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For Registered Sex Offenders, An Uphill Civil Rights Battle

In 2010, Frank Lindsay came home after running errands and noticed his front door was wide open. When he went inside to investigate, he found a young man in his dining room with two hammers — “one in each hand,” he recalls.

“And he immediately raised the hammer in his right hand and started at me, indicating he wanted to kill me because I was a sick pervert.” The attacker had found Lindsay’s address on California’s Sex Offender Registry. Full Article

Join the discussion

  1. Nathan k

    Way to go Frank! I plan to see you in Carson on July 21!

  2. Janice Bellucci

    Thank you, NPR, for broadcasting this story about our civil rights efforts. In only five minutes, NPR shared a lot of information with their vast audience. Thanks also to Jill Levenson for her many years of research which includes the finding used in the story that “The consensus of that research does not point in the direction of registries reducing sexual crimes or sexual recidivism.” We can only hope that this article will help us reach the Tipping Point, that is, the public will wake up and realize that current sex offender laws actually make the public less safe, not more safe and waste millions of dollars every year.

  3. j

    As empathetic as I am for all victims, most of the fuel for this coming from victims advocacy groups is intended to keep punishing all registrants for any registrable offense that has occurred anywhere seemingly since the beginning of time. This included presumed guilt for crimes not yet committed – anywhere.
    To call it crime prevention is a far stretch of the imagination and mostly progressive manifestations of ignorance, fear and hate.

    It is constantly repeated that these laws prevent societal reintegration as though every one of the nearly 100,000 registrants (in California) has not completed their sentences. In many cases, as in Frank’s, the cases are so old, the registrant has reintegrated into society, then essentially put back on trial and treated with the implications that they are on supervised release or have somehow escaped justice entirely.

    While I believe the laws even as they apply to registrants on supervised release are over-reaching and draconian, it is even more egregious to essentially undo or erase any semblance of rehabilitation that those on the list are simply registrants – no longer criminals essentially. This is ex post facto punishment defined and in plain sight of the public of which they remain blinded due to the demagoguery of legislators and public officials and their need to create chaos and come to the relief of a public panicked by hyperbole.

    I am repeating the truth a thousand times in hope that it counteracts to whatever extent possible the lies that are told a million times each day.

    Meanwhile victims advocacy groups should be aware of their victimization of the children and families of registrants. Let’s see how in fact they respond to the truth – don’t hold your breath waiting for any humanity in this regard…

  4. David

    I wonder if the public is aware that not only are their tax dollars being wasted on registries that provide a false sense of security, but having a neighbor listed on the Registry that they supported can have a very real (-12%) impact on the selling price of their home. See: http://www.slate.com/articles/business/explainer/2013/03/registered_sex_offenders_how_much_do_they_cost_their_neighbors_in_property.html
    So a person’s fervent support of these registries may cost him/her tens of thousands of very real dollars.

  5. mike r

    Yes what kind of society are is the gov. Creating when a citizen can be criminally convicted of a felony offense and sent to prison for three or more years not for engaging in any criminal behavior but for simply not providing personal information to the gov. within a certain time frame? And as if that isn’t unconstitutional in and of itself the gov. then justifies this type of law that criminalize non criminal behaviour on a assumption that this certain class of individuals pose such a high risk of reoffending and that these laws will in turn increase public safety ( which both assumptions have been proven to be universally untrue) I thought the penal system was created to punish offenders who actually engage in criminal behaviour.

    Janice has Hawaii v bani been reversed or is it still good law.

  6. mike r

    Janice is the following still good law and a viable avenue to persue. Copied from sosen website.

    The United States Supreme Court has previously recognized that a person’s reputation is a protected liberty interest under the federal due process clause. Wisconsin v. Constantineau, 400 U.S. 433 (1971) (hereafter “Constantineau”); Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564 (1972) (hereafter “Roth”).

    In Constantineau, the State of Wisconsin authorized the posting of a notice prohibiting the sale or gift of liquor to any person who “‘by excessive drinking’ produces described conditions or exhibits specified traits, such as exposing himself or family ‘to want’ or becoming ‘dangerous to the peace’ of the community.” On appeal, the Constantineau Court recognized that “[i]t would be naive not to recognize that such ‘posting’ or characterization of an individual will expose him to public embarrassment and ridicule.” 400 U.S. at 436. The Court therefore held that a protectible liberty interest is implicated “[w]here a person’s good name, reputation, honor, or integrity is at stake because of what the government is doing to him [or her.]” Id. at 437.

    One year later, the Court again recognized a person’s liberty interest may be implicated by damage to his or her reputation. See Roth, 408 U.S. at 573. The plaintiff in Roth, a university professor, alleged that “the failure of University officials to give him notice of any reason for non-retention and an opportunity for a hearing violated his right to procedural due process of law.” Id. at 569. The Roth Court reasoned that in declining to hire the plaintiff, the state had neither advanced “any charge against him that might seriously damage his standing and associations in the community” nor “imposed on him a stigma or other disability that foreclosed his freedom to take advantage of other employment opportunities.” Id. at 573. The Roth Court noted, however, that “a different case” would have been presented had the state either damaged the plaintiff’s reputation or imposed a stigma on him. Id. at 573-74.

