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Doe vs Harris Decision

“… requiring the parties’ compliance with changes in the law made retroactive to them does not violate the terms of the plea agreement, nor does the failure of a plea agreement to reference the possibility the law might change translate into an implied promise the defendant will be unaffected by a change in the statutory consequences attending his or her conviction. To that extent, then, the terms of the plea agreement can be affected by changes in the law.



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The opinion is now out,and it is a MAJOR, COMPLETE loss. The state high court says no matter a plea agreement, the law can subsequently bee changed retroactively and applied regardless.

The opinion is at:

Complete loss. And as people who have seen what I have written so many times about the court, it is not surprising. In fact, I’m sure it is why the plaintiff filed in federal court in the first place, and why it is so wrong that the Ninth Circuit already said it would basically make this ruling its own.

The only possibility now would be an appeal tot he US Supreme Court — but that is only more right wing than the state court. And since this ruling is being based on the state court interpretation, SCOTUS is not likely to overturn it without some overriding federal issue that the Ninth Circuit does not see.

The damn Ninth Circuit never should have abrogated its duty and sent the matter to the state court.

The U.S. Supreme Court might have some favorable justices in the form of Alito and Scalia. I think they were the 2 dissenters in the SO case last in United States v. Kebodeaux

The opinion was written by Justice Werdegar. Five other justices concurred, including the newest and the one considered the most liberal, Justice Liu. It seems we can’t expect much help regarding SOR from Liu. There is a dissenting opinion by Justice Kennard. Kennard said she would limit the ruling to only changes in law that do not materially affect the plea bargain. That is, she says, if the change in law so alters the plea agreement that had the parties known at the time, one or both would not have agreed.

Basically, the main opinion says that you should have known you could be subject to later changes in the law. (I’m sure no attorneys ever told anyone that, so I wonder if attorney negligence or malpractice could be cited to demand a new trial. But that would be a big fight and VERY expensive, and who the hell has the kind of money that would take, and in the end, it would apply only to that one person, not to all of us.)

It even says that silence by the prosecution and the court that the plea agreement could be substantially affected by later changes in the law does not limit it to the state of the law at the time of the plea. It states:

“…the general rule in California is that a plea agreement is “ „deemed to incorporate and contemplate not only the existing law but the reserve power of the state to amend the law or enact additional laws for the public good and in pursuance of public policy. . . .‟ ” (Gipson, supra, 117 Cal.App.4th at p. 1070.) It follows, also as a general rule, that requiring the parties‟ compliance with changes in the law made retroactive to them does not violate the terms of the plea agreement, nor does the failure of a plea agreement to reference the possibility the law might change translate into an implied promise the defendant will be unaffected by a change in the statutory consequences attending his or her conviction. “

It also relies on the idea that the plea agreement didn’t specifically or implicitly say anything about protecting from this, that or the other thing if that point ever were changed in the law. And by implication, it says that the plea agreement does not even generally state that it binds the parties to the state of law at the time of the plea (could this be attorney malpractice for not seeking to have that included or even advising about it?).

In this case, the California court says there is a bit of a question still that in that specific plea agreement, it indicated he would be subject to 290 — and there is an argument over whether that could implicitly mean that he was subject to 290 as it stood at the time of the plea. But the way I read the Ninth Circuit question, they have already ruled that question out as a deciding factor in this case, despite the California court suggesting otherwise. Besides, if the Ninth Circuit were inclined to decide this case on that point, it would not have asked the state court anything.

If you have a plea agreement — certainly it better be in writing — that has language that binds you to the state of the law at that time then you might be able to enforce that. But that has never been the routine to state in a plea agreement. And it would not apply broadly as if anyone has such language, only few people would. And it would still be subject to challenge about whether it could be enforced, especially an argument that it cannot contractually limit the power of the Legislature.

What has been the case is that the defendant gets told this is the plea bargain, and that is all you will have to do, you won’t have any more jail time than this says, you will be off this at this time or that time or whatever. No one says it might be turned on its head after you plead out, imposing draconian and life-destroying measures on you for the rest of your life that you never in a million years would have agreed to, you would have taken your chances at trial. (Of course, you won’t be able to show any of this to a court in order to establish malpractice, as this part was all verbal and off the record between you and your attorney.)

