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MI: Federal judge invalidates portions of SORA

A federal judge has issued a ruling that invalidates portions of Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA) that are unconstitutional.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Cleland issued the decision on Friday in a lawsuit that argued the SORA was unconstitutional. Full Article

Court Decision

Press Release from the Michigan ACLU


Join the discussion

  1. Warpath

    If it gets worse, I am done. I will NOT live like this anymore. I don’t think anyone would care. This isn’t living. It’s begging for scraps of life. This entire thing has driven me to the depths of despair and depression that I have never known. I can not imagine living my life like this for another 20-25 years only to die being denied even a shred of dignity. All of this for 6 fucking deleted photos of ‘possibly’ 16-17 year old girls found forensically. I served my country, saved lives and raised a family. My wife passed away, my son died, I’ve lost all that I had just so some fucked up politician can get a few votes. I love my country but loathe the government and the media. I pray to God every day that something horrible happens. These pieces of shit politicians and the police that enforce there illegal laws will face St Peter one day and have to justify their actions. I will be standing there laughing as he sends them all to hell.

    I guess I hope that you are wrong about it getting worse. As the previous paragraph shows, my state of mind is not good. It’s not in me to hurt anyone except myself. I am close to the decision. I still have a few things keeping me alive. If those are taken from me then I would have no reason to continue. I’ve thought this through. My heart and spirit are broken. When the pain of living surpasses the pain of dying…..then you will die.

  2. Dave

    Video of the phone conference is posted.

  3. P31

    Please everyone stop being baited into listening to these negative fools that have nothing better to do then come on here and make other people’s lives miserable. That’s all they talk about is how things are going to get worse or how nothing will change. I was in prison with people like this, they spend day in and day out doing nothing but being miserable and want you to be miserable. All I heard in prison was how the parole board would never release me on my first attempt. Newsflash, they were wrong!! Now these couple wannabe lawyers say nothing will change, well things have already started to change. When did any of you who think they know so much, when did you become lawyers??? If you don’t think things will change, then go away!!! Pathetic!!

    • chris

      P31. Ur right. It’s funny to see some if the comments on here about how things are gonna get worse. Then turn around and say the aclu is doing a good job. My question is why the hell do u think the aclu is fighting for? For things to get worse. Lol. I mean the are several reasons to b negative but in this instance we all have to let the cards fall where they may. We all talk bout how bad it is for sex offenders do we really think it could b worse. Lmao. Technically it could but not by much. So just take it easy folks let everything fall into place and see what happens. Btw michigan is in ALOT better predicament then about 90% of the remaining states

    • R33

      @P31 you are 100 percent correct I just listened to the call I think everyone should re watch it and listen to the whole thing

    • Identityzer0

      I consistently brought this issue to the ACLU since 1999 when I was put on due to a law change while I was in prison. They ignored me every 3 months like clockwork and then even used some of my drafts in the initial suit.

  4. jm from wi

    @ Warpath
    Where’s the fighting spirit? Get started on your quest. Research IML Get stats together. Don’t give up. Don’t let the bastards win.

  5. Warpath

    P31 sorry to bring you down. I’ve just been through this so many times. I never claimed to be a lawyer. If you were in prison then you know how bad things can be. I am typically the guy trying to help others understand. My days are mostly good but occasionally bad. In the past few days I went through a reminder of the piece of shite society believes I am. If I disappointed you with my honest words I apologize. I am one of the people spending tens of thousands of dollars on attorneys trying to fight this inhumanity. Probably shouldn’t have shared my negative thoughts.

    In the mean time I have another project gathering data hopefully for one more legal challenge. I will most probably be broke after that…..going down fighting

  6. joe

    I watched the phone conference that @Dave has posted, It is encouraging for sure. What I found most positive is that Miriam Aukerman said that the state’s new law can not just be a different version of the law we have now. It must not have the parts in it that Judge Cleland ruled unconstitutional. What did worry me was she also did say that the state could appeal the Judge’s decision. But she also added that the state does not to continue fighting this either, because it cost the state money and time to do so. Overall I believe we are in a great place now, better than we have been in many years. So stay positive and I recommend watching the conference.
    Thanks to the ACLU, Oliver Law Group, U of M law Clinic and everyone that participates on this site.

  7. Chris

    Ricko. Exactly. Or worse like some people think. We all know the registry is bad so it cant get much worse.

