutes) being held unconstitutional. That is because the legal presumption is that ALL statutes are constitutional until such time as they are determined not to be. Damages are recoverable for actual harm (meaning that the harm can be calculated) in CERTAIN civil rights settings. Damages are not available for incidental, collateral, or ancillary harms. And even where damages are recoverable, the states (sovereigns) have first to statutorily ALLOW for those claims to be sought.

  • #22993 Reply

    Rich

    Can anyone with legal knowledge weigh in about how this might affect the McGuire case pending before the Ayatollahs of the 11th circuit?

    • #23001 Reply

      Robin
      Keymaster

      The Sixth Circuit opinion will have no controlling effect in the Eleventh Circuit. The Sixth Circuit opinion is controlling opinion (“the law”) in Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. However, the Sixth Circuit opinion is highly persuasive authority for cases heard by the Eleventh Circuit and the attorneys there will be sure to argue that. Then it’s really just a matter of whether the judges who serve on the panel in McGuire respectfully agree or respectfully disagree with the three judges who formed the Circuit panel in Snyder.

      • #23006 Reply

        Larry Anderson

        Hey Robin, in simple terms what does this actually mean in general for the state of Tennessee. I’m missing the strategy here!

        • #23075 Reply

          Robin
          Keymaster

          What it means is that if there are any restrictions or requirements in Tennessee that are similar to those in Michigan, they should be challenged. If they are challenged in federal district court in Tennessee, that court will have to apply the Sixth Circuit’s opinion.

          It’s a pyramid. The entire federal system is a gigantic pyramid. There are three levels: 1) District (lowest), 2) Circuit (middle), 3) Supreme (highest). Every case must pass through the first two levels before there’s even a chance at the last (and that’s a very slim chance, indeed).

          By jurisdiction, federal District courts can only decide constitutional questions concerning state laws at the state level. Each state has a different number of districts depending on population size. So a decision by a federal court in Colorado concerning the Colorado registration scheme is ONLY binding in Colorado. No place else.

          There are 13 federal Circuit Courts and they are arranged geographically with two exceptions (the District of Columbia Circuit and what’s called the federal district). The remaining 10 Circuits are each composed of a number of states, most of which are contiguous to each other (connected by a common border). Decisions of the federal Circuit courts are binding on the states within their pre-defined area of geographic jurisdiction. So a decision by, for example, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals will automatically be binding in every state underneath its jurisdiction (those states are Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wyoming). NO STATE belongs to more than ONE Circuit.

          There is one U.S. Supreme Court over ALL the federal courts below. A decision by the Supreme Court is binding on ALL Circuits, ALL districts, and ALL states in the nation (to include their own derivative state courts).

  • #23011 Reply

    Jeremy from Indiana

    I may be wrong, but I think the Supreme Court has an agenda with denying the two high profile sex offender cases in Michigan and Minnesota. The court has noticed that it is very difficult to strike down the entire registry with either of these cases, which after the comments in Packingham, I believe is the court’s goal. I believe they are preparing their docket for the case from Colorado that declared it cruel and unusual punishment. Michigan’s case was an ex post facto case and the majority of states have adopted that premise now. Minnesota’s was a civil commitment case that could have much further reaches beyond the registry.

    Why would they not take these two cases in the interim you might ask? Well, if they took one or both of these cases and overturned or confirmed either one, the entire country would be bound to the decision(s). This would severely harm our chances in the Colorado case because many of the arguments brought in that case would be moot and the decision would have to be left alone for Colorado only.

    By denying these petitions though, they left the door open for the Colorado case or any similar case that presents the cruel and unusual argument. A case that presents that argument is a much better case for the Supreme Court to have a landmark decision for our population considering that civil commitment and ex post facto don’t affect the majority of us, but cruel and unusual punishment does.

    I hope I’m right.

  • #23005 Reply

    Saddles

    In this sex registry maze if one wants to call this jumbled up sex registry a maze or a nightmare for some this decision is sort of a good move. Robin is doing good at picking up the pieces and trying to answer a lot of comments but as for me this decision is like saying “all roads lead to Rome”
    Now I wasn’t all that great in American History. I think I slept like everybody else in some of my classes but here is a video if some would like to review that are far more knowledgeable than I am in American History. Yes I would like Robin to review this but it is about an hour long. It even talks about slavery and even about this country we all live in and our rights as American’s and of course the Bill of rights and it does talk a bit about liberty and freedom of speech also. This video will explain a lot of things we didn’t learn in which we all should have learned and give more credence to those at the way America and some of these law’s go. And like I said I was dazed by this video myself and I feel I should share this … with NARSOL’s approval. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjVGzhQjL4U
    We all just might learn something.

