Blog also contains "Unfavorable" and "Informational" decisions and articles, and "Active Lawsuits." All can be useful in framing arguments for new court cases. i.e., avoid pitfalls or inform court and simply to learn whats happening to others. If you know of a case or lawsuit not listed, please let us know. Leagle is our main resource.
View decisions by the Federal Circuit States belong to.
NEW: (# Failure to Register Technicality
NEW: Travel Restrictions (Apparently Eff. 2013)
NEW: Border Patrol Checking
NEW: Failure to Register a Sex Offense???
CAUTION: SORNA EFFECTIVE even if state has not enacted it

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Convicted sex offenders, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the First Amendment

11-20-2014 California:

Beginning in the 1930s, shortly after the Supreme Court had “incorporated” the First Amendment into the due process clause (thereby making it an enforceable constraint not only on the federal government ["Congress shall make no law . . ."] but on State and municipal governments as well) the Jehovah’s Witnesses went on a campaign to attack, in court, restrictions on their ability to proselytize door-to-door and to give voice to unpopular views. During one particular 8 year period (1938 to 1946) they brought no fewer than 23 separate First Amendment actions to the Supreme Court (prompting Justice Stone to quip that they “ought to have an endowment in view of the aid they give in solving the legal problems of civil liberties”). They won some spectacularly important victories – West Virginia Board of Ed. v Barnette (1943) (children cannot be forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance or salute the flag), Chaplinsky v New Hampshire (19420 (establishing the “fighting words” doctrine, and overturning conviction of a Jehovah’s Witness who called a local official a “damned racketeer” and a “fascist”), Watchtower Society v. Village of Stratton (2002) (overturning municipal ordinance requiring government permits for all door-to-door advocacy).***

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

California court blocks requirement of sex-offenders to report changes of Internet providers

11-18-2014 California:

A federal appeals court has continued to block a voter-approved measure requiring registered sex offenders to give authorities a list of their Internet providers and screen names.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday said the requirement violates free speech rights. The ruling upholds a lower court decision in 2013 that put the requirements on hold.

The reporting provision was part of Proposition 35, which 81 percent of voters passed in 2012 and toughened penalties for human trafficking. The harsher prison sentences remain in effect.

But the appeals court said the requirement of sex offenders to report on their Internet activity is too vague and that offenders' anonymity is insufficiently protected. The court also said requiring offenders to report to authorities with 24 hours was too onerous. ..Source.. by The Republic

Friday, November 7, 2014

Troubling Interpretation of Sex Offender Registration Statute

11-7-2014 New York:

by Lorca Morello, New York Law Journal

In Eugene Ionesco's absurdist play "The Bald Soprano" a character talks about a husband and wife named Bobby and Bobby Watson whom no one could tell apart because they had the same name. In People v. Gillotti, the Court of Appeals has applied similar logic to hold that "victim" under the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) is identical to "victim" in tort cases where persons depicted in child pornography can seek damages from mere viewers.1 Gillotti accordingly holds that anyone convicted of possessing multiple images of child pornography has multiple "victims" and therefore presents the same future risk to public safety as someone who has sexually assaulted multiple children.

The majority sees no absurdity in this. Rather, it asserts that any other result would violate the "plain language" of SORA. But plain language interpretation does not mean that just because two things have the same name they cannot be told apart.

Gillotti also conflates two meanings of the word "presumptive." In everyday speech, presumptive means less than definitive, as in "Dr. Livingston, I presume." As a legal term, a presumption allocates the burden of proof, as in "the presumption of innocence." In SORA hearings, the Board of Examiners of Sex Offenders (BESO) offers what its guidelines call a "presumptively correct" recommendation about the defendant's risk level. The guidelines use the word "presumptively" in the everyday sense of "not definitive."

Gillotti, however, interprets "presumptively correct" as a legal presumption that shifts the burden of proof to the defendant. This is inconsistent with the statute and the court's own precedents. Under SORA it is the state's burden to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant deserves the deprivation of liberty interests entailed in being classified as a high or moderate risk.2 However strong the state's evidence, the burden of proof never shifts.

The effect of Gillotti will be to inflate the number of persons permanently stigmatized as dangerous "sex offenders" who probably present no more risk to public safety than any other ex-offender.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sex Offender Registry Spat Bends to Public Access

10-29-2014 Michigan:

People v Temelkoski

A sex offender who no longer has a conviction on his record after successfully completing probation must still abide by registry requirements, a Michigan appeals court ruled.

Boban Temelkoski was 19 in 1994 when he was charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct related to his kissing and groping of a 12-year-old girl.

Temelkoski pleaded guilty and served three years of probation under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA), at which point the case against him was dismissed.

Though Temelkoski does not have a conviction on his record, Michigan law still requires him to register as a sex offender for life under the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA).

He sought removal from the sex-offender registry in 2012 based on the purported "cruel or unusual" nature of punishing him of something not memorialized by a conviction.

Since SORA now contains a "consent exception" for youthful offenders in a so-called "Romeo and Juliet relationship," Temelkoski also characterized the sexual encounter between him and the 12-year-old as consensual.