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NY: Second Circuit Backs Home Checks for Sex Offenders

A Long Island sex offender who faced home visits from a private nonprofit contracted by his county did not endure an unconstitutional search, the Second Circuit affirmed Wednesday.

Writing for a three-judge panel, U.S. Circuit Judge Christopher Droney noted in the ruling that in this case, public-safety interests outweigh the offenders’ rights.

“In sum, the program advances the government’s substantial interest in reducing sex offender recidivism by improving the accuracy of the registry,” the 29-page opinion states. “Thus, the program serves a special need ‘beyond the normal need for law enforcement.’” Full Article



Join the discussion

  1. David

    I’ll be operating my own civilian DUI checkpoints this weekend. I believe doing so will advance the government’s substantial interest in public safety and reducing DUI accidents. Anyone want to join me??

    • R M

      @ David: well, create a non-profit organization and get contracted by some government agency, and go for it.

      Or… just go cruising and report whoever saying you saw them weave, cross the middle line, or acted erratically, that’s what “they” pull people over for.

    • Derek Logue

      Might I suggest this DUI checkpoint be in Broward County FloriDUH? You might catch a certain lobbyist.

  2. Jack

    Yikes. What the Megan’s law people were doing doesn’t concern me, it’s what constitutes “seizure” in there and the finding they’re permissible under the special needs doctrine. Does that mean that police can just barge into a person’s house without securing a warrant in New York now?

  3. G4Change

    “Jones was removed from the registry in 2016 after serving the required 20 years. ”

    If he was removed from the registry, then WHY THE FU** are they still knocking on his door and harassing him???? This bullshit defies logic!!!

    • KM

      No. The case stems from an incident prior to his removal. Appeals take a long time.

  4. Eric Knight

    Question: The last paragraph indicates that he came off the registry in 2016. Is he still subject to Laura Ahern’s smelly nose tramping around his living room every few months?

  5. Anonymous

    Only people convicted of sex offenses need this type of monitoring?? Defies logic your honor. Lol

  6. R M

    “Writing for a three-judge panel, U.S. Circuit Judge Christopher Droney noted in the ruling that in this case, public-safety interests outweigh the offenders’ rights.”

    Bullshit. Public safety interests were misleading since 1986.

  7. JohnDoeUtah

    If you do not have a gate beyond the front door, knocking on the door is not trespassing. Also, if they are not demanding entry into the home, there is no privacy expectation.

    However, it is disturbing that this court has rubber-stamped the exception to the rule that there be individualized suspicion of a crime prior to a seizure.

    I had one situation days before I was removed from the registry. I’ve had home checks before, usually a few questions and that is it. But, I had just bought this house and just registered it 3 days prior. Barney Fife in the new jurisdiction pounds on my door like it owes him money. Asks me the customary questions, and then demands that I sign his form. That was a first, I refuse. I stated I just signed a form three days ago at the station and nothing in the law required I do any more. “Well, this is how it is done here…” I ask why he even came my house, what on my new registration form warranted the individualized suspicion that I committed a crime? “Sir, this is just how we do it here…” Well, sorry, but I’m not signing your form, and I clearly live here, so unless I am being detained, you need to leave. He protested. I’m a veteran, so your yelling doesn’t intimidate me and you’re not going to out-alpha me. He was pissed, but he left.

    A week or so later his Sergeant calls me, and inquires about the “confrontation.” I was like, well, I was removed from the registry a day or so ago, so I’m not so sure how relevant this conversation is going to be on the matter. He agreed, and “noted,” that he “realized” I was no longer required to register, and we ended the conversation. My guess was they were trying to cause some issues for me and realized they would get no where and let it go.

  8. Harry

    Do NOT stop here, take it to the supreme court.

  9. Mike G

    Knock, knock!

    Who’s there?

    The police.

    The police? What do you want?

    We need to search your house for illegal firearms, explosive devices, and potentially dangerous meth labs.

    What?? Do you have a warrant?