  • #23021 Reply

    George In Texas

    @ Robin or Fred,

    I think it would be interesting to know exactly how the members (SCOTUS) voted on whether to hear Snyder and the Minnesota civil commitment cases. Is there a record of who voted to hear these and who didn’t?

    • #23032 Reply

      Fred
      Keymaster

      Conferences are held behind closed doors with only the nine justices in the room. There is no public record on what was discussed or how they came to their conclusion to deny review, and they released the order without comment. They need only 4 votes to grant review, so it is safe to say at least 6 said no.

    • #23073 Reply

      Robin
      Keymaster

      Ditto, Fred. The justices would be foolish to allow that much transparency. Bear in mind that this is a court that still doesn’t allow cameras in the courtroom.

  • #23031 Reply

    Ryan Burgdorf

    Does anyone know when sora started in Michigan. I was sentenced jan. 13, 2006 and convicted September 1, 2005. I need to find out what restriction I would be under since they don’t tell you shit here in bay city Michigan.

    • #23034 Reply

      Fred
      Keymaster

      I believe the 2006 revision went into effect on January 1st 2006 and the 2011 revision went into effect on July 1st 2011.
      The ruling by the 6th Circuit says these laws cannot be applied after the person was already convicted, which in your case was still 2005.
      This ruling has not gone into affect yet. You must continue registering for the time being and following all the other restrictions. The lower court still needs to issue a new judgement, the state legislators still need to rewrite the law.

    • #23038 Reply

      Tim P

      2011 AWA compliant and the SOR started in Michigan in 1994 with added provisions almost yearly since until this court case. Tim P Michigan ACLU SOR Specialist

    • #23040 Reply

      Tim P

      I wanted to thank all of you for your comments. I am Tim and I am working with the ACLU on this case and Legislative changes that we will be pushing for based on the court’s ruling. We are fortunate that some Elected officials are willing to make some positive changes but were waiting for what I call cover from a court ruling so they would not look like they were “Easy on Crime” I always tell them no you should Be Smart on Crime when you write laws. Look at the real facts and studies not just what you think they are. Anyway this process will not happen overnight but we are now headed in the right direction.Please be patient with this process. Our Legal Team on this case is now reviewing what the next best steps are and we are currently looking at other issues with SOR and how and if we can accomplish wins with some of them also. However we will have a priority that if the Legislators do not act in a way that we feel the court ruled we will be back in court for court orders to make them do so. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT ANYONE CURRENTLY ON THE SOR FOLLOWS THE LAWS AS THEY ARE NOW WRITTEN, we also would like people to be patient and NOT file cases based on this as that will just slow things down or could result in bad lower court rulings that could hurt or destroy your chances for removal from the SOR. Our Legal and Legislative Teams are working hard and we would ask that if you are a Michigan Resident and you have questions or concerns please contact me (Tim P) at intern@aclumich.org and I will attempt to answer them. I am always looking for people who will be willing to testify so if you are please contact me at the email above, I will respond as quickly as possible but we are being overloaded at this time.

      Good Luck to all and better days are coming for all if we keep pushing back on these SOR punitive laws.

      Tim P: ACLU of Michigan SOR Specialist and NARSOL Michigan Contact

      intern@aclumich.org

      • #23052 Reply

        bill

        why do the legislature’s need to rewrite a law that was already written at my time of conviction? I should be governed by that as it was written then. there should be nothing to rewrite except future laws. my punishment should revert back to what was written in 1995!

        • #23657 Reply

          Tim L

          That would be a country which lived up to its constitutional prohibitions.

  • #23039 Reply

    MikeD

    several questions come to mind but the most pressing for me is will I be let off the SOR at my 25 year mark? I had been moved to lifetime of registry halfway through.

    • #23046 Reply

      Fred
      Keymaster

      That is the one of the primary issues in this case. So the answers is yes, you should eventually be restored to your original registering requirement.

      • #23129 Reply

        MikeD

        thank you Fred for the quick response.

  • #23041 Reply

    Jerry

    Robin, how is the North Carolina case going? I haven’t heard anything in a while so wanted to see if any headway had been made.

    • #23072 Reply

      Robin
      Keymaster

      The North Carolina case remains before Judge Loretta Biggs. There is nothing further to report. At this point, we are on her clock, not ours. Whatever happens next will be at her beckoning. We expect that she will set a date for a hearing to more fully discuss the state’s motions to dismiss. We will keep you posted whenever there is more to report. I suspect she has been keeping a close eye on the Snyder case, as well. Now that it’s resolved, she is freer to move towards a disposition of NARSOL v. Stein.

