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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

Join the discussion

  1. jd

    Is anyone surprised by this ruling?

  2. LostandDevastated

    Things seem to just keep getting worse and worse as opposed to better.

    • PK

      I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, there is no winning, no getting ahead, and there should not be any misguided hope with regards to leading a normal life for any RSO living in the United States.

      • LostandDevastated

        @PK I suppose you’re right, there’s really not much point in trying anymore, especially as someone with a new conviction.

        • PK

          Newly convicted RSO’s can forget it. I would suggest parts of Europe and South America.

    • WTF?

      Don’t ever expect better and you won’t be disappointed.

  3. PK

    That sucks. I really hope that you do file an appeal on this Janice.

  4. Richard

    Does anyone know if we send in a passport right now for early renewal if we’ll be issued one with the new stamp? Or, are we supposed to wait for a notice of revocation. I’m working to get a visa for a trip overseas, and it doesn’t make sense to have them put the visa into a passport that’s about to be revoked. I thought it might be better just to get the new stamped passport now.

    If we can get the stamped passport now, is there anything special other than sending in a renewal that is necessary?

    I’d much rather have a passport without the marking, but that’s looking less and less likely, especially anytime before the visa is issued for my trip.

    • PK

      @Richard, which country are you planning on traveling to?

      • Worried in Wisconsin

        Actually, I’d rather not say till things are in order. I’ve traveled there before under a tourist visa, but for a longer stay I needed to apply for a visa which will be put into my passport.

        My question wasn’t about the visa – it was whether anyone knows if the new, marked passports are being issued, and if so is there any special procedure to get one?

        I don’t want to go through month of effort to get a visa only to have it put into a passport that gets revoked.

        • AJ

          @Worried in Wisconsin:
          What if, for some strange reason, your current passport gets mutilated, thus requiring your getting a replacement? You could then go to one of the Passport Centers/Agencies (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/requirements/where-to-apply/passport-agencies.html), with planned travel dates in hand, and have them issue you a new one. This would seem to be your best chance of getting a book that will be valid for your travel. You’ll never be completely sure your book is valid until you’re allowed into wherever you’re going.

  5. Alec

    I had something cruel and pithy ready to post on this, but I choose instead to simply say:

    As long as you do not even register on your foe’s radar as an enemy, they will always defeat you.

  6. Sunny

    This case was brought on a technicality that the government didn’t take the time to get feedback before proceeding. Will there be a case to directly challenge the unconstitutional aspects of the passport marker, such as freedom of movement, especially given the fact that passports are required for some domestic travel?

    If you’re no longer required to register, how would the government know you were traveling? Non-registrants have no duty to report travel plans in advance as they are not subject to the IML or any federal registry laws (because the federal registry laws are all dependent on state registration).

    I have a current passport and I notified the SMART office and local sheriff of my intent to travel internationally months ago. I also went to the Caribbean last year with prior notification, which included visiting four separate nations. I have never received a revocation notification but if I do, I will fight it, including filing my own suit pro se if necessary.

    • Chris F

      I also would like to know if there will be a more direct challenge to IML that is not just a delay tactic, but outright challenge.

      It is clearly a violation of Equal Protection, since it applies differently to different people simply because of the state they live in, or lived in (if you are stuck forever due to Florida or NY).

      It violates Substantive Due Process because it is keyed off of a judicial conviction but in no way tailored to the individual or circumstances and instead applies an arbitrary length.

      It violates separation of powers because it is the judiciaries job to punish, rehabilitate, and protect the public.

      It violates freedom of speech because it is a form of compelled speech.

      It violates freedom of travel and enough other rights that it should have strict scrutiny applied.

      It interferes with the right to earn a living in the occupation of one’s choice if that job requires travel.

      The list can frankly go on and on.

      As AJ pointed out in another post: “A law depending upon the existence of an emergency or other certain state of facts to uphold it may cease to operate if the emergency ceases or the facts change”. I assume this holds true if the facts were never true in the first place. That makes it a clear arbitrary and oppressive government action.

      • Harry

        I am with you Chris, not only to go for the IML directly but go for the registry directly. The governments has stuck their neck out their so far and it should be obvious to prove to the court that registry and ALL its sub-laws are based on lies and the registry is used by the government special interest as hit list with NO safety benefits.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      Sunny, you are so right to emphasize this was based on a technicality, just procedural, not on the real problems and horrors of this, that is, not on what matters.

      As for how they would know of your offense if you are not required to register so don’t have to notify of travel, they are now doing full background checks on everyone who applies for a passport, it is being used as a checkpoint so no one slips through. They will know everyone’s background, and registered or not, they can know of you — and everyone who travels will have that background looked at. So, they will know. And, of course, if you are not registering but are supposed to, they will arrest you if you apply for a passport — it is a checkpoint. Everyone will be checked and identified as to whether they want to nail them on this or not. And we have not challenged any of that.

      Will we now make a more substantial challenge? Hey, I’ve been screaming for that since this first came up, and there has been zero interest in that shown by the powers that be, they would not challenge the basic law, only this one thing in it. This group has made no complaint about the law — hey, we must consider it to be Constitutional, and so we think it is fine and dandy as we are renamed to be all for a Constitutional law, so no such challenge, we can’t seem to come up with any reason why it is unconstitutional — or otherwise illegal. And we don’t make any political movement over its immorality.

