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General Comments February 2019

Comments that are not specific to a certain post should go here, for the month of February 2019. Contributions should relate to the cause and goals of this organization and please, keep it courteous and civil.

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  1. AJ

    For some reason, this pattern seems familiar: Gov’t creates list, promises to keep it close to vest, then somehow it spreads… For the life of me, I can’t recall where else this has come up.
    http://www.witf.org/news/2019/02/feds-admits-it-shares-terrorist-watchlist-with-1400-private-groups.php

  2. steve

    So I had my Price Club renewal today at the Van Nuys store. The employees were quite nice and and had decent conversation with all 3 as nobody else was there and nobody in line. First time ever I have seen that. I did bring up that I was going to Europe this summer and asked if I needed to bring in my itinerary due to Iml they said “No you don’t need to do anything”. As I was walking out I said if you don’t mind, I’m going to bring in my internary just so you have it on record. Again they said “you don’t have to do that you can call us and we’ll enter it in the computer”. And that’s just what I’m going to do. No more no less. He also brought up 2021 and petitioning to get off and said he hoped it works for me. Shook his hand and left.
    Easiest renewal in 21 years with no stress.

    • TS

      @steve

      If I may, I recommend you call that in as they say one month in advance and then follow up in writing by mail to be received 21 days in advance with tracking so you’re covered without issues. What they say and what really works to cover yourself are two different things. Enjoy Europe too!

    • AJ

      @steve:
      I agree with @TS and @R M: follow the Federal requirements in order to ensure you’re safe. Think of it this way: what if all those people you spoke with are no longer there when you submit it according to their understanding? And what if their replacements tell you 21 days *is* needed? Or worse, what if you do as they say, and then the US Marshals pull you off your flight and arrest you for failing to comply? In short, you have *everything* to lose if they are wrong; they have nothing to lose if they are wrong.

  3. E

    I have a question concerning termination of registration. I am in Ca. , which to my understanding is a non SORNA compliant state.
    SORNA lists my offense as a tier 1 offense, which dictates a 10 registration period, figuring in a 5 yr waiver for “good behavior”.
    My questions are:
    1. Which jurisdiction takes priority as applied to the IML and passports.
    2. If I re establish residence in a SORNA jurisdiction, do I then get to terminate my registration?
    3. Are ACSOL lawyers going to sight Federal guidelines in arguing the Ca. Tier 1 for misdomeanor CP offense?
    I ask here because I unfortunately can not attend the Sat. Mtg in Berkeley.

    Thx

    • Chris f

      IML is based on if you are on the public registry of any state, and if your offense was against a minor. I dont remember if cp counts.

      If you change states, it depends on the states laws of who registers or not. It is usually based on your offense being similar to one of their qualifying offences regardless of if your registration expired in the state of conviction.

      Your post made me think of something about the new california tiers and old ones. With IML being based on the feds version of Sorna being followed, a state that includes more on their list than that is clearly guilty of violating equal protection. It isnt the feds fault states dont follow guidlines that were set that IML assumes were followed to make someone worthy of international banishment or death.

      • Joe

        I don’t think that is correct. IML has 2 components – the 21 day notification and the Passport Identifier.

        The 21 day notification requirement applies to anyone who has ever been convicted of a sex offense. Yes that includes those no longer having to register – those whose term is up or those who got relief due to a court order. This was an issue in the first IML law suit where a notice was sent and entry denied on someone no longer required to register. The government dismissed it with an “ooops, we usually don’t do that”, but it can and did happen. Legally.

        The Passport Identifier applies to all who are currently required to register for an offense against a minor. While it cannot be helpful to still be listed on a public registry (i.e. Florida) when no longer required to register in the state of residence, those two parameters must be present. Current registration requirement for an offense against a minor. Also not sure on CP, but would imagine it is a covered offense.

        • TS

          @Joe

          No, 21 day notice is for ALL REGISTERED registrants (which is duplicate). If you aren’t registered, then no req’t to inform.

          https://www.usmarshals.gov/megans-law-faqs.html

          https://smart.gov/international_travel.htm

          https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2011/01/11/2011-505/supplemental-guidelines-for-sex-offender-registration-and-notification

          We’ve had this discussion before here in this forum. The government does write it such that it appears confusing to include all, but if one is off the registry, you aren’t responsible to the registering jurisdiction.

        • Chris f

          You are right. I was thinking just about the marking.