      • #23086 Reply

        Teresa

        Robin
        Where can I find the NC case?

        • #23095 Reply

          Robin
          Keymaster

          Most likely, you will need to create a PACER account to find the docket history for the case. PACER accounts are mostly free so long as you don’t use them too much. https://www.pacer.gov/login.html

          If you have access to Lexis or Westlaw, you will also be able to find it. But those legal search engines are fairly expensive.

          The case is filed in the federal District Court for North Carolina (Middle District). Case number is: 1:17-cv-00053. Be certain that you are searching specifically within the Middle District for the federal District Court of NC because you will find duplicates of this case number throughout the federal judiciary for 2017. The case is generally styled NARSOL v. Stein if you’re searching by parties. If you search by attorney, look for Paul Dubbeling.

  • #23047 Reply

    Txso4life

    Thank you Tim and ACLU for the tremendous works that have been put forth to defeat this suppressive laws that affected so many Americans. Thank you, thank you, to the folks at narsol as well!

    • #23051 Reply

      Fred
      Keymaster

      Hello,
      I want to make sure you know that this is not over and that this particular victory will only affect registrants in the 6th Circuit, which includes Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio.
      To anyone in those states, this does NOT mean you can just stop registering and reporting now. The changes still need to be made by the state legislators. When the changes are made, you should receive a letter from your state officials informing you on what your requirements will be going forward. Until then, remain in compliance as you had been doing before this victory was announced.

      • #23653 Reply

        Tim L

        If I lived in Michigan like my father does AND if I were facing a trial for not providing information; I would call the registration specialist to the stand and force the agent to acknowledge the 6ths ruling.@Optfortrial.

  • #23053 Reply

    Bobby

    @ Fred or Robin,
    I know I have asked similar question before, but now that we have won in Michigan, I keep wondering since my conviction was 6-19-1992 before Michigan had a registry, and the FACT that the Judge did NOT order me to register will I be removed from the registry completely.?

    I was still on Parole when the registry came to be, in 1994 and put on it in 1995 , the legislators I am guessing, or the MDOC, for 25 years then it was changed to life. They also changed the registration dates of everyone here in Michigan, like my registration start date was 1995, but now it says my registration start date is 6-19-92 .

    How does all that work now that we won?, I personally think I should be removed from the registry altogether, since the registry did not exist back then, and the fact a judge did not sentence me to register. what is your opinion.

    • #23060 Reply

      Fred
      Keymaster

      Your registering period should eventually be restored to the original 25 year period. I do not know if the start will be 1992 or 1995. Let’s let the dust settle and let ACLU and our legislators work it out and then we will have a more accurate idea on how the changes will be applied to you and others. The only thing I am certain of at this point is that the lifetime registering period should be returned to the 25 year period and that the other restrictions cannot be applied to people who were convicted prior to that law being enacted.

    • #24629 Reply

      Bill

      Bobby,
      I was just on the Michigan site and yes I can see they have the original registry date, but down below it still has my original conviction date. Maybe I should print this off before they change it. Good luck everyone.

      Bill

  • #23061 Reply

    Robert J Hogg

    What about tenn. I was did the Same way from a 96 case and was put on lifetime in 04

  • #23066 Reply

    Josh

    Hi, I live in Nebraska and I’m a registered citizen. I understand this won’t directly affect Nebraska but will there be any action in Nebraska anytime soon?

  • #23064 Reply

    Tom McHale

    My son was found NGRI (not guilty by reason of insanity) in Illinois of a sexual assault and is currently receiving inpatient treatment thru the state health dept. We expect sometime in the near future he will be granted a conditional release at which time he will be required to register as a SO per the NGRI statute. Can anyone tell me specifically what would be the nature of his registration (lifetime or 10yrs) and what specific limitations might he encounter with regard to living near schools, visiting parks and employment. Up til now we gotten very limited information from his attorney who claims they are looking into it. Also has the requirement to register under the NGRI statute ever been challenged contitutionally along the lines of the case being discussed in this thread. It seemed inconsistent to be found not guilty yet to still be required to register. Any insights or information anyone can offer is appreciated. thx Tom

  • #23065 Reply

    Timothy L Davis

    Receiving the news, I saw a glimmer of hope. Reading the blog discussing the decision, I no longer see the glimmer. At this point in my life and my health, I was just wanting to be able to die at home rather than become too old and ill to meet the registration requirements in my state. What you are basically saying is the Supreme Court system has not even agreed that retro-active implementation of the Sex Offender Registry or changes made to Sex Offender Registry requirements after Alaska vs Doe, are recognized as punitive by the Federal Courts. In my case, an 8 year sentence already lasting 30, there is still no glimmer of hope in sight.

