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Case Spotlight: International Travel Notification

In 2011, the Supplemental Guidelines for Sex Offender Registration and Notification officially included in SORNA’s standards the obligation that jurisdictions require their registered sex offenders to provide 21 days’ notice of any international travel. However, before International Megan’s Law passed, it was difficult to federally prosecute sex offenders for failing to notify registration officials of intended international travel or relocation. For example, in Nichols v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 1113 (2016), the Supreme Court held that a sex offender could not be federally prosecuted for failure to register under 18 U.S.C. § 2250 (as it stood in 2012) if they simply moved to a foreign country without notifying the state where they had been registered prior to moving. Full Article (SMART Office)

Related

More info about  from International Tracking of Sex Offenders from SMART

Join the discussion

  1. Mike M

    One question, does the following statement “For jurisdictions that have not implemented the 2011 international travel notification requirement, this could impact your ability to prosecute under this offense” mean that the states have to adopt this policy in order for the federal government to prosecute? I have traveled out of the country 3 times since 2011 with no problems. Thanks for the input.

    • NPS

      This is precisely why IML was implemented. It was to close that very loophole where some states (like California) don’t have SORNA that required the 21-day notification. So regardless of our non-SORNA status, under IML, all registrants are mandated to give notification of international travel.

      • BA

        I agree I think we MUST give a 21 day notification for out of the country let me know if i’m wrong check the new IML………..

        • TS

          Federally, 21 days is the law with a few exceptions to it (which you can read in the 2011 SORNA guidelines by the AG) that were discussed here recently with ocguy who questioned it. This is why a few of us here strongly foot stomp the 21 day law because Federally, you are required to do so, regardless of your state (unless it is more than 21 days which obviously exceeds the Fed law).

          If the state does not have this implemented, then it is between the state and the Feds since once you notify your state, it is now up to the state to close the loop on notification.

          Breaking AL law and not giving 21 days notice as their state law is was this traveler’s mistake.

    • PK

      My thinking is that this does not bode well for any future challenge to the IML Notification Provision

      • Forever marked

        You are probably right. No matter what , the powers that be will see fit to have us marked. Wether on the registry or not. In fact if the registry were completely removed, every objective it serves would remain in place. Because even without it, we are still offenders, and there is always a way to get that piece of info included on anything. Florida proves that, Interpol proves thst. Life after registry is still life on the list.

      • Timmmy

        Sure it does . There is still a require of due process , and the 13th Amendment.

    • Sunny

      Only 18 states have substantially implemented SORNA:
      https://smart.gov/newsroom_jurisdictions_sorna.htm

      I think it has to do with a registrant being informed of the duty to report international travel. If a state fails to implement SORNA, then perhaps they are 1) Failing to inform registrants of a duty to report international travel (thus making registrants not criminally culpable), and 2) Not having a system in place to record such information / not reporting such information to federal agencies.

      If registrants are not informed of their duty to report travel or if there is no clear instruction or ability to report that travel, then that would make it difficult for federal agencies to prosecute registrants. The federal registry is entirely dependent on the individual state registries for their information and enforcement.

      In a nutshell, when you renew your state registration and sign a document, does that document inform you of a duty to notify them of international travel, and if so, does it give you clear instructions on how to make such notification?

      • AJ

        @Sunny:
        1) Failing to inform registrants of a duty to report international travel (thus making registrants not criminally culpable)
        —–
        You make a valid and good point, and one which may (though not necessarily) fall in line with Lambert v. CA (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/355/225/). IMO, it may depend on whether one is deemed registering one’s presence. Beyond that, AWA specifically addresses this issue, apparently to the RC’s favor (and seemingly in compliance with Lambert):
        *****
        42 USC § 16917. Duty to notify sex offenders of registration requirements and to register
        (a) In general. An appropriate official shall, shortly before release of the sex offender from custody, or, if the sex offender is not in custody, immediately after the sentencing of the sex offender, for the offense giving rise to the duty to register–
        (1) inform the sex offender of the duties of a sex offender under this title and explain those duties;
        (2) require the sex offender to read and sign a form stating that the duty to register has been explained and that the sex offender understands the registration requirement; and
        (3) ensure that the sex offender is registered.
        (b) Notification of sex offenders who cannot comply with subsection (a). The Attorney General shall prescribe rules for the notification of sex offenders who cannot be registered in accordance with subsection (a).
        *****
        If this Section includes the AG’s SORNA Guidelines (which I imagine it must, given said guidelines were born of this Act), then either one’s jurisdiction or the Feds must inform the RC of the requirement. So, contrary to my own words on this, it seems some non-SORNA States may allow the RC a pass. I say some, because some non-SORNAs may still include this notification requirement.

      • Alexander Rodrigues

        I’m sure I would have to re read My Registry however does that link you sent mean that me being from Illinois does not have to give the notification or at least won’t be prosecuted for not

    • alucardi

      What countries have you traveled to? and did you provide the 21 days advance notice to your local police jurisdiction?

  2. notfromhere

    The English language is funny…

    Prosecuting and incarcerating in prison a person not on parole or probation is considered a “success”? How so? For whom?

    What would a “failure” look like? A tax savings of ~$100k?

    These restrictions on a citizen’s free movement were a big factor in the USSR having been called the “Evil Empire”. How soon they forget…

    Heeeee……

  3. Anonymouse

    It should be noted that this guy never DID travel, as he was denied boarding the plane for lack of return ticket / visa required by the destination country – nothing to do with his registrant status.

