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CaliforniaGeneral NewsJanice's Journal

Janice’s Journal: IML – Court Denies Request for Preliminary Injunction

Today the dragon won.  That is, the federal government was given permission to continue its implementation of the International Megan’s Law (IML).

The U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California denied our Motion for Preliminary Injunction which attempted to stop the government’s addition of a Scarlet letter to the passports of American citizens as well the government’s notifications to foreign countries that citizens intend to travel there.

The court’s denial was based, in part, upon the legal concept of ripeness.  That is, whether the issue was ready (or ripe) for judicial review.

The court declared it was not.  Why?  Because the federal government has not yet determined the appearance or placement of a “conspicuous unique identifier” on a passport.  In making this declaration, the court avoided the broader issue of whether any identifier placed on any part of a passport could pass constitutional muster.

The court’s denial was also based, in part, upon the legal concept of standing.  That is, whether the plaintiffs in the case have identified a “certainly impending” future injury caused by the IML.

The court declared they have not.  Why?  Because any injury that plaintiffs suffered could not be traceable to the IML.  In making this declaration, the court failed to consider the harm already done to plaintiffs in this case as well as to thousands of others including the inability to live with one’s spouse, assist an elderly parent or conduct lawful business overseas.

Although today’s decision was not unexpected, it is disappointing.  It is one more decision in which a court ignores empirical evidence and relies instead upon myths.

The big picture is this.  Today the dragon won.  Tomorrow we fight again.  Our challenge to the IML will continue.

Decision

Read all of Janice’s Journal

Related Media articles

Judge won’t block passport marker law involving sex crimes  –  ABC News

Too Soon to Fight Sex Offender Passport Mark (Courthouse News)

Judge tosses out challenge to sex offender passport law (SF Chronicle)

 

 

Join the discussion

  1. Bill Arthur

    I have read the entire Ellman article, and I still don’t understand why Janice and the other advocates you read about in the blogs are scratching around the edges (challenging the IML, residency restrictions, etc), when the entire system is clearly based on bogus facts. Why isn’t registration itself challenged? It seems quite evident that it’s completely indefensible.

    You can read the article here. Click on Open PDF in Browser at the top.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2616429

    • PK

      IML has residency restrictions?

      I agree with you that SORNA and other State Registries are based upon bogus facts.

      However, the SORNA Registration needs to be challenged in pieces, not the entire thing.

      The Lawyers are doing their job.

    • Lake County

      The problem is that SCOTUS has already ruled that the registry is not unconstitutional punishment. The (false) facts presented during the hearing needed to be contested at that hearing. Getting the court to change their ruling afterwards is almost impossible especially since SCOTUS gets to pick and choose what cases they want to hear. Getting the court to hear a case with similar issues will take a miracle and will have to be an exceptional case with exceptional plaintiffs. As much as we want to go for the home run, we will have to be satisfied with base hits. We will have to first change public opinion which will take many years as misguided beliefs are very hard to change. We must ensure that any 290 case going before higher courts have sympathetic plaintiffs with proven scientific facts. We also must ensure the wrong lawyer doesn’t try a bad case that could screw up future cases. We can’t just decide we are only going to fight the largest battle first. It’s not up to us even if we had the funds to do so. Despite what we want, we must start with “baby steps” and I think Janice has done an exceptional job so far. Changing CA residency laws by local communities was a major win for us.

    • New Person

      Because in Doe vs Smith, the US Supreme Court ruled registration was not a punishment. Because it is not a punishment, there is nothing anyone can do. Which is why more and more punishment can be levied upon registrants b/c the classification isn’t a punishment.

      So by winning all these “edge” cases, it proves under law that something is contradictory. At least that’s how I think this is going. You can’t go to the Supreme Court to say, “hey you screwed up, but we lack any legal proof that contradicts your ruling.”

      By winning the smaller battles, we may find something that drives a wedge to break this wide open. The IML case could be just that – especially if Angel Watch was proven to be unconstitutional and never should have been implemented a la internment camps.