    • #23076 Reply

      Robin
      Keymaster

      There’s more than just a glimmer of hope as we look across the horizon. Our responsibility is to make sure that people understand what has really happened and not communicate a false narrative simply because that’s what many people want to hear.

      The Supreme Court’s decision to reject Michigan’s petition is NOT enough information to form an opinion about how the Supreme Court might have disposed of the case IF it had accepted the petition. People can speculate, and people do. But speculation is a useless substitution for the truth. And the truth is that we don’t know what the high court’s opinion is regarding WHY the Sixth Circuit arrived at it’s decision holding much of the Michigan registration requirements unconstitutional. All we know is that the high Court (at least a majority of it) is satisfied with HOW the Sixth Circuit arrived at its decision. There is an extraordinarily fine line of distinction between the two types of assessments, legally speaking. But, because the line is so fine, it’s often very easy to blur it and make unreasonable assumptions about the Court’s opinion of a question it has not yet considered.

  • #23077 Reply

    Nick

    Anything happening in Illinois? Any news would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and have a blessed day.

  • #23094 Reply

    Wes gray

    40 years of witch hunt, it won’t stop until we stop it. Do not be afraid. fight back, get angry. Start or join a support group, their is power in numbers. Educate the public with the truth, end the lies, contact your senators, etc. Refuse to take the abuse any longer. May God bless us all

  • #23122 Reply

    Saddles

    Wes you are right.. Hey if I were married and had kids, I couldn’t even spank my kids. Yes growing up my dad got a belt to my backside but today its all about the law and these witch hunts. Its either sexting or some in family problem of the wife accusing the husband of taking advantaging one of the kids and than we could talk about money and fines, and all the other stuff that some go thru in all this sexual hocus pocus and than maybe if one is lucky he or she gets probation for 10 as in my case but one is under the microscope for the rest of one’s life unless intervention comes in.
    Hey I met a guy named Terry and see him once in a while to say hi and chat a bit. lives here in Virginia., he had a wife and kids, had to do some time because the wife accused him of something with one of his kids. He paid his time lives by himself in an apt and we chat from time to time. Maybe they were going thru some hard times way back when who knows but the fact is he said he never did it. Now that’s a tough situation to be in he also has a girlfriend that comes in and checks on him also. All things work out in the end so never give up. This little sexting thing I am into is a bit much for some but when the law goes above their maker that’s another story in itself.
    NARSOL and woman against the registry and other advocates are in there for all of us but you all have to be strong also. I don’t like any of this myself and I think a lot of this is wrong. We all can either go forward or just not help others out, or all pull together. And those witch hunts were back in England and a few in MA. Course I only saw the movie Witches of eastwick, but a lot of this is like a witch hunt. One has to fight fire with fire sometimes is todays’ America.

  • #23144 Reply

    Bobby

    hello again

    This might sound like a stupid question, Snyder only talks about 2006 and 2011 previsions can not be retroactive ,what about the law they decided to pass in 2013 where we here in Michigan are required to pay an annual fee of $50 dollars every year, since 2013 Michigan has stole $250 dollars from me so far, even though I paid the initial fee of $30 when I was first put on it in 1995. I better not have to continue to have to pay that extortion fee anymore.

    Like I said before I have my original 25 years in now (6-29-92) since they moved everyone’s registration dates to their conviction dates, but if they move them back to the original registration dates mine would go back to 1995 when I was 26 yrs, so that means I would still be stuck on it foe another 3 years, unless they remove me from it altogether. ( fingers crossed)

    • #23247 Reply

      Tim L

      Bobby, to be sure the enhancements were determined by the court to act as punishments. The fee requirement was tested in a WI case a few years back they were upheld.I refuse to pay up! In the debate the lawyers argued over whether it was a fee or a tax. In effect the outcome for the offender is the same- cash out of pocket for a previously fully adjudicated case that did not include a judgement from the trial court.

      This is nothing less than extortion. The reasoning is quite clear. Monies garnered from fees are ” to help offset” the costs of maintaining the SORS. The fact is states built these databases under threat of loss of Byrne grants. If SORS were such a great idea there would be no need for the coercion, Yet clearly there was coercion. Like many underfunded federal programs forced upon the states there come a point when the cash runs out.

