ACSOL’s Conference Calls

Conference Call Recordings Online
Dial-in number: 1-712-770-8055, Conference Code: 983459

Monthly Meetings | Recordings (3/20 Recording Uploaded)
Emotional Support Group Meetings


MA: Court Recognizes Harm to Registrants, Rules in Their Favor

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Council, the state’s supreme court, has ruled in favor of registrants who were trying either to terminate their duty to register or to change the tier level on which they were situated. In doing so, the Court recognized that there are significant challenges facing registrants including stigma and legal restrictions that make it more difficult to find stable housing or employment. The Court also recognized that the effects of registration are “continuing, intrusive, and humiliating” and could lead to threats of physical harm. Further, the Court recognized that dissemination of a registrant’s personal information and photo on the internet magnifies these effects.

“The Court’s rulings in these two cases are truly monumental,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “They speak the truth that so many courts have avoided.”

In addition to its recognition that the requirement to register causes harm to registrants, the Court determined that registrants have a right to counsel in court hearings when they seek either to have their requirement to register terminated or reclassification to a lower tier. The Court also determined that the government, not the registrant, bears the burden of proving that a registrant poses a current risk of re-offense as well as a degree of dangerousness by “clear and convincing” evidence.

“This is a tougher standard than the ordinary preponderance of evidence applied in ordinary civil cases,” stated ACSOL Board Member and recently retired law professor Ira Ellman.

In its decision, the Court noted that over classification of registrants into higher than necessary tiers “strains public resources.” In the State of Massachusetts, a total of 38 factors are considered in order to determine whether a registrant is required to continue registering. By comparison, the widely used Static-99 uses only 10 factors.

Both of the Court’s decisions were issued on the same day. Separate links to both cases follows below.

Doe v. Sex Ofndr Reg Board – Mass 2018 (terminating registration)

Doe v. Sex Ofndr Reg Board – reclassif – Mass – 2018


MA: Court: Board needs proof in sex offender reclassification

We welcome a lively discussion with all view points - keeping in mind...  
  • Your submission will be reviewed by one of our volunteer moderators. Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  • Please keep the tone of your comment civil and courteous. This is a public forum.
  • Please stay on topic - both in terms of the organization in general and this post in particular.
  • Please refrain from general political statements in (dis)favor of one of the major parties or their representatives.
  • Please take personal conversations off this forum.
  • We will not publish any comments advocating for violent or any illegal action.
  • We cannot connect participants privately - feel free to leave your contact info here. You may want to create a new / free, readily available email address.
  • Please refrain from copying and pasting repetitive and lengthy amounts of text.
  • Please do not post in all Caps.
  • If you wish to link to a serious and relevant media article, legitimate advocacy group or other pertinent web site / document, please provide the full link. No abbreviated / obfuscated links.
  • We suggest to compose lengthy comments in a desktop text editor and copy and paste them into the comment form
  • We will not publish any posts containing any names not mentioned in the original article.
  • Please choose a user name that does not contain links to other web sites
  • Please send any input regarding moderation or other website issues to moderator [at] all4consolaws [dot] org
ACSOL, including but not limited to its board members and agents, does not provide legal advice on this website.  In addition, ACSOL warns that those who provide comments on this website may or may not be legal professionals on whose advice one can reasonably rely.  
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Reading this brought tears to my eyes. Someone actually acknowledging what we go through is huge!

Finally some sanity in an insane situation..

Norm, (Mr Pattis I presume)
The whole SORNA boondoggle was too plotted, planned & deliberate to be a product of insanity. Scape goats for surveillance saints plain and simple.

I haven’t even read these yet but it appears everything I have been saying for few years now. Finally people are bringing real suits. and to think it doesn’t even sound like the smith decision and Kennedy’s language or recidividm rates were even mentioned. Just a guess since i haven’t read this yet. I think the court is going to be upset in my case that lays it all out. I like the following right off. I guess they made the point about current photo and addresses. Though they may have not stated it i think those are protected liberty… Read more »

And even more important is the despicable harm imposed on the innocent children of registrants who’s parent’s manner and behavior indicates they are no longer a threat.

These are great! Finally, courts are beginning to publically acknowledge the obvious and state the truth!!

Could someone clue me in if this was a Massachusetts State Court Decision or a Case within the 1st Circuit?

