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National

TN: Lawsuit challenges Tennessee sex offender registry

Retroactive enforcement of Tennessee’s sex offender registry law is being challenged in a federal court lawsuit that mimics a separate, successful appeal that led to the nullification of retroactive laws in Michigan. Full Article

Complaint

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  1. Rick

    I’m not exactly clear on what the whole ex post facto challenge means, not only in Tennessee, but also Michigan. Are they saying that personal reporting, residency restrictions, etc, are illegal altogether, or illegal only when imposed after a previously imposed lesser registry requirement? Because New York imposes numerous reporting requirements, including those for internet use, so your doing multiple reporting in person. Damn, I can throw a lawsuit together in less than two weeks if the former is the case.

    • violated

      Rick – Are you in NY?

      • Rick

        To violated

        Does it make a difference what state I’m in? If you have something to say, say it, I will answer you. I’m beginning to feel somewhat concerned about giving out location information, we live in a country full of killers, crusaders, and nuts, lol. People disappear all the time.

        • Nicholas Maietta

          I use my real name on the internet, even though I have been repeatedly harassed online. The registry has destroyed many parts of my life and has reduced my quality of life down to basically minimalism, prepping and a survivalist mindset. It’s not paranoia when “they” really are out to get you. But if “they” want to get you, they know how to find you.

          Here’s the deal. If you come onto a forum or comments section of a website and speak up under a false name and someone is curious what state you are in, just give the State, please. You don’t have to reveal anything more than that. It’s a valid question in my book since our laws are mostly different by State.

          By speaking up here, but failing to give the state you are in, and by hiding by a screen name, it makes it so people like me don’t feel that what you are saying is valid or should be accepted as any useful thought or information. It’s sorta like wasting your time posting. It becomes irrelevant.

          By speaking up and declaring what state you in or convicted of, or where situations or laws might affect you, then it lends some credence to what you are saying.

          There’s my constructive criticism. If you don’t like it, I hope that others will benefit in some way from it.

        • Timmr

          Thank you for making the choice of using your real name, Nicholas. I am comforted by that, and the fact that registrants are willing to put themselves forward and not be afraid. Must feel like being free again.

        • Rick

          To Nicholas

          Really, I would think that your statement is a waste of time. If you think that what a person says is invalid because they won’t tell you the state they live in, their real name, so you can find out there conviction, why are you even in this site? That’s why this site won’t give out your e-mail address. Wow, you must really be running out of things to say to bother with such an irrational position. Not even close to being constructive. By the way I think that’s why all RCs want to come off the registry, wow?

        • Rick

          To Nicholas

          One other thing, everything I say is valid, and I back it up, and I have no problem with correcting anyone who thinks otherwise. But if I’m wrong, I will say so. As far as you using your real name, that’s up to you. Maybe you have what’s considered a non serious offense, one that you think won’t get you seriously harmed or killed, while other people can’t be so sure? I don’t care, i’ve said this before, theres nothing to be ashamed of as an RC, we’re a seriously messed up species. But one thing is for certain, nothing happens without a reason. Im not concerned with what anyone else did to validate their purpose in this site, I think it speaks for itself. Think before you speak, because if you don’t, I definitely won’t listen, because the worst kind of info is unintelligent info.😀

    • PK

      “I’m not exactly clear on what the whole ex post facto challenge means, not only in Tennessee, but also Michigan.”

      Why don’t you simply google the term “Ex Post Facto”.

    • Socrates Lovett II

      Rick,
      The US Constitution, article 9, clause 10, states that government shall pass no law and apply that law back wards or retrospectively. This is called Ex Post Facto; unfortunately, state and federal legislatures have turned a blind eye to this constitutional prohibition and pass ex post facto laws all the time and have been for years with sex offender laws and federal courts have sanctioned this. That is until that unprecedented ruling back in August last year in Does v Snyder. This was a brave ruling that put SCOTUS in a hot seat because of their 2003 Smith v Doe ruling. It will be interesting to see if SCOTUS grants certorari. But they have only three options: a) deny certorari and leave Snyder decision in place d) grant certorari and overturn Snyder and there by screw every SO in America, or c) grant certorari, uphold Snyder and piss every soccer mom in America off. Now what in the hell you think they are going to do? It ain’t hard to figure this one out.