    We don’t need a warrant. The 2nd Circuit just ruled that public safety interests outweigh individual rights, so open the door before we have to break it down!

    • jd

      No, the gun lobby will protect them.

    • David

      @mike g:. Knock, knock.ho’s there? A nonprofit organization – not the police. We are coming to search your property because the court said that we could so open up and let us in right now.

  10. Trapped in the USA

    The entire system lacks any kind of logic. So you’re saying that this guy is so dangerous he needs to be monitored that you’re going to send some fat nosey untrained housewife to his home to do some kind of security check?

  11. Tim in WI

    The need for public safety outweighs constitutional discipline? I’ll buy that.

    • New Person

      So is that going to be the same line of law to confiscate guns from all Americans? Because that won’t fly. If that won’t fly, then this infringement goes beyond a regulatory scheme as now it’s borders upon parole/probation role: in-person check-in (under penalty of law), heavy restrictions (under penalty of law), and searching a private citizen’s home without the need for a warrant (under penalty of law).

      It sure does feel like under those traits, this is punishment.

  12. Will Allen

    Well, you have to commend Laura Ahearn for being able to create a career of fleecing dumb Amerikans. Parents for Megan’s Law (PFML) has stolen a lot of taxpayer money and kept these marginally-employable losers employed. “non-profit” rackets that fleece taxpayers are disgusting.

    PFML might be trying to do some decent things but it is a shame that no decent person can support them because of their support of Registries. That makes them harassing terrorists that deserve to be attacked.

    PFML has been trying for a good while to re-brand itself as the Crime Victims Center. Is that because they know only true idiots support Megan’s Law? Megan’s Law is a dead end. There aren’t any intelligent, moral people who are ACTUALLY serious about public safety or protecting children who support Megan’s Law or Registries. None. So Laura Ahearn is smart to try to distance her fleecing and theft away from Megan’s Law and the Registries. They need to keep trying to steal what they can because of the Registries but they surely also want to expand the scope of their theft.

    I wish I lived near them so I could help make them 100% ineffective. Those scumbags would never set foot on any property I owned. No RP or family ANYWHERE in the United States should ever allow PFML, law enforcement, criminal regime employees, or anyone else associated with the Registries to go on their properties or near their families. Not ever. Unless the people are FORCED by law. But is that the case anywhere? Is there anywhere in the country where people think they are FORCED by law to allow these harassers to get near them? I’d like to hear.

    If the RPs who are subjected to PFML’s theft are allowing them to get anywhere near them, then I’ve got to say perhaps they just deserve it and shouldn’t complain about it. If you are going to allow it, then don’t complain about it.

    I visited a couple web sites where PFML operates their theft. I’ll likely post some good feedback for them in the near’ish future. I’m sure the snowflakes won’t accept it, but it will still be fun. I’m also going to check out their sponsor list and see what I can do about avoiding and harming those places. Here are a couple of their theft sites:

    I put the “sponsors” there just because it is a nice display of their address and other contact information. Better than their “CONTACT US” page actually, although that has some good stuff on it as well. If you want to see some of the actual sponsors that they fleece, just look at the graphics on Everyone can have fun with these thieves.

    • Derek Logue of

      PFML retooled itself as the ‘Crime Victims Center” as a psychological play because they’re being sued by registered persons. It is simply a tactic to make them appear sympathetic. If you’ve read my recent victory over Lauren Book, courts have to hold their noses to vote for us because being a registrant means you are always a suspect and by going after a “victim group” we are showing ourselves to be “subhumans.”

      Sadly, courts are far from immune to emotional appeals. The harsh reality is that PFML is as much a “victim right’s group” as any other vigilante group like Perverted-Justice or Offendex.

      • Will Allen

        Interesting. They’d be smart to distance themselves from Megan’s Flaw and the Registries as well. Because much like a number of other things in this country these days, if you associate yourself with it, you’re an idiot. Registries are toxic to people with brains.