    He was convicted under 18 U.S. Code § 2250 – Failure to report INTENDED travel. Talk about a thought crime. This CANNOT be constitutional.

    • Political Prisoner

      Refusing him boarding because of no return ticket is BS, there is no requirement to have a round trip ticket to travel anywhere. As for a VISA that would depend which country he was going to, many countries do not require an advance VISA for Americans and give them on arrival. He was no doubt flagged when he bought his ticket and the airline sent their passenger list to the Feds and they told the airline to not let him board the plane.

      • Anonymouse

        No shortage of countries will deny anyone entry if they are lacking a) a return / out (air!) ticket or b) a valid visa to accommodate a one-way ticket. There is no shortage of eye-witness accounts to that effect – just google it. It is my understanding that airlines get penalized for dumping “problem” customers on the immigration department of a destination country. So they will not allow anyone like that to board a plane.

        Case in point, I recently traveled round trip on two one way tickets (I saved twenty bucks doing so – I am a cheap sob). I had to provide the info about my return ticket before being issued a boarding pass for the outbound flight. I questioned this vociferously (as it was a country that affords a US Citizen 90 days -no questions asked) – but I was told they (the airline) needed a return / out of country ticket. If I wanted a boarding pass before take-off. Which I really really wanted.

    • Major Henderson

      Surely you jest. Since when is anything done against registrants given any constitutional thought?

    • TS

      Was he arrested at the airport? I gather he was based upon denied boarding which means he was intending to travel without notification to the proper authorities. This is his own fault but a good example for the rest to see.

      • David Kennerly's Government-Driven Life

        No, it’s not “his fault” for exercising his constitutional rights. Perhaps he should have expected being arrested, but it’s not “his fault.”

        • David Kennerly is Frightening and High

          AJ, thanks for weighing in. One suggestion for you, please use “quotes” when quoting as it makes it a lot easier to understand which is your speech and which is the speech of those you are quoting. I’ve had to tease that out of some of your recent posts.

        • AJ

          @David Kennerly:
          AJ, thanks for weighing in. One suggestion for you, please use “quotes” when quoting as it makes it a lot easier to understand which is your speech and which is the speech of those you are quoting. I’ve had to tease that out of some of your recent posts.
          —–
          I think this post was misplaced, as it makes no sense where it resides. That said, thank you for the feedback and suggestion, and sorry for any confusion. I used to use quotes, but too often found the quoted text also including quotes. This would cause me to change double-quotation marks from the original text into single-quotation marks to comply with syntax standards. (I guess my days of poring of Strunk & White in college made their mark.) The alternative is to start with single-quotation marks (another S&W no-no). This is all, I’m sure, way more than you cared to learn about me. And yes, that’s some OCD peeking out.

          My solution to this has been to format my posts using —–, =====, and ***** as delimiters, as such:

          @:

          —–

          =====

          —–

          *****

          *****

          Hopefully this helps. I’m certainly willing to change to a clearer format, I’m just not sold that simply adding double-quotation marks universally fits the bill.

      • E

        From the article:
        Without providing this required notice, McSherdon purchased a one-way airline ticket to fly from Birmingham, Alabama, to Manila, Philippines, and was scheduled to depart on Feb. 1, 2017. On that date, he arrived at the Birmingham airport and attempted to check in to his flight, but was denied access because he had neither a roundtrip ticket nor an appropriate visa. McSherdon was arrested later that day at home and admitted he intended to fly to the Philippines and return prior to his next scheduled registration check-in date.

        • TS

          @E

          It was more a rhetorical question that I answered myself. However, the lack of a RT ticket or Visa is a ruse at best for turning him away IMO before he was arrested at his residence for lack of travel notification by AL law, which they had to probably wait until he attemtped to board before arresting him.

          @David Kennerly – as we discussed here the right of travel vs transportation last week, there’s no right to travel but there’s one to transportation. To which are you referring?

        • Anonymouse

          This guy was not on parole or probation. He never traveled internationally (for whatever reason – irrelevant). He was sentenced to Federal Prison NOT for traveling without notice (say that again real slowly) but for INTENDING to travel without notice (say that even slower).

          That is equivalent to me saying I INTENDED to make a trillion dollars next year but I never filed a tax return to pay taxes for that income. Or I INTENDED to buy a motorcycle but never got around to obtaining the license required to operate such machinery.

          Maybe my examples are lacking a bit but in what real life example – other than this – has failure to do anything related to INTENT resulted in a federal prison sentence?

          I am looking forward to real life examples.

        • Anonymouse

          @TS – “However, the lack of a RT ticket or Visa is a ruse at best for turning him away IMO”.

          No it isn’t. That certainly is reason to deny someone entry into a country. As is any country’s right. Since airlines get dinged for the number of people like that who end up on a country’s doorstep it is in the airline’s best business interest that no problem customers get off their plane in xyz country.

          The above being a ruse is your opinion based on what? Any number of internet testimonials???

        • David Kennerly is Frightening and High

          TS, Yes, there IS a right to (international) travel. Unfortunately, it is an old SCOTUS opinion that is now being conveniently ignored for the purpose of repressing us but it was part of The Continental Congress which preceded the Constitution (which left it out) but which is clearly one of the rights reserved to us under the 9th Amendment. So no, I’m sorry, we DO have the right to travel.

        • AJ

          @TS:
          there’s no right to travel but there’s one to transportation.
          —–
          It’s the other way around. Freedom of travel is a fundamental right. Someone giving you a lift is not.

