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FL: Oppose HB 987: Public Lodging Establishments

[ – 4/17/19]


On April 10th, The Florida House of Representatives amended House Bill 987: Public Lodging Establishments, to require Persons required to register as sex offenders report to the Sheriff’s office where they will be staying, 48 hours before an intended stay at a Public Lodging Establishment, regardless of how long they will stay at the location!

In addition, operators of a Public Lodging Establishment who have a Person required to register as a sex offender staying at or within 1000 feet of their establishment, must notify all guests staying there.

Not only will this be impossible to comply with (you will need to report to the local Sheriff 48 hours before even arriving!), but burdens the travel rights of persons who have served their time and without any individualized assessment of their risk to the community.

It is IMPORTANT that you contact your legislator to tell them to OPPOSE this bill! NOW!

Read more

Related links:

ACLU to Oppose HB 987 [ – 4/18/19



Join the discussion

  1. Robert

    Where to lodge for registered citizens? Well there is the RV world and travel. I often travel and live out of the back of my truck. You might think how dreadful. It’s actually quite freeing. Being on the registry we need to be aware of local state laws. ie. In AZ. There is a 10 day registration requirement but in CO. it’s 14 days. While in NV. I was told by law enforcement the requirement is 48 hours but it is enforced county by county. For the lifestyle of living on wheels check out YouTube videos from Bob Wells on cheap RV living. They have an annual event called the RTR. I was there in Quartzite AZ. This year. YouTube search: RTR 2019. All was free with seminars, dancing music and other training and social events. Again all was free!

    • Lake County

      I had actually watched several of the RTR videos during the event. There are several RV and camper van YouTuber’s I regularly watch. It’s a lifestyle I often dream of. However, all these registration requirements make this seem impossible.

      How often do you live on the road? Do you have a central location where you regularly register or do you just avoid registration completely? Please tell me more on how this works (or doesn’t).

      • Worried In Wisconsin

        It involves being on top of the rules in the jurisdiction where you are and where you will go next. It involves carefully planning out where you’ll park for the night. And it most importantly involves careful planning to be sure that you are not somewhere long enough to trigger the requirement to register or check in with local officials. Gotta do your homework.

        We travel in an RV during vacation time – it can be done but it does take some work.

        • E

          @ Worried and Lake County.

          Good feedback on the question. But how and when does the Federal SORNA speak into this? If a state has a longer time than the three days mentioned in the federal law, what takes precedence? And how would one know?

  2. Harry

    The sun is too hot on the head in Florida or is it something else?

    • It's me the baaadguy

      Robert please don’t help our cause anymore !!!
      The last thing we need is more dumb arise ….just go along with the sick, twisted abusive sarades. …!!!! Thanks Pal !!!!

  3. Bill

    Floridah and yet another useless law.

  4. USA

    Intriguing. I can truly respect the idea that we have laws! I can also respect courts, justice and the need for probation/parole. Yet, Florida is out of control. My view has been that we bring people to justice in the hope of rehabilitating them! Yet, this laws clearly do nothing to help those wanting to help themselves. It makes no sense!!

    • FL RC

      I know people who were in probation in the time I was serving myself with different charges from robbery, drugs, assault and even homicide. We all finished our probation sentences and I keep in contact with some of them from time to time. They are living like regular citizens with all the full benefits of a citizen (jobs, housing, traveling, etc.) With the exception of me of course. They are scratching their heads at my situation with all of these ” post sentence ” laws and regulations. One even told me, ” it’s like you finished your regular sentence and jumped into another sentence ” …. And that’s exactly what it feels like. Only in FL, it’s forever. Even after death.

  5. Worried In Wisconsin

    This is nothing more than an attempt to bar all registers persons from staying at any public lodging in Florida. They’ve proposed a rule which is physically impossible to comply with – how can you give notice in person to a sheriff 48 hours BEFORE you arrive?

    On top of that, this would require the operator of the hotel to notify all the other guests of your presence. If this passes, there is no way that any hotel would rent a room to anyone on the registry.

    Why not just pass a law prohibiting registered persons from staying at a hotel? It would be easier to understand and be more honest.

  6. Stacie

    This is the second year that Missouri Representative Chrissy Sommer has proposed this same bill in Missouri (HB 597). Our legislative session will close May 19th and I am praying it will not pass (25% through and I don’t want to draw attention to it now). I sent out letters last year; however, other issues (related to registry) have taken priority this year.
    What kind of country makes it imoossible to live anywhere due to residency requirements and then try to ban people from lodging facilities?

  7. Worried In Wisconsin

    Hearing that the same bill was proposed in another state, I instantly want to know if this is on the ALEC playlist.

    Those people have done lots of damage in our country, pushing legislation that serves the needs of corporations or industry rather than the people living in the state.

    Anyone have access to ALEC that can look this one up?

