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Judge: Parts of state's sex offender law unconstitutional

see 10-26-15 Bill Would Reinstate Michigan's Ban on Sex Offenders Near Schools. Lawmaker tries to override court decision.

4-7-2015 Michigan:

Doe v Snyder:
(3 Decisions)

A) 9-3-15 JOHN DOE #1-5 and MARY DOE, Plaintiffs, v. RICHARD SNYDER and COL. KRISTE ETUE, Defendants.

B) 3-31-15 JOHN DOES #1-5 and MARY DOE, Plaintiffs, v. RICHARD SNYDER and COL. KRISTE ETUE, Defendants.

C) 3-31-15 JOHN DOES 1-4 and MARY DOE, Plaintiffs, v. RICHARD SNYDER and COL. KRISTE ETUE, Defendants. (Motion in limine Mapping Expert)


Final Orders from each of the 3 decisions


A) III. CONCLUSION

IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Rule 52 Motion for Judgment on the Papers (Dkt. # 96) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART, consistent with the court's previous orders.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants' Rule 52 Motion for Judgment on the Papers (Dkt. # 97) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART, consistent with the court's previous orders.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Mich. Comp. Laws § 28.725a(7) is declared unconstitutional and its enforcement is enjoined, as applied to John Doe #4.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the retroactive incorporation of the lifetime registration requirement's incorporation of the requirement to report "[a]ll electronic mail addresses and instant message addresses assigned to the individual . . . and all login names or other identifiers used by the individual when using any electronic mail address or instant messaging system," Mich. Comp. Laws § 28.727(1)(i), is declared unconstitutional and its enforcement is enjoined.



B) For the reasons stated above,

IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Rule 52 Motion for Judgment on the Papers (Dkt. # 96) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants' Rule 52 Motion for Judgment on the Papers (Dkt. # 97) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Sex Offender Registration Act, Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 28.721 et seq., shall be construed consistently with this opinion.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that SORA's geographic exclusion zones provisions, Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 28.734, 28.735, are declared unconstitutional and their enforcement is enjoined, as applied to Plaintiffs.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the requirement "to report in person and notify the registering authority . . . immediately after . . . [t]he individual . . . begins to regularly operate any vehicle," Mich. Comp. Laws § 28.725(1)(g), is declared unconstitutional and its enforcement is enjoined, as applied to Plaintiffs.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the requirement "to report in person and notify the registering authority . . . immediately after . . . [t]he individual establishes any electronic mail or instant message address, or any other designations used in internet communications or postings," Mich. Comp. Laws § 28.725(1)(f), is declared unconstitutional and its enforcement is enjoined.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the requirement to report "[a]ll telephone numbers . . . routinely used by the individual," Mich. Comp. Laws § 28.727(1)(h), is declared unconstitutional and its enforcement is enjoined.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the requirement to report "[a]ll electronic mail addresses and instant message addresses . . . routinely used by the individual," Mich. Comp. Laws § 28.727(1)(I), is declared unconstitutional and its enforcement is enjoined.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the requirement to report "[t]he license plate number, registration number, and description of any motor vehicle, aircraft, or vessel . . . regularly operated by the individual," Mich. Comp. Laws § 28.727(1)(j), is declared unconstitutional and its enforcement is enjoined, as applied to Plaintiffs.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the court reserves judgment on whether Mich. Comp. Laws § 28.725a(7) is unconstitutional as applied to John Doe #4 and will request additional briefing in a forthcoming order.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the court reserves judgment on whether it is constitutional for the lifetime registration requirement's incorporation of the requirement to report "[a]ll electronic mail addresses and instant message addresses assigned to the individual . . . and all login names or other identifiers used by the individual when using any electronic mail address or instant messaging system," Mich. Comp. Laws § 28.727(1)(i), to be applied retroactively and will request additional briefing in a forthcoming order.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the court reserves judgment on Plaintiffs' request for costs and attorneys' fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988 and Mich. Const. Art. 9, § 32, pending the resolution of the remaining issues in this case.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that judgment is entered in Defendants favor in all other respects.