      Its all pretty moot now. With the upcoming SCOTUS confirmation, SCOTUS will now be 100% dictated by the hard right, the hard right will prevail on all decisions coming from SCOTUS with its 5-vote majority. And Trump will probably get to replace Ginsberg too, she is too frail and weak now, she can’t hang in there much longer, giving the hard right a 6-vote majority. SCOTUS — and so the courts — are lost to us for the rest of the lives of most registrants — and former registrants. There is no hope in the courts. And we have no political movement.

  7. AO

    “Operation Angel Watch compares passenger information received from carriers pursuant to
    19 C.F.R. Section 122.75a (via electronic departure manifest) with NSOR data to identify
    registered sex offenders whose offenses involved child victims, and it provides notifications to
    destination countries when it determines, based on an assessment of various factors, that there is
    a likelihood that an individual intends to engage in child sex tourism.”

    What are these “various factors” when this is very much black and white? And what is this “likelihood”? Are you serious stating that the primary reason why an RC would travel internationally is for sex tourism? These people deserve an new ring in hell build just for them for such outright lies.

    • JohnDoeUtah

      Sounds to me you should be able to challenge such determination, due process.

    • Anonymous Nobody

      If you read the language in the law, it is more than that, AO. Yes, all you said is correct. And the notice being talked about here is a direct and separate notice to the receiving country. But IML also says the record for every registrant will be sent, even if no separate notice/alert will be sent. That record alone could prevent people from getting into other countries. And we won’t challenge this law, only that marker on the passport. Again, what difference does that make if you can’t get into the country in the first place because they send the record that will get you rejected at the border!?

      We won’t even make a challenge that this law is a mere subterfuge designed to unconstitutionally block travel. That is its actual effect, and by law, that makes a difference to interpreting it and whether it is constitutional.

  8. R M

    I’m sick to my stomach reading this in the ORDER:

    For purposes of IML Section 4, the term “sex offender” means either a “covered sex offender” (defined as “an individual who is a sex offender by reason of having been convicted of a sex offense against a minor,”
    see IML § 3(3), 42U.S.C. § 16935a(3)), or “an individual required to register under the sex offender registration program of any jurisdiction or included in the [NSOR], on the basis of an offense against a minor” (as defined in IML § 4(f), 42 U.S.C. § 16935b(f)).

    I though the notifications were sent for people convicted of a crime against a child AND had to register. The above statement from the ORDER says OR.

    • AJ

      @R M:
      I though the notifications were sent for people convicted of a crime against a child AND had to register. The above statement from the ORDER says OR.
      —–
      Rely on the black-and-white of the law, not on some dicta from a judge. IIRC, the law says AND.

      • R M

        Thanks to all who replied. I have read the actual statute regarding this and know it says AND (have to be both a crime against a child and still have to register) but it’s very sickening to see a judge state otherwise.

        • TS

          @R M

          The Judge is correct in the order as it is quoted on both PDF pgs 6 & 12 where Section 4 is quoted. Read the explanation below in this thread, with the actual links to the law, I provided from Sections 4 (Angel Watch), 5 (USMS Notifications), and 8 (Passport marking). Sections 4 & 5 are “OR” statements where Section 8 is an “AND” statement.

        • mm

          what age range does the IML law consider a child victim.I planned to travel to europe when i retire hoping I can safely enter,charge was in 2001 in fl.

        • AJ

          @mm:
          what age range does the IML law consider a child victim.I planned to travel to europe when i retire hoping I can safely enter,charge was in 2001 in fl.
          —–
          Under 18.

    • CR

      Sometimes the language of statutes can be hard to parse, but I think the “or” phrase is intended to add anyone who is required to register based on an offense against a minor, even if they weren’t convicted. Such as someone with a deferred adjudication that is required to register.

    • TS

      @R M, et al

      Here is the link to the webpage of the applicable IML content (https://www.congress.gov/114/plaws/publ119/PLAW-114publ119.htm or https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/515/text)

      ******

      Search on the word “definition”

      You will see (or should) four hits on it: Table of Contents, Sec 3, Sec 4(f), and Sec 5(h)

      Sec 3 gives the overall set of definitions. Sec 4(f) and Sec 5(h) show how the term “sex offender are applied WRT their sections, e.g. Sec 4 is Angel Watch Center and Sec 5 is notification by USMS.

      Sec 4(f) Definition.–In this section, the term “sex offender” means–
      (1) a covered sex offender; or
      (2) an individual required to register under the sex offender registration program of any jurisdiction or included in the National Sex Offender Registry, on the basis of an offense against a minor.

      ****

      Search on “define” and come to Sec 8

      SEC. 8. UNIQUE PASSPORT IDENTIFIERS FOR COVERED SEX OFFENDERS

      (c) Defined Terms.–In this section–
      “(1) the term `covered sex offender’ means an individual who–
      ‘`(A) is a sex offender, as defined in section 4(f) of the International Megan’s Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders;

      AND

      “(B) is currently required to register under the sex offender registration program of any jurisdiction;

      (PL 114-119 Section 8 is an Amended Section (supersedes) to PL 110-457 Section 240 )

      *****

      In Conclusion, covered sex offenders are “OR” for Sec 4 and Sec 5. The ID is “AND” for Sec 8.