    However, in Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693, reh’g denied, 425 U.S. 985 (1976), the Court clarified that “reputation alone, apart from some more tangible interests such as employment, is [n]either ‘liberty’ [n]or ‘property’ by itself sufficient to invoke the procedural protection of the Due Process Clause.” Id. at 701. The plaintiff in Paul alleged a deprivation of liberty without due process of law after the circulation of flyers publicizing his conviction for shoplifting and labeling him an “active shoplifter.” Id. at 712. According to the Paul Court, because the plaintiff’s harm was not accompanied by the alteration of “a right or status previously recognized by state law,” there was no deprivation of a protectible liberty interest. Id. at 711-12.

    Paul has been interpreted to require “stigma plus” in order to establish a constitutional deprivation. See, e.g., Valmonte v. Bane, 18 F.3d 992, 999 (2d Cir. 1994). In other words, “an allegation that government dissemination of information or government defamation has caused damage to reputation, even with all the attendant emotional anguish and social stigma, does not in itself state a cause of action for violation of a constitutional right, infringement of more ‘tangible interests’ must be alleged as well”. Borucki v. Ryan, 827 F.2d 836, 842-43 (1st Cir. 1987); see also Marshall v. University of Hawaii, 9 Haw. App. 21, 32, 821 P.2d 937, 948 (1991).

    For the reasons discussed below, we conclude that Bani has shown substantial injury to both his reputation and other “tangible interests.” This case does not therefore require us to determine whether a person’s reputation alone constitutes a protected liberty interest under the Hawaii Constitution. Suffice it to say that Bani has established that the public notification provisions of HRS chapter 846E implicate a liberty interest protected by the due process clause of the Hawaii Constitution.

    First; Bani has demonstrated that the public notification provisions of HRS chapter 846E will likely cause harm to his reputation. The statute effectively brands Bani a “sex offender”, i.e., a public danger, for life. See Doe v. Pataki, 3 F. Supp. 2d 456, 467 (S.D.N.Y. 1998) [here in after Pataki III]; Doe v. Attorney General, 686 N.E.2d 1007, 1013 (Mass. 1997) [hereinafter Doe II];see also Bohn v. County of Dakota, 772 F.2d 1433, 1436 n.4 (8th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1014 (1986).

    Specifically, HRS chapter 846E’s public notification provisions imply that Bani is potentially dangerous, thereby undermining his reputation and standing in the community. Doe v. Poritz, 662 A.2d 367, 419 (N.J. 1995); cf. Neal v. Shimoda, 131 F.3d 818, 829 (9th Cir. 1997) (noting that “[o]ne need only look to the increasingly popular ‘Megan’s laws’, whereby states require sex offenders to register with law enforcement officials, who are then authorized to release information about the sex offender to the public, to comprehend the stigmatizing consequences of being labeled a sex offender”). Indeed, public notification that Bani is a convicted sex offender implicitly announces that, in the eyes of the State, Bani presents a risk of committing another sex offense. Doe II, 686 N.E.2d at 144.

    Second; Bani will foreseeably suffer serious harm to other “tangible interests” as a result of registration as a sex offender. Potential employers and landlords will thus foreseeably be reluctant to employ or rent to Bani once they learn of his status as a “sex offender”. See Pataki III, 3 F. Supp. 2d at 468; W.P. v. Poritz, 931 F. Supp. 1199, 1219 (D.N.J. 1996), rev’d, 119 F.3d 1077 (3d Cir. 1997), cert. denied, 522 U.S. 1110 (1998) [hereinafter Verniero]; see also In re Reed, 663 P.2d 216 (Cal. 1983) (quoting In re Birch, 515 P.2d 12 (Cal. 1973)). (8). Indeed, the public disclosure provisions of HRS chapter 846E can adversely affect an offender’s personal and professional life, employability, associations with neighbors and choice of housing. Noble v. Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision, 964 P.2d 990, 995-96 (Or. 1998); State v. Myers, 923 P.2d 1024, 1041 (Kan. 1996), cert. denied, 521 U.S. 1118 (1997); Rowe v. Burton, 884 F. Supp. 1372, 1378 (D. Alaska 1994), appeal dismissed, 85 F.3d 635 (9th Cir. 1996) (personal and professional lives); Artway v. Attorney General, 876 F. Supp. 666, 668 (D.N.J. 1995),aff’d in part and vacated in part, 81 F.3d 1235 (3d Cir.), reh’g denied, 83 F.2d 594 (1996) (employability and associations with neighbors); Robin L. Deems, Comment, California’s Sex Offender Notification Statute: A Constitutional Analysis, 33 San Diego L. Rev. 1195 (1996) (citing Jenny A. Montana, Note, An Ineffective Weapon in the Fight Against Child Sexual Abuse: New Jersey’s Megan’s Law, 3 J. L. & Pol’y 569, 580-81 (1995)) (choice of housing). In addition, public disclosure may encourage vigilantism and may expose the offender to possible physical violence. (9)See, e.g., Poritz, 662 A.2d at 430-31 (Stein, J., dissenting); Pataki I, 940 F. Supp. 603, 608-11 (S.D.N.Y. 1996); Doe v. Gregoire, 960 F. Supp. 1478, 1485 (W.D. Wash. 1997). Indeed, [w]hen a government agency focuses its machinery on the task of determining whether a person should be labeled publicly as having a certain undesirable characteristic or belonging to a certain undesirable group, and that agency must by law gather and synthesize evidence outside the public record in making that determination, the interest of the person to be labeled goes beyond mere reputation. . . . [I]t is an interest in avoiding the social ostracism, loss of employment opportunities, and significant likelihood of verbal and, perhaps, even physical harassment likely to follow from designation.