        • TS

          @Anonymouse

          I spoke in err and apologize for the off the cuff “ruse” comment when I should’ve referred to the Philippine Visa website for more info (https://www.philippine-embassy.org.sg/consular/visa/important-visa-information/) before making it. So, when you select the USA as your country for your Visa Advisory on their website, it states this:

          VISA ADVISORY
          United States of America

          No visa required for a stay not exceeding thirty (30) days. Traveler must hold valid ticket for return journey to country of origin or next country of destination and a passport valid for a period of at least six (6) months beyond the stay in the Philippines.

          PLEASE BE GUIDED BY THE FOLLOWING NOTES:

          For passport holders who are allowed visa-free entry for a stay of up to 30 days: a visa is required for a stay exceeding 30 days.

          Persons who were previously deported from the Philippines or included in the “blacklist order” of the Department of Foreign Affairs or Bureau of Immigration of the Philippines will not be allowed entry to the Philippines.

          (This last one makes me wonder if they are tied into the US federal system to create an easy blacklist order for them to refer to but that is another discussion.)

          Therefore, for the Philippines, the lack of a return trip via a round trip ticket (per their website because I don’t know if two one-way tickets would suffice as was suggested here) sounds like was enough to deny boarding his flight. Also, based upon the info given, since it is not known when he was returning, other than before his next registration date (i.e. less than or more than 30 days after arrival), a Visa being required is questionable.

          As for your intention argument, I proffer this: understanding intent vs attempt

          As published, “Without providing this required (SORNA) notice, McSherdon purchased a one-way airline ticket to fly from Birmingham, Alabama, to Manila, Philippines, and was scheduled to depart on Feb. 1, 2017. On that date, he arrived at the Birmingham airport and attempted to check in to his flight, but was denied access because he had neither a roundtrip ticket nor an appropriate visa. McSherdon was arrested later that day at home and admitted he intended to fly to the Philippines and return prior to his next scheduled registration check-in date.”

          His intent to travel to the Philippines was made known when he purchased the one-way ticket. The purchasing action (intent) is not criminal (that I am aware of) because you don’t have to give notice when purchasing an international travel ticket. The way the paragraph is stated makes it seems it is illegal, which is not. You can buy it and not use it, you could change it, or whatever.

          He attempted to complete his travel intentions on the one-way ticket through check-in at Birmingham, AL airport without his required travel notification, a criminal act, as required by the SORNA notice of 2011 (and implemented by AL) to which he was warned about in 2016 (in whatever manner) as stated.

          He went beyond his intentions when he went to attempted travel actions.

          I will refer you to the Wikipedia page of “Attempt” of crimes for further understanding (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attempt).

          (It should be noted that I cannot find other published references online, other than through this website, the FLA Action Committee website, and the SMART website, to this particular person’s arrest or prosecution on this attempted travel instance when searching for it on several search engines. Maybe I am missing it.)

        • TS

          @David Kennerly & AJ

          Thank you for the course correction there. My error in reversing it mentally.

          There is a Fordham Law Review document here for further reading by anyone who wants to know more: Raymond C. James, The Right To Travel Abroad, 42 Fordham L. Rev. 838 (1974)

          https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4593&context=flr (PDF doc)
          http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/flr/vol42/iss4/6

          I have read this and find it interesting as it will give possible insight into how Rep Smith is thinking on his IML quest in addition to the freedoms for right to travel aboard from the days of the Magna Carta, ch 42 specifically, to our current modern environment.

        • Anonymouse

          @TS – thanks for the lecture on intended vs attempted. To which I proffer that “attempt” (or “completion”, for that matter) is immaterial, as it is nowhere addressed in the law. The law AND the supporting guidelines clearly state “intended”. NOT “attempted” or “completed”. Intended.

          34 U.S. Code § 20914: “(c) Time and manner
          A sex offender shall provide and update information required under subsection (a), including information relating to intended travel outside the United States required under paragraph (7) of that subsection, in conformity with any time and manner requirements prescribed by the Attorney General.”

          “The purchasing action (intent) is not criminal (that I am aware of) because you don’t have to give notice when purchasing an international travel ticket. ”

          According to this law the ticket purchase most certainly is a crime if it falls inside the 21 day window. Quite frankly, thinking “I am going to visit my aunt in Argentina next week” is a crime.

          So no, this guy’s intent to travel to the Philippines was not formed when he purchased the ticket. Not when he checked in at the airport. His intent to travel was formed when he decided to travel to the Philippines.

          I ask again… are there other laws that criminalize failure to report an intent? I still am trying to come to grips with FATCA (which criminalizes failure to report your own money in overseas accounts), but failure to report an intent? Never have I heard of such a thing.

        • CR

          @Anonymouse, “intended” just means “planned”. Thinking about visiting your aunt in Argentina next week is not a crime. It is only a crime if you decide to make the visit, and you don’t give 21 day notice of your “intent” (or “plan”).

        • TS

          @Anonymouse

          So based upon your premise, I am intending to travel overseas at sometime via some method but not sure of the specifics yet. Is that me showing my intent? I think so based upon the thought you put forth here. I will notify my local LE office of this so I can watch myself get laughed out of the office because I am thinking of it without having done any sort of confirmation through a purchasing action to commit a little bit more to it and any attempt to actually do it via check-in for a full confirmation of my intention via an attempt.

          Scenario: If I have no intent to actually travel overseas, but do purchase an international ticket just because I can, am I in violation when I don’t notify but just own the value of the ticket or is it just based upon the potential I have now of actually traveling internationally via a purchased ticket I must give notification? That would be an interesting case to watch if someone was arrested and charged under purchasing with no notification and no intent to travel.