Could someone clue me in if this was a Massachusetts State Court Decision or a Case within the 1st Circuit?
State Court of Last Resort: “The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Council, the state’s supreme court….”

I wonder how the legislature is going to try to spin this with some lame assss attempted fix? It appears to me that the registry is a wrap in MA unless they conduct hearings on every single individual and show by clear and convincing evidence that an individual should be on a registry and poses a significant enough risk. It is interesting because the court is still putting the onus upon the individual to initiate the proceedings with some type of evidence that should be reviewed but does not say what type, just that something has to be different. It… Read more »

Are the 1st and 2nd Circuits Federal Courts then?


This might help with the overall concept of US courts:

In short, there are First and Second federal circuit courts.

FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you MA

How do less “risk factors” automatically make a “test” more credible? People are a lot more complicated than 10 — or even 38 — questions. My question is whether the 38 risk factors exaggerate less than how the 10 Static-99 “risk factors” exaggerated 500% to 600% for California SVPs. Also, were the 38 risk factors validated by a study (or studies) not enveloped in conflicts of interests, business interests, as well as top “secret” data? Because with the Static-99 and Static-99R, the “studies,” unfortunately, are plagued with conflicts of interests, special interests — and are ultimately protected by the excuse… Read more »

Wow and I have barely started reading this. Exactly what i have been saying, it is on them to prove by “clear and convincing evidence,” my verbatim statement. Matter of fact I say they have to provide this hearing in front of a jury and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person presents more than jut a risk even, but a imminent risk. This is awesome so far….

I don’t think a jury would be good on this issue. they (public) would hang us as soon as they knew what the hearing was about. Questionable if they would even bother to listen or just wait to vote.

Correct. And low-level judges are not likely to vote in our favor either. Ask Judge Persky about that. Oh wait, you can’t. The voters fired him. This has to go to SCOTUS. That’s the only way. Otherwise it’s just going to wind up like the great bait and switch scam that was the amendment to 290 PC. Give several thousand people a chance to get off the public registry, (But not a real, actual chance that will prevail.) but add another 10,000 or so to the public registry who were not previously on it. People everywhere hate us us. Mostly… Read more »

Is the general consensus that no one will get off the CA reformed tiered registry or is that just your viewpoint?

@JonC – while I fully expect there will be examples across the state of California in 2021 of people who should be released from registration that won’t be I also expect there will be plenty of success stories as well. A lot will likely depend on your behavior both pre-and post conviction as well as the county in which you reside in. And for anyone who has a full expungement and dismissal I don’t see how they could possibly deny you.

@Mr. D – “And for anyone who has a full expungement and dismissal I don’t see how they could possibly deny you.”

Well right now, there’s going to be thousands on people on Tier 3 with “expengments” and no way to move down tiers and/or be released. So I wouldn’t be that surprised as CA’s expungment holds almost no real weight when it comes to RC’s.

@AO – well I’m certainly not an attorney I believe the language as a relates to designate in tears has to do with the word conviction or convicted of. That being the case I don’t see how anyone who’s had their charges completely dismissed would not be at a minimum Tier 1. Now I could definitely see the state taking months and potentialy a year or more to try and figure out what tier to put somebody in who’s had a complete dismissal and expungement. But if the state was to take an individual who had as I described above… Read more »

@Mr. D – I and I’m pretty sure everyone here hopes that you’re correct. Only time will tell how strict they’ll make the release qualifications and process. I’m sure the first year, if not longer, will be fairly chaotic for everyone. It’ll probably take some time and many lawsuits to really finalize everything. But hopefully all the very positive progress that’s been happening elsewhere will leak into CA. Or better yet, all the way to SCOTUS and have the whole damn thing struct down.

Pro Se even… Man what a boast…Thank you Janice and team for posting this so quickly. This is exactly what we need, more decisions like this. And apparently MA already requires classification hearings with all the safeguards but this just puts the burden of proof back where it belongs, on the frigging militant gov. Oh soooo beautifully articulated. I bet the judge in my Pro Se case is going to be looking at these other cases going hmmm, giving pause. Especially since CA has no classification hearings at all not even in this wanna be new tiered bill. It is… Read more »

I hope that CA Supreme Court doesn’t ignore this and they see that the government and society have been wrong about this for many years and they finally make a change aside form the tier system.