      Hope this helps…

  9. Janice Bellucci

    @Sunny – The U.S. government reviews flight manifests for all international flights that begin in the U.S. They compare the names of the people on the flight manifests to the names on their list of registrants, which includes anyone ever convicted of a sex offense.

    • AO

      @Janice – Any idea how being convicted for this purpose MIGHT apply to people who have been granted an expungement or setting aside of the conviction like CA 1203.4? I know when it comes to RC’s literally nothing is as it should be, but I’m just curious about this. Thanks.

    • jay cee

      @ janice does that include individuals that are deregistered????

    • Tim Lawver

      Janice,
      So we have surveillance saints in Saratoga Springs Utah sending notices to protect foreign nationals from American deviants on their soil. As if airing American dirty laundry world wide some how benefits the image of America in the eyes of foreigners. Or is it missionary work bent on overlaying certain Christian values upon budists, Catholics, and any other religion with contrary cannon. Cultural war enforced via database.

      America’s message to the world. We will nuke you but we won’t assault your children.

  10. AJ

    [T]he agency’s regulations. . .merely clarified “minor ambiguities[.]”
    —–
    Chevron Deference rears its ugly head once again. I reeeallly hope it gets kicked to the curb in the near future.

  11. WTF?

    I am so happy you “disagree strongly”.

  12. WTF?

    The registry is lifetime, no matter your conviction date, offense, or state and federal guidelines. “They” can do whatever they want and no one can stop them. These residency victories are temporary until they figure a way around them. Notice that is the only thing that ever gets fought. Eaay to make no ordinances to bypass that. You can be do your time, but will never be allowed to move forward. Tiers are a fake, because they can be changed without any reason. If you are young, single and strong, get off probation and start looking for a new life elswhere. It truly is your only chance.

    • PK

      @WTF
      “You can be do your time, but will never be allowed to move forward.”

      What if you did not time, and you only had probation? WTF then?

  13. Facts should matter

    Now I know what it feels like to be standing on the deck of a sinking ship bailing water with a bucket that has holes in it.

    That judge was just protecting their job, credibility and reputation, NOT children with this ruling.

    “Angel watch center” sounds so mawkish and putrid. They’re not protecting the legacy of Megan Kanka by defending these laws = they’re protecting the security theater cottage industry and all those ever-expanding machinations it entails.

  14. WTF?

    So according to the article, I can have my charges reduced, live a perfect life, finally be removed from registry after 10yrs and still be considered a danger to all I come in contact with, thereby justifying public and international notice of the very offense that they say I am no longer required to register for. Why try? Really, besides the bullshit of ” living a good life is the best revenge” and ” don’t let it define you”. There really is no chance of getting past this.

  15. Tim Moore

    Take a deep breath… It’s a long haul.
    Janice and crew are pursuing other options,
    and so should we all.

    • Bob Mir

      We have to fight for our families,for right to see our relatives (we all immigrants),let’s make a draft letter and start sending letters to our representatives,go to meetings,use media,Do the same what immigration movement doing now,We have to go to Washington,DC,we don’t have to wait 6 month for one decision,we all have to use different avenues.

      • PK

        Yea let’s do that. Rally the troops right?

        Just like the 2 people including Paul who traveled to DC 2 years ago, when they were contemplating the IML Law. Or perhaps the 50 people who called their representatives to voice their opposition to IML.

        The millions of illegal immigrants that are currently within the U.S. provide more votes to the Democrats, than the couple hundred RSO’s who are complaining about the IML Law. That’s why we are hearing so much about it. Conversely, there has barely been even any mention about IML in the news, and how it affects we the people, who are indeed immigrants after all.

        I have, oh about 25 years of experience, when it comes to DC and how the swamp thinks.

        The Representatives and Lawmakers will do NOTHINGGGG.

  16. CR

    @Richard or Worried in Wisconsin:

    I’m sure you just want answers, like a lot of us do, and so this is probably not going to help much.

    If you read the reports on this forum in all the IML-related threads from people to whom IML applies and who have traveled overseas on an unmarked passport, the most common result is that they get a letter from the State department a week or so after their return stating that their passport has been revoked and they have to send it back in to State. So that is what you should expect if you travel abroad.

    If you don’t want the visa to be recorded in a passport that will be revoked, then you might consider a brief international trip now, to get the revocation over with.

    You may have difficulty getting a new marked passport. See the saga from Major Henderson for an example. Apparently, the forms for applying for a new passport don’t have a way to indicate that your current passport has been revoked. The options are to renew an expired passport or to replace a lost one, or for a first-time application. None of those are applicable, and by reports, the people who are in charge of passports in the State department don’t know about IML or don’t understand the process of getting a replacement for a revoked passport.

    Nobody really has all the answers right now, and the government is functioning like the government often does, like one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing.

    Maybe things will become more predictable now that the IML lawsuit has been dismissed. Or maybe not. Don’t wait around for relief. It could take many years, and it may never come.

