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IML Judge Cancels Hearing on Motion to Dismiss

The federal judge to whom the IML lawsuit was assigned has canceled today’s hearing on the government’s Motion to Dismiss the entire case. According to Judge John F. Walter, he will make a decision based solely upon the documents filed both in support of, and in opposition to, that motion. The judge has no deadline by which he is required to make a decision on the motion. The judge’s decision on the government’s motion will be posted on this website as soon as it is available.

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  1. WTF?

    Maybe pessimistic, but don’t get a good feeling when reading this.

    • PK

      I don’t either. Maybe it’s the compounding of the other news of the day “Third Circuit Upholds Denial of Registrant’s Right to Sponsor Wife for Citizenship”.

  2. Alec

    Well… ok. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

    • Anon

      The judges have generally formed their opinions based on the written pleadings before oral arguments even begin. It’s either a) judicial economy or b) he’s already made up his mind.

  3. AO

    This seems like a positive thing. The judge didn’t want to waste time having the government argue against the case even being heard.

  4. Don’t tread on me

    Except that in order to CHANGE anything an argument must be heard. This does not bode well for us.

    • AO

      This was a hearing for the government to argue to dismiss the case entirely, rather than a hearing where both sides presented their arguments in regard to the validity of the law. The judge basically said, “I don’t want to hear why I shouldn’t even consider this case”.

      • Don’t tread on me

        Except that the judge could just as easily dismiss based upon the documents with zero argument. It would leave little other recourse than to start all over again.

        • AO

          Right. But we skipped the point for arguments for dismissal outright. That’s a good thing in my book.

  5. Tod

    good things come to those who wait, right? Since there is no deadline for him to rule, I could see this dragging on for months, just like it is for the 10th circuit to rule – coming on a year now. The longer this one takes, the more passports will be stamped, taken away, etc. It sucks, but we have no control over these judges and can only hope we get really lucky and they do the RIGHT thing. I also know that because he said this doesn’t mean one thing or another, Could be good or bad, but why stress about it trying to predict the future? thank you to all the attorneys and people working on this!!

    • TS

      @Tod

      What are you waiting for the Tenth Circuit to rule on? CO AG appeal of the Millard case ruling by Judge Matsch? The final docs are due into the court Jul 11th for them to consider and rule on. The clock will start when all of the docs are in and the court decides what to do next, e.g. oral arguments, doc considerations only w/no oral arguments, full panel to review filings or just the three slated to review it, etc.

      • AJ

        @TS:
        The final docs are due into the court Jul 11th for them to consider and rule on.
        —–
        Actually, things aren’t that far along. The deadline coming up (July 16) is for Millard’s team to file their Brief. After that, CO will probably file a Reply, and Millard a Reply to CO’s Reply. Then, perhaps, it will inch a bit further. This thing is far from ignition, IMO.

        • TS

          @AJ

          Thanks for the date correction and process update on Millard.

        • RC's can't even live where they want already

          Thx AJ 4 details!

    • ocguy

      I never did understand how they can take away a valid passport and not replace it for the remainder of its term free of charge.

      If I rent a car I enter into legally binding contract for the rental period. If they need to recall the car for, say, a mechanical problem I would expect a replacement or a refund. How is filling out the application, signing it and sending it in with the fee any different?

      I mean, if next year they decide to change the verbiage on the identifier, they can start this game all over. What a racket!

      • robert

        im still confused? can we travel to say europe or africa or not. i register 1 time a year and live in NJ which isnt a Sorna state as i understand. can i go or cant i? i know some countries are banned aka UK, philippines ect ect but what about the other ones??

        • Mr. D

          @robert – I can’t speak with any experience regarding Aftica but the EU (with the exception of the UK and Ireland should be fine. I can also tell you that customs in Amaterdam did not even look at the back pages of my passport both when I arrived as well as when I departed.

        • E

          @ Mr. D: Do you have the identifier in the back? I’m trying to decide whether to get a new passport after the old one was revoked and continue (attempting) to travel in Europe for business.