      The 6ths ruling here stops just short of declaring the SORS as intentionally punitive, yet many of us on the registry have long suspected the intent was just that to keep imprisoning persons.

  • #23370 Reply

    Bobby

    @ Robin or Fred, or anyone else

    Does anyone know if the state of Michigan has a certain time frame they half to obeyed by to get the changes done? I realize I will probably have to check-in come December ,but will I have to check-in come March 2018.

    I do know I will refuse to pay them their $50 extortion fee in March, and that they should be ordered to pay back the $250 dollars, they already extorted from me in my opinion anyway.

    Thanks

    • #23396 Reply

      Robin
      Keymaster

      States are sovereign. The only timelines states have are those which they establish for themselves or those to which they have bound themselves in agreements with other states or by virtue of having ratified the Constitution (which places hardly any obligations upon the states regarding dates and times).

      Each state has divided (separated) branches of government which are co-equal. And each branch typically operates by its own set of rules and timelines. It is not uncommon to see legislatures (and even courts) attempt to dictate times and deadlines to other branches of government, and, depending upon the targeted action, such requirements may or may not be constitutional (for that state…and under that state’s own constitution).

      This case has returned to the lower court: a federal District court. A federal court has the authority to require the state to do this or that by such and such time. However, it’s not entirely unprecedented for a state to ignore or even rebuff a federal order ESPECIALLY when the federal court has no power to enforce its order. This is where the executive power of the federal government becomes exceptionally important. Federal judges can rule this or that as unconstitutional. But the judiciary has no power to enforce its own orders without the help of the president and the attorney general.

      Drawing from a historical perspective, let’s consider the Civil Rights movement. Without Eisenhower’s decision to nationalize Arkansas’ state guard in 1957, Orval Faubus would have successfully prevented black students from enrolling at Central High School in Little Rock. Likewise, and a few years later, without the Kennedy brothers deciding to face-off with Alabama Gov. George Wallace in 1963, the public school system would not have capitulated to desegregation.

      I apologize for the length of this answer. But I’m just trying to illustrate how important it is to have an administration that is ready to stand behind the federal judiciary when it comes to enforcing unpopular orders. It would not surprise me to see the Michigan Legislature, or its governor, to attempt to a version of this kind of “constitutional crisis” and put President Trump in the very uncomfortable position of having to enforce an extremely unpopular order. If that were to happen, I wouldn’t offer any wagers on how Trump will respond.

      In sum, yes, there will likely be some kind of deadline, but we have no idea what it will be at this point in time. But, even supposing there is one, there’s no compelling reason to believe that the state of Michigan will abide by it. I wish I could provide greater assurance, but I can’t. We will all have to wait and see how the thing unwinds. And there is likely to be more litigation in the effort to force the state’s compliance.

      • #23450 Reply

        Jim

        If states can simply refuse to obey Federal court decisions it seems to me there is little victory to be had in their decisions. If states don’t have to follow through, how is it good news when Federal courts rule against them? I don’t know know about our President, but I am fairly certain the current AG would never side with RSO’s. I am far removed from understanding the workings of government, but what you posted seems thoroughly discouraging. It seems that no matter what the courts rule, they have no way to enforce their rulings.

        • #23463 Reply

          Robin
          Keymaster

          I wouldn’t be discouraged by it. The arc of justice still bends rightly. I gave examples from the Civil Rights era to illustrate what has already happened in the fairly recent past where states were unwilling to abide by federal court orders. That is certainly nothing new.

          Perhaps the most famous illustration of this tension between a court’s order and a president’s willingness to enforce it came during the “Cherokee Indian cases” of the 1830s, in particular, Worcester v. Georgia (1832), where Justice John Marshall angered President Jackson by insisting that Georgia laws allowing the seizure of Cherokee lands violated federal treaties. Jackson’s response to the Court’s opinion was “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.” Meaning, of course, that the president had no intention to do so.

          Our federal courts can generally expect lawful orders to be enforced. But ours is a politically volatile issue that allows–even invites– more grandstanding among the branches and between the federal courts and the states. This is the seminal civil rights struggle of our era, in my estimation. It will require long-term commitment and consistent, unwavering loyalty and support to see it to completion. It is not for the faint of heart or for those who are easily discouraged.

