[Updated] Doe v Harris

UPDATED — DECISION EXPECTED on Monday, July 1 at 10 am

to be argued on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, at 9:00 a.m., in Los Angeles

Ronald Reagan State Office Building
300 South Spring, Street, Third Floor, North Tower
Los Angeles, California,

CA Supreme Court Calendar: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/calendars/SAPR13.PDF

Case Info: http://appellatecases.courtinfo.ca.gov/search/case/dockets.cfm?dist=0&doc_id=1975459&doc_no=S191948


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The debate:
1)Does the law in effect at the time of a plea agreement bind the parties?
answer: Yes
2)Can the terms of a plea agreement be affected by changes in the law?
answer: NO
Otherwise you would not make agreements. It’s pretty simple. Will government continue to endorse this discrimination?

This case could have great significance to registrants. The issue before the state supreme court is: “Under California law of contract interpretation as applicable to the interpretation of plea agreements, does the law in effect at the time of a plea agreement bind the parties or can the terms of a plea agreement be affected by changes in the law?” If the court decides that terms of a plea agreement cannot be affected by changes in the law, there will be many individuals who are no longer on the registry.

I got notification today that S191948 is actually moving to arguments.

What do you *really* think the Court will decide?

The Supreme Court will decide that plea agreements in criminal matters, for the purpose of the contract between the defendant and the court, are only binding for the duration of the term of criminal control specified in the sentence handed down. After the termination of imprisonment, parole, probation, (or whatever) is over, the contract entered into in the relevant plea bargain becomes moot.
Sex Offender registry is not a punishment under the law, therefore the lifetime requirement to register cannot be included in the terms of a plea bargain as it does not pertain to criminal control. Therefore, in every situation other than a 290 requirement, the terms of a plea bargain bind the parties and contract law is understood to prevail.
However, Sex Offenders registries in a class by themselves and may be used by any entity, public or private, to discriminate against Sex Criminals for any purpose such entity may deem fit, up to and including blatant assault, public stoning, beheading on Public Television or herding-and-slaughtering.
We must all act together to defend our children and the Supreme Court cannot be seen as mollycoddling these public enemies, especially in these times of increased danger and threat to our culture, society and Beloved Country.

We filed a motion in Torrance Superior Court on behalf of my husband regarding this same issue and the hearing was 10-14-11. The original conviction was back in 1981. Unfortunately the motion to withdraw the plea based on this same issue was denied. The DA never filed an opposition and had not even reviewed the file until the morning of the hearing. The judge stated that our attorney could not demonstrate prejudice against my husband. Let him spend a week in my husband’s or children’s shoes and he will understand prejudice. I hope the court in this case is more focused and clear on the matter.

What about laws passed later like Internet and park bans . Obviously some are hoping to get of the list altogether but wondering about just getting off the internet and not having to worry about more laws?

Remember folks, California Supreme Court is NOT deciding this case, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is. BUT… the state high court is answering a very important question that will help the federal court determine how THEY will rule.

I wonder how we can show support for Doe. Are we to go to the courtroom with signs? lol

The correct decision would be for the Court to state that terms of plea bargains bind all parties forever. So if the terms of your plea included the requirement to register, your responsibilities are what was specifically in effect at the time of your conviction and nothing more. Anything else is tantamount to double, if not multiple jeopardy. In order to stay abreast of the constant changes in the law one must research and re-register almost on a weekly basis and failure to do so makes one out of compliance and subject to felony prosecution.

But since we have not eradicated all forms of sex crime, we must continue to apply increasing pressure on those convicted regardless of the individual circumstances (read Bill-of-Attainder). By constantly lowering the threshold for registration, the word gets out that if you even *think* about proscribed sex, you will have your entire life mauled. The registries are a public-relations exercise to prevent future crime and are not considered ‘continuing criminal control’ by the legislatures.

We’ll see what comes down in April, but sadly there is little hope that justice will be advanced. The stakes are just too high for the prosecuting agencies. The administrative nightmare involved in reclassifying every RSO by prosecution date and applicable law is just too daunting, although you could write a BASIC language program that would do the job in about five minutes.

I wonder if this federal immigration case has any bearing. It states that attorneys must advise non-citizen clients of deportation consequences.

