Families will not be ripped apart in Tennessee

By Sandy and Larry . . . The Tennessee General Assembly enacted a statute which would have forced families to be split apart, and it was scheduled to take effect July 1st. Fortunately, the law has been stopped in its tracks for now. The law states that anyone convicted of a sexual offense in which the victim was a child under the age of twelve is prohibited from living with any minor, defined as anyone under eighteen. This prohibition includes registrants’ own children, even when the victims were not related to nor living with the registrants at the time. It applies regardless of any circumstances, such as how long ago the offenses were, the age of the registrants at the time, or the current circumstances of the needs of the children.

Those on the registry and those of us who advocate for their rights are accustomed to new legislation every year that further erodes the rights and due processes of those it targets. We are accustomed to fighting against the passage of such legislation before it passes and seeking to lesson its impact if it passes. This legislation could have been just another such law.

Instead, it proved to be a line in the sand.

During the latter part of May, registrants who are on record as currently residing with a minor were mailed notices advising them of the action they must take in order to prevent being arrested and prosecuted for a new crime. Within weeks a small group of Tennessee attorneys had plaintiffs, were preparing litigation, and had filed in federal court seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO). The court granted the TRO which prohibited enforcement of the new law until a hearing could be held on the request for a preliminary injunction. On the NARSOL in Action (NIA) program, Tennessee attorney Patrick McNally, announced that, prior to the hearing, an agreement was reached with the state of Tennessee extending the TRO until the litigation is concluded.

This is terrific news. Registrant parents who had been ordered to leave their homes and families or else be arrested will not be required to do so. During the Q and A session, the point was raised that some registrants had been ordered to leave before the TRO was granted and had complied. Mr. McNally advised that in those circumstances, the affected registrants should contact the agency who instructed them to leave and inquire if they were aware of the TRO and if they could return home.

For now, Tennessee parents are safe. They will not be ripped from their children who love and need them.

Now the work begins for the attorneys building the case. Mr. McNally also announced that class action certification is being sought; however, class action is not automatically granted nor easily come by. In fact, Tennessee has indicated it will oppose certification. No decision has come down yet regarding this.

This case has critical and urgent ramifications. The law was passed because Tennessee’s neighboring state of Alabama has the same law already in place. If this stands in Tennessee, where will it go next? Arkansas? North Carolina? Kentucky? Missouri? And then?

A link to the most recent order of the court can be found here.

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Sandy Rozek

Sandy is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.

This topic contains 10 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Avatar HQ 2 months ago.

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  • #57992 Reply
    Sandy Rozek
    Sandy Rozek

    By Sandy and Larry . . . The Tennessee General Assembly enacted a statute which would have forced families to be split apart, and it was scheduled to
    [See the full post at: Families will not be ripped apart in Tennessee]

  • #57995 Reply

    That is wonderful news! The families will not need to suffer before the case is decided. Now the fight begins.

  • #57996 Reply

    If I were a betting man, I’d be willing to wager that Does v. Snyder (6th Circuit) will make short work of the retroactive application of this vicious and cruel piece of NIMBY legislation. The 6th Circuit’s overturning of the retroactively applied 2006 and 2011 restrictions on grounds that the ex post facto is binding precedent within the 6th Circuit. Michigan petitioned SCOTUS for cert and was turned back, so the 6th Circuit ruling is authoritative.

    The part that worries me is the prospective application. There is a challenge that the law revokes parental rights without due process of law, which is a 14th Amendment issue. There is already a process in place by which children can be removed from an abusive home. There’s also a process for evicting abusive parents from the home. This law can also act to preemptively revoke parental rights for registrants who have not yet become parents.

    We will have arrived at a very dark place if the prospective aspect of this law survives the current challenge. It’s a dark place when a man or woman can be stripped of the right to be a parent before they ever even become a parent. Very scary stuff.

    This affects every TN registrant. If the state can get by with passing laws like this today, what law WON’T THEY PASS tomorrow? The next law could affect you.

  • #57997 Reply

    Wrong you say tenn families won’t be ripped apart , say this to our son who has to stay at night and can’t be with his father to go shopping get haircuts go to church , , I can’t exercise due to the no being alone part , umm we went to court ten years ago and Has has permission from the court to my hub getting stay reciding with me an our bio son , the laws are retroactive and technically the pro says my hub shouldn’t been able to recide with our son back then , But in court transcripts judge and Da gave permission , prior permission my hub had , what gives the right to make a mistake and punish our son , telling my hub had to leave June 6th , but got the call that hub could tell son to come home , the.n 5 min late called bavk says he can’t come home
    So wrong Thee are still tenn families torn apart ,
    We are going to see what the new da can do since my hub had prior permission , ,where’s the due process to begin with ,

  • #58012 Reply

    Know some one
    convicted of taking improper liberties with a minor after 10 years law changed to
    violent sex offender .He being punished For the rest of his life. He was 20 girls was 14 and 15 girls decided to play strip poker
    And he went along with it but no one show no body parts or touch any one .That was proven in court. That one stupid mistake changed his life for the rest of his life.its unfair! Some one pinches somebody’s butt Did more than him
    And nothing happens to change them for rest of their life.
    I believe in protecting our children but this has gone too far for too long.