    Noble, 964 P.2d at 995-96. Therefore, HRS chapter 846E is highly likely to cause irreparable harm to Bani’s reputation and professional life, employability, associations with neighbors, and choice of housing.

    The Paul Court recognized that, in addition to the interests recognized by state law, “[t]here are other interests . . . protected not by virtue of their recognition by the law of a particular State but because they are guaranteed in one of the provisions of the Bill of Rights which has been ‘incorporated’ into the Fourteenth Amendment.” Paul, 424 U.S. at 710 n.5. As an example, in Bohn, 772 F.2d at 1436 n.4, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit found a protectible interest in reputation where the stigma of being identified as a child abuser was tied to the protectible interest in privacy and autonomy of family relationships. See also Poritz, 662 A.2d at 419 (holding that the stigma resulting from notification that petitioner was a sex offender was tied to the protectible interest in privacy inasmuch as he had an interest in his reputation); Neal, 131 F.3d at 830 (holding that Hawaii’s designating of prisoner as “sex offender” without hearing and requiring successful completion of treatment program as precondition for parole eligibility together implicated a liberty interest protected by the right to due process of law).

    Under these circumstances, we are persuaded by the following considerations that Bani has a liberty interest protected by the Hawaii Constitution that entitles him to procedural due process: (1) the public disclosure of accumulated and synthesized personal information that would not otherwise be easily available; (2) the potential harm to his personal and professional life; (3) the foreseeable harm to his reputation; and (4) the statutory branding of him as a public danger, i.e., as a sex offender. We note that the “interest cannot be captured in a single word or phrase. It is an interest in knowing when the government is moving against you and why it has singled you out for special attention. It is an interest in avoiding the secret machinations of a Star Chamber.” Noble, 964 P.2d at 995.

  7. Eric

    Good piece on NPR, thank you.

  8. mike r

    This motion could possibly prevail.

    I the plaintiff Michael Richardson do hereby bring forth this motion for Declaratory and/or Injunction relief. This motion is being brought forth as a as applied challenge to the constitutionality of the sex offender registration and notification laws or Megans law as applied to me.

    Introduction.

    I am a united states citizen who resides in Sacramento CA.
    I am a non-violent, non-contact first time ex-offender from a incident that occurred over a decade ago. There was never any physical contact between myself and any victim. I completed my prison sentence and parole supervision without any incidents or violations despite all the obstacles and conditions of parole that were placed on me because of the sex offender designation. I have been arrest free and a completely law abiding citizen since my release. I do not pose any risk to the public. I was already severely punished for my offense and have been subjected to intensive monitoring and supervision while on parole. I should not be subjected to these registration and notification laws that involve consequences that are severely detrimental to so many aspects of my life.

    Issue.

    The sex offender registration and notification laws or Megans law violate my constitutionally protected liberty interest in my reputation which is protected under the federal due process clause in the Fourteenth Amendment article one of the United States Constitution.

    Facts.
    The United States Supreme Court has previously recognized that a person’s reputation is a protected liberty interest under the federal due process clause. Wisconsin v. Constantineau, 400 U.S. 433 (1971) (hereafter “Constantineau”); Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564 (1972) (hereafter “Roth”).

    In Constantineau, the State of Wisconsin authorized the posting of a notice prohibiting the sale or gift of liquor to any person who “‘by excessive drinking’ produces described conditions or exhibits specified traits, such as exposing himself or family ‘to want’ or becoming ‘dangerous to the peace’ of the community.” On appeal, the Constantineau Court recognized that “[i]t would be naive not to recognize that such ‘posting’ or characterization of an individual will expose him to public embarrassment and ridicule.” 400 U.S. at 436. The Court therefore held that a protectible liberty interest is implicated “[w]here a person’s good name, reputation, honor, or integrity is at stake because of what the government is doing to him [or her.]” Id. at 437.