      I don’t want to lose hope. Hope is all I have left. =[

    • mike

      People make decisions on the information or evidence that they have on hand. When new information becomes available, then it is prudent to rethink a previous decision. It used to be common knowledge that the world was flat, but new information became available and ideas were changed. The registry was and is based on very flawed information. Now two decades into the registry, there are two basic flaws. One, we now know that the recidivism rates are very low and maybe even more important is that the registry has not reduced the overall rate nor reduced the recidivism rate. It is bad public policy.
      I think we need to go after the registry itself, especially if a moderate or liberal judge is appointed to the Supreme Court. I am in my sixties and do not have a lot of time left.

    • Timmr

      I don’t think registration itself will ever be ruled unconstitutional, per se. Having it ruled as a form of punishment will change the whole picture, though. It will then be a requirement of your sentencing and will have a set list of conditions and time limit that can’t be changed wholesale by the legislatures or applied to people that haven’t had that as part of their sentencing. This would result in registrants having varying conditions applied to them, based on the particulars of their case and the registration laws at the time, creating a mess for law enforcement to manage. It is already a mess for law enforcement and costly to the public, some law enforcement, like the ones on the CASOMB are recommending it be whittled down.
      But as long as this is still not considered a punishment, the legislatures will extend the time and the restrictions on even a tiered registry.
      Eventually registration will be looked at like banishment is today. Banishment, as is shaming, is still a constitutional form of punishment, but it is looked on as a petty, archaic and cumbersome way to enforce laws, and so will registration one day be looked at as petty retribution and cumbersome to enforce, forcing resources away from more legitimate aims, such as helping victims or catching criminals.

    • Janice Bellucci

      The documents we have filed with the court so far are full of references to “facts” such as those found in the article mentioned. We contrast those “facts” with the myths surrounding our community. And we will add more “facts” as the case moves forward hoping to educate the court. This case has the potential of challenging the Smith v. Doe case in that one of the plaintiffs’ claims is ex post facto. We all need to be patient. This is a marathon, not a 100-yard dash and it could take a few years to reach a final decision in the case.

      • Steve

        So let’s say the court rules in the Feds favor can an appeal be made the court failed to take into consideration any real facts? I know this is a simplistic question and there are many variables.

    • wonderin

      I agree Bill and even though I have not read the report you linked to it has been obvious to me since day one that the registry holds as much logical evidence as religion.
      And fighting against the perpetuated myths of the religious and the psychological community bear a similar resistance. However, I believe strides can be made with constructive arguments and strategies.
      Too many so called constructive arguments (like sex offenders are wired to commit sex crimes and need a stable job, home and etc. to keep from re-offending ) only perpetuate value of a registry.
      If something is true, it can be demonstrated. The claims about sex offenders can’t be demonstrated by any factual arguments or empirical evidence.
      It’s time to insist that those supporting the value of the registry either put up or shut-up!

      • David Kennerly

        I agree! There are many assumptions being made without empirical evidence, not only from the comfortable high-ground of the ‘non-offenders’, but from within our own community of the damned, as we are reminded by several of today’s comments.

        Many of those assumptions will be accommodated by a perceived need to divide that community which does, indeed, consist of very different people with very different reasons for landing on the registry. The mistake they always make is in assuming that, because there are those here whose actions were rightly sanctioned by the state, that our only realistic hope is in finding ways to accommodate a regime of continuous – and unconstitutional – oppression by exempting their own favorite subclass (which they, invariably and coincidentally, happen to occupy) from its obsessive and draconian attentions. This appeal will always be made in the spirit of practicality as in “Let’s get real!”. They can “get real” all they want but the remit of this organization is to challenge a broad class of injustice, not to carve out exemptions for their favorite ‘offense’ subcategory from the unwanted attention of the state.