I cannot get over the statement “by clear and convincing evidence” and the current photo and current address statements. Those are protected liberty interest just as I have been saying. This court stated everything our collaboration has been stating in my case. Like I stated they did not even touch on the Smith lies and legislative deceit or the solicitor general’s bogus claims used in McKlune v Lile, or the recidivism reports or issues…..This is really something with the way the court took control of the Pro Se case and even though the guy passed away they continued the case… Read more »

I love how they say ten years is to long to wait as well…How many things can change in those ten years that could change a persons risk and status.

Somebody please pinch me!!!

Gotta love MA! If there’s ONE thing Massachusetts has been a pioneer in, it’s progressive/forward thinking.

Wow, compare Massachusetts to pre-historic dinosaur states like Florida. Florida’s ass-backwards thinking isn’t even on the MAP, that’s how far-off they are.

I am having trouble finding the text of the MA tiered registry bill. What’s the link for that?

You know if we can get Congress to wake up and realize that the S.O.R has been found unconstitutional in some of our country’s top courts and the Millions of dollars it takes to operate and defend the S.O.R then congress could possibly gain support to rewrite the registry to withstand the test of constitutional laws! Just my thoughts!

I understand what your saying but screw that, we need a good ruling stating the perimeters that the legislature must follow. If they get a chance to rewrite it or amend it, or straight scrap it and start over, there needs a US SC ruling so this does not just move the goal post, no if it is up to the legislative branch on this then it will string out for decades more. I want my case, or a similar case, but I have seen none challenging every issue that I am nor with all the evidence as in my… Read more »

I hear you but we do NOT want a LE-only registry! That still means constant updating of changes, of travel and international travel. You’re exactly right: they have what they need from our criminal history and our DMV records (address). That’s ALL they should have. NO LE-only registry is needed or ok.

I agree with E, mike r; not even a law-enforcement registry is acceptable. No registry at all. You do the crime, you do your time, then that’s it. You should be able to get on with your life.

As E said, access to everyone’s criminal history is already accessible to all law-enforcement personnel, and many others within government at all levels who think they need it.

Agree, I will be arguing that any registry is arbitrary, even LE registry since like we all know and it is a fact that the LE already have access to all our records and addresses and everything they need so a LE registry is arbitrary anyways. I agree, no registry and like I stated I will be pushing for nothing less. I am also not going to let them rule on one issue and not rule on every issue I brought in my complaint. Nine issues, nine rulings, nothing less will cut it….

I’m wondering the same thing too. If the ‘widely used’ Static-99 scam only uses 10 risk factors, then people are pretty limited in what they can change moving forward. You can’t do much to improve yourself so that any of the 10 risk factors go down. At least Massachusetts’ risk assessment takes risk factors that people can change present… and moving forward. You aren’t locked in the past with Massachusetts’ risk assessment; but with the Static scam—you are literally locked in your Static past! Either way I agree… do away with minority report bullshit altogether. We all know it’s junk… Read more »

Harm to one’s name and reputation is a liberty interest and always was despite what the court determined in Alaska v Doe.

Good name in man and woman, dear my Lord. Is the immediate jewel of their souls; He who steal my purse steals trash, is something and nothing, twas mine, tis his, and has been slave to thousands. But he that flitches from me my good name, robs me of that which not enriches him and makes me poor indeed. -W. Shakespeare – Othello

Many countries have L.E. registries and, but for what they consider severe offenses, such as rape and molestation. The registries are confidential and the offender is allowed to live their lives with minimal interference. The U.S. could easily adopt this policy with about the same fanfare as the I.M.L. got. , which very few people, registrant or not, even are aware of. But that would mean admitting that the system created doesn’t work, and if there is one thing that we should all have become aware of, the American politician has the biggest ego on earth, and can never admit… Read more »

Whether it could or not, the US should NOT adopt a LE-only registry in lieu of what exists now. Especially not in this day, when criminal record databases are all pretty much linked together anyway. They already have access to everything they need to know about everyone.

Registries do not prevent crimes, nor do they protect the public. They are just wrong in every way. Once someone has completed their sentence, that should be it. They should be allowed to continue their lives as normal citizens.

need to find a lawyer who can help me off the list in ma. over twenty five yrs. on. no new charges. alcohol free for 26 yrs. 70 yrs.old

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x