    One year later, the Court again recognized a person’s liberty interest may be implicated by damage to his or her reputation. See Roth, 408 U.S. at 573. The plaintiff in Roth, a university professor, alleged that “the failure of University officials to give him notice of any reason for non-retention and an opportunity for a hearing violated his right to procedural due process of law.” Id. at 569. The Roth Court reasoned that in declining to hire the plaintiff, the state had neither advanced “any charge against him that might seriously damage his standing and associations in the community” nor “imposed on him a stigma or other disability that foreclosed his freedom to take advantage of other employment opportunities.” Id. at 573. The Roth Court noted, however, that “a different case” would have been presented had the state either damaged the plaintiff’s reputation or imposed a stigma on him. Id. at 573-74.

    However, in Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693, reh’g denied, 425 U.S. 985 (1976), the Court clarified that “reputation alone, apart from some more tangible interests such as employment, is [n]either ‘liberty’ [n]or ‘property’ by itself sufficient to invoke the procedural protection of the Due Process Clause.” Id. at 701. The plaintiff in Paul alleged a deprivation of liberty without due process of law after the circulation of flyers publicizing his conviction for shoplifting and labeling him an “active shoplifter.” Id. at 712. According to the Paul Court, because the plaintiff’s harm was not accompanied by the alteration of “a right or status previously recognized by state law,” there was no deprivation of a protectible liberty interest. Id. at 711-12.

    Paul has been interpreted to require “stigma plus” in order to establish a constitutional deprivation. See, e.g., Valmonte v. Bane, 18 F.3d 992, 999 (2d Cir. 1994). In other words, “an allegation that government dissemination of information or government defamation has caused damage to reputation, even with all the attendant emotional anguish and social stigma, does not in itself state a cause of action for violation of a constitutional right, infringement of more ‘tangible interests’ must be alleged as well”. Borucki v. Ryan, 827 F.2d 836, 842-43 (1st Cir. 1987); see also Marshall v. University of Hawaii, 9 Haw. App. 21, 32, 821 P.2d 937, 948 (1991).

    These sex offender registration and notification laws or Megans law effectively brand me a “sex offender”, i.e., a public danger, for life. See Doe v. Pataki, 3 F. Supp. 2d 456, 467 (S.D.N.Y. 1998) [here in after Pataki III]; Doe v. Attorney General, 686 N.E.2d 1007, 1013 (Mass. 1997) [hereinafter Doe II];see also Bohn v. County of Dakota, 772 F.2d 1433, 1436 n.4 (8th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1014 (1986).

    Specifically, the public notification provisions imply that I am potentially dangerous, thereby undermining my reputation and standing in the community. Doe v. Poritz, 662 A.2d 367, 419 (N.J. 1995); cf. Neal v. Shimoda, 131 F.3d 818, 829 (9th Cir. 1997) (noting that “[o]ne need only look to the increasingly popular ‘Megan’s laws’, whereby states require sex offenders to register with law enforcement officials, who are then authorized to release information about the sex offender to the public, to comprehend the stigmatizing consequences of being labeled a sex offender”). Indeed, public notification that I am a convicted sex offender implicitly announces that, in the eyes of the State, I present a risk of committing another sex offense. Doe II, 686 N.E.2d at 144.
    My constitutionally-protected right to reputation is encroached upon by an irrebuttable presumption of future offending that is not universally true.

    The courts and legislature have relied on false assumptions and misinformation presented in previous litigation on sex offender registration and notification laws that stated the laws were justifiable because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which is universally untrue. I am asking this court to rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following which prove that recidivism rates are extremely lower for sex offenders then any other class of offenders.

    California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB)

    Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% (page 38)

    The full report is available online at.
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_Research_Branch%2FResearch_documents%2FOutcome_evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei=C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ

    Bureau of Justice Statistics
    5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE
    WASHINGTON, D.C.

    Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today.

    The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm

    Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013

    Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up
    The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates.

    The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf

    Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy.

    A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7%

    Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf

    Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009.

    The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%

    Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf

    These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community.

    The sex offender registration and notification laws violate my constitutional rights to liberty by infringing on my freedom of movement and my freedom of association by severely limiting my ability to travel both interstate and intrastate and also international travel. With all the different state laws and local ordinances that are in place and the constant introduction of new legislation in the different states and the constantly changing local ordinances in thousands of cities and counties across the country, it makes it virtually impossible for me to travel or visit anywhere in this country without a very real fear and potential for violating one of these laws or ordinances. It is virtually impossible for a person of average intelligence to research, assimilate and abide by all the different state laws and local ordinances that apply to registered sex offenders across the country. The punishments for violating one of these laws or ordinances are severe. It is a violation of my fundamental right to liberty and to freely travel and associate in this country. I can not visit family or friends without fear of violating one of these laws or ordinances nor can i attend meetings or protest that occur in places that prohibit regjstared sex offenders from being present. The registration and notification laws makes it impossible for me to travel to a multitude of major countries in the world as they are notified by our government of my registration status so therefore I am denied entry. These are not hypothetical situations and are not minor inconviences or limited collateral consequences of registration but are major violations of my constitutional rights to liberty. These violations will continue to cause me irreparable damage as long as I am subjected to these registration and notification laws.