        • SCOTUS Oral Arguments

          https://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/2015/15-5238_0pm1.pdf

          OLD I know, but I was surprised to see that SCOTUS was equally confused and dismayed at both the Attorneys General’s expansion to the guidelines and lack of clarity involved in whose job is what.

        • Joe

          Of course the 21 day notice is for all, as those eligible for the identifier (currently registered for an offense against a minor) are a sub-set of those convicted (a prerequisite to be covered in the first place).

          Yes, this discussion has been had before, and again you think it is helpful for some reason to cite laws that were created before IML became law in February 2016. Why you continue to list laws and guidelines from 2006 and 2011 is odd. And the USMS Fact Sheet is as vague as it gets. On purpose? Hmmmm….

          Here are definitions from 34 U.S. Code § 21502, updated the day IML was signed.

          (2) Convicted
          The term “convicted” has the meaning given the term in section 111 of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C. 16911).[1]

          (3) Covered sex offender
          Except as otherwise provided, the term “covered sex offender” means an individual who is a sex offender by reason of having been convicted of a sex offense against a minor.

          To ever have to register requires a qualifying conviction. To stop registering because your time is up does not erase your conviction. Even a dismissal in California is not necessarily an expungement on the federal level. This comes down to the verb “is” a sex offender. “Is” one a covered sex offender because one currently registers? Or “is” one a covered sex offender because one “has been” convicted of a sex offense against a minor?

          In one of the IML workshops at a ACSOL Conference I am pretty sure the presenting (and former registrant) attorney advised such persons to provide notice. Which confuses the hell out of the local PD, but just in case. Because this is anything but clear.

          “”If you aren’t registered, then no req’t to inform. ” You really should quit saying that with your air of authority. You are going to get people arrested and rot in Federal Prison. I hope everyone does their own research, and base their decision on how to proceed on that.

        • Ftw

          I am no longer required to register as per court ordered relief from my state of residence. I am not on any states registry. I personally spoke to the US Marshall in charge of the Angel watch center and he informed me that iml does not apply to me, that it only applies to currently registered sex offenders. I called the state police in my state and was told that iml does not apply. (non-sorna state) I think I will take their word for it because any violation would definitely go through their hands for prosecution, therefore they definitely know who will be deemed non-compliant and prosecuted regardless of how the law is interpreted by you, him, her, or me.

        • AJ

          The way they toss around and use the term “sex offender” in the laws and AG guidelines, it does appear that, once convicted, one has to notify no matter what.

          AWA/SORNA defines “sex offender” as, “an individual who was convicted of a sex offense” (34 U.S.C. 29011(1)). That’s pretty clear and is irrespective of one’s registration obligation–and possibly even if having received a pardon or an expungement.

          IML (Public Law 114-119) Section 3, amends 34 U.S.C. 21504 (née 42 U.S.C. 16935c) to define “sex offender” as the above definition OR “a person required to register under the sex offender registration program of any jurisdiction or included in the National Sex Offender Registry.” In other words, anyone convicted of a sexual offense OR (not AND) anyone on a ML (i.e. not convicted of a sex offense but registering, perhaps due to insanity defense, a railroading judge, or similar).

          To me, this reads to mean even someone who has been pardoned is still covered by SORNA, as a pardon does not remove the conviction. So even though officially forgiven, one would still not be in fact forgiven and fully restored.

          Expungement would seem again to dip into murkiness. It would definitely be helpful to find how the Feds define expungement as it pertains to sex offenses. From what I found regarding firearms (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/921), expungement can result in status quo ante, i.e. the conviction doesn’t count. There’s also a status quo ante provision for some drug possessors (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/3607). I didn’t look at the remaining “shop-teacher handfuls” (read: 9) of results I got, but I would be surprised if they don’t also offer status quo ante with expungement. To make a long story longer, it would seem it could play to our favor in a court case if we could point out that *only* sex offense expungements don’t result in status quo ante. It would sure point to more singling out of a disfavored class of people.

          In summary, the black-and-white text of SORNA indicates to me that conviction itself, regardless of registration requirements, is what triggers a continuing requirement to notify, with no discernible means of ending or escaping it. (One would hope this would raise the eyebrows of courts.) Even as a “Tier Zero” (i.e. done with Tier I or II time frames) one still meets the reporting criteria as written. My personal opinion is Congress didn’t mean it that way, but in the rush to twist the arms of the States, got sloppy in defining. Regardless, we’re stuck with it as it reads.