        I am all for making distinctions between acts and, as a constitutionalist, insist that our laws must do so with far greater precision than is being done now and that demonstrable victimization must be the basis for any criminal laws. However, the Registry, itself, is an unconstitutional beast, at its core, which must be slayed for the benefit of everyone on it.

        Therefore, we should not expect others to remain within its confines as a means for OUR desire for relief.

        This group does not apply a means test for entry based upon an historical accumulation of behavioral assets and must not narrow the scope of its advocacy to exclude their representation.

  2. Timmr

    Facts really do take a long time to sink in,especially when they are based in a type of religiosity to the orthodox view, and when the powerful have invested much capital in the existing theory and would lose much of their authority if shown to be wrong.
    Such, after 200 years of Copernicus presenting his evidence that the planets revolved around the sun, Galileo was forced to recant his support of the heliocentric cosmos.
    Humans still think that they believe are the center of the Universe and therefore truth emanates from them. We have had decades of the myth of the roving sex offender danger and its solution, the sex offender registry, and the myth became very compelling because it reinforced the myth of the sacredness of innocence and childhood. Who knows how many more years to untangle the myth from the fact and still convince people you are not overturning their most sacred beliefs. When all is said and done, falsehoods are not going to protect children, but for the same reasons people would not want to see the Sun made the center of the Universe, they will have a hard time accepting that facts are even relevant to the discussion — indeed, at present, even questioning the registry and the punitive model is heresy. It would be a step in the right direction to get those in power to admit that it is not simply a matter of believing in children or not, many of us even have children we believe in and want to be safe, and move on to at least discuss what is known.

  3. Unforgiven citizen

    Thank you Janice for bring actual facts to our justice system. The truth will set us free, and hopefully will stop these unscrupulous politician rallying the momb, spreading more lies and hysteria for their own selfserve attempts for votes. Education is how this will be won and then our media will be force to report facts not lies, and only then society will stop buying the hype. My dream is one-day society will stop lumping us all into one category not just a pack of rabid animals they need to put down.
    All we’re asking for is true justice to be served as every US Citizen deserves.
    My grandfather always said, “You keep kicking your dog,it will one day bit you back”…
    I am done hiding in the shadows my voice well be heard.

  4. Paul

    Unfortunately, after reading so many sex offender stories on other websites it seems to me that the public has one general thought: “Facts don’t protect lives.” Nor do facts tell them what they want to hear. I made a comment in the past about legislators using “Wikipedia facts.” And it seems to be very true, but then I was told that I falsely assumed lawmakers actually look at facts at all. And it got me thinking…when I was in college and was assigned a paper to write, I had to cite any fact that was given. I couldn’t just give a random number based on my own personal feelings about the topic. I was required to go great lengths to find scientific journals which were peer reviewed by no less than 5 of the authors colleagues. Now, I know that writing papers in college could be described as being “trivial,” not really having a large impact on the lives of people. But then I see lawmakers coming up with some asinine information regarding sex offenders…my question to congress/senate is this, “Why aren’t you requiring the lawmakers to supply even more citations when they their stats?”

    These laws have such an impact on the lives of the offender and the offenders family and in some cases it has cost the offender their life.

  5. John

    Money talks! We need to donate including me. I just gotta figure out how.

    • Timmr

      Coming up with money is hard for us, in the mean time actual words talk. Comment at the related media sites, articles, write letters, speak. Education is free, well almost. Flood the sites with comments. The media will see a great interest in these issues and have more stories related to them. Like the secret vote of Congress to pass IML, silence is our enemy.