    • Worried in Wisconsin

      That’s why I’m considering just sending in my passport now for an early renewal. That way I can check off the box labeled ‘renewal’ when I send in my current one. If this ends up with me getting a marked passport now, I’d avoid the whole revocation thing. The visa application was made with the other country aware of my background. Assuming the process is completed a visa is issued like it appears it will be, having a marked passport shouldn’t affect my ability to get into the country.

      My question is if they are issuing the marked passports at all, and if so is there any special process to get one or will they automatically issue one when I send in for renewal?

      • R M

        @Worried: Re: “My question is if they are issuing the marked passports at all…” In yesterdays conference call with ACSOL, a caller called in and stated he had a marked passport. Janice said that was the 1st one she’d heard of. You can listen to the call here:

        https://all4consolaws.org/2018/07/acsol-phone-meeting-alert-for-july-14/

        • PK

          That’s absurd. There have been several reports of people receiving marked passports in this very blog.

        • PK

          Janice provided an excellent explanation of IML and it’s secondary implications.

        • David

          @ PK: The previous discussions may have referred to passport revocation letters, not the actual new “uniquely identified” passports.

        • E

          @David. Yes they have. JM of WI noted over a month ago that he traveled to Europe with a friend whose passport had the unique identifier. I met the caller on the ACSOL call at the ACSOL conference and he showed me the identifier in his passport. I took a picture and sent to Janice. It’s on the back page printed with plain text as we assumed.

  17. Will Allen

    Remember that these are not just some abstract laws. They are created and supported by anti-American, harassing terrorists. Identify those people and make them pay. They are criminal war combatants in war, treat them like that.

    • Tim Lawver

      Will,

      IM L
      USING TAX DOLLARS to protect foreign nationals on THEIR soil.
      Government is not formed for that antithetical purpose. Unfortunately, the democrats seem to be making that a trend in their platform. The press never actually phrase Chris Smith’s IML for this misuse of US TAX dollars.

      • Tim Moore

        Good ammunition, Tim. Why are we trying to protect children in other countries and then from sex only? Surely we should protect all children from the cluster bombs we sell, and at least keep children in Detroit and other cities from having their brains shrunk by lead in the water. Is there a registry for child polluters? Seems to me this country is in decline on several levels and we have found a way to brand ourselves as a moral force, to convince ourselves we are something we are not.

        • David

          Perhaps more accurately, we “…brand ourselves a moral farce”.

  18. Tim Lawver

    How much did the U.S. GOVERNMENT care for foreign children ?

    Nagasaki, Hiroshima,

    Preposterous!

  19. The Static-99R Is A Scam

    Judge John Walter seems to be on a roll. Here, Walters forcing the LA Times to remove information from an article. If this “judge” seems so intent in violating even the First Amendment right, then maybe this judge didn’t know what he was doing in the first place when he dismissed the IML challenge.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-legal-dispute-20180714-story.html

    • Tim L

      Seems something else is afoot. Here we have a cartel spy planted in a PD and caught up. A plea was reached but judge imposed ban on reporting aspects of said agreement. What could be in the public interest more than protecting the credibility of LEOs in general? Every case that involved the spy cartel plant is now under scrutiny. Once the credibility of the police state goes so do the people. Why is it the people demand ” the right to know” except when it exposes dirty cops and lawyers.

  20. NY won't let go

    Again I have to be terrified that my passport is to be revoked when I don’t even live in the US. And have nothing in the US all because the state I moved from refuses to remove. Me from their damned list.

    So I would have to get deported back to the US and then what? Be homeless and never see my wife again?

    What a crock of shit

    • PK

      Didn’t you already get the Visa in your new Country?

      I’m not clear as to why they would deport you. In any event, either don’t travel and stay right where you are, or go to the Embassy where you’re at and request a new marked passport.

      • NY won't let go

        Yes I already have a visa, but if the passport gets revoked while I’m here it’s automatic deportation regardless if my visa is still valid.

        Either way I’m still scared to get that letter in the mail. If I do have to surrender my passport chances are I wouldn’t be able to transfer my visa as they require the old passport as well to verify.

        Another part of the visa application here is to submit a copy of all pages of the passport so if that happy little marker is in the back there’s a high chance I would be on the next flight to the US in shackles.

        Anyway it might just be my pessimistic mind playing with me but this just makes me paranoid. I’ve already had to restart my life over several times because of this registry I don’t know if I can handle losing everything again.

        • SCOTUS SAVE US NOW

          You could try sueing NY in federal court using an attorney who can file for you. The case that keeps you on was a state court. I’m not sure the 2nd circuit would find they are over reaching or not by keeping you when you clearly are to far to be a danger to anyone

        • NY won't let go

          @SCOTUS I have thought about this. I had one lawyer try to assist me in writing a petition to the registry for my removal as it follows the circumstances from a prior RC named Roe that had gotten removed because the original offense happened in another state. But they completely ignored it.

          To sue I would need a better source of income as my monthly salary here is less than most people make in a week. Trying to save more than USD25 per month is a bit hard as that is usually what I save put to buy my groceries for the month.

        • NY Level1

          why do you insist that once your’e sentence and period of being on the NYS SOR is complete that NYS will not remove you? What Level are you?