          My recommendation, ask your LE office/agency for their take on this situation and report back here w/their reply so we are all the wiser for it.

        • Anonymouse

          @CR – allow me to restate. So I get up one morning and DECIDE to visit my aunt in Argentina next week. Thus forming INTENT. Since it is impossible to give 21 day notice for something I decide to do within the next week (7 days or less) – regardless of whether or not I follow through with my decision – I just committed a crime. Since I formed intent, and my intent was not reported in a timely fashion.

          Look, I am not trying to be right or an a$$. The law clearly reads “intended travel”. That is so vague (INTENT nowhere being defined that I can see) that the law should be attacked on that angle.

          I ask yet again. What other real life example of criminalizing the failure to report INTENT is there? If there isn’t one, why not? Because intent, in and by itself, is not a criminalizable action?

          Maybe this gives someone another angle to approach this. This is a poorly written law, and indefensible as written.

        • CR

          @Anonymouse, in the absence of defined terms, the plain English language meaning applies. You are overthinking this. In this context, intended means planned. A plan that you discard or that never materializes is irrelevant as far as notification goes. Notification applies if you put your plan into action. Since you know that visiting your aunt in Argentina next week doesn’t allow for 21-day notice, you aren’t likely to do that. You’ll either change your plan before you act on it in order to comply with the law, or you’ll act on it without providing the advance 21-day notice. Only in the latter case have you committed a crime.

        • TS

          @Anonymouse

          @CR is right and it falls under the attempts vs intent of the law, which I will refer you to the Wikipedia page of “Attempt” of crimes for further understanding (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attempt).

        • Anonymouse

          @CR –

          “in the absence of defined terms, the plain English language meaning applies. You are overthinking this. In this context, intended means planned. ” – Precisely. Planned, as thought of in my pretty little head. Planned as in scheduling an appointment with a business associate overseas. Planned, as in buying a plane ticket. Planned. Not attempted. Not done. Intended.

          ” A plan that you discard or that never materializes is irrelevant as far as notification goes.” – That is incorrect. In this very story, the travel never materialized.

          “Notification applies if you put your plan into action.” – Where do you get this from? And what does “action” mean? Go to the airport? Get a boarding pass? Get on the plan? Purchase a ticket online? Wake up and decide to go travel next week?

          “Since you know that visiting your aunt in Argentina next week doesn’t allow for 21-day notice, you aren’t likely to do that.” – Immaterial and too late. Intent formed, crime committed.

          This law – as written – makes no sense and cannot stand. It is unconstitutionally vague. Its intent may be obvious but the language is piss poor. That is a better chance of taking the wind out of its sails than addressing the approval procedure.

        • CR

          @Anonymouse, I’m only going to answer one part of your question because I think this discussion is pointless.

          “action” means travel internationally, i.e., leave this country bound for another. Until you do that, you cannot be charged with a violation of the 21-day advance notice requirement of the law.

        • PK

          @Anonymous

          “This law – as written – makes no sense and cannot stand. It is unconstitutionally vague.”

          I think you mean to say that it’s Constitutionally defective.

          Hopefully Janice will clue us in, if she will be pursuing an appeal to the IML challenge.

  4. mike r

    Yeah the language in the statute states specifically if you are on any state registry for an offense against a minor you are subject to IML. Not in a state registry, IML not applicable, that’s my educated determination.

    • Joe123

      I believe the keyword is “Public” registry. If you’re not on a public registry then I believe IML doesn’t apply. This is from my own research of IML and living in a Tiered state where Tier 1 isn’t on a public registry. If you live in a SORNA state then I believe regardless of Tiers, you have to give notice of travel.

      • NPS

        No. It doesn’t matter. As long as you are on the registry, regardless if it’s public or not, you are subject to IML. In fact, one person on the international travel thread just stated that he received his envelope from the govt. about his passport. I recognized the screen name, and I know who this gentleman is (from SF). I believe he has an expunged record.

        That pretty much dashed my hopes of getting a passport. (I don’t have one now.) I also have a reduced to misdemeanor, expunged record. Looks like I’ll be waiting another two years before I can apply for the COR and get off this (non-public) list and become a truly free citizen again.

        • Concerned mom

          My DH just got a new passport and there is no marking on it at all. He is not on the Megan’s website but he does have to register. Does this mean he is not on the public registry?

        • AO

          @Concerned Mom – Was your son’s offense against a minor? IML only applies if you’re on the registry AND if you’re if you’re offense was against a minor. If you’re on the registry and your offense was against an adult, then IML shouldn’t apply.

        • TS

          @Concerned mom

          Marked passports (federal item) and registries (state item) are two different things. If his federal passport isn’t marked, good on him but that has no bearing on whether he’s on a state registry, which they’ll determine.

        • Counting days

          Would you be willing to be contacted. I am looking to talk to people to gain information and insite as to the process of removal from list. I avoid attorneys since they often are less informed than registrants.

          Thx

        • someone who cares

          This is a little bit confusing to me. So, would IML apply to someone who is NOT on the public registry, and the offense did NOT involve a minor, or does it just apply to someone whose offense was against a minor (what age)?

        • TS

          @someone who cares

          IML passport stamp is for someone whose offense involved a minor AND has to register.

        • Mike G

          Minor is under age 18 at time of offense for purposes of this law.

        • Hysteria

          👍👍👍👍👍👍
          If any of you would like to slip some words of wisdom/advice to those of us not as far along. Maybe how you dealt with it, experiences, etc.
          There are many of us here in NorCal (hate that saying, so ghetto) that look for that kind of “mentorship” in trying times.