    The sex offender registration and notification laws violate my privacy rights by making public my current personal address and current photo which is not public information and which puts me in physical harm every time I enter or leave my home and even while I’m in my home I can not feel safe. This information is also being publicly distributed on the internet from privately owned and operated websites such as homefacts.com. That information being made public puts not only myself but my families lives and property in danger of physical harm, harrasment and vandalism.These claims are not hypothetical situations or exaggerations, these claims are facts and the possibilities of these incidents occurring are real and in fact some have already occurred in my case. This is not a minor collateral consequence of registration but a major violation of my right to privacy. The Megans law website also displays my criminal record that should only be available to authorized individuals who meet certain criteria and have a need to know basis, not to the general public at a click of a computer mouse.

    I am suffering serious harm to other “tangible interests” as a result of registration as a sex offender. Potential employers and landlords are reluctant to employ or rent to me once they learn of my status as a “sex offender”. See Pataki III, 3 F. Supp. 2d at 468; W.P. v. Poritz, 931 F. Supp. 1199, 1219 (D.N.J. 1996), rev’d, 119 F.3d 1077 (3d Cir. 1997), cert. denied, 522 U.S. 1110 (1998) [hereinafter Verniero]; see also In re Reed, 663 P.2d 216 (Cal. 1983) (quoting In re Birch, 515 P.2d 12 (Cal. 1973)). (8). Indeed, the public notification provisions do adversely affect my personal and professional life, employability, associations with neighbors and choice of housing. Noble v. Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision, 964 P.2d 990, 995-96 (Or. 1998); State v. Myers, 923 P.2d 1024, 1041 (Kan. 1996), cert. denied, 521 U.S. 1118 (1997); Rowe v. Burton, 884 F. Supp. 1372, 1378 (D. Alaska 1994), appeal dismissed, 85 F.3d 635 (9th Cir. 1996) (personal and professional lives); Artway v. Attorney General, 876 F. Supp. 666, 668 (D.N.J. 1995),aff’d in part and vacated in part, 81 F.3d 1235 (3d Cir.), reh’g denied, 83 F.2d 594 (1996) (employability and associations with neighbors); Robin L. Deems, Comment, California’s Sex Offender Notification Statute: A Constitutional Analysis, 33 San Diego L. Rev. 1195 (1996) (citing Jenny A. Montana, Note, An Ineffective Weapon in the Fight Against Child Sexual Abuse: New Jersey’s Megan’s Law, 3 J. L. & Pol’y 569, 580-81 (1995)) (choice of housing). In addition, public disclosure does encourage vigilantism and does expose me to possible physical violence. (9)See, e.g., Poritz, 662 A.2d at 430-31 (Stein, J., dissenting); Pataki I, 940 F. Supp. 603, 608-11 (S.D.N.Y. 1996); Doe v. Gregoire, 960 F. Supp. 1478, 1485 (W.D. Wash. 1997). Indeed, [w]hen a government agency focuses its machinery on the task of determining whether a person should be labeled publicly as having a certain undesirable characteristic or belonging to a certain undesirable group, and that agency must by law gather and synthesize evidence outside the public record in making that determination, the interest of the person to be labeled goes beyond mere reputation. . . . [I]t is an interest in avoiding the social ostracism, loss of employment opportunities, and significant likelihood of verbal and, perhaps, even physical harassment likely to follow from designation.
    Noble, 964 P.2d at 995-96.
    The sex offender registration and notification laws or Megans law are causing me irreparable harm to my reputation and professional life, employability, associations with neighbors, and choice of housing.

    The Paul Court recognized that, in addition to the interests recognized by state law, “[t]here are other interests . . . protected not by virtue of their recognition by the law of a particular State but because they are guaranteed in one of the provisions of the Bill of Rights which has been ‘incorporated’ into the Fourteenth Amendment.” Paul, 424 U.S. at 710 n.5. As an example, in Bohn, 772 F.2d at 1436 n.4, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit found a protectible interest in reputation where the stigma of being identified as a child abuser was tied to the protectible interest in privacy and autonomy of family relationships. See also Poritz, 662 A.2d at 419 (holding that the stigma resulting from notification that petitioner was a sex offender was tied to the protectible interest in privacy inasmuch as he had an interest in his reputation); Neal, 131 F.3d at 830 (holding that Hawaii’s designating of prisoner as “sex offender” without hearing and requiring successful completion of treatment program as precondition for parole eligibility together implicated a liberty interest protected by the right to due process of law).