        • Mike G

          @Robert

          There are at least 3 situations in play here.

          Some countries (i.e. Canada) won’t let you in with any kind of conviction. Sometimes you can pay a fee and jump through hoops and get a VISA.

          Some countries won’t let you in with any sex based convictions.

          Some countries won’t let you in with any sex based convictions involving a minor.

          Only the last group are subject to IML and the federally mandated 21 day advance travel notice.

          Generally speaking, you can travel to most of Europe (excluding the UK) with any of these situations. The rest of the world is spotty at best, depending on which category you fall in, and each country’s policies, and sometimes which customs clerk you happen to encounter.

    • Mike G

      @Tod

      “hope we get really lucky and they do the RIGHT thing. “

      Me too, but when was the last time anyone in government or politics did the right thing instead of the popular thing.

  6. Harry

    This lawsuit is just trying bite off a few limbs. Sue the government for fraud and go for the roots

    • Major Henderson

      I can tell you from personal experience that no-one knows anything about the new law requiring the endorsement with the exception of Angel Watch (however many that is. May be only one person) and at least one person in the State Department that sends out the revocation letters. I spoke to numorous people in both the State Department and the passport office, and not one person had any idea what I was talking about. In fact, after I explained that I needed to apply for a new passport since the original one was being revoked, I finally had one person suggest that I attach the State Department letter to my new application. This is what I did, and today I got an email from the passport office ignoring everything I sent and telling me that they could not proceed with my application because I had not sent in my old one. If there was any understanding of the new law and the revocation process, the passport office would understand that the old passport could not be included with the application, since it had to be sent in to the State Department.

      • RC's can't even live where they want already

        Thanks Major! Now we know the kind of crap well also have to endure, one hand state dept isn’t talking to the o tty her hello passport dept, now we will see what steps either dept go to you for next step again, denied? You did what you were supposed to do, just like The Red Tape…40 years ago, MHend ed rson, nothing has changed with our non communicative but auto reply Government. Good Luck

    • Mr. D

      @E – No identifier on my passport. As previously mentioned customs in Amsterdam did not even check the back pages. And if I had to guess and identifier on the back pages is not going to bother most of the countries in the EU except for the UK and Ireland.

  7. Chester M

    To dismiss a lawsuit without a hearing would seem to violate some kind of due process. Whereas to allow a lawsuit to continue without a hearing would be neither here nor there. So i’m leaning on the side that this is not bad news.

    • David

      I disagree. There seems no reason why the submitted documents cannot provide the full arguments of both the plaintiffs and defendants. As for why a judge might agree to a dismissal, there could be any number of reasons. For example, if I have a dispute with Target, but my claim erroneously names Macys as the respondent, clearly my claim against Macys should be dismissed as Macys has nothing to do with my Target dispute.

    • Anon

      Appellate court functions almost entirely on written pleadings. Not having oral arguments is pretty common at the appellate level.

      • TS

        @anon

        Are you sure about that on Appellate courts?

        http://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/types-cases/appeals

        The Process

        Although some cases are decided based on written briefs alone, many cases are selected for an “oral argument” before the court. Oral argument in the court of appeals is a structured discussion between the appellate lawyers and the panel of judges focusing on the legal principles in dispute. Each side is given a short time — usually about 15 minutes — to present arguments to the court.

        Most appeals are final. The court of appeals decision usually will be the final word in the case, unless it sends the case back to the trial court for additional proceedings, or the parties ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. In some cases the decision may be reviewed en banc, that is, by a larger group of judges (usually all) of the court of appeals for the circuit.

        This particular IML filing is not in Appellate Court but Central District of CA (Fed Court), the court before the Appellate court.

  8. Tim Lawver

    IML,
    International Megan’s Law.

    People do not form government to protect foreign nationals. It is an antithetical preposition!
    YET here it be.

    IMHO, an obvious example of selling out to foreign interests. Wal-Mart shoppers express the mindset of the general population daily. Global capitalists are very much a threat to national security. Americans will sell out everything and anything if the price is right.