        • PK

          @NY Level 1

          “why do you insist that once your’e sentence and period of being on the NYS SOR is complete that NYS will not remove you? What Level are you?”

          That’s not what his complaint is about. Secondly, I did not see anything written anywhere at all in his post regarding his sentence.

          The issue that he is talking about has to do with the fact that he “NY Wont Let Go” no longer lives in the State of NY, works in the State of NY, or pays taxes in the State of NY.

          I have the similar issue, whereby I haven’t even set foot in NY in 18 years. However, because my Misdemeanor Offense was committed in NY, they insist to keep me on their List forever.
          Because the purpose of Sex Offender Registry is to provide notices to NY State Citizens, that I had a previous Misdemeanor Sex Offense, and that I could somehow perhaps commit a subsequent Sex Offense in the State of NY.

          Again I haven’t lived in, worked in, payed taxes in or even set foot in NY in 18 years.

          Moreover, neither “NY Wont Let Go” or myself even live in the United States!

        • NY won't let go

          @NY Level 1 my offense and original reg requirements didn’t originate in NY. I had moved there to work for a couple years and got placed as a level 2 which has no end date as its lifetime registration which unlike most states doesn’t end after you no longer live in the state out country which a big part of that being upheld was Doe v O’Donnell.

          As PK said, neither of us even live in the country but we still have to check in periodically with NY or face a felony charge for failure to register in a state neither of us live, work, or pay taxes in.

          As for what you had said about my insisting they wouldn’t take me off, this is because they have refused to take me off. My sentence was done over 8 years ago when I finished probation.

          And when trying to petition to be a level one in NY when I moved there bringing in dozens of character statements and witnesses they threatened to raise my tier to 3.
          Because they had never had someone fight being a level 2 and the prosecutor on hand didn’t know how to handle the situation, they brought in the head prosecutor for the state to treat my friends and family like whores, and liars.

          They left one of my longest friends, who is happily married to a person of quite high standing, crying after insinuating that there was more between us than just going to church together and calling her more than a few nasty words in that courtroom.

          I have no respect for the NY court system when it comes to this matter. It’s like a retrial 10 years after the matter for things that happened at the date of the offense and everything you’ve done and tried to better yourself in didn’t matter.

          Apparently having only one thing on my record made me more dangerous because being crime free doesn’t make sense when you’re trying to make a lifetime criminal from a teenager.

        • PK

          @NY Wont Let Go
          “And when trying to petition to be a level one in NY when I moved there bringing in dozens of character statements and witnesses they threatened to raise my tier to 3.”

          That is a scary thought. Which county did you file your Petition?

          I have considered filing a Petition as well for a Level Reduction. The Attorney I was talking to over the course of years has indicated that he has had success with Level Reductions.

        • NY won't let go

          @PK

          It was at that fed courthouse in Queens Blvd where they have all the level hearings. I can’t remember if it’s in Kew Gardens or Jamaica.

          Either way I had to go back there about 8 times because the prosecutor wasnt ready to judge my case. Notice I said prosecutor. The judge seems to do whatever the prosecutor wants at these things. It was like having a trial. They actually tried to call me a drug addict because I admitted to smoking pot once when I was in high school. Apparently this added points onto my score which made me a level 2 as “prior drug use”

        • PK

          @NY won’t let go

          You had a Federal Conviction? Mine was NY State.

          For Level Reductions, it has been my understanding that the Sex Offender Registry also submits a report to the Judge, and the sole determination comes from the Judge. They actually rotate Judges on a monthly basis for level reduction determinations.

          “They actually tried to call me a drug addict because I admitted to smoking pot once when I was in high school. Apparently this added points onto my score which made me a level 2 as “prior drug use”

          According to my Lawyer as of 2016, the State Courts are no longer permitted to consider prior marijuana use as “prior drug use” which could be use as points against you in determining a new level classification.

          This was a point of discussion for me as well, as I was assessed points back in 2001 for prior marijuana use.

        • NY won't let go

          @PK

          no it wasn’t federal, that’s just where they have the hearings if you stay in NYC I guess. Mine was from Michigan , my hearing was in 2013/14 because it kept getting rescheduled.

          There was an initial determination by the registry people but I didn’t quite agree with being a level two so I requested to actually have the hearing. This just turned into them trying to tear apart my entire life like I was some kind of monster who goes around breaking the law.

          I have had only one conviction (a no contest plea from Michigan for assault with intent as consensual with a minor was a higher penalty 15-45 years was the only other offer) I just turned 19 and never had problems with the law before. The police told me her age after they asked what happened. (ignorance of age isn’t a defense is what I learned, even if you can prove that they had claimed to be older and bring in that evidence to court)

          Anyway it was a shit show. They tried to say I hadn’t graduated highschool and got dishonorable discharge from the military, all of which I proved false by bringing my diploma and discharge papers.

          Anyway fuck them.

        • PK

          @NY won’t let go

          “ignorance of age isn’t a defense is what I learned, even if you can prove that they had claimed to be older and bring in that evidence to court”

          That’s exactly what happened to me. 16.9 years old and lied about their age while chatting on the Internet. Thankfully, we didn’t have actual sex.