  5. Matthew

    What if you live in a state that does not,require registration for an offense the original state of conviction still does? How do you make notification of international travel. SORNA defines various tiers and length of registration. If you are not required to register be Federal lay, such as tier I after 10years, but some state like CA requires life time registration, do you still have to provide 21 days notice?

    There simply are too many variables which depends on the state of conviction, state of residency, federal law definitions, to make this apply equally. For my case, in WA I have a 10 year registration requirement which meets with federal law (tier I), but I have a court order that registration is not required in Alaska. What am I to do with regard to international travel?

    It really does not matter right now, for my passport has expire and will wait for a coup,e more years to hit the 10 year mark and not meet federal requirements to register.

    • TS

      @Matthew

      Check with an atty there first.
      However, as understood, if the state you’re living in now doesn’t require registration, then that’s the governing factor for no international travel notification. To provide 21 day notice, you must have an offense involving a minor AND must register. Missing one of those two should absolve travel notification.

      • TS

        Correction (203pm PDT) – I have them reversed for 21 day notice: an AND statement is for the passport stamp, but the OR statement is for Angel Watch and USMS notification. My Apologies.

  6. David

    😡 Sooo frustrated & angry! 😡

    All of these requirements/ regulations/ restrictions/ laws are so ridiculously complex and convoluted, it seems the true intent is to entrap registrants. There are probably 10X as many ways to get locked up for an FTR or “failure to notify” offense than there are for actual sexual offenses!

    • Tim Moore

      Someone summed it up quite well in one of the meetings: “these laws are meant to contain registrants”. The vagueness and complexity itself serves that purpose well. It’s evilly brilliant in an ad hoc way. If there is any doubt, we stay at home, because the risks of getting it wrong are too sever. Sure, some on the public would like us all in prison for life, but I think law enforcement likes it better this way. It keeps us in a virtual prison, with the brick and mortar ones as a back up. It’s cheaper that way, and we are better tools when outside a cell. Out in the community they can use our presence to meter out fear within the public and by so doing keep the program, the compliance checks, forced therapy, sting squads and the like going and their “better and safer than prison guards” occupations secure. I wonder if anyone in the judicial occupation sees what a big racket this is. Maybe they’re operants in the racketeering operation, too. By hook or by crook they’re all in it together.

  7. 290 air

    Does anybody know if you can just give a blanket notification to travel? We have a place across the border in Mexico and go there sometimes at last minute notice. Can we just send in a notice every 3 weeks to our police department in case we decide to travel that weekend? Is it a crime to send it in and then decide not to travel?

    • TS

      @290 air

      A crime to notify and not travel? Haven’t seen any verbiage on that being a crime.

      Blanket notifications every three weeks? Doubt it since the powers that be want specifics as detailed by the SMART office travel (https://smart.gov/international_travel.htm). Your potential last minute needs to be known 21 days in advance.

      • 290 air

        If you know where you are going you could feasibly give one every 21 days. Just make a bunch of photo copies of the blank forms and fill it out every 3 weeks and send it to the local PD so I am covered if we decide to go down for the weekend last minute. Since we have a place down there it would just be the same info every time with different dates. I was just wondering if you keep giving 21 day notices and don’t follow through on a majority of them if they would try to charge you with something like giving false information.

      • Muriel

        The registration requirements in Florida do state that if your travel plans change (for any travel that one must register for) it is required that you go back to inform the Sherriff and the DMV of those changes.
        And Florida has a 48 hour notification for anything more than 3 days

        • David

          In FL, a registrant also has to notify the DMV?? WTF? Who else… local Health Department? Neighborhood Watch?? How about all residents living within 500 feet?? 😡
          What f**king business is it of DMV whether I travel internationally or not? And if I don’t drive and have no license, then what? 😡

        • TS

          Is there a numbered line or take a number category for notifying the FLA DMV of a travel change to previously notified travel or is it just “other “? (Sarcastically rhetorical, people)

        • Anonymous

          Muriel Please provide any official document that states after you leave the country you must inform anybody about Travel Plan changes. I have been told in Florida that they don’t care what I do after I am out of the country but must let them know about the first Intended destination. What I read is any intended travel must be reported 21 days notice. Plans change and I see no way to report to the state nor Federal once you are out of the country. I do not have a underage charge and also been told I am not under IML but Florida rules and Sorna. I also sebelieve nothing in any Florida law about a DMV visit just your local offender sheriffs office for out of country travel.

    • David

      I have a form from the California Department of the Attorney General for ttavel notification. Practically everything on it says “anticipated” (anticipated dates of travel, anticipated mode of transport , anticipated country of travel), so it seems to me if you broadly anticipate going on certain dates and those dates happened to change, you have already provided the state with Advanced Travel notification. (But I am not a Criminal defense attorney.)

  8. Mike M

    Another question. The 21 day requirement is from the AWA and not in the IML. What if you are not required to follow the AWA since it was found unconstitutional in Ohio and Michigan? The IML is heavily laden with references from the AWA including definitions. Michigan does not require me to give 21 days notice even though the AWA does. I believe this is the loop hole the Angel watch was referring to.

    • TS

      @Mike M

      AWA as a whole was found unconstitutional in MI and OH? Since when? It’s retroactive application of changes was, but not as a whole as I read it.

      Since IML refers to AWA, you still need to give 21 days advance notice even if MI does not have that on the books. The 2011 SORNA guide federally closed that loophole.

