Federal District Court Dismisses IML Challenge

A federal district court dismissed the recent IML challenge yesterday when it granted the government’s Motion to Dismiss a legal challenge to the International Megan’s Law (IML). That challenge, filed in January 2018, was based upon alleged violations by the State Department of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). A link to the court’s decision follows below.

Due to the court’s decision, the State Department is expected to expand its revocation of existing passports in order to add a “unique identifier” stating that the individual has been convicted of a sex offense involving a minor. The State Department is also expected to add a “unique identifier” to newly issued passports.

“We disagree strongly with the court’s decision in this case and we will seriously consider filing an appeal of that decision,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “The State Department’s failure to request and consider comments from the public, including individuals required to register, could result in harm, including physical harm, to registrants who travel overseas as well as to those with whom they travel.”

According to the courts’ decision, the contested regulations issued by the State Department are “interpretive rules” and therefore exempt from the notice and comment requirements of the APA. That is because the agency’s regulations — which include denial of passport cards — merely clarified “minor ambiguities” in the language of the IML.

In its decision, the court included a brief discussion of the notification provisions of the IML which allow the U.S. government to notify other governments that an individual convicted of a sex offense involving a minor will soon travel to that country. In its discussion, the court emphasized that such notices could be sent with regard to anyone who has suffered such a conviction regardless of whether they are currently required to register.

“In a prior challenge to the IML, the federal government testified that although they have the authority to send notices about a person who is not currently required to register, they have chosen not to exercise that authority,” stated Bellucci. “Unfortunately, there are already known situations where the government has sent notices to other countries about such persons.”

Order – MTD granted – July 2018

Related posts

Notify of

We welcome a lively discussion with all view points - keeping in mind...


  1. Your submission will be reviewed by one of our volunteer moderators. Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  2. Please keep the tone of your comment civil and courteous. This is a public forum.
  3. Swear words should be starred out such as f*k and s*t and a**
  4. Please avoid the use of derogatory labels.  Use person-first language.
  5. Please stay on topic - both in terms of the organization in general and this post in particular.
  6. Please refrain from general political statements in (dis)favor of one of the major parties or their representatives.
  7. Please take personal conversations off this forum.
  8. We will not publish any comments advocating for violent or any illegal action.
  9. We cannot connect participants privately - feel free to leave your contact info here. You may want to create a new / free, readily available email address that are not personally identifiable.
  10. Please refrain from copying and pasting repetitive and lengthy amounts of text.
  11. Please do not post in all Caps.
  12. If you wish to link to a serious and relevant media article, legitimate advocacy group or other pertinent web site / document, please provide the full link. No abbreviated / obfuscated links. Posts that include a URL may take considerably longer to be approved.
  13. We suggest to compose lengthy comments in a desktop text editor and copy and paste them into the comment form
  14. We will not publish any posts containing any names not mentioned in the original article.
  15. Please choose a short user name that does not contain links to other web sites or identify real people.  Do not use your real name.
  16. Please do not solicit funds
  17. No discussions about weapons
  18. If you use any abbreviation such as Failure To Register (FTR), Person Forced to Register (PFR) or any others, the first time you use it in a thread, please expand it for new people to better understand.
  19. All commenters are required to provide a real email address where we can contact them.  It will not be displayed on the site.
  20. Please send any input regarding moderation or other website issues via email to moderator [at] all4consolaws [dot] org
  21. We no longer post articles about arrests or accusations, only selected convictions. If your comment contains a link to an arrest or accusation article we will not approve your comment.
  22. If addressing another commenter, please address them by exactly their full display name, do not modify their name. 
ACSOL, including but not limited to its board members and agents, does not provide legal advice on this website.  In addition, ACSOL warns that those who provide comments on this website may or may not be legal professionals on whose advice one can reasonably rely.  

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I wonder when Chris Smith and the other histericals will be satisfied – possibly when they pass a law requiring a giant red tattoo of “SO” on our foreheads.

Janice, have you given up on challenging IML? Sounds like they are putting the identifier on the last page of the “replacement” passports. What has happened the horror, dismay, indignation, etc. that was being voiced? Is there no legal strategy available?

The IML should have been challenged by exposing the straw figure fallacy about “sex offenders” (US registrant) traveling overseas everyday for child sex trafficking and sex tourism to commit abuse against children which is false, and that no one was able to stop Rep Chris Smith from passing the IML in which its real purpose is to ban registered citizens from international travel, before it was passed.

If someone on the registry is traveling for that purpose they’re gonna get caught either by law enforcement of that country or when they get back and go through US customs and has to go through secondary screening because they’re on a federal criminal database, the CBP will scrutinize and interrogate that traveling registrant.

@PK and @NY won’t let me go

If you will move out from Michigan and move to another state, would you be removed from MI sex offender registry? Most of the sex offenders in Michigan are Tier 3 and have a lifetime registration. NY won’t let go, how come you are no longer in the MI registry?

Any word if this thing will be appealed?

What I don’t understand is how in the hell is our government allowed to send out notices saying “we are going there to commit a crime”. First is this actually true? Second does anyone have a copy? How is THAT even constiutional?

To: Janice Bellucci

Janice, thank you for all the work you do. I have one question.

History: I was convicted, Federally, pre-Adam Walsh. I served my time and was not required to register as a SO in my state. I understand that my conviction still places me under the “Covered SO” definition, and that for International Travel, my criminal background could/is still reported on flight manifests and possibly to the destination country.

Background: I am a dual citizen, both US and Irish, in which I possess a passport for both citizenship’s. I am a resident of the US. I plan to travel internationally from the US.

My Question: When I book my travel plans, and I book using my Irish passport, and check in and travel using only my Irish passport, will my “history” be reported the same as if I booked with my US passport?

Thank you so much for your time!

I received in the mail the other day (oddly sent to my brother’s house where I’ve never lived or had any connection to that address – not even on my passport) a letter from the state department notifying me that my passport has been revoked. I only had until April of 2019 until it expired. With two international trips coming up – one in about 8 weeks – I’m trying to decide on how I’m going to proceed.

Over at the FAC website, ACSOL gets a nod in a new article on IML: https://floridaactioncommittee.org/a-deeper-dive-into-iml/

Interesting perspective here on what they found out and those who have commented.

It should be noted if you don’t read the article, the person whose passport was revoked at the airport by three USMS personnel on their way to the Caribbean has received a new one with the new marking after paying for a new one w/an expedite fee.