          So the fact that you moved to NY, even when you were convicted years earlier, required you to have a Level Reduction Hearing?

          I think parts of the NY SORA Act have changed in the past 10 years.

        • NY won't let go

          @PK when I moved to NY it was my level hearing. I tried getting it reduced but they just kept threatening to raise it again. I haven’t tried to get to a lower level since then as all of the lawyers I had spoken to in NYC wanted the same as a down-payment for a house to even touch it

        • PK

          @NY wont let go

          I talked to 3 NY Attorneys. They were all in the range of $3,500 – $4,500.

        • SCOTUS SAVE US NOW

          Hey … PK and NY… Do either of you have a certificate of relief of disabilities? If you only have a single misdemeanor your qualify. Its a simple form. Since you are not in state you may need an attorney to file, but the local Public Defenders office might be willing to assist you.

          Once you receive that, then try to argue that SORA is a disability and if you are relieved of all disabilities you are relieved of sora. If its not a disability, then its punishment, and it wasn’t part of your original sentence.

          I have the certificate, but sadly I make to much to get legal assistance and not enough to hire an attorney

        • NY won't let go

          @PK I wish I could have found those lawyers when I had the money 😂the cheapest I could find at the time was the one I had and he still cost me 5k. Didn’t help one bit.

          @SCOTUS mine like many from Michigan was a felony. I think there are/were only two crimes that were misdemeanor. Fun fact, when they first enacted the tier system in Michigan if it was a felony, on 90% of crimes it automatically put you as tier 3 no hearing or anything.

          I’m not even sure what state I could would file for one of those because mine originated out of state but Michigan no longer has me on their registry. Just NY.

        • SCOTUS SAVE US NOW

          @NY Wont let you go

          In NY you can apply for one with 1 felony or unlimited misdemeanors. It might be worth applying. Even though you don’t live here, they keep you on the list. I’d talk to an attorney and see if they can help. Maybe Kathy Manley is her name. She helped get the residency restriction over turned.

          Can’t hurt to shoot her an email

        • NY won't let go

          @SCOTUS I’ve talked to her already, she had written in to the registry but they had completely ignored her and not even responded. Which would mean the only action would be to sue. Honestly though I can’t afford to with my income here.

          For here I make a “decent income” but if converted to USD it’s about 1 or 2 dollars an hour 😅 I just did my take home after all my bills for the month. It’s about 25USD before buying food. I’d have to try and save for a few years to even afford a retainer.

  21. Ali

    so anyone here got the identifier or know how often do we have to renew passport with this new identifier?

    • AJ

      @Ali:
      so anyone here . . .know how often do we have to renew passport with this new identifier?
      —–
      10 years, just like every other personal passport.

  22. NY Level1

    Hello NY won’t let go

    The prosecutors lie. Who is the prosecutor? They have a vested interest.

    My bedroom is soundproofed because of the now dead upstairs neigbors’ noise. This was done at the suggestion of the judge in Manhattan housing court as he was unable to force the tenant to put padding down. The noise was unbearable for years.

    During my case for possession of 5 CP images, the prosecutor told the judge and wrote in the submission-
    ‘Defendant has soundproofed bedroom probably to hide the screams of children being raped’.
    Needless, if there had been ANY remote truth to this I would have had more charges but this is what the Sex Crimes NY Unit does.

    They kill you before you die Are the initials of the prosecutor MR?. I ask because this prosecutor also delayed my case 4 times until the judge who obviously disliked the prosecutor gave an ultimatum.
    He gave me 4 months jail not the 7 years wanted.

    • NY won't let go

      @Lvl 1 I’m not sure on the prosecutor’s name, I would have to go dig out my papers, no idea where I put them. all I remember is that they had called him in from Albany. He was tall and skinny with Grey hair and rectanglish spectacles.

      Honestly I can’t remember much these days memory has been shot since my car accident in 2007(a couple months before I actually broke the law)

      Most things are more of a blur than a memory. I really need to write down my memoirs before everything fades away and I have to ask my sister where we grew up again. 😂 (gotta love security questions for an email address)

  23. Mike G

    Attn: PK & NY won’t let go

    I realize that you guys don’t want to share the name of the country you now live in, but some of us are getting old waiting for some resolution to this nationwide paranoid fear of anyone who has committed a crime related to the letters S E X.

    Any chance you could give us a short list of a few countries where, if we could get to them, we might be able to live out the rest of our days unmolested?

    I still think that some day reparations will be in order when the country finally decides to live by the constitution as written, but it appears we are still on the downslope, so instead of my grandkids benefiting as I had hoped, it will probably be my great or great-great grandkids that finally benefit from what they are doing to us.

    • NY won't let go

      @mike g. Wish I had a list myself 😂 as for where to go, you’d have to marry a local of the country.

      Most likely an Islamic country who doesn’t currently have good ties with the US where not many people are white would likely let you stay.

      I’ve heard for a price you can get Bulgarian citizenship. Recently saw St Kitts giving citizenship for around 150k also without having to live there. As for European countries Germany and Belgium weren’t so bad when I was there. The Netherlands were pretty nice as well. I think for each of those you would have to be married to a local or have family no further than grandparents.