Today’s decision by the California Supreme Court is a huge mistake. We can only wonder if they would have reached the same conclusion if the plaintiff in the case was a murderer rather than a “sex offender”. It will take many years to dig out from underneath this decision. In the meantime, I think there are some viable options: (1) anyone charged with a sex offense refuse to enter into a plea agreement, (2) anyone who considers entering into a plea agreement obtain in writing the current state of the law and explicitly state in writing the current state of the law is the only reason he/she is entering into the plea agreement, or (3) continue to be barraged with new laws that can’t even be contemplated.

The only very small silver lining to this very dark cloud is the dissent by Justice Kennard who sees things as they truly are. In the dissent, it is stated that if subsequent law materially affects the terms of a plea agreement that law cannot be applied to the plea agreement.

California RSOL and the registrants and family members its represents have a new opportunity to work together to overturn an unjust decision. We will discuss this decision and what we can do in both the short and long run at the July 27 meeting in Los Angeles. If you care, be there!

One other potential legal avenue left in the wake of this case: the affect of 1203.4 PC relief to the registration requirement. This would not be as widely applicable as this Doe case would have been, but it would be beneficial to very many people.

The standard for relief from 290 for those who got probation used to be obtaining 1203.4 relief. In fact, because of that, you were not even eligible to seek a certificate of rehabilitation. Through the mid 1980s (I would have to go back and check the specific year), both misdemeanants and felons who got that relief could stop registering. But then the law was changed and that no longer was enough for felons to stop registering, they had to meet the higher standard of and obtain a pardon. It wasn’t until the early 1990s that the law was changed again (simply dropping of a single word!), making 1203.4 relief no longer sufficient for misdemeanants to stop registering, they now had to meet the standard of a pardon and obtain a certificate of rehabilitation.

But here is where this is different from this case: Obtaining 1203.4 relief requires an affirmative action on behalf of the defendant in order to qualify for and obtain that relief. This ruling today did not take into consideration any affirmative actions that had to be taken.

When you take an affirmative action and meet the standard, and the court grants the relief — how can that be taken away by a new statute, or worse, by simply dropping a single word from a statute?! If this is so, then avenues for relief are a complete farce! Anyone getting relief now by going through the horror of getting a certificate of rehabilitation would be faced with the prospect of having to continue to register anyway if the law were changed even a day after they got that certificate! If they could dream up some standard higher than a pardon, then even those getting a pardon could have to keep registering.

Surely once you are granted outright relief, they can’t just take it away wily nilly. Surely, you must have some claim to that once earned and granted, possibly even a property claim to it, most especially since you did your part for it, you did whatever affirmative action was required.

This particular issue also is wrapped up in the issue of the state of the law, as was Doe. 1203.4 never said anything about 290 or relief from it. There was a separate statute that addressed that, specifically saying that obtaining 1203.4 relief absolved you of any further requirement to register. Since it was a separate statute, even when the court ruled that 290 was retroactive, that ruling did not automatically reach this statute, so it even still could be argued that when it was changed to no longer provide that relief, that change could not be applied retroactively as to get that relief required an affirmative action and meeting a standard.

I note, a few years ago, that statute was consolidated into 290, so you won’t even find it separately any more — and as part of 290, it is being dealt with as already being determined to be retroactive, even though retroactivity of that point has never been considered.

Much as your insight is appreciated, going both for you, Mr. Nobody and Ms. Belucci, it would be helpful if your perspectives included the animus issue.
The Sex Offender laws, legislative gymnastics, courtroom dramas and manipulation of public opinion, are all designed to create a precedent for suspension of Civil Rights. If they can do it for Sex Offenders, they will have paved the way for easily doing it to any other group or subset of the population.
“Sex Offense” is a devious and cunning strategy. There will be no relief from either the legislatures, courts or Federal administrations. What we _really_ need is an astronomical public-relations budget and to get every man, woman and newborn infant on the Registry as soon as possible.
_Somebody_ is a “Sex-Offender” to everybody else and _Everybody_ is a sex offender to Someone Else. The difference lies within whom you ask and The People are panicking over what they choose to dis-remember about their own lives.