        With people I know and love, I expect that I am a much more compassionate and caring person than Laura Ahearn is. I wish I could care more about other people in general but unfortunately, I’ve found out about them. I know what they are. There are going to be crime victims in the future and to me, it is only fair that those victims are people who support Registries. I hope they are busy reading their Registries and doing their harassment and then, if there has to be victims, it is them. That is paying it forward. That is justice.

        So I unfortunately can’t care about “victim groups” or lying law enforcement criminals who say they are only trying to “protect children”. If they stop harassing my family, maybe I could care. But they aren’t good people trying to help other people. They are people trying to make themselves feel better and give their pathetic lives some meaning.

        It is sad that we have thieves like Laura Ahearn who can create “non-profit” organizations and steal taxpayer money. It is immoral as well. If this criminal regime “needs” to have a hit list, then they need to step up and try to run it. How hard could it be? If they aren’t capable of it, they should get different jobs and be replaced. They should not be allowed to give millions of dollars to their buddies.

        Regardless, Registered People (RP) who are harassed by PFML should never allow them to get near them. If one of the criminals from PFML comes onto your property, they should simply be told, “Get off of my property and stay off. Don’t come near me again.” Let them go talk to the “gossiping neighbors”. PFML will have a more difficult time justifying their theft of taxpayer resources if they are ineffective. Making Registration ineffective is easy and should be the daily goal no matter what.

  13. The Persecuted

    “The special needs doctrine”. Isn’t “special needs” synonymous with “retarded”, just a more PC way of saying it? So in essence this could be called the retarded doctrine. Sounds about right…

  14. COOL CA RC

    We just need to put this to a stop!!
    Sex offenders have an unusually high rate of
    18 recidivism. See Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. 84, 103 (2003) (“The risk of recidivism
    19 posed by sex offenders is ‘frightening and high.’” (quoting McKune v.
    1 Lile, 536 U.S. 24, 34 (2002)).

    • Jun

      This is starting to look like another of the myriad of half-truths created by the elite. Being that more and more exposures of high officials and the Hollywood elite are the ones who seem to be part of this statistic. Could this “frightening and high” myth be a projection onto the common citizens that in actuality come from behaviors that are common amongst those in higher positions? Which presidential administrations created these “Bill(s)”, Laws (ML, JWA, IML, etc.)? This year alone: How many in governmental positions and Hollywood elites have been the ones exposed for these acts? Seems to me the statistics actually could be “frightening and high” in THOSE Babylonian circles. NOT the common citizens who can barely make ends meet.
      We’re living in very exciting times where the truth about this “registry” and seemingly fake “frightening” rhetoric is coming to light. And many more other things. It’s in front of our faces. We just have to pay close attention. A lot of swamp draining lately. Let’s keep that in mind.

  15. pat

    Something is wrong here… People V. Diack 2015 has already settled that state law preempts local law regarding SORA. While Diack’s argument was over the fact that state law does not provide for any residency restrictions in New York, the court’s emphasis was focused on the fact that local municipalities may not enact ANY local laws regarding SORA because the state claims the entire field. NYS SORA does NOT provide for ANY at home residency verifications. The law is clear in that the registrant must appear at the local PD to verify his residence. THAT’S IT! NY SORA makes no provision for Laura Ahern’s good friend, County Executive Steve Bellone, to hire her to stalk registrants to verify their residence! Also, since when does “public safety” outweigh anyone’s “rights”? Rights are guaranteed, safety is not! New York’s Court of Appeals put Ahern’s business out of business and her buddies in the second circuit still got her back! Incredible!

    • DJ

      Regarding the Diack decision, looking at this PFML website I see they say they have public information for level 2s and 3s (as allowed by NYS law) they also state through their site you can look up level 1s in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Under NY law info on level 1s can only be obtained by calling the 800 number.

      How could this be allowed under NY preemption law, especially in light of the Diack decision?

      • JohnDoeUtah

        They likely are only working under the color of law as a state agent while performing the home checks per contract; otherwise, they are a non-government organization and can publish whatever information they get their hands on.