      It’s funny that the places I’ve been treated the most human were outside of the US. The supposed land of the free but that could also be because my crime isn’t a crime in many of the countries I’d visited due the this thing called common sense.

      • AJ

        I’ve heard for a price you can get Bulgarian citizenship. Recently saw St Kitts giving citizenship for around 150k also without having to live there.
        —–
        Most, if not all, countries that sell citizenship also do background checks and prohibit those convicted of criminal offenses.

        • NY won't let go

          @AJ for the St. Kitts one they do as well, but according to their page if you’ve live outside of the US for 10 years they just want the one from the country you’ve been living in. So as long as no new crime has been committed in the new country that may not be an issue.

        • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

          AJ, Yes, I’m glad that you added that: “Most, if not all, countries that sell citizenship also do background checks and prohibit those convicted of criminal offenses.” I really would not want Registrants to get their hopes up. To be frank, the emmigration outlook for those with serious criminal records, and especially for those with “sex offender” criminal records, is very, very grim. I’ve yet to encounter any countries that do not require criminal background checks preliminary to consideration as a new citizen. They will make you pay for that background check and it will be the U.S. Department of Justice/FBI that will conduct it and, of course, they will be able to dig up your case. The results will be sent directly to that country of application. And no, while we may imagine that the country is “too small” or somehow “too impoverished” to care, they really DO care about these things, regardless of the country. This goes for St. Kitts and Dominica and Bulgaria just as much as for any other EU countries, India, Brazil and everywhere else.

      • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

        None of those places will let a “sex offender” become a citizen.

      • Mike G

        @NY won’t let go,

        Thanks a lot for your reply!

        Well, marrying a local won’t help. My wife and I have been married for almost 41 years, and I have already been denied entry to her home country when we tried to go visit her family.

        I agree about European countries – I have visited most of them, and they do seem to treat you very well, but since I wasn’t wearing my “Hi, I’m an SO” tee shirt, I don’t know how things would change if my label was known. I’ve only visited one Islamic country, but they, too, were friendly and accepting.

        I know what you mean by the supposed “Land of the Free”, which apparently only applies if you never make a mistake. Similar to you, I have been told more than once that if I had lived in San Francisco, or another more liberal part of the state, that my “crime” would never have been prosecuted. Even the judge seemed bothered by it. He told me I didn’t have to register nor give a DNA sample (law enforcement soon ignored that) and I ended up spending 30 days in jail. Heck, I would be in much better shape now if I had spent 10 years in prison, and then had no registration afterward.

        • NPS

          I was told the same thing when I moved to SF. “Had it happened here, it would’ve been a non issue.” When I had my probation transferred from OC to SF, my probation officer crossed out all the restrictions and said, “just live your life and do the requisite checking in.” The registering officer said the exact same thing and even added, “we’re not looking for people like you.” I never had a home visit during (nor after) probation. I did my monthly check-in with my PO which decreased to every other month. Then they approved my early termination of probation, and the judge granted it along with the 17b and expungement.

          Like “NY won’t let go”, what I was charged with isn’t a crime and perfectly legal in 30 U.S. states and everywhere around the world.

  24. Mike G

    @David Kennerly,

    So what you are saying is that the rest of the Earth has also bought into this irrational paranoid fear of anyone labeled as an SO?

    Jeez, I was really hoping that there was still some common sense left somewhere…

    • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

      Mike, well, many HAVE bought into the sex offender hysteria (most, I would say) but, even among those who haven’t, they tend to be very dismissive of citizenship bids by those with criminal records, in general. Japan would be a good example of that although now they, too are well on their way to being fully hysterical. Countries are nearly as critical of those who are merely seeking long-term residency visas. The whole “marriage with a national” angle complicates things, I will admit, but, because that was never an option for me, I never explored that avenue very carefully. Still, I would guess that there are few candidate countries for whom that is a strong work-around. One frequent misapprehension I have seen people under is that third-world countries are unlikely to care about who they are granting citizenship or residency to. This is not the case. No, I don’t think that there is much common sense in the world as it relates to “sex offenders” anymore. It’s a powerful and pervasive meme that has infected the world. That doesn’t mean that they are all equally infected, though. At least, they are at different stages of infection at any given moment.

  25. Tom

    Has anyone ever thought of seeking asylum in Germany where sex offender registry is or any type of registries are strictly prohibited?

    • ReadyToFight

      @ Tom,
      I have. I’m sure many others here have too.
      If it weren’t for family ties here I’d be long gone. Why would anyone chose to except this bullshit lifetime punishment as a way of life 🤷🏼‍♂️
      I love our country and I would die defending it, but our government can go to hell expediently!

    • NY Level1

      That is not the case

    • Defect from the U.S.

      Yes! I have given it a lot of serious thought, and it is a possible plan.

  26. Major Henderson

    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.

  27. Chicago Contact

    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?

    • Tuna

      Agree. This lawsuit was doomed from the get go. We cannot just keep picking at the margins of this law. Leverage the 6th circuit case where or if possible.

      Also, many recent posts are confusing the identifier provision with the notification provision. The identifier is “AND” required to register. The notification provision is “OR” required to register.