I have mentioned this in comments in the past; you elaborate on it well. This is one reason I say the only hope for any help is the political realm, because that is where the animus and attitudes of public opinion get the most consideration. Yes, public opinion must be addressed — and heavily so. Janice speaks sometimes — we need MANY more people with a status to be taken as a thought leader to do so too. We need to get cohereent, honest reports in the news — take those people to see in pereson what these laws have done to somany. Counter all news stories in the forums that acocmp[any them, point out bad reporting, point out what is not beeing told, point out the reeal statistics about recidivism, pint out that thisis not jsut against child molesters who kidnap stranger children off the streets that is affect a huge list of offenses including many meree misdemeanors. No one has any idea that misdemeanants are affected by this! I have actually a rgued this with the LA Times,. who jsut willnot listen and nonetheless has NEVER reported that a misdemeant is subject to this. And int out allt he other stuff — I dont need to list it here, people here already know.

But do so slyly. Don’t get wrapped up in some case that is someone gone berserk and completely can;t control themselves. INstead, talk about the lesser offenses and how dramatically out of proportion this SOR stuff is. Pint out how it is a life sentence — and nearly impossible to get out from under as you have to meet the standard of a pardon — something a politician will never be able to grant. Pout out how this is just mass psychosis of the public. Point out how even the lepers of old were treated better. Point out how murderers are treated better — they don’t have to register when they get out of prison.

And take every other helpful angle you can.

After several weeks thinking about this…
Could a distinction be drawn between cases adjudicated before, and cases adjudicated after the court’s decision on this.
Since the presumption of contract under existing law produced the plea-bargains that were enjoined prior to this recent decision, and in that the matter was unresolved before this S191948 came to pass; could it be argued that plea bargains entered into _before_ July 2013 are not subject to the S191948 rendering because the state of the law was undefined until then?

I want to cry BS to the court… It looks like they are protecting the state no concern to the citizens..

@Staying Positive

The LAST thing that you want to have happen is to have the present CONSERVATIVE SCOTUS pick up ANYTHING to do with retro-activity or constitutionality of SORNA laws. The folks that supported proposition 8 found this out the hard way.


This case was VERY CLEARLY a state law issue. While we may not like the decision, the courts upheld the law as it is written. It is not the job of the court to save us from bad public policy.

I never said there wasn’t a state law issue. I said it was a federal case and the federal court could decide it without abdocating to the state court, as its question said it would do, even as it sought input from the state court.

Further, the court did not uphold the law as it is written. Not quite so. The court INTERPRETED the way it chose to interpret, and completely based on other opinions, never once citing a statute, which you say it upheld. They made new case law, did not simply uphold a statue. They interpreted interpretation.

The dissenting opinion had a substantially different interpretation — so it would seem the court hardly had no leeway on this matter.

send it to the supremes!!!

I agree with Justice Reform: SCOTUS will not help, and will only make it definitive law.

Not “definitive Law.” Make that “final” law.

This is a complete slap in the face of justice! This is completely unconstitutional, yet these insane judges fail to see it that way. Unbelievable!

This current case just decided should NOT be sent to Supreme Court ….
the case ripe for the Courts’ decision though are the beyond parole
punishment …those are clearly in gross violation of person’s civil
rights….registry for further punishment / restrictions……
discrimination harassment ………..putting free citizens / Americans
under lifetime parole conditions on the fly…………….there’s HomeRun for
that….the Constitution ……its ripe.

A Fried: I wish you were right. However, both the state and federal high courts have already ruled that SOR is not punishment. They’ve already decided that issue — wrongly and dishonestly.

As for your mention of lifetime parole, that started in New Jersey and now some other states have adopted that. But no one is adding that after the fact, that is applied at time of sentencing, not retroactively.

Of course, some of the other limitations and restrictions that have been imposed retroactively, such as residency restrictions, still await finality about whether they can be applied retroactively.