      • Scotus Save Us Now

        The state portions of the claims were dismissed by the federal court. The court found no federal issues so they didn’t decide on the state claims. This is an argument that should be brought up in state court and hopefully the NY ACLU will do so, or someone will.

  16. Anonymous

    Every response here has been very informative and on point. Thanks for the great reads and info everyone. In some way, it may help bring and end to Ahern’s unconstitutional tactics and NY court’s & Judge’s (corrupt?) nonsense.

  17. AJ

    This seems to have been a poor lawsuit to file, given SCOTUS’ Jardines decision which has been discussed ad nauseum here. There absolutely was NOT any 4th Amdt. issue, and avoiding embarrassment is not a right. What I find very odd in the Opinion is:
    To satisfy the special needs test, the government must identify a substantial non‐law enforcement interest justifying “a Fourth Amendment intrusion.”


    To qualify as a special need, the governmental interest in the objective must be “substantial”; that is, “sufficiently vital to suppress the Fourth Amendment’s normal requirement of individualized suspicion.”
    Umm, how does that jive with the holding it wasn’t a 4th Amdt. event? The special needs doctrine, in the 2nd’s own words, applies only after determining a “substantial…interest justifying” a 4th Amdt. intrusion (as existed in the Chandler, Skinner, Ferguson, and Lynch cases it cites). Since both the 2nd and the District Courts found no 4th Amdt. intrusion (the dude willingly participated, to boot!), how can the Special Needs Doctrine apply? The Special Needs Doctrine is an exception to justify State action AFTER a 4th Amdt. intrusion has occurred, yet the courts here found no 4th Amdt. intrusion. You can’t have it both ways, judges.

    Despite the court’s p!ss-poor understanding of the Special Needs Doctrine as being a subset of analyzing a 4th Amdt. intrusion, I don’t foresee SCOTUS taking this case just to fix that. It’s not a pressing constitutional issue needing resolution–unless it spreads among the courts. SCOTUS doesn’t fix every single lower-court error all the time. I easily see them letting it sit and maybe fester until out of hand and then fix it once and for all. Then again, maybe there are other CCoAs that have applied it correctly and a split needs fixing. If SCOTUS does take it, it would seem to warrant nothing more than a per curiam Opinion since the 2nd incorrectly applied already-decided case law. Hopefully the guy’s counsel sees the error and can get en banc review…and it’s fixed.

    What ticked me off about the case were the antics by the LECs (tip of the hat to @Will Allen):
    On July 22, 2013, Detective Lieutenant Hernandez sent a letter to all SORA registrants on SCPD letterhead stating that PFML will visit registrants’ homes and request to see a photographic identification with current address information. It states that registrants are “required to provide” residential and employment
    10 address information under SORA.


    When presenting the proposal for the program to County legislators, for example, the County Chief of Police stated that “[i]t’s been proven that [the] sex offender registry reduces sex offender recidivism. However, the registry is only good if it’s accurate.”
    What a bunch of slippery and false BS. First, while RCs are indeed “required to provide” information, they don’t have to do at their homes. They only need to do it as directed by law and statute. Slippery @sshole rattled his saber a bit. Then, the Chief lies to the county board. I’d love to see the data the Chief has showing registries “reduce…recidivism.” Furthermore, the only benefit an accurate registry provides is to ensure vigilantes hit the “right” home and person. What a load of crap.

    • Scotus Save Us Now

      If you’d like to reach out to Ms. Harrist – the ACLU’s attorney, her email is

      She seems to care and maybe any additional insight might help. I am curious if she will challenge the dismissed state claims in state court or if they will just throw in the towel as the NYCLU isn’t know for wanting to help registered citizens usually

    • Will Allen

      I continually wonder how big a deal “compliance checks” are other than just pissing me off. They aren’t technically much of an issue to me but I just can’t allow them. The Registries aren’t acceptable so I’m not going to play along like they are. And I hate being rude to people but if they support the Registries then I really, really want to be. I want to harm them as much as possible so I need to make their lives as miserable as I can. Even if they aren’t technically bothering me much.