    I have a liberty interest protected by the Constitution that entitles me to procedural due process because: (1) the public disclosure of accumulated and synthesized personal information that would not otherwise be easily available; (2) the harm to my personal and professional life; (3) the foreseeable harm to my reputation; and (4) the statutory branding of me as a public danger, i.e., as a sex offender. We note that the “interest cannot be captured in a single word or phrase. It is an interest in knowing when the government is moving against you and why it has singled you out for special attention. It is an interest in avoiding the secret machinations of a Star Chamber.” Noble, 964 P.2d at 995.

    Justice Brandeis noted that the Founding Fathers
    recognized the significance of man’s spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect. They knew that only a part of the pain, pleasure and satisfactions of life are to be found in material things. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone-the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men.

    Olmstead v. United States,277 U.S. 438, 478 (1928) (Brandeis, J., dissenting), overruled in part by Berger v. New York,388 U.S. 41 (1967) and Katz v. United States,389 U.S. 347 (1967).

    Additionally, in an oft-quoted dissent in Poe v. Ullman,367 U.S. 497 (1961), Justice Harlan wrote,

    [T]he full scope of liberty guaranteed by the Due Process Clause cannot be found in or limited by the precise terms of the specific guarantees elsewhere provided in the Constitution. This ‘liberty’ is not a series of isolated points pricked out in terms of the taking of property; the freedom of speech, press, and religion; the right to keep and bear arms; the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures; and so on. It is a rational continuum which, broadly speaking, includes a freedom from all substantial arbitrary impositions and purposeless restraints.

    Id. at 543 (Harlan, J., dissenting).[4] These words “eloquently” describe the Court’s role in the substantive due process inquiry. Moore v. City of East Cleveland,431 U.S. 494, 501 (1977).

    Sex offender registration and notification laws are not minor inconveniences, these laws are in fact substantial arbitrary impositions and purposeless restraints. These laws are unreasonable and are grossly disproportionate as they severely infringe on my constitutional rights while not serving or achieving any governmental purpose or objectives of increasing public safety, preventing recidivism or reducing sexual abuse as demostrated in the following reports from the leading authorities on this subject.

    California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13)

    Under the current system many local registaring agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the lifes of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernable benefit in terms of community safety.

    The full report is availible online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231

    National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America.

    The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses.

    The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=247350

    The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483

    Conclusion.
    The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates.

    The full report is availible online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483

    The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do.

    From Justice Policy Institute.
    Estimated cost to implement SORNA
    Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M.

    For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work.

    http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf

    These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community.

    The government has created a entirely new set of laws in which a citizen can be criminally convicted of a felony offense and sent to prison for three or more years, not for engaging in any criminal behavior, but for simply not providing personal information to the government within a certain time frame? And as if that isn’t unconstitutional in and of itself the government then justifies this type of law that criminalize non criminal behaviour on a assumption that this certain class of individuals pose such a high risk of reoffending and that these laws will in turn increase public safety. (which both assumptions have been proven to be universally untrue)

    These sex offender laws in California (my state) are arbitrary since they are applied in a blanket enforcement policy that makes no distinctions between myself and those who may or may not pose any risk to the public and provides no due process to make those determinations. The registration requirement is unconstitutional in that it saddles me with an “irrefutable presumption” that I am likely to reoffend and so violates my rights to due process of law. I have no “meaningful” opportunity to challenge whether I should be subject to lifetime registration, Even if there was such an opportunity the laws would still be arbitrary as they have no rational basis in my case since I am a non-violent, first time offender from an incident that occurred over a decade ago. These laws actually destabilize my life which increases my risk for re-offense, without achieving any legislative objective of increasing public safety, preventing sexual abuse or preventing recidivism.

    These laws are oppressive as they affect and limit employment as very few employers will hire me simply because I am on a sex offender website that is accessible to the general public. These laws are also oppressive because they restrict or limit my ability to travel for work or to be employed by local, state or federal agencies and severely affects my ability to obtain a business licence or business loans. They also limit what professions and careers that I can pursue and affect my personal and professional relationships in a severely negative way because of my inclusion on the sex offender registry and the publicly accessible Megans law website. These issues are not minor inconveniences but are major obstacles to my financial stability and to my fundamental right to life and liberty for me and my family. It also affects housing because very few property owners or property management organizations will rent to me for fear of vandalism and or the loss of present or potential tenants because of the accessibility to the registry by the general public. I am reluctant to move or purchase property for fear that I may violate some local ordinance or be forced to move because of some new law or ordinance being enacted and applied retroactively. I am also reluctant to move or purchase property for fear that I will be subjected to even worse harrasment and vandalism by the community in which I move then I have allready endured in my present location. These laws also create real fears of being the victim of vigilante attacks, harrasment and vandalism which is oppressive as it makes me limit my activities to avoid being outside of my residence for fear of being harmed or harassed. I have had to call the police twice due to my family and I being physically threatened in one instance and having threats and profanity written all over our porch on the second incident simply because my information is on the Megans law website. We have had our vehicles vandalized and our lifes threatened because I am subject to these registration and notification laws. These laws are also oppressive as they cause me severe psychosocial stressors that cause major mental disorders such as major depression and anxiety disorders which can and do affect my abiity to perform job duties or perform normal daily activities and to reintegrate into society. Once again these are not hypothetical, exaggerated incidents that have happened to other people but personal experiences in my case. I cannot move forward or successively reintergrate back into society because of all the collateral consequences caused by the registration and notification laws.The official action of requiring me to registar as a sex offender and the official action which includes my inclusion on the Megans law website is the cause of this oppression. These are severe violations of my constitutional rights. These violations will continue to cause me irreparable damage as long as I am subjected to these registration and notification laws.