      • Trekker

        As you note, the difference between identifier and notifier makes a big difference when the tier system is enacted here in California. The Green notification is disciminated by Interpol, and as time goes by for the former registrant, I pray that it will have a diminishing effect.

  28. T

    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.

    • T

      The real purpose of the IML is not to prevent child sex trafficking and sex tourism which was claimed by representative Smith, because that would be impossible to accomplish, when the real aim of the IML is to prevent and ban registrants from international travel through mandatory notifications based on the nature of their offense history and even if a country will allow entry for registrants that could change at anytime.

      • Mike G

        @T

        I don’t know, but what scares me the most is that the Chris Smiths of the world actually believe they are doing a great and honorable humanitarian work for the benefit of all the nations on Earth.

        I can just hear the line “If even one child in a poor third world country escapes being touched by an American registrant, it is all worth it!”

        (To hell with the hundreds of thousands of children in registrant families being harmed – they are meaningless)

  29. JM

    @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?

    • PK

      I’m a NY Registant not Michigan. But you’re right NY actually will not let you go!

    • TG

      I moved from Michigan and was removed from that state’s registry.

    • NY won't let go

      Once you leave Michigan they take you off their registry like sane people would because you’re not a resident of the state anymore. I got unlucky and move to a state afterwards (NY) and they don’t remove after you move.

  30. PK

    Any word if this thing will be appealed?

  31. steve

    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?

  32. TL

    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!

    • Travello

      A US Citizen must enter the US with a US Passport. It is my understanding that a citizen of any country must enter their country of citizenship using that country’s passport. Hence, you must use your US Passport on your return to the US. You will be flagged and sent to secondary. There they may or may not figure out that you did not give the IML required 21 days notice, and charge you with a felony worth up to 10 years in federal prison. Oh joy.

      Should you take your chances and use your Irish passport to enter the US, you will need a completed ESTA (as a EU Citizen). That should be tricky to get as a US Citizen without lying. Not sure what the penalty for lying on an ESTA form is, but the failure to give 21 days notice would still be in play. See above.

      A non-US citizen departing the US on a round trip ticket must show authorization to re-enter the US before the airline lets them board the outbound flight. Typically a Green Card or some sort of Visa. Otherwise they won’t let you on the outbound plane. Two one way tickets eliminate that problem. However, see above.

      None of this sounds feasible or a good idea. Best idea is to support ACSOL and have this sh*t done away with once and for all.

      • TL

        Travello,
        I do appreciate the time you took to make this reply. Unfortunately, I might not have been clear on the particulars of my specific question. I will clarify, but also I will address the unnecessary facts.

        It stated, “I am a resident of the US”, meaning I live in the US, not in Ireland. It also stated that, “I plan to travel internationally FROM the US”, meaning I am currently in the US, plan to travel outside of the US, and then will return to the US, my place of residence. I would, of course, enter back into the US under my US passport. I agree that I did not make it clear that I would return under US Passport.

        Secondly, I am not required to register as a SO in my state, which in turn means I am not required to provide IML any 21 day notice…because I am not a registered SO. I also stated this in my post under “History”. So the concern about a federal charge with up to 10 years imprisonment is irrelevant to my question.

        The info you posted about completing an ESTA and the possibility of lying to complete it as a US Citizen, again irrelevant since I live in the US, will be travelling outside of the US, and then will be returning to the US, my place of residency, using my US Passport, as I have now clarified.

        Of course I support ACSOL, and agree with your statement that “None of this sounds feasible or a good idea.” But hopefully you see that this was not actually a consideration, since it was not a plan I ever intended.

        So, in the interest of clarity, I will simply re-post my original question with more detail.
        When I book my travel plans (which will be FROM the US TO an international country), and I use my Irish Passport when asked to provide my passport number on the vacation reservation with the airline, and then provide my US Passport at US Immigration as I depart the US, will my “history” be conveyed to the flight manifest since my reservation with the airline is under an Irish Passport rather than a US Passport?

        As I understand, when leaving the US, I should provide my US passport at immigration. The function of US Immigration is to make sure one is “allowed to be where they are”. Their job is not to deal with where you are going, hence they are not providing notifications at that point of transaction. It will be my reservation/booking of travel plans with the airline that has the flight manifest and data. That manifest would show me as an Irish Citizen. So does this strategy allow me to travel to a country that normally would not allow a convicted felon (not specifically a RSO, as I am not registered), such as Canada?

        Sorry for the confusion, and the complexity of this particular question.

        • Tuna

          There is no departure immigration when *leaving* the US. You would provide your Irish passport info when you book your flight, and when you check in at the airport. At no time should you have to present your US passport upon departure.

  33. Brian

    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.

    • PK

      @Brian

      Did you recently return from an international trip?

      Or did you inform your PO or Registering Agency about your planned international trip that is coming up?

      It’s important to determine what triggered this action for you to receive a letter from the State Department.

  34. TS

    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.

    • TS

      I should add that in the comments of this article are many on travel to Canada and Great Britain (GB), both of which have been touched on before in this forum. Canada has a way, which we discussed, but commenters with more experience with the process have shared their experiences. GB seems to have a law on the books denying all felons anyway, which is news to me. I may have just have missed here in this forum if previously mentioned.

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