    IF N.C. V Packingham proves anything it provides the clearest intent of Megan’s law. That is to impose affirmative disability via database.

    • Mike G

      @Tim

      IML

      Wasn’t their (State Dept) original stated purpose that if we showed them (other countries) ours that they would show us theirs?

      • 8

        The whole law is a farce. The only choice another country has when they receive the notice is to refuse entry for the person. They can not follow them around the whole time they are in the country. So, what Mr. Smith is actually doing is attempting to forbid foreign travel to those on the sex offender registry. I don’t know if he really thinks he is providing a social service or if he is just attempting to make a name for himself.

        • TR

          @ 8 you are right, that’s exactly why Chris Smith wanted the IML to pass, because he wants to forbid registrants from international travel, because he thinks registrants particularly with criminal convictions involving minors are “high risk offenders”. So therefore, if these registrants want to travel internationally, they’re required to give their 21 day notice of international travel, so that they are in the system for the Feds to send out notices to destinations that registrants are going to, and make other countries be aware of them and to take action.

        • David

          @ B: I’m afraid I must disagree with your statement, “The only choice another country has when they receive the notice is to refuse entry for the person.”

          Another choice that countries have is to do as the European Schengen Agreement countries do: Ignore these green notices. Most European countries simply disregard these “sex offender” green notices from the U.S. For example, I have encountered no problems entering France or Sweden.

        • Tim Lawver

          For spending US tax dollars on protecting foreign nationals on their soil.
          If the stupid MFer GETS PRESS relating that TRUTH he’s through. Dems some dirty pool player sharks he and Schumer are protection racket running scheiesters. Cops play right along. Facial recognition is gonna get ugly!

  9. bluewall

    David,
    Really? how recent?

    I want to renew my passport, but like everyone else I’m worried about the last page of the passport.

    • David

      @ Bluewall: I have gone to Europe each fall for the last 3 years and plan to return this fall as well. I got my current U.S. passport about 5 years ago – before IML – so it does not have any “unique identifiers” on it. As required, I submit my 21-day Advance Travel Notice to my local police department. I have had no problems visiting Europe, but I am put through “Secondary” at the U.S. airports upon my return. It typically only takes a few minutes. (The first time, they just asked a couple questions, like “Where do you live?”, “How long have you lived there?” and “What was the purpose of your travel?” The second time, they had me sit down in a DMV-like waiting room, walked away with my passport to another office, then returned in a few minutes, handed it back, and said, “Okay, you can go.”) Unfortunately, I do anticipate receiving a State Department “passport revocation” letter following my next trip because my offense involved a minor. [One travel suggestion: Be careful that your flights do not stop over at, or change plans at, any of the British airports (England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales). There’s a chance they will refuse you entry, refuse your plane change, and send you right back to the U.S.]
      Good luck!
      Safe travels!

  10. Will Bassler

    I can only hope that the attorneys and paralegals fighting this case have brought forth a couple of valid points with documents to prove the first is that generally people on the registry have a re-offense rate of less than 1% and people with specific crimes against children have a re-offense rate of less than 3%

    The other valid point that I would hope that they argue is that a person’s reputation is a protected liberty interest which requires that each and every person would have to be taken into court and proved beyond reasonable doubt that they are a danger before they can have that stamp put on their passport. see the article and SOSEN about that http://sosen.org/blog/2017/08/08/international-meagans-law-damages-a-persons-reputation.html

  11. Susy

    I am very confused here. Isn’t the Interpol reporting the arrival of a RSO so the country is aware? Even though the passport identifier is a terrible implementation, I don’t think they make as much harm as the green notice the Interpol is sending.

    • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

      Susy, I happen to agree with you that the overall system of notifications, and not just the passport marking, is the greater concern. INTERPOL is probably not the only other source of this notification, however, and we don’t yet know how many others there are just as we don’t know all of the events which trigger these notifications, on one hand, or legal status which would cause this notification information to be continuously available, on the other. Certainly, some of these notices appear to be sent directly from the U.S. Government. We don’t even know with any certainty that INTERPOL’s notifications are exclusively “Green Notices,” although that would certainly make sense if they are. Nevertheless, many here are making the assumption that these are “Green Notices” without actually knowing for sure. It’s entirely possible that INTERPOL has created a separate, “uncolored,” notice called “sex offender” or “child sex offender.
      There are several levels of complexity here and few answers to our questions in its regard. There are both international “networks” and “government-provided data” (and from many agencies) which can be available to some countries and their borders and not others. This is one of those things which may well be discoverable but which is not readily available as is the want of government.

      • AJ

        Section 5 of IML states USMS “may (1) transmit notification of international travel of a sex offender to the destination country of the sex offender, including to the visa-issuing agent or agents in the United States of the country[.]” I also recall reading in some other law or policy document that overseas USMS and FBI liaison offices may share information with their in-country counterparts. So even if Interpol isn’t used, Uncle Sam is feeding info about RCs directly to and through embassies/consulates here and abroad.

      • wont

        “… as is the want of government.”

        I apologize, David, in case “want” in that phrase was a typo or an over-zealous auto-correction, but if your intent was to convey the idea of “custom” or “habit”, then “wont” is the proper word in this context.

        http://www.english-for-students.com/What-is-the-difference-between-Want-and-Wont.html

      • Susy

        David
        My husband is a RSO and I want to take him to my country in South America. My best friend is a Judge in my country and as a Judge she has a lot of connections. She contacted the Director of Immigration of my country and as soon as she told him our situation he knew what she was talking about. He told her that the Interpol sends a Green Notice which it triggers an alert indicating that RSO is arriving to the country and most likely he/she is traveling for “sex tourism” and that is why they turned them away. He advised us to go to the embassy to request a special permit that indicates the reason of his visit. Since I am a citizen, immigration should let him in. At this time I am not sure what to do. I don’t want to risk it and spend lots of money on tickets. Hopefully this situation can get resolved soon. (please excuse my grammar, I am still learning the language)

      • AJ

        Here’s an older (Feb 2013) GAO report that clearly states Green Notices are indeed sent, and that ICE and USMS coordinate with their foreign counterparts too. The report also shows that there’s significant lack of communication among the various agencies.

        http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/652194.pdf

        • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

          Thanks, AJ! It makes sense that it is a Green Notice from INTERPOL. I will re-read this.

  12. Richard

    Any chance of an RC studying abroad? Or even getting a visa within the EU (excluding the UK)?

  13. Camron

    Hello, I’m a new RSO, I just found out the laws concerning IML. Breaks my heart because prior to my stupid conviction I would travel the world for work. I have a law enforcement/ gov’t background, and through my career I have built great connections in a certain Southwest Asia country that i cannot mention on here. I know one of the three active Interpol officers in this country, I have another friend who is secret police, and customs and immigration. I am planning a trip and once the green notice is sent my friend will give me my file. Once I get it, I will be glad to share what is sent (I.e. the green notice, the entire process, U.S. contact info of the person sending the notices, etc). Please give me a month or two to respond, my friend has not had any green notices for RSO come across his desk, he also said that he hasn’t had any Interpol training on IML or is aware of IML. RSO are welcomed to this country without a visa. Good luck out there.

    • PK

      @Cameron
      I think a lot of people would look forward to hearing about this.

  14. David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

    Oh, you’ve got a sharp, error-correcting eye! Yes, you are absolutely right! Thanks for the correction. The correct spelling is something I had lost track of in the passage of time (and possible onset of senescence) and so I needed this refresher. Habits of mind, indeed. Thanks!

    • David

      I find there is a dearth of “wont” in common conversation. 😁

  15. Janice Bellucci

    The federal district court has dismissed this case. An article regarding the dismissal as well as a copy of the decision will soon be added to the website in a separate article.

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