  2. Chris F

    This is a very well worded lawsuit, and one that Mike R and others can benefit from when creating their own lawsuits.

    In addition to it challenging Ex Post Facto, it also challenges Internet Identifiers, residency restrictions, travel restrictions, vagueness, and other constitutional violations.

    I like how they were able to include testimony from an officer in a previous case to demonstrate how police don’t know the answers to simple questions and admit how they will just arrest sex offenders. Since it is costly to put together an investigation and gather witnesses to be part of a trial to show how vague restrictions are and how law enforcement doesn’t know what they are doing, I wonder if you can just include testimony from other cases or would that be attacked as hearsay even though it is on an official record?

    Ugh…we need a single repository of the best ways to attack each constitutional violation so we don’t have to keep re-inventing the wheel when creating these lawsuits.

  3. Chris F

    I just thought of something,

    Even though this case challenges many things other than Ex-Post Facto, just like the 6th Circuit decision, once they rule that this individual should not have to register based on ex-post-facto, then they won’t rule on any of the other constitutional violations that would affect all of us who’s crimes were after 1994.

    It’s a shame that once Ex-Post Facto is ruled apon that every other violation has to wait for another lawsuit where Ex-Post Facto is not involved.

    • AJ

      Anytime Ex Post Facto can be found, it points to the law being somehow punitive. In fact, EPF only comes into play with punishment. So if changes to the law are EPF and thus punitive, it’s a relatively small step to finding the law itself punitive. Getting EPF decisions are incredibly helpful, and depending on one’s circumstances, would then allow for Due Process and/or Equal Protection lawsuits, some of which are already being found in our favor (in IN, at minimum).

      –AJ

  4. Bill Arthur

    Another federal district court lawsuit against the registry has been filed, this time in Tennessee (in the same 6th Circuit as the successful Court of Appeals case in Michigan).

    The new case asks the Tennessee court to recognize what other courts across the country have increasingly found: that the nature of sex offender registration has fundamentally changed since 2003, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a registration scheme that imposed only “minor and indirect” restraints on registrants, and points out that numerous courts — most recently the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit — have now recognized that the retroactive application of sex offender registration schemes and their associated restrictions violate the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws.

    Here’s a newspaper account from USA Today:

    http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2016/11/09/lawsuit-challenges-tennessee-sex-offender-registry/93546842/

    Here’s the full complaint

    https://www.scribd.com/document/330569896/Tennessee-lawsuit-challenges-sex-offender-registry-laws#from_embed

    ***moved from General Comments – Moderator***

  5. Davidh

    I couldn’t get past the spam to read the article! I will say, if anyone here is of the mind set to file a lawsuit personally, I’d be willing to contribute to the filing and other legal expenses. There’s just too much low-hanging fruit to go after to wait until someone can afford an attorney.

    I’d just as soon do it myself with some help!

    • abolishtheregistry.com

      I might be interested in a few months. Gotta make it through winter first. Originally I thought I’d save and build my cabins for income which I may still file after that’s done but if I can get an attorney to take payments… who knows. Probably a shot in the dark but you never can tell till you ask.

  6. mike r

    At least this suit may have a fighting chance…It is pretty well articulated and focused with enough evidence to show merit on this issues that they bring forth….Still didnt address right to reputation directly, hardly any evidence such as case law or other empirical evidence for the right to travel(understandably because I can not find any precedents or empirical evidence on this subject either), Nor did it challenge the justification of these laws that were based and justified by false statistics and myths..I dont know Im not going to criticize this any more it is by far the best suit Ive seen to date…..