C) The court declines to exclude the answers of law enforcement that Poxson and Granzotto collected.
III. CONCLUSION
For the foregoing reasons, IT IS ORDERED that Defendants' motion in limine (Dkt. #87) is DENIED.



News Article:

Michigan's Sex Offender Registry law is so vague that parts of it are unconstitutional, including the requirement that offenders stay at least 1,000 feet from schools, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland, in a 72-page ruling, struck down several reporting requirements of the 1994 law, which has been amended several times by state lawmakers to make requirements stricter.

Regarding the 1,000-foot school safety zone, he said offenders are left to guess where the zones were and are not provided with enough information from the state to abide by the restriction.

And he struck down several other requirements, including a mandate that offenders report in person new e-mail and instant messaging addresses and notify authorities of all telephone numbers "routinely used by the individual."

The vagueness of the law "leaves law enforcement without adequate guidance to enforce the law and leaves registrants of ordinary intelligence unable to determine when the reporting requirements are triggered," Cleland wrote in his ruling.

The lawsuit was filed in 2012 by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan against Gov. Rick Snyder and Michigan State Police Director Kriste Etue, on behalf of six Michigan residents who are convicted sex offenders required to register. The University of Michigan Clinical Law Program also participated.

The residents argued that the law, and its many amendments, are impossible to follow. Regarding the 1,000-foot rule, they said, "the zones are not physically marked and registrants are not provided with maps demarking the boundaries."

"Is it point to point or property line to property line ... as the crow files or as people actually travel?" the suit asked.

Some of those suing are parents and grandparents and say the rule, including the restriction that they not loiter near a school, prevents them from participating in their children's education. They are afraid to attend parent-teacher conferences or school plays.

The judge found that part of the law unclear as well, noting that the law's "present definition of 'loiter' is sufficiently vague as to prevent ordinary people using common sense from being able to determine whether plaintiffs are, in fact, prohibited from engaging in the conduct from which plaintiffs have refrained."

Law enforcement officials were reviewing the order.

"We are aware of the ruling," said Shanon Banner, a spokesperson for the Michigan State Police, in an e-mail. "We have reviewed it with the Attorney General's office to determine its immediate impact on our practices, and we are currently working to make necessary changes to come into compliance. We will also be working with the Legislature to clarify portions of the Act that need addressing."

Andrea Bitely, spokeswoman for Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, said the office was also studying the ruling.

It's not clear what, if any, immediate impact the judge's ruling will have on the 41,600 Michigan residents on the state's registry.

The judge limited some of his rulings, including the school safety zone, to the specific plaintiffs in the lawsuit, although as a practical matter others on the registry could point to the ruling for relief from the safety zone requirement.

ACLU attorney Miriam Aukerman, who worked on the case, said the judge was sending a strong message that the law was not working properly and the Legislature needs to consider an overhaul. Most have to follow dozens of restrictions regarding reporting and where they live and work.

"The law is so confusing that even a well-intentioned registrant can't follow it," Aukerman said. "We found that even the police don't know what the law is."

Many of those on the registry are not considered dangerous. One of the plaintiffs in the suit, identified only as John Doe #4, was 23 when he met a woman at an adult nightclub in 2006. She was under 16 and became pregnant. He was prosecuted and placed on the offender registry. He completed probation, and now the couple have two children.

In another case, from 1996, a man was 18 when he had sex with his girlfriend, age 14. He was prosecuted and sentenced under the state's Holmes Youthful Training Act, which seals his file and eventually clears his record. He completed probation and has committed no new crimes, but still is required to register as a sex offender.

"We need to look at this as a public safety issue," Aukerman said. "This law is not keeping us safe. We need to take a hard look at the sex offender registry and base it on facts, not fear. Are these the people we want to monitor? We should do what other states have done, by identifying the offenders who are dangerous, rather than take this broad brush approach."

In addition to the safety zones, the judge also ruled as unconstitutional the requirement that offenders report the license plate, registration and description of any motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel "regularly operated by the individual," and a requirement that offenders report "all electronic mail addresses routinely used by the individual." ..Source.. by L.L. Brasier



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