@an………you are taking a mis-directed notion on your part to somehow make my comment that registration has not been argued before the high court…….what has not been argued because at the time restrictions were not yet being applied as they are now……………restrictions …..Are we Clear…??

What did I tell you?

This decision was carefully worded…Look! it never used the phrase SEX OFFENDER!!
But it was aimed at us.

Look how carefully they shot themselves directly in the foot:

From now on, any trial lawyer will be obliged to advise his client that a plea bargain, no matter how cleverly constructed, isn’t worth the paper on which it had better be printed.
So defense and prosecution will have to go to extraordinary lengths to detail every possible nuance of future law (impossible) in order to arrive at an acceptable plea agreement…and then it could be rendered useless the next day.
Everybody must go to full trial as a result.

The system will collapse. You heard it here first.
Thee right to a speedy trial before a jury of one’s peers will go out the window.
Not just for “sex offenders”, but for everyone arrested for anything.

No more plea bargains because decision rendered in S191948 made the entire concept of the only process that has kept the justice system functional, moot.

Watch them squirm now.
The next three years will be very interesting.
Meanwhile: They hate you. SOR is animus law. It’s based on hatred and fear, just like what America has become; a Land Terrorized and trembling..quaking in fear. They will never legislate their way out of it. They live to hate, and the recent gains made by minorities are only gains against hatred.

Leave the country.
Or get every voting citizen on the Sex Offender Registry. The more the better.
After all, even Jesus Christ was guilty, and look what they did to Him.
You’re in good company.

I was watching this closely since I had a plea on a charge which was not registerable at the time and became registerable later. I’m heartbroken(not suprised) and not looking forward to telling my wife this decision.

I have gotten in the habit of not telling my wife about potential decisions that could bring us some relief. Instead I prefer to surprise her with good news. I have not had the chance to do that yet as far as the registry goes, but I look forward to the day when I can say “Guess what, honey: I’m off that stupid web site!”
Indeed, it would be better than winning the lottery.

No, I think winning the lottery would be better. Then I could get out of this ridiculous country! I am very patriotic and always loved this country…until I got set up. It’s hard to love a country that tells you that you have to jump through so many hoops just to live with your family, that makes traveling to see other states almost impossible.

Someone obviously is just going thru and clicking thumbs down on my posts…how could anyone who supports RSO rights have a problem with me wanting to win the lottery and get the heck out of the country???

Well, I upped your posts. Don’t take it personally when you get a thumbs down – it just means someone does not agree with you.

As for the lottery, that would be nice, but I would prefer to come off the registry as I had no problem earning a comfortable living before being outed on the public registry.

If I did not have a wife,kids, elderly parents and extended family I would feel differently about leaving the USA lotto winner or not. In fact, I would already be gone. But, I would rather live like a whole being here making decent bread than a rich man in a foreign land without a country.

BTW – I spent a few grand trying to get into Canada last year. They turned me down. 🙁

The way I see it is that USA is ground-zero for the “sex offender” problem. The United States is loved and hated by many people all over the world…but love it or hate it, it certainly has its influence. Even in lands where the US is dreaded, feared, and despicably hated by the population, so long as there is a “Democratic” puppet-government installed, the US influence will prevail. I see the US, Japan and Australia fighting over the Philippines all the time for political and social influence. A few years ago, Australian and American delegates were encouraging the Philippines to setup their own version of SORNA in order to help monitor ex-RSO expats, and if need be – extradite them back to their respective countries. This is partly why I gave up trying to live there and accepted the fact things are only going to get worse abroad unless we triumph in the States first. Back then, I’d never heard of the National RSOL and CA RSOL didn’t exist. My visa was denied in 2009 (get this!) due to the technical problem of having a felony on my record and nothing to do with the nature of the crime or my status as an RSO! So my wife and I resolved that we have to fight this problem here first.

It will follow us around no matter where we go.