    • ecrc

      Great lawsuit looks like presented . I would like to understand the travel restrictions , he’s talking about leavening the country etc but what about those that’s bound by you can’t even leave your county without asking pro for permission , you wana talk about really harsh restrictions , tenn got them alright and our family been living this for Close to ten years now ;( I’m tired of all thee restrictions they put on us all who is only trying to live normal as anyone and be able to live breathe work . Communicate , travel , do they have the right to imprison us where we cannot even go outside the county ughh , unless permission is granted , even to go fishing we have to go to a snake hole infested mosquito woods trail just to get to it cause it’s not concideree a park blah blah , and why can’t we go places as families as normal families go such as camping , in mountains ,trails aquariums etc , with family o h man I hope stuff changes for tenn and rest the states , the only freedom we have is bein improsoned in our own homes and paying for covenant eyes and being monitored , that just came about after 8 years Hub not getting to be online , so he’s got lil freedom even though pro is an accountability partner he’s still able to go online and look up normal stuff like anyone else , of course they have to have the email blah blah but when you not doing nothing wrong and just want to live normal they should Allow it , the restrictions are rediculous and I’m reading how puinitive the registration is and we a family dealing with it 8 years almost 9 years now ;( please we don’t have money to do a law suit , Hub self employed under a greedy boss and we work but pay check to paycheck , by time all the feees paid there nothing left but gas for the car to go to and from work :(., plus as you can see I can’t even write ;( so I’m glad to see others that know the law and knows how to. Write can put the lawsuits together , every state should do it Like this ! Maybe the constant new punitive laws. They enact every year will finally end !

  7. AJ

    Doe #2 v. Haslam is being merged with the original. That may slow the progress of the suits, but I would surmise it also adds ammunition to the argument.

    https://www.pacermonitor.com/public/case/20552846/Doe_2_v_Haslam_et_al

    –AJ

  8. David

    Hello,

    I just ran across this article the other day and I really wish I had heard about this a while back. I will tell my story.
    In 1991 I was convicted of 1st degree Sexual Assault in the State of Kentucky. They did not even have an SOR when I was convicted but I was 18 and stupid or I would not be on here telling this story. My sister, who bailed me out of jail when this happened, pressed charges on me for supposedly molesting my nephew. My mom was poor and could not afford an attorney so I was pressed with a public defender. My sister knew 2 weeks before I got arrested that I was going to be arrested and called me several times a day telling me that if I did not admit to this I would go to prison. I knew nothing about the law at 18. After I was arrested her and her husband were good friends with the jailer who would give them access to me 24 hours a day, whenever they wanted me so to speak. The whole time they were telling me say you did it and you will just have to see a psychiatrist and they will let you come home. So I tearfully went in and gave a confession saying exactly what they told me to “I did this im sick and I need help.” The first thing at that time i noticed that the judge told me when I first saw him I was facing up to 180 years for everything from child rape to sodomy!! The very next time I went to court I was looking at 5 years probation. My public defender advised me to take it, so I did. I then moved back to Tennessee and tried to put my life together finished my probation everything. Right before I was off probation the sex offender registry was put into place so we called the courts in Kentucky and they said I did not have to register, so I never did. I moved back to Tennessee and lived here for years. I would even go online and search my name on the registry and it would say nothing found. Years later I moved back to kentucky for a bit and checked again and still have the letter from the kentucky state police that I did not have to register there. I moved back to Tennessee again and I was not here for a year before I was arrested for not registering. I had to get an attorney and they got it knocked down to a misdemenor and I registered they classified me as a tier 3 so I can never get off this. My nephew who was the alleged victim is now in his late 30s and we are very close. My sister who I spoke of earlier was diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic before she died 4 years ago of a drug overdose so I am now seeking out a kentucky attorney to maybe help me get in front of a judge to get my conviction overturned my nephew even says he will take the stand that I never touched him. But according to tbi, until i can make something like this happen, I am on it for life this has been the only thing I have ever been charged with in my life. I was sentenced almost 25 years ago!!! Something has to be done. I wrote a reporter at a news paper my story and have been talking to him about publishing it maybe, but am afraid since any blow joe can pull up my address off the sor that I will be killed!! but we all should unite forces to get these constitutional violations to stop.

    Sincerely David

  9. CR

    This case is still ongoing. Counts 2 through 7 of the complaint have been dismissed. Portions of counts 8 and 9 due process complaints survive. Count 1 ex post facto also survives, and I think has a good chance of succeeding in light of Snyder. Michigan and Tennessee are both in the 6th circuit.

    https://www.leagle.com/decision/infdco20171113e19

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