  6. Mike r

    I really hope the courts get challenged on their justification for these laws since the recidivism rates are so low that’s what really needs to be addressed

    • Timmr

      Great argument, but how is this? Say you bomb a town in the Middle East that is known to have 5% of the population as active terrorists and randomly kill nearly everyone. That would be really, really immoral don’t you think? Now you bomb a town with 90 percent terrorists and end up killing the five percent who mean no harm. That may be more practical as far as national security, but would it be more moral? I don’t know. I am only asking. Now if 90% of people on the registry or 5% of people on the registry who never harm again are subject to discrimination in hiring, in obtaining shelter, in being a target for vigilante wrath, is it moral to punish a crime that has not been committed, no matter what the ratio of possible offenders to reformed?
      Just my take, the Supreme Court had put off these questions by claiming that registered citizens should be regulated as commodities with statistical qualities, rather than people having inalienable rights. I suppose that we may be found to be not so dangerous commodities, but will we be classed as people again? Sorry, it is an important distinction to me.

  7. Unforgiven citizen

    We are a society of people lied to, purposefully mislead, and manipulated via our emotions. We are consistently and purposefully lead to believe the dogma put forth by self-serving legislators and highly-biased victim advocacy groups. Like scared little children we believe all the terrifying stories intentionally told us relating to the ever-present, 21st century ‘Boogey Man’, i.e., the sex offender. We never question the veracity of those who claim this boogey man is everywhere and always waiting to exploit any opportunity to snatch away and/or defile our children. We believe he cannot control himself nor can he be controlled. We believe he is a forever threat. We are offered all the proof we need of the Boogey Man’s existence, as well as his predatory nature, via sensationalize and intentionally misleading media coverage. Each and every high profile case is used to further frighten the already frightened children – children who only appear adults. Emotionally, most of society responds on a level comparable to that of a pre-schooler when the Boogey Man is thrust upon us. Each and every mention of the Boogey Man results in knee-jerk, emotional reactions. Our society vacillates from hysteria to near hysteria when it comes to issues related to our modern-day Boogey Man.

  8. Unforgiven citizen

    We, or at least many, believe those who commit this class of crime do more harm to the victim than do murderers. Is that some distorted thinking or what? Yet, all one needs to do is begin to question those around them and it will not take long for a respondent to voice just such a belief. Crazy, huh? As is the case with actual children who have been needlessly terrified by an imaginary evil, all attempts to bring forth the truth and enlightenment are met with great resistance. Once a belief is formed and reinforced over and over again facts contrary to those believes are rendered irrelevant. Fear-based, emotional beliefs are the most difficult to overcome. Whenever people, especially those behaving as frightened children, those experiencing strong emotional reactions to a subject, particularly one felt so strongly as sexual threats, the ability to reason logically is all but lost. As a result, we turn to our protectors, for relief – just as children turning to their parents do when faced with fears they cannot control. The problem is our protectors are in the business of exploiting our fears. Our protectors further their careers by responding to perceived threats, often threats which are intentionally greatly distorted, with what is nothing more than ‘feel good’ legislation. They, our protectors, present themselves as champions intent upon addressing and resolving societal protection, but in reality this is not their primary motivation for any steps taken. Opportunities to earn favor with the children they entrusted to protect, i.e., professional attainment, maintenance, and advancement, is, in reality, what they seek most. Furthermore, it is easier to control a fearful group than one free of fear and allowed to think clearly. And because we, the children, are so very consumed by our fears, despite those fears being more imagined than real, we never seem to notice that the protections being offered are also a mechanism which unavoidably leads to the limiting the freedoms of all – not just those who we fear. Today our constitutional protections against expos facto legislation is under attack due to the retro-active nature of current sex offender registration laws. Those convicted of having committed past sex offenses can and are being forced to comply with laws restricting their freedoms enacted long after conviction – long after the date of the offense.

  9. Mike r

    PLEASE Janice et el challenge the Court to justify these laws using the current data. I find it very difficult for the Court to come up with a viable rational reasonable reason to justify encroaching on so many constitutional rights and what their justification is for all the regulations being put in place for rc when the recidivism rates are practically nonexistent.this could be a blessing in disguise that could actually topple the entire registration scheme.YOUR HONOR WHAT IS THE RATIONALIZATION REGULATE,RESTRICT, AND ENCROACH THIS CLASS OF CITIZENS WITH A PRACTICALLY NONEXISTENT RECIDIVISM RATE!!!!!!!!!