  9. Mike G

    @ Mike M “The 21 day requirement is from the AWA and not in the IML”

    Really? There is no 21 day requirement in the IML? Then why would anyone in California ever give notice before traveling?

  10. Bee

    After Rep. Smith, on his official government website, made the following statement last November:

    “We know from law enforcement and media documentation that Americans on U.S. sex offender registries are caught sexually abusing children in Asia, Central and South America, Europe—everywhere,”

    https://chrissmith.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=400752

    I repeatedly called his office to find out the number of those registrants who are caught sexually abusing children in Asia, Central and South America, Europe—everywhere. Since we *know*. I stipulated that I would prefer documentation from law enforcement but would settle for media reports.

    After calling about 4 times with the same request over the course of 3 months or so, I was told that I needed to make my request to my own representative, who then would – do what? Not sure. “Professional courtesy” or some such.

    Wondering – anyone here from New Jersey’s 4th District who is *entitled* to this information?

    https://chrissmith.house.gov/contact/

    • David

      @ Bee: I wonder if you could use a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) Request to get that information from Chris Smith’s office? It might be worth a try.

      • PK

        @David,

        What would you want to do with this information? File a new IML Lawsuit?

        • Bee

          Hells yea…. it is my understanding that the government may regulate a person’s conduct beyond parole or probation *IF* the government has a compelling public safety interest. At least in Doe v. Smith they went to the trouble to (mis)quote some obscure “expert” for their “frightenng and high” drivel.

          Rep. Smith makes no such effort. He is pulling things out of his arse. A while back I scoured sites like Interpol, FBI, etc, for registrants convicted of sexually abusing children overseas.

          Sure, there were non-registrants convicted of child sexual abuse overseas. Sure, there were registrants who re-offended domestically. But registrants AND overseas – I think I found 3 cases. Out of over half a million, at that time. You do the math. They were in the news repeatedly, so I do not think that this is not gleefully reported by the media and various agencies.

          There has never been a correlation, let alone a causality even remotely established or hinted at between registrants traveling and child abuse overseas. If the government may act in the interest of public safety, show us the data that demonstrates a public safety issue. Chris Smith is a liar.

          Are you willing to let Chris Smith get away with a blatant lie? Me – not so much.

  11. David Kennerly is Frightening and High

    This may be a good place, i.e. in a discussion about our right to travel, at home or abroad, to link to a splendid talk from former Judge Anthony Napolitano: “How the Courts Killed Natural Law” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uTR3qNW70w

  12. No one knows the answer

    I need to leave the country and am no longer required to register in my current state. However, Texas has me listed on their site for life even though I dont live there. I called my current state’s office to notify them that I am leaving the country and they told me they can not take my info since I am not a registrant. They said perhaps I should call Texas.
    Texas told me, they can not take my info because I have no duty to register there.
    Does anyone know what I should do?

    • David

      @ no one knows the answer: I am NOT an attorney, but this is what I would do in such a situation: Go to the website of your current State’s “Department of the [State] Attorney General” and search that website for any forms they may require registrants to submit prior to international travel. I would then complete the form, make a copy of it for your own records (to keep with you when you travel) and send the signed form back to the State’s attorney general using certified, return receipt mail. You should also keep the return receipt with you when you travel – that way, you have proof that you have done your best to notify the proper authorities in your state that you are traveling. What the State AG’s Office does with the completed form you submitted is up to them. But you have done your part.

    • R M

      @No one knows the answer: Many times, no one on their side (government, law enforcement, etc) will tell you what to do: one to cover their butt, two to hoping you’ll violate some law. Do as David said to cover your own butt. Do your own research or talk to a lawyer.

    • FinallyOffRegistry

      To: NoOne…….

      I would get every that has been said to about the situation in Writing from those official offices and signed by the person from the office, etc. IMHO you need to CYA because someone or some local agency may “detain first, figure it out later” and simply telling them “well I called and this is what THEY told me” may not be enough to unwind the pickle. Just a forethought.

  13. Tuna

    I’ve followed this smart.gov site for years, esp their so-called case law updates. I continually observe that they gloss over and lack detail when a case goes against the government, but when there is a court ruling in favor of SORNA, they are all over it in the amount of detail they push out.

  14. texas

    i register in texas, if you no longer live in texas and do not register there, you are not listed on their website. because you do not have to register in the state you are in now (what state is that), and why do you not have to register now. you would not have to give the 21 day notice. no matter the crime, you have to be registered to be a part of the iml.
    this is what sor office told me

    • CR

      Some people have reported here in the past few months that Texas now keeps formerly registered Texans on the list after they move out of Texas, even if that person is not required to register in his new state of residence.

      One person who had moved to another state and was not required to register there, and who had subsequently been delisted by Texas for a number of years, reported here that he/she was recently added back onto the Texas list.

      • No one knows the answer

        Yes CR, Texas will keep you on their site even if you move

        I changed my legal name and have no duty to provide this information to Texas.

        So they dont have my current name on file. In addition, I have a new passport with my new name and since Texas never took any passport or immigration information ( as required by SORNA), I have never had any issues at the border.

        Hell, I even pass background checks for jobs now. I have a new identity and new life. Texas can do whatever the hell they want with my information

        • JM

          @No One Knows the Answer: Hi! May I know how did you legally changed your name if you have/had a sex offender or a lifetime registry in Texas?
          Also, may i know what is your Risk level in WA? Did WA re-classified you when you transferred to their state from Texas?
          Hope to hear from you soon.
          Thanks.

