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Alabama court upholds first amendment rights for registered sexual offenders

By Anna Beahm . . . A federal district judge has ruled parts of Alabama’s sex offender registration and notification laws are unconstitutional under the First Amendment, court records show. The order issued on Monday referenced a lawsuit filed in federal court in 2015 that claims Alabama’s sex offender laws, known as the Alabama Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification Act…

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Michigan’s SORA is punishment, says MI Attorney General in amicus briefs

February 8, 2019 LANSING, MI – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed amicus briefs in the Michigan Supreme Court today in Michigan v Snyder (Case number 153696) and People v Betts (Case number 148981), arguing that Michigan’s sex offender registration and notification requirements are punishment because they are so burdensome and fail to distinguish between dangerous offenders and those who are not a threat to…

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Judge says Dayton, MN sexual offender housing restrictions must go

By Chris Serres . . . A Hennepin County judge has struck down a far-reaching ordinance in Dayton, Minn., that restricts where sex offenders can live, ruling that the measure is trumped by state law. The decision concerns a city ordinance that effectively barred convicted sex offenders from living anywhere in the city of Dayton, a semirural community of about 5,000 residents…

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NJ Superior Ct. opens door for removal from registry for two registrants

By Sandy . . . A New Jersey Superior Court has handed down a great decision. Two registrants had sought relief from registration under a law in that state that permits such relief. The two registrants had been denied in a lower court, and the higher court on December 7, 2018, reversed that finding, sending the case back to the…

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NC Supreme Court will hear GPS monitoring case

By Emery P. Dalesio, AP . . . North Carolina’s Supreme Court is re-evaluating whether forcing sex offenders to be perpetually tracked by GPS-linked devices, sometimes for the rest of their lives, is justified or a Constitution-violating unreasonable search. The state’s highest court next month takes up the case of repeat sex offender Torrey Grady. It comes three years after the…

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The ruling that changed everything (and nothing at all)

By John P . . . On June 19th, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a ruling that was read and noticed by a relatively small segment of the population. Packingham v. North Carolina overturned an oppressive state law that had made it a felony for anyone registered as a sexual offender to access social media sites…

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Sex offender registry sparks Supreme Court debate

By Lydia Wheeler… Supreme Court justices on Tuesday grappled with how much power Congress can pass on to federal agencies in a case that could change the way Capitol Hill legislates. The justices on the eight-member court heard arguments over whether Congress crossed a line in 2006 when it passed the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act that was…

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Nebraska Supreme Court rules adjudicated juveniles must register

By Larry and King Alexander, Jr.* . . . This is a rather fascinating situation because it illustrates the federalism problem seen when two different courts, one federal and one state, interpret the same state statute and come to radically different conclusions. People often mistakenly believe that the federal court determination controls because federal courts are a higher authority than state…

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NC COA: Satellite based monitoring unreasonable without evidence it works

Associated Press . . . North Carolina’s second-highest court says authorities can’t force a sex-offender to wear a monitoring device for decades because evidence fails to show that tracking protects the public. A divided three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that because officials presented no evidence that satellite-based monitoring is effective, it violates the U.S. Constitution’s…

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2 years later, still no action on Michigan’s Sex Offense Registry

By Sophie Sherry . . . The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the state of Michigan over its handling of the state’s sex offender registry. In 2016, the 6th Circuit Court ruled that aspects of Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry Act, SORA, were unconstitutional. The court’s opinion specifically noted portions of the act which allowed the state to retroactively impose…

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