        • #23464 Reply

          Jim

          No “faint of heart” here, I just found some personal “heaviness” from your post. I have thought for many years we have a monumental hurdle before us in ever TRULY regaining any measure of restored liberties in this country. Certainly there have been small gains, but there remains a long road ahead. I suppose the fact that I was unaware states could simply disregard Federal court decisions is what hit me a bit hard. At my age I may not live to see any real relief, but I sure pray for those who will. Thanks for the response to my earlier post. And THANKS to NARSOL for all your efforts on our behalf!

        • #23502 Reply

          Stay outraged

          South Carolina is the WORST for doing this! They absolutely refused to honor SCOTUS gay marriage ruling. They were the last state to observe the Martin Luther King holiday, and I needn’t remind you it was ground zero for the outbreak of the Civil War.

          It’s a terrible state full of backwoods, ignorant and arrogant Bible thumping pseudo Christian politicos.

      • #23584 Reply

        Tim L

        I would like to add just a bit to this thread. Like Robin stated, historically these movements for civil change are accompanied by protests or demonstrations en masse. This is an important aspect of civil revolution sex offenders have yet to embrace. If the SORS are truly unconstitutional ( that one cannot stomach ) then en masse demonstration is a MUST for the group!

        The lack thereof, so far sends a message to the superior courts that registration is not unconstitutional, but merely uncomfortable for some.

        This is why I believe it will take more than just whining to the Feds\ courts will not be enough to take down the databases. Simply put an angry mob is necessary to illicit prompt change.

        • #23620 Reply

          Jim

          An angry mob of protesting RSO’s would find zero support from the general public or the government. The prevailing attitude toward registered citizens today is what makes our battle all the more difficult.

        • #24062 Reply

          Maestro

          An angry mob of RSO’s, their relatives and (grown) children would make an impact.
          This can’t be just the RSO’s. It’s got to be EVERYONE in their lives that is effected by the registry.
          It has to be strategic also, meaning that we’d have to use GOOD examples such as “Romeo & Juliet” relationships, lying teenagers, lying ex-wives, lovers caught getting freaky on a beach.
          It cannot be allowed to be seen as a “pedophile” march.

      • #25868 Reply

        Joseph

        Just to get this out there I’m replying to Robin’s comment.
        In every petition (or complaint), there is a section at the end to state for the court the relief sought. It should be standard procedure to request the court to order that for each offender, the registry law that was in effect at the time of the commission of the offense will be the one to govern that offender.
        If that were so and Georgia’s sex offender registry law, O.C.G.A. 42-1-12 were to be successfully challenged as punitive and ex post facto, (my crime commit date is/was 4/29/03) I would benefit as follows:
        1.) I would have to be reclassified. I would no longer be a sexually dangerous predator since at the time I committed my offense, I would have to have committed a crime designated as a sexually violent offense AND demonstrate a depravity of mind or attitude that compels me to commit further sexual offenses.
        2.) The maximum penalty for failure to register would be 3 years in the state penitentiary and a $100,000 fine.
        3.) I would be off the registry, without having to do anything such as petition the court, in 10 years. And, the clock began running on the date that I was released from prison and placed on probation.

        Since I have completed my entire sentence and am not on any form of court supervision, and as such have standing to sue, I offer myself as a plaintiff for any civil action that any attorney would care to file on behalf of sex offenders in Georgia, or nationwide as in the case of the International Megan’s Law.

    • #23648 Reply

      Tim L

      @BIGGOV@BIGUNION.

  • #24100 Reply

    Bobby

    @Robin or Fred,

    I just looked at my registration date, and they changed it BACK to the original date of 11-22-1995, but just a few day’s ago it had my conviction date of 6-19-1992. So they are starting to make the changes, I still say’s tier 3, and life time registry on it.

    They should be changing that back to l25 years and getting rid of the tier3 part as well, and it should registration ends in 2020 when I am 51. plus I shouldn’t have to register 4 times a year. or be on the public registry, if they go back to the original 1994 registry when it was only excusable to the police. I also should not have to pay that annual $50 fee they passed in 2013, but I will have to wait and see when they get done with the changes.

    Oh, and once I move back to 25 year registry, I should be able to petition for removal from the registry since the original 1994 registry let us, petition for removal after 10 years, but will see what happens I guess.

  • #25290 Reply

    Kenneth

    I have a very straight-forward question. I am on Michigan’s registry (Conviction in 2004. Jail time plus probation which ended successfully in 2009) I was originally given 25 yrs on the registry, which was extended to life in 2011.

    My question is this: Does the Sixth’s decision apply to me or, am I still bound by these changes because I was still ‘on paper’ when they were instituted. I guess what I’m asking here is, Which date is the pertinent one with regard to the Sixth’s decision, my conviction date of 2004 or my date of release from probation in 2009?