  • #58030 Reply

    Yes I agree that the Sex Offender Laws have gone to far. We have to keep telling the stories such as the one Aline told above in the comments. I know as a older family member, that the laws have gone to far. Hopefully with Sandy and Larry’s story that they wrote above, this will become a Big Red Flag to everyone. The laws do not just effect the person forever but their loved ones. This is a perfect example of collateral damage. The Church is a big believer of families unity. It has always been best for families to help each other out in times of trouble. And the best thing for a child is to have a mother and a father. I find it hard to believe that we are going down this path. It breaks my heart to know that there are people out there thinking it is the right thing to do. It is bad enough to be labeled for life for a crime that time was served, to be continued forever. It just has to stop! I will pray for all the families and for the attorney Patrick McNally that we can stop this Cancer. I pray that crimes such as what people are being charged with as SO will open the common people’s eyes. The amount of young men being added to this list is unbelievable. The length of time is getting to be a Problem, not just for the SO, but for the Police and all included. SO are curable, and that needs to be noted. Our Federal government needs to get rid of Megan’s Law that is what I pray for, with all its obscurity!

  • #58048 Reply

    What about the offenders that we accused and never really guilty,?? They have to send time and be punished and then get out and still be punished when all they have some if wait to get out so they can live somewhat a life with people who have supported and lovrd them and had to be torn from thier own from false accusations from another. They don’t get a voice! It’s one person’s words over another! No polygtaohs, they’re was no physical evidence, no Dr. To even back up her story, yet “he” was guilty! The system is messed up! There has to be another way to for these people to serve thier time and let that be justice or injustice served and put it in the hands of the ones who are taking them in and trusting thier judgment. I pretty sure they will be alert and not completely oblivious to what’s going on around them. I absolutely do not agree that they should do time (years) and then have to separated from thier kids who have been visiting for years, just to be separated when they finally get to come home! It’s sickening and unfair any way you look at it!

  • #58071 Reply

    Sexual offense? I wonder what is a sexual offense or who is the offender? Is it looking at a woman to lust some type of offense today, Is it a touch not, taste not form of debauchery in the USA today or are all guilty. Is it where the line is drawn in the sand, One wonders who is being ripped apart from families by this injustice. I wonder who stumbles in the night with offenses or does government offend.

    Does man thinks for others or are we all slaves to this sex offender ordeal or who infringes on anothers liberty? Well some of you all have found one of the keys to all this and yes its “Due Process” or are we all slaves to the system. Sure correction is good but when it tears families apart government is not thinking right and that causes one party to war against the other for true justice or does man perdict another person’s destiny or is all this lobying and advocaing in vain or what is true justice. One wonders if this “ICE” deportation ordeal is true justice.

    Are all sex offenders being tested today when one comes out of prison if thats the case or is character behavior as some label it as violent behavior or a stand out in the hall until you cool off and than you can come back into the class In all this sex ordeal I’m sure one don’t see any good principals coming out of this before the fact or after the fact.

    I think the saying the proof is in the pudding should be the question. and with incarracration and court fines, etc I believe a lot have paid for the pudding in these suffering ways, so is all this a double standard of man’s pride over man or vain justice. One wonders who’s the offender or who’s the pretender in this government hi-jinks. Social justice philosophically is a yoke of slavery, which binds the conscience of believers in many of these situations.

  • #58072 Reply

    I’ve been sick of these laws as I’m sure everyone on the registry is. Unless there are commercials broadcast over and over of what’s really going on nothing is going to change. It’s great to hear that this law has been stopped at least for now, the reality of it never taking effect is slim. I’ve said it before that, US enslaved registered human beings need to unite and take a stand in Washington. We can complain all we want on here but the people that have no clue what NARSOL is or stands for is left in the dark and remain clueless. The only way to make them aware is to March or make ” our cause” known to as many people as we can. I tell people about NARSOL and ask them to go look them up and read everything they can from the website. People will say ” oh yea that sounds like a great organization im going to do that but 99% of them never do. NARSOL and its attorneys need public air time to get this point across to more than just us on here. I’m not sure of the cost or how to do it but I’m sure someone out there would know. I’d be willing to donate to help pay for air time, I’m sure once people see what’s really going on maybe more people would get behind us and more donations would pour in. It sure wouldn’t hurt to at least try it. What do we have to lose? Alot can be said in 1 or 2 minutes that could change minds about US enslaved registered human beings. Has NARSOL ever considered this avenue to reach more people? You know there’s going to be mixed opinions that’s a given but just maybe it could have a huge impact and these lobbyists
    and lawmakers might take a look at what’s biting them on their arse.

  • #58076 Reply

    So lets suppose we protest as one on here has said and lets suppose one changes their mind like some top officals have done. One wonders who knows their right from their left today. Scare tactics today seem to be the norm and yes one of our great presidents said there is nothing to fear but fear itself I’m sure that would make a better statement today than someone saying nobody tells me what to do as that sure doesn’t show respect and is more like a mockery of justice or was Hitler ordained to do true justice.

    Sure NARSOL has its headaches with all this advocating on behalf of the sex offender in striving to get some “rational” laws. Some are for getting rid of the registry completely and some are up in the air on that with mixed reviews, but its all about principal. Man’s authority is good and so is respect but when man’s authority go above the principals and precepts of the bible than than who is doing the coveting .

    The fact is I’m glad that NARSOL is here to help and I’m sure NARSOL has written letters to the commander and chief are we all living in the days of “Get SMART” and kayos rules or does the white house still use a shoe phone today. One wonders who’s the criminal or the con today.

    I’m sure most of those letters one writes about this sex offender issue don’t even get a response. Government is all for profit and business. Where is true justice today in a Florida bribery scheme today or is government moral some let em eat cake ordeal.

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