Not shocked, not surprised, not outraged…this “decision” is similar to the ancient Roman gladiators when they fought captives in the arena. All the Roman leaders were in their seats of honor waiting to give the thumbs down to the captive slave who had just been beaten down by the gladiator. The court’s decision is nothing more than another legal thumbs down. The good thing is, I know karma, and it’s a *****! Karma’s coming and they better look out!

From now on, any trial lawyer will be obliged to advise his client that a plea bargain, no matter how cleverly constructed, isn’t worth the paper on which it had better be printed.

maybe we should forward this to all those lawyer blog and ask them what they think.

There are some small movements in the state and throughout the nation which are seeking to change plea bargaining as it currently operates today. One of the problems with plea bargaining is that the judge is usually out of the picture, so a lot of dealing under the table goes on behind the scenes (i.e. “I’ll drop the charges on that armed robbery case if you’ll get your client to plead guilty to one count of 288(a)…”, to which the DA knows very well that the defendant will have to register as an SO and be subject to Megan’s Law, Jessica’s Law, plus Tom, Dick, or Harry’s Laws in the future, and will make the defendant’s life a living hell…etc…)

Judges are supposed to decide upon matters of law – something they simply cannot do when they are removed from the adjudicatory process. Some movements propound that judges need to be in on the plea bargaining to ensure that there is no double-dealing going on. Others say we should do away with plea bargaining altogether as it seems to violate the 5th and 6th Amendments. (See United States vs. Jackson.) In plea bargaining, the prosecution is given an unfair advantage since they can bluff the defense with trumped up charges, employing fear and intimidation as a means of coercing the defendant into pleading to a lesser charge for which they may have been acquitted altogether if judged by a jury of their peers. Plea bargaining severely limits defendants’ rights on two fronts: 1) The 5th Amendment goes out the window when you become a witness against yourself, and 2) The 6th Amendment goes out the window when you waive your right to a jury trial.

What’s worse is that in cases involving juveniles (like mine), you can be bluffed into waiving your rights, which adversely affects the outcome since juveniles do not have the right to a jury trial. On that note, a bench trial may be more favorable for a juvenile since your counsel only has to convince the judge of your age and maturity level at the time of the offense, whereas the burden of proof rests with the prosecution to prove that you should be charged as an adult.

Several things that all people should keep in mind when accused of a crime:

1) Do not say anything. When the authorities come to your door and start asking questions, DO NOT GO OUTSIDE. Many cops will ask if ‘you can step outside?’ Don’t oblige their request. If they ask to come inside, ask them why? If they say they need to search the premises, ask if they have a warrant. If they respond in the negative then tell them you’re invoking your 4th Amendment rights and do not wish to invite them in. Remember that even if a family member consents to a search, if you do not consent then your 4th Amendment right has been invoked and they must cease the search immediately.

2) If they say they “need to speak with you”, or “ask you some questions”, hit back with “Am I being placed under arrest?” If they respond in the affirmative, then they MUST read you your Miranda Rights, neglecting to do so could cost them the case if you do slip up. If they respond in the negative and you confess to anything before they arrest you, then they can prove that you knew you were not under arrest and so chose to answer their questions freely, by your own will and without coercion. So keep your mouth shut! Whether they respond in the negative or the affirmative, reply with “I’m invoking my 5th Amendment rights and do not wish to answer any questions until I speak with my attorney.” At this point, expect to be arrested and interrogated “downtown”, but answer no questions. No matter what they say, no matter what “evidence” they claim to have, remember – THEY ARE LYING. DO NOT ANSWER QUESTIONS. It is your right to remain silent, but it is their right to coerce you into a confession.

3) Don’t let anyone talk you into waiving any rights with the promise of getting out of jail sooner or anything. If it makes it easier on the court to try you then that is code for “make it easier for us to screw up your life.” Don’t do it. You don’t want to make things easier on the court, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. Make it hard on them, make them prove it!

4) For the love of God, do not enter a plea bargain since Doe vs. Harris now invalidates them. This decision definitively settles the question as to whether or not a plea deal is worth the paper it’s printed on.