    I fully realize that the wheels of justice grind exceedingly slowly but, given my specific dates, does anyone think I might have a remote chance of getting my 25 yr. out date back?

    Thanks

    • #25338 Reply

      MikeD

      Kenneth I am in the same boat with the exception that my offense was much earlier…from what I have been told in a previous answer on this page is we “should” be going back to the 25 years. And yes Michigan’s gears will drag and take as along as they possibly can to fix this issue. Legislators are in no hurry to change anything.

  • #28046 Reply

    Bobby

    Lets be clear I am NOT asking for a lawyer type opinion, just a regular person’s opinion, that may be in the same boat as me, or at least similar, just trying to get an idra on what Michigan might do with me after they rewrite the Michigan registry, so any opinions would be appreciate, and if this sounds similar to any questions I may have asked in the past I apologize in advance.

    Hello,

         I have been wondering about something, I know they said that the 2006 and 2011 Amendments can NOT be retroactively applied to me, but then there is the 2013 Amendment and the 2004 2002 and the 1999 and 1994 Amendments  I understand I was still on parole when  Megan’s Law was passed in 1994, and since I was OFF Parole in 1996, I was wondering shouldn’t the 1994 Amendment be the ONLY one that should/would apply to me?.  unless they remove me from the registry completely.  

      I was also curious since there was no registry laws in 1992 when I was convicted how could the legislature tell me I have to register, I mean is that not a violation of the CONTRACT/PLEA I took between me the my lawyer the prosecutor and judge?  or maybe even a violation of the supremacy clause, or the separation of powers 

        I’m just asking just trying to understand how this works, or how the final rewrite of the registry is going to effect me.  Thank you for your time.

  • #28581 Reply

    Dr.

    I’m in Michigan, conviction 5/10/93 , 4th degree csc, misdemeanor… judgement of 30 days and probation…
    Now it is lifetime……if I or my case can help, feel free to contact me.

    • #28587 Reply

      Fred
      Keymaster

      Our Michigan Affiliate is always looking for people like you to testify. If you send us an email at the link on the bottom, we’ll put you in touch wirh him.

  • #28588 Reply

    Tom

    I was Sentenced in 2005 in Wisconsin. At the time if you looked me up on the registry it said I was off the registry in 2024. Then a few years later the law changed and I was then moved to Special Builtin status along with life time registry and life time GPS monitoring. I was in prison at that time. I was also in group therapy. When i was almost done I was informed of this change. The social workers and the therapist couldn’t understand the change and it took three days to figure out why. Again it was a law change that did this. Do I have a chance now to reverse this?

  • #28605 Reply

    Bobby

    Hello everyone,

    This is for Robin or Fred, or anyone else really, just trying to figure out what Michigan is doing, as I stated back on October 14th, Michigan changed my conviction date back to 11-22-1995, it was my conviction date of 6-19-1992, and I checked it again yesterday and guess what they have now, changed it again, from 11-22-195 back to my conviction date of 6-19-1992. I am not sure what the heck they are doing, but this is getting ridiculous, I don’t even think Michigan has a clue on what they are attempting to do, I did talk with a guy from Michigan’s ACLU and he says they are dragging their feet, and are looking at a possible class action lawsuit. He also told me the a persons registration start date is actually your conviction date. I am not sure if that is ONLY for Michigan registrants, or applies to ALL registrants across the Country Just thought I would let everyone know what I was told. If anyone has any theories on why they keep changing my dates I would really appreciate your comments. Thank you

  • #28612 Reply

    Kenny Grabarczyk

    I have an idea that I ran by the NCRSOL office and would like someone to contact me at the National level to bounce the idea off of and maybe get more resources on. Four words….. The International Criminal Court.

  • #29178 Reply

    Brian

    I have a question for people from Michigan. In Pa there trying to pass a fix House Bill 1952
    To revert all pre SORNA registratants back to the old ML, this fix would work in my favor but won’t work in a lot of others favor, my question is, In Michigan did the general assembly attempt a fix like Pa is doing?

    • #29184 Reply

      Fred
      Keymaster

      Not that I am aware of. The last I heard, ACLU and Michigan Legislators are working to bring the law into compliance with the 6th’s ruling. That will be their fix. Nothing has changed for registrants in Michigan as of yet. The Supreme Court denied review on October 2nd, it will take some time for the changes to be ironed out and enacted.
      My opinion is that HB 1952 out of PA is just political grandstanding. It hasn’t passed yet and there are more hoops for it to go through before it could become a law. If the U.S. Supreme Court denies review of the Muniz case, then they will have to find their “fix”.
      The fact that they are trotting out this new bill while the petition to the Supreme Court is pending, leads me to believe that they believe they will lose that case. If they thought they would win, why not just sit back and wait, then resume the law they had been using. And if they believe they will lose, to me that is an indication that they know how unconstitutional their law is. So this HB1952 would just be posturing for the voters.