        • Redeemed1

          @No One Knows the Answer,
          I was curious if you knew why you are passing background checks now? Do you think changing your name did the trick? Or simply not having to register where you are now?

          I did my 10 years and am off here in OH but wasn’t sure what a background check would show for me. Guess that I am still in the dark as to what expect. I’ve heard a lot of companies only go back 7 years, but not all.

          Also, does anyone have any advice in how to explain an unemployment gap? I am very well educated (in statistics/ data analysis) and have basically kept learning while biding my time until I was done with the registry, but not sure how to spin it if it came up in an interview.

          Thanks

        • Relief

          @No One Knows the Answer- Congratulations on your removal in WA. Smart move to legally change your name. When you say ‘no issues at the border’ do you mean on Intl air flights? Or do you mean land crossing borders?

          It would be interesting to know for example, if the continuing TX listing would generate an IML notice if flying say to Mexico? Or any other restricting countries.

        • CR

          @Redeemed1, I explained a 20 month unemployment gap by saying that I was trying out early retirement, and decided I wasn’t ready for it yet.

          This worked for me because I was in my upper ’50s at the time, so it was plausible. I did, in fact, retire from my previous job, but not because I wanted to. I was eligible for retirement with benefits by the time the company I was working for found out about my offense, which at the time was already 22 or so years in my past. So I was able to retire rather than be fired.

        • alucardi

          What state did you “legally” changed your name? It is my understanding that at least in Los Angeles County any RSO cannot change their name. Where did you accomplish it?

        • Anonymous

          It’s True if you move to a state that no longer requires you to register say after a certain time you can change your name. Now in Florida you would have to report that name change also. The best is to move to a state you can get off and the hell with Florida and Texas etc because you might be on the registry in that state but it would be in your own name. I have found some states Utah as a example that don’t even require you to register for a offense that would be in another state. In many states a SO can change your name. The trick is to change it in a state that you are not on the registry anymore. I would also point out I am surprised about the background check because changing your social is a much harder thing. I have pulled credit on people also that have changed names and it shows the previous names. I would also look at Getting a DBA and apply for a federal ID it’s format is the same as a social security number. You could feasibly be John Doe DBA Ron Book and have a FEIN that isn’t tied to hour social. This is about the limit I can put out in public but I suggest you look into these and other ways to legally live in this crap pile of restrictive unconstitutional rules.

      • Tired of this

        Yep, happened to me. Lived in TX for a few months about five years ago (have some family there), then I moved back to my original state. Suddenly, about 3 months ago, for whatever f-ing reason, I appear on their website and it ranks high in Google searches of my name. Makes no sense, and it’s infuriating because I now live in another state that doesn’t publicly list me (for now, anyway).

    • No one knows the answer

      I moved to WA, petitioned to get off the registry here and am not registered any longer

      However, since I had lifetime registration in Texas, I am on their site for live. It states (out state- WA) on the texas site

      I will be on there site for life as will anyone else who has lifetime registration reqs.

      • texas

        sir
        some questions, when you moved to wa what level were you? i am low level , but lifetime. how did you get off?
        just because you are listed in texas, does not mean you are registered there. you now reside in wa. does iml still apply since you are no longer registered?
        also, how does someone change name and get new passport, the old one has old name, birth has old name?
        my understanding is you can only register in the location you live, not where you used to live.
        i was told you are now deregistered in texas, and you have to register in where ever you move, so if you move again, do you have to notify everyplace you lived and say i live here now?

        • no one knows

          SEE BELOW… hope this helps:
          some questions, when you moved to wa what level were you? i am low level , but lifetime. how did you get off? — I WAS LEVEL “N/A” IN TEXAS. I STARTED REGISTRATION IN 1996 WHEN THERE WERE NO ASSIGNMENTS, THERE WAS NO SUCH THING AS LOW/HIGH, ETC.
          I HIRED AN ATTNY AND WENT THROUGH A ONE YEAR PROCESS OF GOING TO COURT TO FILE A PETITION TO GET REMOVED
          just because you are listed in texas, does not mean you are registered there. you now reside in wa. does iml still apply since you are no longer registered? – I HAVE NO IDEA IF IML APPLIES. SINCE I AM NOT REGISTERED ANYWHERE, I DONT THINK SO. I CALLED TXS DPS, THEY CONFIRMED, I HAVE NO DUTY TO PROVIDE ANY DETAILS OR REGISTER WITH THEM SINCE I MOVED OUT OF STATE. HOWEVER, MY INFORMATION WILL BE ON THEIR SO SITE FOREVER ( HER EXACT WORDS)
          also, how does someone change name and get new passport, the old one has old name, birth has old name? – IT DOES NOT HAVE MY OLD NAME.
          my understanding is you can only register in the location you live, not where you used to live.
          i was told you are now deregistered in texas, and you have to register in where ever you move, so if you move again, do you have to notify everyplace you lived and say i live here now? – EVERY STATE HAS DIFFERENT LAWS, YOU ARE STATING YOU ARE LIFETIME BUT ALSO STATING YOU ARE DEREGISTED, PLEASE PROVIDE SOME CLARIFICATIONS

  15. USA

    I reside in the OC. When registering, we register with administrative staff. There are no officers etc available. Every time I come, I typically have questions. No one seems to know? Furthermore, I’ve never seen or read anything on the paper work provided that provides any form of info regarding International Travel?

  16. USA

    Okay
    I just went on (Ca) the Megan’s Law website. On supplemental laws, it states you must notify your registering agency 21 days prior? Geez. If I drove down to OC, this would be a 1.5-2 hour process. They are supposed to have a form! Read it!