  8. Worried In Wisconsin

    Answering someone’s question from above…

    If I am away from home from 7 or more day I always notify my home state of my travel plans with a basic itinerary. My reading of the statute is that the 3-day requirement is for changes in primary residence. I got this from the Final SORNA National Guidelines…

    “…The authority under SORNA § 114(a)(7) is accordingly exercised to
    provide that jurisdictions must require sex offenders to provide information about
    any place in which the sex offender is staying when away from his residence for
    seven or more days…”

    I’m not a lawyer, so others should verify this and make their own decisions. My home state is not SORNA compliant, so I can only do so much towards compliance on my own. Fortunately, my state does not require in-person appearance to update on most things, so a written note by email is usually sufficient. My note usually starts with something like “In compliance with Federal rules, I am notifying you of my intended travel to_____ on the following dates:_____”

    A little OCD? Perhaps. Fully guarantee I’ll never have an issue? Probably not. But it’s where I’ve decided to land in relation to doing what I can to comply while still living my life.

  9. AJ

    I wasn’t going to comment on this asinine law, but since @TS goaded me a bit elsewhere, here I am. Is the law truly impossible to follow, or merely extremely inconvenient or difficult? I hate to say it, but I can conceive of two tedious ways to comply. Setting that aside for now, there is some Court of Appeals case law dealing with impossible laws. The case most cited in my research is United States v. Spingola, 464 F.2d 909 (7th Cir. 1972) ( or A quick list of cases citing it can be found here:,25&sciodt=6,25&hl=en. The key phrase from this case is found at 911: “Genuine impossibility is a proper defense to a crime of omission. W. LaFave & A. Scott, Jr., Handbook on Criminal Law 188 (1972).”

    Now back to the tedious compliance process. I foresee two ways: 1) remain homeless for the preceding time frame or, 2) enter FL and comply, leave FL until the 48 hours is up, re-enter. Mind you neither of these is convenient or easy; however remember that under rational basis review, there only needs to be some way–real or imagined, easy or difficult–for the law to stand.

    That all said, I believe this rises above rational basis scrutiny. I believe one could invoke and rely upon Saenz v. Roe ( and claim the law is impeding one’s right to travel freely. If nothing else, the law effectively bars travel for RCs to and/or within FL inside 48 hours–that is a blatant impediment of one’s right to travel freely. Being a First Amendment right, via the Fourteenth Amendment, it’s automatically subjected to heightened scrutiny, in this case strict scrutiny. If attacked on this angle, FL would have to show a compelling governmental interest AND that the law is the least restrictive means to achieve the stated goal(s). This could be a tough one for them to do–in a neutral court. (One could easily say the least restrictive means is to phone/email the LEOs with the information, but even that suffers from the de facto 48-hour prohibition on entering or moving about the State.) For ease in explaining things, I quote from another court case (Hope v. IN) where the judge stated: “In Saenz, the Court explained that it was not ‘concerned solely with actual deterrence to migration.’ 526 U.S. at 504. Rather, because ‘the right to travel embraces the citizen’s right to be treated equally in her new State of residence, the discriminatory classification is itself a penalty.’ Id. at 504-05.”

    Hopefully someone with two functioning brain cells in the FL legislature can this time say, “sorry Drunken Ron, but this is unconstitutional–even in FL.”

    • Will Allen

      I really love the name “Drunken Ron”. But would it be better if it were “Drunken Ron Book” or “Drunken Ron Book/Crook”? I think it would be great if every time someone searched for “Ron Book” that they see “Drunken Ron Book/Crook”. I was calling him “Ron Crook” forever but switched to “Ron Book/Crook”, hoping/thinking searching for “Ron Book” would pull that up.

      It’s sad and mean, but he deserves a life of harassment until/unless he stops harassing other people. Same with Lauren Book/Crook. They need to stop harassing.

      • Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly

        “Book Ron Book”

        • Notorious D.I.K. / Kennerly

          Ordinarily, I’m opposed to book burning but, in Ron Book’s case, I would make a gleeful exception.

    • TS


      Like the late Paul Harvery or the late Charles Krauthammer, and NOT the late @AJ, there are some commentaries here on these topics which are good to read. Thanks for indulging the encouragement to opine here.

  10. Ali

    even though im not from FL, this could be a hassle when visiting there. will say something to them!

    • Will Allen

      “Could be a hassle”?

      This law seems to make sense. However, it takes very little thought to see that in reality that it would do nothing useful. It would not protect anyone. Any protection is just a fantasy.

      So I’d say the entire point of this law is to be a hassle. That is the intent.

    • Worried In Wisconsin

      More than a ‘hassle’ since you have to appear in person to give notice 48 hours in advance of checking into the hotel.

      Then the hotel operator has to inform all other guests. Can you guess how many hotel operators will be willing to rent you a room once that requirement kicks it?

      Clearly, the intent of this law is to prevent anyone on the registry from staying at any public lodging, not to to create a hassle.

      • guest

        How exactly does that work? What does a visitor do the 47 hours and 59 minutes (at least one night / turn of the earth around its axis) between giving notice (in person) and checking into the hotel (in person)? Sleep in the bushes? Go back home and return less than 24 hours later? Check into a different hotel – necessitating yet another 48 hour in person notice ahead of the one in question, involving some kind of time warp?

        Am I missing something? Don’t these people have a calendar / clock? Is there some time machine I am not aware of?

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