  • #29235 Reply

    Brian

    @fred Keymaster
    That makes perfect sense , they know their going to loose so why not the old college try. I wander if any other states have atempted anything like HB 1952 in defending their screwups of unconstitutionality or is Pa the only one so far?

    • #29254 Reply

      Bobby

      @Brian

      I am from Michigan and I have been checking the registry every day, to see if there is any changes even slight ones, and so far the ONLY changes I have noticed is the registration start dates.

      Just to be clear what I mean is my registration state date use to be 11-22-1995, and now it says 6-19-1992 which is the date I was convicted, and they have changed that back and worth already twice.

      I just checked again, and it still has my conviction date of 6-19-199y 2, and in my case, that is good for me since I was suppose to register for 25 years, and at the moment I have 25 years and six months in right now, which would mean I would be removed, or since there was no registry in Michigan in 1992 I could be removed automatically according to Ms Aukerman from the ACLU, but she also said we will have to wait and see what develops, but to be patient ,because they are working hard on getting the changes made, like the 6th circuit ordered.

  • #29294 Reply

    Brian

    @Boddy
    I was a 10 year in pa and suposed to be done in 2013, then as we know the AWA was put into law in pa I don’t know when they brought Michigan up to date with SORNA but we got screwed 12/20/2012 a whole year before I was suposed to come off. Now with HB 1952 fix they are calling it me and a couple hundred will come off, people that have punishment well past 2012 are going to have some problems, I don’t see this bill lasting very long if it even comes off the floor which some think it wont and others are thinking it will pass. Once they deny cert and Muniz is 100% law I’m sure people will challenge SB 1952 and it’s not going to stand in pa courts under many constitutional grounds. The day I saw that Michigan won was an awesome feeling even though I don’t live there it gave me lots of hope, I hope you guys get off soon.

  • #29372 Reply

    Fred
    Keymaster

    The following message is from NARSOL’s affiliate who is working with ACLU and Michigan’s legislators.
    *******
    “The Sixth Circuit, in Does v. Snyder, already made clear that the 2006 and 2011 amendments to SORA cannot be applied retroactively. The same organizations that brought the Does case (the ACLU and University of Michigan Clinical Law Program), along with a private law firm, are developing a class action to ensure that all eligible Michigan registrants get the benefits of the Does decision. In addition, legislative discussions are underway to rewrite SORA. If individuals file their own actions, it could complicate the efforts of the Does attorneys to get relief for everyone. We discourage individual filings. Instead, we encourage you to contact Tim the ACLU of Michigan SOR Specialist at intern@aclumich.org if you are interested in being considered as a plaintiff in the class action case or are willing to help with efforts to get the law changed. Please provide all of your contact information and a short summary of your conviction information.”
    ********

    • #29521 Reply

      Bobby

      @ Fred

      Thank you for posting this, I went in on the 4th to register, and usually I get along ns. with the cops in my town, but this time they were asking all kinds I question. I informed Officer Walton that he is NO LONGER allowed to enforce the 2006 and 2011 amendments, then asked me what is your e-mail address and if I own a car and so on, I informed him again he can’t enforce those amendments any longer and looked at me and said I can do what I want, because I have not received anything telling me different. I told him about the 6th ruling and that SCOTUS denied Michigan’s stay, but he just played dumb, since cops are dumb and ignorant to what is going on.

      Then before I left he said don’t for get to bring my $50 fee when I come back in March, and I said I don’t think so, because if the Legislature does what it is suppose to and get off their ass’s and revamp the registry like they are suppose to I will be off the registry.

      So anyway I have spoke to Ms Aukerman and Juan C. can’t remember how to spell his last name, but neither one can give me a straight answer. So maybe you can if they are not suppose to be enforcing these Amendments then why am I still a tier 3? they did change my my registrantion start date from 11-22-1995 to my conviction date of 6-19-1992, which b=means I have my original 25 years in now.

      Do you know if the 2013 amendment requiring us to pay a $50 fee every year still applies or is that also unconstitutional? I can’t seem to get an answer from the MI. ACLU on that yet. Do you have any idea’s pr thoughts on that that I/we might not have heard yet on that topic. Thank you.

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