      Why would this criminal regime choose to outsource their work anyway? Are they too incompetent to do it? They need to at least try to look a little more moral and not so interested in the money. They could get any flunky to do the work for $50K a year or whatever. Why would they think they should be paying a buddy over $100K for a such a lame job? Why would they think they should fund jobs for their friends with six figure salaries when any idiot could do the job? It is nothing but pure theft. I couldn’t participate in anything where the main goal is to keep “non-profit” employees paid.

      Anyway, the letter from criminal Hernandez could POSSIBLY have been technically correct. Maybe. But as you said, the whole thing is a continuing attempt to operate outside of the law. That is what LECs do any time they can. I couldn’t let Hernandez’ letter slide. I’d respond back nicely 1 time and request that he/she confirm such verification are required by law and to reference the exact law. I would copy the county executives and attorneys, of course.

      If they did not respond back that the verifications were required by law then I would send them a letter that stated that PFML was not allowed on my property ever. I would also state that I did not want them near my family or me and that they should never contact me. If they did, I would ignore them and seek any legal remedies I could. And for good measure, I’d add that no one was welcome to come onto my property for anything related to Registration. And put up a wall, as all Registered Families should have.

      BTW, when I communicate with these criminal regimes, I never use any of their military titles. I use their names only. Most of them hate that, which is a great reason to do it.

      I’d also like to note that I like your Thin Blue Liars designation. Decades ago when I was naive, I was very supportive of law enforcement and laws in general. I’m glad that I learned our governments are criminals but I’m also sad that I can’t respect or support them any longer. I’ve thought many times that I should really make a very strong effort to be more fair and try. But I’m not going to worry about that as long as Registries are around. There is no room for kindness or sympathy in war.

      This weekend is going to be another big one for me in the War on Registry Terrorists. Will be very fun.

    • AJ

      Thinking about this case a bit more, there’s really no reason to appeal the decision for this particular litigant. To what end? An outcome upholding the Special Needs is a loss for the RC, that’s clear. Even a decision overturning the 2nd’s Opinion does nothing–and is a loss–because there’s still no 4th Amdt. issue. Unless something else from the original District Court suit can be brought forward (doubtful), there’s no possible win for this guy.

      I still maintain the present or imminent danger requirement of Special Needs doesn’t exist in checking RC registration info. After all, what (claimed) danger of a RC is mitigated by having the correct info? Does that all of the sudden keep a “loose cannon” RC from acting? I say heck no. There’s nothing about the data provided to the State–let alone its correctness–that’s going to hold a sufficiently driven (i.e. “dangerous”) RC, or anyone, from doing something. Indeed, that fact makes me argue it’s merely a fishing expedition to try to arrest people–something explicitly contrary to Special Needs.

      • Will Allen

        I don’t think I’d try very hard to make sense of it. Probably not possible.

        I haven’t even read a summary of the lawsuit or judgement. Surely the court did not say anyone had to allow PFML onto their property, correct? They can’t be that insane.

        I’ve seen some people here insinuate the court said they could go into their homes. I know that is wrong. Maybe I’ll take some time to read!

  18. Scotus Save Us Now

    For every good decision, there are 2 or 3 bad ones… This is a bad one. Hopefully Ms. Harrist will appeal and be heard by SCOTUS. The issue here is the court once again quotes Doe saying the false, frighteningly high statistic and until SCOTUS refutes that statement and admits they were wrong, we will be on the wrong side for a long time

    • Harry

      ‘…the court once again quotes Doe saying the false, frighteningly high statistic…” This is a lie that needs to be challenge directly.

      • Will Allen

        I read the opinion. I think I’d hate being a judge. It must be quite hard for them to get the facts correct in every case all the time. But, it is pretty critical. I wonder if this judge has a staff of people to help. He surely needs more help. He made embarrassing mistakes.