I believe one of the consequences is that in deportation proceedings, if the particular “deportation” box is unchecked, that person cannot be deported since they never agreed to it.


Padilla v. Kentucky is a long stretch, and the Sixth Amendment is longer.

At issue in S191948 (Doe v. Harris) is whether-or-not subsequent changes in the law can be applied retroactively.

At first blush, it seems rather straightforward; Thus-and-such law in incorporated into the terms of a plea bargain and so those laws are the ties that bind the parties. But that’s not the way the prosecuting agencies view the Registries. Every time you visit your Local Friendly Officer charged with overseeing the SOR in his or her community, you are informed by the LFO of certain changes in the laws regarding your life as a registrant..and that’s where the rubber meets the road.

I have been an RSO for nearly forty years, the first thirty of which I lived exactly within the terms of my plea. Then in year thirty-one, suddenly I was a felon again. I was rearrested, bailed on my own recog, and requested a Public Defender. When it (finally) got to court, I held out for a full jury trial and the prosecution caved. Year thirty-two, the LFO tried it again and got smacked down by her chief.

There was absolutely no reason for any of it, but they aren’t reasonable people. If they were, we wouldn’t need S191948.

This case is alot better for all than that proposed “tier”…level…
catorgory…labels…type “tier”…which puts people in levels that a
jury or court never weighed on the scales…grossly ex post facto…
putting people unfairly in “tiers”……this case with the registry as
it read conviction/plea is by far more fairer to be off registry.

This is tomorrow… best of luck to Doe

Does anyone know what this means?

04/04/2013 Motion for leave to intervene filed by Chester Hill, non party
04/17/2013 Motion for leave to intervene denied The motion for leave to intervene, filed on April 4, 2013, is denied.


Somebody wanted to be included in this ruling who has a similar situation (not necessarily an RSO) and the court denied it.

What came of this law? Anyone know? I think what all courts should do is say the registry is a part of the criminal law and not part of civil. Especially when some cities/states say you have 24 hours to give your address change or you spend 10 years in prison with a felony. I worked in a police station doing nothing but registration of SO’s. I couldn’t believe half their stories until they brought me the court documents. I hope this case will bring about something more. My hope is it brings the law into a perspective that defines exactly what sex offending is (which I know it won’t but one can hope). So many out there believe the registry is just for pedophiles. They think everyone on there molested a child or murdered a baby while raping it. Not true. I hope the Supreme Court steps in at some point and makes it more definable. My belief is this: if you are going to go to prison for not complying with the registry in some way, then the registry should be a part of criminal process of law only. It shouldn’t be considered civil in any way. I have always thought it was part of the criminal process since you have to register at a police department and not down at some department like the DMV. I couldn’t believe it when one of the professors told me it is considered a civil law process and not a criminal one once you are out of prison and done with your punishment. It isn’t right that you are on it for life when you aren’t in prison for life or on probation for life. Now I can understand if you are a chronic offender, but not for someone who really isn’t a sex offender. Now I know I am splitting hairs but anyone on the list knows what I mean. I think some of the more rural lower courts have used the registry to put shame on the citizens in that town. I have seen some cases that are just way out there. My hope is that more cases appear and we as a society are then forced to put this registry back to what its original intention was. A registry of people who will break into your home, snatch you off the street, murder you, torture you, rape you, and traumatize you so much that you never heal from it. I hope this is the start of the higher courts intervening and splitting those hairs that so need splitting.

The California Supreme Court ruling in Doe v. Harris, regarding whether subsequent law changes can be applied retroactively to defendants who pled in a plea bargain, will be issued on Monday, July 1, at 10 a.m. That is, does the law in effect at the time of the plea bargain bind the parties, or can it be completely undermined by subsequent changes in the law, leaving the person who agreed to plead guilty to suffer any number of penalties he/she never would have agreed to.

Would a favorable Doe v Harris ruling in our favor apply to plea agreements made in courts from other states? For instance, if another state’s court judgment for an RSO indicated a finite registation period, would Doe v. Harris supersede the State’s legislative requirement of lifetime registration?

Obviously a negative decision negates the above, but there are a lot of gray areas that can be included.

will this impact federal court?