  10. Drew

    Janice, so what are the next detailed steps? Will this information be posted somewhere or will there be a conference call on this? How can I get involved aside from donating money?

    Off topic, does anyone know if this IML will effect pending AWA cases? I have my wife’s immigration (2nd attempt) pending due to the AWA. I just hope the IML somehow does not jeopardize it.

    • rob

      Drew,

      There was just a conference call a few days ago on the 14th.

      I was away skiing and couldn’t listen in. Hopefully the audio will be posted soon on the national rsol website.

      • David Kennerly

        Where do they post that? I had tried to find the audio from the previous meeting, which I had missed, but without any luck.

        • Rob

          David,

          They post it under is under the media link and then click on Webinars.

          I just went there and they have now posted last weeks conference call.

      • Lake County

        The conference call did not include Janice, so not much info was given. See Janice’s post earlier.

        • David Kennerly

          The previous conference, which I was not able to monitor, and in which Janice was present, seems not to be on RSOL’s website. I would like very much to listen to it.

  11. Harry

    Why can’t all these governments entities (US Gov’t. lawmakers, cabinet members, State/local governments)and sex offense hysterical celebrities, like J Walsh, PFML, Runners, Book and etc. be sued in a massive class action for fraud and harassment?

    • Drew

      Harry, if this was doable, I would be the first in line. The bigger question is, can/will it achieve anything?

      • Harry

        ‘…is, can/will it achieve anything?” It will expose Governments and the host of fear mongers that they are bunch of liars and bigots.

        • Drew

          But that’s the thing. The general public already knows politicians are bigots and liars, but do nothing about it. It’s like voting. Everyone complains about the establishment, the people elected to office, the crooks, the liars and two-faces. Yet, when it’s time to vote, everyone still votes for those very same people and use the lousy excuse of “the less of two evils”. Well, I say, do not chose either! Fill in your own candidate, or don’t vote period!

  12. PhilAZ

    There should be a online forum setup so we can all communicate and better know how many of us there are and this would allow a place to store and better search for information. phpbb or otherwise software. I would be willing to donate my hard earned money to host such a forum.

    • Drew

      I am a host and run my own dedicated server. I’m more than willing to provide free hosting if someone will want to take charge and manage it. I’ve got so many things on my plate, I just can’t put aside the time to do so myself, but I believe it’s a good idea.

  13. Joe Mandt

    Florida has required notification for at least 10 years, but only if you were going to be out of the country for more than 5 days (nights) More recently, the instituted a 21 day rule, but did provide for unexpected travel which only requires that you notify them as soon as possible. In the past I gave them a heads up, but kept my trips to 5 nights or less, so no paperwork was required. for the one or two trips where I was gong to be gone longer, i just filled out the form.
    After I was pulled aside in Brussels in November 2013, I asked the deputy who was doing my 6 month registration update in December if they had sent my info to CBP? He said no, they weren’t sending it anyone. CBP/Angel Watch got the information from the passenger list of Delta Airlines. That was the first time that I was required to give my full name as it appeared on my passport to Delta when I bought the ticket online and not my first, middle initial, last like it appears on my Florida Drivers license and every other card that I have. I was a bit wary at the time as to why they were asking for that info and in hindsight, with good reason.
    My question about the IML is if you live I live someplace like Vermont where as of this year, I am no longer required to register by operation of statute or Georgia where I can be removed from the registry by court order, who would I report my travel to? As I live in Florida, I would still be up on their website with my last known address listed (the state actually went to court to be able to keep people on who had left the country) but under absolutely no legal obligation to maintain my registration unless I came back to Florida. I naturally follows that my old registration would still be somewhere the national registry, but Florida would not maintain/update it once I was gone and in the case of a state like Vermont where they will “pre clear: you before you even move there and as such, I would have never even registered, they would not even report me to that central clearinghouse.

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