    The sex offender registration and notification laws are completely irrational as applied to me in my case since the data shows that sex offenders have extremely low recidivism rates. As a first time non-contact, non-violent, ex-offender from an incident that occurred over a decade ago there is no evidence that I currently pose any cognizable risk of reoffense. There is no rational basis to continue to subject me to these laws that have consequences that destabilize my life, restricts my abilities to reintegrate into society and have been shown to actually increase known risk factors for re-offense while not achieving any legislative objective of preventing sexual abuse or increasing public safety. Since these laws have been seen as strictly regulatory in nature and not considered part of the punishment for an offense, there must be some evidence that the regulations actually achieve some legislative objective. These laws were originally designed to give law enforcement a tool to track and apprehend sexually violent predators, child abducters/rapist and habitual repeat offenders when such acts have been committed in the community but have since been expanded to the point to make the registration and notification laws useless to law enforcement or the general public. Just because these laws are so popular within the legislature or the public does not mean that there is a rational basis for such laws. With the facts and evidence of all the destabilizing collateral consequences I endure and all the recent research done on this subject there is overwhelming evidence that these laws are completely irrational and counterproductive especially when applied to non-violent, first time offenders such as myself who currently pose no cognizable risk of re-offense and I should be relieved of the obligation to register

    Conclusion.
    The sex offender registration and notification laws or Megans law, as applied to me, severely violate my fundamental liberty rights to my reputation, life, property, freedom of movement and freedom of association. These laws also violate my privacy rights and my right to be free from unreasonable, arbitrary and oppressive official actions. These laws have no rational basis in my case and are actually counterproductive since these laws do in fact increase known risk factors for re-offense without achieving any legitimate legislative objectives in increasing public safety, preventing sexual abuse or preventing recidivism. It is in the publics best interest to grant me this relief as it will increase my ability to reintergrate into society and increase the probability that I will maintain stability in my life and be a law abiding, productive member of society which actually decreases my risk for re-offense. It will also allow governmental agencies and law enforcement agencies to re-direct their limited resources to monitor high risk offenders more intensively thereby increasing public safety.
    These laws will continue to cause me irreparable damage if the court fails to grant me relief.
    No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so.

    Prayer.
    I pray the court grant me Declaratory relief and/or Injunction relief or any other relief the court deems necessary and to enjoin local, state, and federal agencies from requiring me to register as a sex offender and subjecting me to the public notification laws or Megans law. Also, I’m asking the court, if the court deems it necessary, to conduct evidentiary hearings to determine if I should be granted relief from these laws and to appoint me appropriate council during these proceedings since I can not afford an attorney.

    I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct to my knowledge on __________ Signed: _____________________________

    1

  9. Clark

    Now that’s good juice….good question too………the ending there is what took place in that oc calif court trial=’star chamber’ secret trial=judicial corruption …lawless ..abuse of power……”It is an interest in avoiding the secret machinations of a star chamber.”

  10. Frank

    I was thinking today that the registration and online posting of registrant information is similar to cyber-bullying which everyone is quick to condemn for the dangerous and horrific outcomes of such bullying. Recently cyber-bullies have been prosecuted for their actions. Shouldn’t the government be accountable to the same standards and be considered cyber-bullies when it comes to the Megan’s Law website and public shaming since it is placing registrants in danger and causing them to be humiliated publicly?

    • LM

      Notice how quickly all the lawmakers want to take down the Confederate Flag because it’s the “right thing to do,” yet they continue to turn a blind eye and deaf ear for those subjugated to this arrogant and selfish imposition known as Megan’s “Law.” This is one of the most glaring examples of hypocrisy I’ve ever seen thus far from society.

      The defenders of the Flag with their “it’s about heritage, not hate” is no different than those boneheaded, diehards touting the registry as a “valuable tool” and if it’s “save’s one life.” This is NOT false equivalence! It is systematic and orchestrated abuse and neglect.

      • Timmr

        It’s politics without pain — at least for the politicians, if not for the rest. Nothing really changes. A symbol is changed, but not the culture of hate that it represents. A class of people remain in poverty and powerless and the provisions that keep them there remain in place. It is the same with this war on sexual abuse. Put some people on a list and draw some lines around schools and the politicians and the majority feel better. A new class of people is made poor and powerless, a perfect breeding ground for new abuses, vigilantism and state sanctioned terrorism against registrants.