          P.S. Tedious post-script: Congress editorially reclassified 42 U.S.C. 16935c as 34 U.S.C. 21504 (http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title42/chapter151&edition=prelim and (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/16935c; “Notes” tab). I wonder how or if this may somehow someday play to our favor in courts. Compare what’s in Title 42, “Public Health and Welfare,” (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42) with what’s in Title 34, “Crime Control and Law Enforcement” (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/34). The Code definitely changed neighborhoods! What was it SCOTUS said about where the laws are placed? Sure looks funny moving things from Health and Welfare to Crime Control and LE.

        • TS

          And if you read in the 2011 SORNA Supplement Guidelines I have posted previously and can be found on the SMART website and are in effect today as is (nothing superseded it), it specifically calls out registrants, which are sex offenders who have registered per SORNA, that have to give notice for international travel. They do mix in sex offenders synonymously also to add confusion. If registrants weren’t important, they would’ve stayed with sex offenders to begin with and carried it throughout.

          Now, I see @Joe’s definition point from the law and how @AJ articulated it to the end, which is to a T spot on IMO. As I said before 2006 started it, 2011 refined it, 2016 added to it, and all three tie together, confusing as they may be. A clean up would be nice but don’t hold your breath (they may want to add more at that time too).

          I also see a 2017 USMS IML FAQ page, provided, which is backed by @Ftw input as well as my own legal inquiries on this confusing situation which back @Ftw input.

          No one is going to go to jail if they do their research and ask questions to do a CYA move. One can ask USMS, SMART office, their local registration contact, or all them.

    • AO @ E

      You may be able to move to a different state that is SORNA and get off the registry there, but CA doesn’t remove anyone from the registry unless you go through CA laws. And since you still have to register with CA and still have the conviction on your record, IML should still apply. At least that’s how I understand it.

    • AJ

      @E:
      1. It’s not so much a “priority” of jurisdiction as it is the dual sovereignty under which our country operates. A citizen is subject to Federal AND State laws. Therefore, if the Feds say you must do this or that regarding IML and the passport, you as a citizen must do it. States (and only States…not PR, GU, AS, etc.) have the 10th Amdt. on their side which allows them to disregard Federal laws. It’s only through “encouraging” (SCOTUS’ word) the States via the withholding of some funding that the Feds are able to “make” (my word) the States follow laws.

      2. Your registration requirements in whichever jurisdiction you settle will be dependent on that jurisdiction’s laws. You might be free from registration, you might be compelled to register again for a term, you might be required to register for life. (IIRC, the only way to avoid registration in LA is by acquittal. Even a pardon isn’t good enough in that swamp of a State.)

      3. I’m non-CA, but from everything I’ve read on here, yes…in time. I think ACSOL is avoiding roiling the waters anymore/too much until the law is in effect. I believe the anxiety about the changes to ML in CA will make any near-future changes risky. It may take a couple years after implementation to correct the CP tiering. That’s all IMHO, mind you.

      *****

      @Chris f:
      Yes, CP counts. Also, I disagree about the Feds being at fault. It’s the Feds who decided national “standardization” was necessary in order to keep RCs from fleeing to a friendlier jurisdiction. Apparently the Feds didn’t feel the States could handle that issue themselves….or perhaps it was “would”?

  4. Illinois Contact

    Still mystified about how to comply with the 21 day requirement. At my annual renewal today at the Chicago Police Department main headquarters at 35th and Michigan, I told the officer that I might be traveling out of the country and had heard there was a new 21 day advance notification requirement, and the officer said they had not been told about it and as far as they were concerned, the foreign travel requirement for Illinois registrants is the same as in this country — come in three days before leaving to register a change of address and then come back in within three days of returning and change back to my home address. I prodded saying I had heard it was a federal law with stiff penalties, and my officer called across to a more “senior” looking officer and asked him, and he replied it’s the same three day notice, just bring in your passport and itinerary. He said they had processed many foreign travelers this way and never had any problems.

    My officer suggested that if I wanted to pursue it I could call the Illinois State Police. They all seemed pleasant but insisted they were right.