        You are correct that the opinion has numerous lies in it. Would be nice if those were challenged. I did point that out to Ahearn and her group yesterday. I called them the thieves that they are. They cried and whined about it.

        Ultimately, the way to stop PFML’s theft is for the people being harassed by them to never let them near. But, I’m afraid that most Registered People are just far too accepting of the harassment. So it will continue.

      • AJ

        “‘…the court once again quotes Doe saying the false, frighteningly high statistic…” This is a lie that needs to be challenge directly.”
        Yes it does…and has been, yet many courts continue to swat it away. It’s only the judges who truly take their jobs seriously (instead of pandering to opinion) who help us with this.

        Someone else has mentioned some time back on here about using the full quote. What routinely gets quoted is “upwards of 80%.” However, the full quote was (paraphrasing) that 15% of *treated* RCs reoffend, and *untreated* ones are upwards of 80%. Despite the numbers still being totally off, it would be nice to be able at least to jam the full quote down their throats. “The State is misrepresenting facts to the court. As a ‘treated’ RC, even the State’s own inaccurate statement says I’m only a 15% risk of recidivism.” Or something along that line. Then, once showing the State isn’t shooting straight, offer up some current and correct data.

        • TS


          I wonder how many actually have the true stats in their chambers or at their reach and understand them.

  19. FinallyOffTheReg

    Good day all,

    This 2nd Circuit affirmation disgusts me.

    What I find so repugnant is the integration of a 3rd party “Watchdog” group into the Registry enforcement. Its worse than private prison contractors. Moreover, it’s a way for this “entity” to derive revenue off the misery of the RC’s. Probably was a “no-bid” contract too. It’s usually the case.

    I despise it when in the “interest of public safety” it seems that my self former, and the current RC’s are set upon by these do-gooder groups in the interest of……….

    But, once again the prevailing and misappropriated effectiveness story of the Registries and organizations such as “The Patch” and this group seek to further their own agenda. And folks, that is what its their bent. It’s not about “public safety”, it’s about $$$$ to integrate with an local LEA and get those dollars, as well enforce their own agenda.

    As the article alleges, the “Agents” that visit the RC’s home are former LEA. REALLY? Why use former LEA? It’s kind of like that the Fed’s use to provide computer monitoring. Primarily staffed by former LEA folks. Hmmmmm. The Filter is that a monitored RC, or one not but still under a Probation order that comes up against these third parties undergo a THREAT. Cooperate or we will report you.

    I totally agree with the actions of the person who did this motion. He had every right to kick them out and off his property. The letter from the local Sheriff was a threat, “cooperate or else” it seems.

    But alas, these organizations now seem to command, and especially now under this 2nd Circuit decision; an ability to be an extralegal arm to the local government, of which was awarded by a no-bid contract. DISGUSTING and SHAMEFUL. Trust me, now after this Decision, these types of organizations especially that one are duly empowered to do whatever they want, however they want, to whomever they want.


    Be well all, and Fight The Good Fight. Namaste.

  20. Anonymous

    ahearn probably knows which palms to grease and probably gets things like this decision in return & everyone is happy$$$$.

  21. Tim in WI

    @ Finnaly off,
    I see your point on third parties tapping contracts uncontested. Those groups do not have the immunity police do so any bad acts that are unlawful will catch them up in torts. The problem with the judges affirmation here is the collateral implications. Catch one of these ” do gooders” on camera peeping a window! Even a window next to the front door would suffice.

  22. Nicholas Maietta

    Good luck doing compliance checks when i’m living in a van down by an undisclosed river.

    • ab

      Better idea do compliance checks on law enforcement to make sure they are following every law. To really annoy them only do the checks on officers on patrol. Actually better yet follow them around as they do compliance checks on other registrants.

      • Anonymous

        @ ab. This is about a non law enforcement/victims group employing regular citizens to knock on your door asking you questions.

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