    • someone who cares

      USA ~ I like how it says “should” notify the agency 21 days prior to traveling and “should” includes dates and places. That sounds different to me then “must”. Also, it does not say whether it applies to registrants whose offense were not against a minor and who are not on the public site. One more thing, how is one to find out this information if they don’t have a spouse as they are not allowed by threat of incarceration to access the ML site?

      • AJ

        @someone who cares:
        You’re exactly right, “should” means it’s encouraged, but not mandatory. In a former job, we had all sorts of regulations from the Government. There were “should” items, meaning it was considered a best practice and was encouraged, and there were “shall” items (which later became “must”) that were mandatory.

        For the reasoning behind the change from “shall” to “must”, we were told “shall” can be interpreted as less than mandatory, i.e., “shall we go?” or “I shall check on that for you.”

      • AO

        @Someone Who Cares – The restriction for us on Megan’s Law website is the actual search function of RC’s. We’re not allowed to look up anyone, including ourselves (you’ll see the warning regarding this when trying to access the search portion). But the rest of the website is fine to access and has a lot of information and forms, including the Internet Exclusion form. It’s REALLY stupid law considering that there’s a million and one 3rd party websites where we can access this information if we wanted to “team up” to be bad with other RC’s. But the one place where the information is supposed to be accurate and often isn’t, we’re legally barred from verifying it unless we jump through stupid hoops like having your spouse or friend access it for you while you’re standing over their shoulders. I’m guessing it’s one of those rules they never revisited and enacted before before such information became mainstream.

    • David

      @ USA: *confused* Your Aug. 7 Comment states “I reside in the OC….”, then your Aug. 9 Comment states “Geez! If I drove down to OC this would be a 1.5-2 hour process. …”
      Unless there are two different “USA”s posting these comments, I don’t understand: Do you live in OC or not? And if you do, why would it take 1.5-2 hours to get there? And if you live 1.5-2 hours away from where you are registering, it seems you’re putting yourself at great risk for a registration violation. I’m just saying.
      (As for the 21-day travel notification to your registering agency, ACSOL has a copy of the State form that needs to be completed and submitted. Perhaps you can get a copy of it, complete all the details, mail it in via USPS certified, return receipt mail to your registering agency.)

  17. USA

    Great comment David. You sound like a real team player. I do live in OC! It takes no less than 30 mins to drive down to Santa Ana. We have something called traffic. Furthermore, by the time you park/wait in something called a lone/wait some more after you fill out the paper work, it’s at least another 30 mins. When I register, it takes no less than 1 hour once I arrive. You can process this anyway you desire/you seem like you like to control things, but the website states the place of registration has a form or document. I would prefer to receive some form of documentation. You can reply back and argue how correct you are, but these are facts. I haven’t read anything about registered mail etc, but you must know something everyone else doesn’t. Thanks

  18. Worried in Wisconsin

    I just sent in my passport for renewal early. My goal was to get the new passport with the IML marking now, so that when I get the visa I’m working on it will be attached to my new passport. I was worried that if the visa was attached to my old passport and it was revoked for not having the IML marking, I’d lose my visa and have lots of red tape to go through to get a new visa.

    So, I got the new passport today. Lo and behold, there is no IML marking. Since I’ve been sent to secondary screening each time I return to the US at passport control, I fully expected that I’d be given a new passport with the IML marking, especially since I’m on the registry with a minor victim.

    What gives?

    Perhaps it’s because my state is not SORNA compliant? Perhaps for some reason I’m not on the Angle Watch list? Perhaps they just missed it? Perhaps I was supposed to fill out some special form?

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome. I’d love to just assume I’m lucky, but this is the kind of luck that’s likely to kick me in the ass later on.

    • David Kennerly is Frightening and High

      Count yourself lucky that your passport is unmarked. It isn’t because your state isn’t SORNA-compliant, however. I think we do know that, right? People in California have gotten marked passports?

      But yes, you’re really lucky. I don’t think that that will bite you in any unexpected ways unless you assume that it means that no foreign countries will be notified of your status. That would be too lucky, I’m afraid.

      I think that it’s important to keep the two separate (though both illegitimate) functions of the government (in the case of Registrant travel) separate: Customs and Border Patrol/ Immigration which provides the security theatrics to which we are subjected on our return and the multi-agency assault on our right to travel, on the other. Our government is nothing if not complex and often contradictory. Plus, you always have to allow for its general incompetence which, on the whole, is probably its own saving grace.

    • NPS

      Interesting.
      1. Was the offense a misdemeanor or felony?
      2. Do you have an expungement or any dismissal equivalent in your state?
      3. Are you on a public registry, or is it non-public disclosure that police would only know?
      4. Was the minor 16-17 years of age (this may make a difference since in 30 states, it is the age of consent)?

      Questions for Californians who have a 17b (or misdemeanor offense), 1203.4, non-public disclosure, and minor victim (and yes you must meet all these criteria): Have you renewed your passport or received a rejection of the current one? If new, does it have the IML marking?

      • Worried in Wisconsin

        1. Felony
        2. No expungement or pardon
        3. Public Registry
        4. Under 16

        Can’t figure it out and have no idea if it’s best to leave it alone or contact State Department asking for clarification. My guess is no one there will know.

        • JM of Wi.

          @ worried in wi
          You also have your doc rep who you give 21 day notice to here in Wi. (if you’re not on paper)
          they can be a liaison to get info. They were better than clueless in March. Now they may be much better than clueless.

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