    Now, I don’t think I want to report this to the state police (let sleeping dogs lie). But I don’t want to get arrested at the airport for breaking a federal law. Illinois is not SORNA complaint, but it’s my understanding from reading comments here that the IML is not dependent on that. Chicago registration is very big — there were 40-50 people waiting when I arrived and it took 3 hours or so for me to get through it. I can’t believe that if the 21 day notice applied to me the officers would not know about it.

    • TS

      @IL POC

      But you aren’t changing your address with the intent to relocate. What are you supposed to change it to, Holiday Inn Express?

      You’re traveling. Send it in to receive at 21 days or before with tracking. CYA is best for you.

    • AJ

      @IL POC:
      I agree with @TS: follow the Federal requirements. That CPD has no idea what you’re talking about isn’t surprising. Since IL is non-SORNA, there’s little incentive for the State and its agents (here, CPD is a State agent by doing the ML work). That doesn’t change the obligation of the citizen (read: YOU) in complying with Federal law. Dual sovereignty requires you to comply with State AND Federal laws.

      As an aside, I don’t believe Federal law requires you to bring in your passport. I believe it only requires submission of the information. So unless IL requires you to bring it in (i.e. State sovereignty), I would just mail everything…perhaps including a photocopy of the picture page of your passport just to be kind/safe.

      As I’ve said before and elsewhere: what does CPD have to lose if it’s wrong? Nothing. What do you have to lose if CPD/ILSP is wrong? Possibly everything.

      Finally, note that IML only requires *submitting* the information 21 days in advance–not ensuring the Feds *have* the information. What IL does with the info you give is up to IL. When, or even if, they give it to the Feds is up to IL and is between IL and the Feds. More than anything, you want to have proof you submitted the info in compliance with Federal law.

      • TS

        @IL POC & @steve

        Keep two copies of what you send in too. One copy on you and another in your travel bag. Ounce of prevention…

        • AJ

          …plus a third copy in the cloud in case you need to retrieve it somehow.

  5. E

    From what I have read, It is clear that there is as many views and “understandings” of the law as there is registrants. Lawyers don’t have clear answers. Judges don’t have clear answers. Advocates don’t have clear answers. Law enforcement doesn’t have
    clear answers.
    So Federal law doesn’t supersede state law, wait yes it does! IML doesn’t apply to post registry, wait yes it does.
    I guess I will just hold my breath until my opportunity to leave the country and put this mess behind me.

    • AJ

      @E:
      It’s not so much multiple understandings. The answers are often dependent on the specific details of one’s situation. Yes, there are indeed some fuzzy parts yet to be adjudicated, but plenty is pretty clear. To be honest, in some ways the confusion among lawyers, judges, and advocates can play into one’s hands, as it would perhaps allow for an argument of unconstitutional vagueness. But that’s for another day. 🙂

      Federal law is wholly separate from State law, however dual sovereignty means *citizens* must comply with both Federal AND State law. On the other hand, the 10th Amdt. gives *States* the right to ignore Federal laws at times. Be sure you’re not confusing Federal law and Federal Constitutional requirements/rights.

      IML doesn’t apply post-registry because one of the two criteria to make someone subject to IML is being on a public registry. (On a registry AND offense against a minor.)

      • JesusH

        Does it really say ‘public’ registry? I’m in California, and I’m on the registry but not visible on the state’s website. Do they really make that distinction?

        • AO @ JesusH

          AJ used a short hand. It’s if you have to register with any jurisdiction and have a conviction against a minor. It being public or hidden doesn’t matter.

        • AJ

          @JesusH:
          I apologize for my poor wording. I was meaning the States’ registries (because the Feds have their own super-secret one, IIRC), regardless of whether one’s info is publicized or not. The IML text actually says those on the, “National Sex Offender Registry,” and further defines that as meaning those required to register in accordance with Section 119 of AWA (34 U.S.C. 20919). In other words IML covers anyone required to register, regardless whether or not one’s info is public-facing, AND with an offense against a minor, as defined by AWA Section 111 (34 U.S.C 20911).

          Perhaps a better way of summarizing it is: offense involving a minor (including “intent” offenses) AND required to register in any jurisdiction. This *should* mean being on a jurisdiction’s registry but not required to register with that jurisdiction means not being subject to IML. Clear as mud? 🙂

  6. E

    I was just listening to news and noticed that the actor that filed a false police report was out on $100,000 bail, faced up to 3 yrs in jail, plus other fines.
    In comparison, My case had R.O.R. (I spent a total of 3 hrs in custody) , probation, and $1800 in fines. Obviously my offense in the eyes of the law was considered a much less serious offense. Comparing the two judgements , how then can any sane person not argue that the addition of the registry isn’t designed as punishment !