Forgot to mention, see Georgia vs. Randolph regarding 4th Amendment rights and consent to searches.

mh, just a comment. The judges are not left out. In fact, there can be no plea bargain without a judge’s consent to it. The judge has the power to reject it. Sometimes, the judge even will initiate or undertake the bargaining from the bench, although not often. Judges do sometimes reject the plea bargain and set a trial. When the prosecutor is negotiating it, he/she knows the general parameters they can expect to have to stay within so that the court does not reject it out of hand, and so plea bargains are nearly always simply accepted by the court. But that doesn’t mean the court is completely cut out.

Ok, but please pay attention to the sort of language I use – I rarely employ absolutes in my writing. For instance, I said the judge is “usually out of the picture”. But aside from the fact that the judge can accept or reject the plea bargain does not necessarily mean that he is directly involved in the actual “bargaining” process that goes on in every single example. For instance, I know he wasn’t involved in mine. I didn’t mean to say that the judge has no say in the matter, or that the judge has no power at all.

On that note, much research reveals that a lot of judges actually do place their faith in “the system” and therefore that the defense attorney is clearly and adequately explaining everything to their client, and that the DA is uprightly handling matters of law. Furthermore, many such judges were once prosecutors themselves and therefore favor the prosecutions’ terms. I hope that clears up what I was trying to say.

P.s. I don’t have time to debate this today, so if I don’t respond in a timely manner, its because I’m busy and not because I don’t care or am ignoring you. 🙂

People that can vote need challenge these laws for election reasons. such as equal right to form a campaign party, equal access to government meetings. it would not be as easy for the courts to agree with the state if the subject was based on elections and not sex offenders. If your town or city limit where you can live, then they also limit how many people can vote at their polls. Flood the courts with law suits. fill buses with people and then have them register in just one town as being homeless, it will start a panic.

This is a very interesting theory. The protections for access to the ballot box are quite strong. This is worth looking into.

Yeah, but take this into consideration…some polling places are public schools, which are almost impossible to access because the law says we have to get the superintendent’s permission(which they usually won’t give). In other words, if you live in such a place, they can arrest you for trying to access the polling place simply based on where it is!

That is a very interesting point. I would have to think lawyers would be fascinated by it. Does the Constitutional right to vote trump restrictions on registrants going to polling places at schools or other locations (my polling place is always at a recreation center in a local park) where they otherwise would be barred. Without specifically providing for an exemption for such “transgressions,” would the restriction on registrants have to be completely invalidated? Would other avenues to cast that vote make the question moot, such as voting by mail — is it even constitutional to limit only some people in the ways they may cast their ballots? Are there any other reasons for going to such places that might also trump such restrictions on a registrant?

I presume we will never know until someone dares to arrest a registrant for going to such a place to vote, and without asking anyone’s permission.

Fight the law for election reasons. it would be harder for the courts to up hold these laws. if your town limits where you live, it then also limits access to the polls.

The acceptance of a plea bargain which guarantees a young man will stay out of jail needs to be read in context with the Human Rights Watch report, ‘No Escape Male Rape in US Prisons’. They estimate that as many men are raped each year in the US as women are due to the endemic of prison rape.

Out of interest, does/has the state ever sent women anywhere as a punitive measure where they, and the rest of society knows they’ll probably be raped?

The guarantee of staying out of prison in light of this report confirms the above posters theory that a bargain plea faces the prosecution at an unfair advantage and coerces the defendant.

Unfortunately, when the difference may be between, say, a year of jail and 10 years probation for a plea vs. 25 to life for a jury conviction, the penalty is much too severe to risk in this case. I am not dismissing the advice, but even a plea deal with the subsequent lifetime registration punishment is preferable to a ~98% conviction rate that results in long prison sentences plus all the ensuing law restriction.

A question, perhaps one already answered above (I will read the posts and decision soon): Why does the CA High Court apply their ruling on the basis of contract law? Contract law seems to be predicated on the notion that both parties have some say in the matter–this is rarely, perhaps never, the case in plea bargain “agreements” which tend to be coerced and a “meeting of the minds” is just a chimera behind which prosecutors hide in such cases.