  11. mike r

    I like that angle Frank it is absolutly true and needs to be explorered further.

    • Frank

      Mike, I appreciate your support. The public shaming is exactly the same as cyber-bullying on a social network site. When will the public realize that most of the “keep our children safe” legislation is based on winning votes rather than exploring the real issues and coming to sensible solutions that actually benefit society? I hope that the system gets so overloaded that it cannot possibly continue due to financial stress. I was told by a CASOMB member recently that unfortunately the registration laws are based on winning votes (without any real concern for the issue) and the only way that change will come about is due to financial constraints and budget cuts. This is truly a disgrace to “Liberty and justice for all”.

  12. mike r

    Man the rules of the fed court makes it virtually impossible for a average person to bring forth a petition. It’s ridiculous.

  13. mike r

    All this just to bring an action in court.

    7 21 DAY Summons issued re Complaint1 as to defendant City of Grover Beach. (esa)

    6 NOTICE TO PARTIES OF COURT-DIRECTED ADR PROGRAM filed. (esa)

    5 NOTICE OF ASSIGNMENT to District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez and Magistrate Judge Gail J. Standish. (esa)

    4 NOTICE of Interested Parties filed by Plaintiff Frank Lindsay, identifying City of Grover Beach. (Bellucci, Janice)

    3 CIVIL COVER SHEET filed by Plaintiff Frank Lindsay. (Bellucci, Janice)

    2 Request for Clerk to Issue Summons on Complaint (Attorney Civil Case Opening)1 filed by Plaintiff Frank Lindsay. (Bellucci, Janice)

    1 COMPLAINT Receipt No: 0973-15920487 – Fee: $400, filed by Plaintiff Frank Lindsay. (Attorney Janice M Bellucci added to party Frank Lindsay(pty:pla))(Bellucci, Janice) Att: 1 Supplement Verification, Att: 2 Exhibit A

  14. mike r

    Here’s another issue that could prevail.

    (2) The sex offender registration and notification regulations are discriminating irrationally among classes of ex-offenders which violates the equal protection clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth amendment of the United States Constitution..

    All sex offenders fall into the classification of felons and felons are a group or classification. The question is, are sex offenders being treated the same as all other felons, do other felons have to register or have the community notified of their presence after they have completed their sentence, are they being denied state and government services, are other felons restricted where they can live, work and recreate? The courts have found that a distinction among members of the class of offenders is irrational regardless of the importance of public safety consideration underlying the regulations or relevance of prior convictions simply discerning any regulatory reason, however plausible, will not serve to satisfy the rational basis requirement of equal protection; relevant inquiry more properly focuses on whether the means utilized to carry out the regulatory purpose substantially furthers that end.

    These laws are substantial arbitrary impositions and purposeless restraints as they have no rational basis in my case since I am a non-violent, first time offender from an incident that occurred over a decade ago. These laws actually destabilize my life which increases my risk for re-offense while not achieving any governmental purpose or objectives of increasing public safety, preventing recidivism or reducing sexual abuse as evidenced in the following reports and actual facts from the leading authorities on this subject.

    California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13)

    Under the current system many local registaring agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the lifes of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernable benefit in terms of community safety.

    The full report is availible online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231

    National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America.

    The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses.

    The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=247350

    The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483

    Conclusion.
    The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates.

    The full report is availible online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.

    From Justice Policy Institute.
    Estimated cost to implement SORNA
    Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M.

    For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work.

    http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf

    These conclusions are virtually the same in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community.

    The sources relied upon by the Supreme Court in Smith v. Doe, a heavily cited constitutional decision on sex offender registries, in fact provide no support at all for the facts about sex offender re-offense rates that the Court treats as central to its constitutional conclusions. This misreading of the social science was abetted in part by the Solicitor General’s misrepresentations in the amicus brief it filed in this case. The false “facts” stated in the opinion have since been relied upon repeatedly by other courts in their own constitutional decisions, thus infecting an entire field of law as well as policy making by legislative bodies. Recent decisions by the Pennsylvania and California supreme courts establish principles that would support major judicial reforms of sex offender registries, if they were applied to the actual facts.

    I am asking this court to rely on and to apply the actual facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following which is evidence that recidivism rates are extremely lower for sex offenders then any other class of offender besides murderers therefore there is no rational basis to subject me to regulations that are not applied to other ex-felons that have a much higher reoffense rate and pose a greater threat to the public then I do.

    California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB)

    Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% (page 38)

    The full report is available online at.
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_Research_Branch%2FResearch_documents%2FOutcome_evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei=C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ

    Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013

    Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up
    The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates.

    The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf

    Bureau of Justice Statistics
    5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE
    WASHINGTON, D.C.

    Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today.

    The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm

    Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy.

    A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7%

    Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf

    Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009.

    The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%

    Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf

    These conclusions are virtually the same in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community.

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