  7. mike r

    Whatever happened to that guy that got relief by moving out of the country and moving back? Remember he was supposed to be writing a book or some crap on how he did it.

  8. troy

    as I was surfing the net came along a interesting piece,i might be grasping for straws,but I looked up certain countries s/o registration laws,came across Germanys laws,also(it said the states) came upon a listing 11th listing down from there, it stated when moving,tell the registar (I guess public safety) you demand your name off the list,and tell them where you move you want it private…you would have to see the article to know more… I know it sounds crazy, but if anyone can make sense of this (I’m not saying you shouldn’t register)

  9. Tired Old Man

    NOTICE:

    Next week, a “sex offender” case will come for oral arguments before the Supreme Court. The case is US. v Haymond and deals with the standard of proof required before imposing a sanction.

  10. E

    A lawyer representing the coast guard Lt. made an interesting comment. He said, “ We in America don’t arrest and convict someone for surfing the internet”. Really? We don’t?

  11. Unconstitutional- amicus, SCOTUS

    Wanted to share this for those who have not seen all the arguments brought against SORNA and its breach of authority in policing individuals intrastate activities that have no baring on commerce.

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/17/17-6086/48700/20180530154721426_17-6086%20Amicus%20Brief.pdf

  12. NY won’t let go

    Saw a local news report today regarding foreigners traveling for intercourse with minors. Apparently since the IML thing where people have been getting barred from all the surrounding countries they have been coming here.

    So far there have been no talks of a registry as they found it would be inhumane and cause more harm than good, but they did come up with a nifty app to help take down human trafficking rings. So far it has had over 300 reports and led to taking down quite a few of the syndicates that were making cp and selling kids.

    I would share the story, but I would rather keep my current living area less hectic as this is becoming a very hot issue here with new reports every day.

  13. mike r

    Man another one bites the dust with the elimination of the statute of limitations BS. R Kelly, some rapper or some crap. Hey 50 years ago Joe blow put his arm around me. SEXUAL ASSAULT, SEXUAL ASSAULT…… Remember someone talking about Barney Fife anyone? Citizens arrest, citizens arrest…. Damn they can arrest and convict half my junior high school. At least half… And you are talking at least 70-80% of my high school. You know who these people are that are doing all this crap? They are that other 20-30% that were not getting laid in high school or were the ones getting picked on in school. Shit all the rock stars from back in the day, and the Beatles and the who, Elvis, man there is no end, especially when all you have to do is be a woman and yell SEXUAL ASSAULT, SEXUAL ASSAULT…. Give me money or know my name. I am cool and rich now….

    • AJ

      @mike r:
      R. K3lly has been guilty as sin for some time, but managed to lawyer and buy his way out of things time and again. I forget exactly how he beat the CP rap in 2008. He’s definitely been a repeat offender, and hasn’t been shy or discreet about his activities…though he denied up and down. The events for which he’s been charged are from 1998-2010, so at least the tail end of that time frame (< 10 yrs) is not long in terms of a statute of limitation. Going back to 1998 is a long-arm reach, but if the statute of limitations covering this span of years existed then, it's game on, like it or not.

      The case that I'm watching is the J3ffrey Epst3in one. The Miami Herald is all over this stinking, steaming heap of government favoritism. Given the amount of big names associated with his sweet plea deal (including then-US-Atty and current Labor Secretary Alex Acosta), I'm guessing things could get quite ugly if the scab is pulled back. The judge has already found the US Attorney's office in FL violated the Crime Victims' Rights Act. (https://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article226577419.html) It would be downright *awesome* if this case gets re-opened (which it can, as the article lays out) and a few really big shots get implicated. From the article: "Future president Donald Trump, former president Bill Clinton, lawyer Alan Dershowitz, Prince Andrew and other world leaders, scientists and academics were friends with Epstein, who also owns a vast home in Manhattan, a private jet, and an island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he now lives." Think maybe one or two of his friends, even if not those named, aided and abetted in some manner? Personally, I find it incredulous nobody else knew, especially since it included traveling to and from NY, too.
      Think RC laws will be reconsidered if one or more of VIP friends get taken down? Maybe they won't be looking down their noses so much at Wi3ner…

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