Hey Janice
I have a suggestion for a counter lawsuit against this, I plead guilty to indecent exposure in public while in a drunken stupor-I was told by the public defender don’t worry about being a sex offender, you won’t be on the public web site-the cops-the system aren’t going to Hassel you.

I was read my Miranda rights for my offense, but there was no Miranda rights warning me that if I plead guilty to becoming a sex offender, that it didn’t matter, one size fits all.

%99 of those who a accept plea deals-become sex offenders have no knowledge of the nightmare world they are about to enter!

How about filing a motion mandating the state/prosecution??? To read some type of sex offender Miranda to a defendant explaining the night mare world they will be entering if they plead guilty-become a sex offender, I bet this would stop a lot of plea deals- a jury would know why
Keep Up The Good Fight!
Anthony Jones/San Diego Ca.

Hello Janice
I have interesting idea how you could waltz back into the 9th court-say “I AM BACK! “
I read an article online where tier#1 sex offenders in England filed a class action suit- had the high court remove them all from the S.O.R in England?
File a multimillion $class action lawsuit against the state of Ca, on behalf of tier#1 sex offenders, similar to what was done in England. What would this accomplish?
PLENTY OF FREE PUBLICTY FOR THIS ORG.> would wake Californians up by exposing to them that this registry has turned into a new gold rush for the States to get big money from the Feds for making someone a sex offender –now everyone in Ca. can become a sex offender for fun-profit for the state for minor infractions!
Wars are won by winning small battles; – I know this would put the 9th court clowns on the hot seat!

Anthony Jones/San Diego Ca.

one flaw in your idea…CA doesn’t have a tier 1 registrant because there isn’t a tiered registry here.

California doesn’t technically have an official 3 tiered system but they do recognize level 1 offenders by not having them on the Megan’s law website online. They are only listed on the police access sex offender registry. So, that would make a lawsuit weaker than if they actually were listed on a public registry. IMO

True, but then if many politicians had their way, ALL registrants would appear publicly on the website. With my original plea and sentencing, registration was only a special condition of probation, not part of my sentence. My case was a wobbler that I was told I could get reduced to a misdemeanor once probation was completed and be relieved of the requirement to register. This was all told to me before I signed the plea agreement.

Five months into my probation, the DOJ took it upon themselves to change that and made it a registerable offense. No election, no congress involved, just did it themselves, which violates the separation of powers because the judicial branch is not supposed to make law, only enforce it. Even then, my information did not appear publicly.

THEN, a year into my probation, because of a crooked DA investigator and a probation officer who wasn’t happy that I never did any jail time, I was falsely accused of a new case and found myself under arrest. This made my registration info completely public when it was not prior to this.

I’m curious as to the applicability of the “NO STATE SHALL PASS ANY LAWS IMPAIRING


I believe this case is not a loss but an opportunity.

For any individual whose conviction was by way of a plea agreement the California Supreme Court’s decision flies in the face of the Legislature’s intentions regarding the disposition of plea agreements. Read Penal Code § 1016.5. This statute allows any alien convicted by way of a plea agreement the right to withdraw that agreement if the court, prior to plea, failed to inform the alien defendant that this conviction may in the future affect their residency rights. The warning is required by law and refers to future legislation being applied retroactively. No such warning regarding future legislative impact for prior convictions is required for actual citizens. Wait there is more.

In Padilla v. KY, the U.S. Supreme Court held that if an alien is not informed prior to plea that the conviction might result in an impact on your right to remain in the U.S. then the alien defendant was denied his constitutional right to effective counsel.

The residency restrictions and the P.C. 290 compliance checks without probable cause that an individual in not in compliance are both issues that affect liberty interests. As such the grounds for a constitutional fight are in the decision of the Doe v. Harris opinion. A person from a foreign country who commits a sex offense in California and agrees to a plea agreement must be told about the “mere possibility” of immigration consequences as a collateral consequence of the conviction. That same person must by law be informed of the immigration consequences of the conviction by his defense counsel or the plea can not stand.

Therefore, I believe there is an equal protection claim against the Doe v. Harris decision. The challenge is to determine the correct argument and the correct venue for the motion.

Any lawyers in the house?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x