  8. Rodger

    I’m in touch with the aclu I’m positive this will go good for us they work hard to try to give us a fair shake at this I have told aclu that I’m willing to go down and talk with the state and tell them my story and what’s wrong with the registry now and how it is destroying us and our family’s I just ask everyone to try and stay positive during this time while they work on this I’ll do what I can in my power to let state knkw on how bad this has messed everyone up and our lives. I have been on for 25 years I was a minor and charged as a minor so yes this system dose “t work and I’m hoping at the end of the day I’ll get my my say in the state and make them see what they are doing is wrong and how they can make it better for us as people to live a life with ease. I have studied all the law changes since 1994 till now and have seen what has gone wrong I’m very educated on all this I’m going threw the same as all of you but I will take a stand for us and make sure they hear me. So let’s stay positive and see what they come up with and we will take it from there

  9. Bobby S.

    @Rodger, Thank you for standing up for us very much appreciated

    To everyone else do anyone receive this email from the FAC,( Florida Action Committee ?

    I guess there was a lot of questions about are win here in Michigan, one certain part should ease some people’s minds hopefully, so here it is folks.

  10. Bobby S.

    Sorry everyone, I don’t know why it didn’t work, it did work when I tested it, so I copied and pasted it this time so hopefully it works this time. agin sorry about the mess up.

    by FAC Contributor #6
    Weekly Update for 2020-02-19
    Dear Members and Advocates,
    Persons forced to register in Michigan added another win to their column last week when a Federal District Court Judge ruled that if the Michigan Legislature did not “fix” their unconstitutional registry within 60 days, the state could not enforce its registry against anyone pre-2011 and could not enforce certain provisions of the registry against those post-2011. Some of you reacted with the concern that the legislature will only come back within 60 days and enact something harsher. The answer to that concern is that they can’t!
    By “fix” the registry, the Court is telling the legislature to rewrite the Statute to remove all of the elements that make it unconstitutional. Those elements include the vague restriction against working, loitering, or residing in a “student safety zone”, reporting of phone numbers or vehicles “regularly used”. The elements that must be removed are also the reporting of electronic mail or instant message address, or any other designations used in internet communications or postings, which have been found to violate the First Amendment. And potentially most importantly, to be found in violation of the registry will require a showing that the violation was knowing! Currently in Michigan (as is the case in Florida), you can’t argue that you didn’t know about a requirement or nobody told you that you had to….
    This Court has given the State the parameters they need to “fix” – a roadmap for a registry that will pass constitutional muster. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (and even the Supreme Court) endorsed that roadmap. The fact that the Legislature has done nothing to fix it has required the Plaintiffs to come back to court and the Judge to assign a deadline, and “until such time as the legislature acts, SORA will be unenforceable against a large portion of registrants and may be enforced only in part against the remaining registrants.”
    Sure, it would have been ideal for the Court to abolish the whole statute and send everyone on their way, but that was never a realistic possibility. Our biggest concern before this order came out, as I had mentioned in a previous update, that registrants in Michigan would be in the same boat a year from now, which now we know they wont and we also know some of the restrictions that they will no longer be subject to. It is a huge win.
    Some of you also asked what this means for us here in Florida. Anytime another jurisdiction gets a win, it’s good news. Although it is not binding on us here in Florida, it gives us the ability to go into court on one of our cases and say to a judge, “your Honor, this is what they had in Michigan, these provisions are similar to what we have here in Florida (in fact Florida is harsher in most cases), and here is what their Court had to say about it!”. Unquestionably, this decision will be brought to the Court’s attention in Does 1-5 v. Swearingen, Florida’s “Ex Post Facto Plus” case.
    Another item of confirmation we received this past week is a correspondence from the Florida Department of Education that there is nothing in the Florida Statutes that would preclude an individual on the registry (who is not on probation, whose victim is not attending the school, who is not subject to some other court order like a trespass or restraining order) from attending an event at their child’s school, so long as they meet certain requirements, specifically (1) Provide written notification of his or her intent to be present to the school board, superintendent, principal, or child care facility owner; (2) Notify the child care facility owner or the school principal’s office when he or she arrives and departs the child care facility or school; or (3) Remain under direct supervision of a school official or designated chaperone when present in the vicinity of children.
    If you have a child in the public school system and you comply with one of the three requirements above, you should be allowed to attend to their parent teacher conferences and other school functions. Note that local school districts (or municipalities) might have their own rules. If your child’s school is preventing you from being involved in their educational process, we suggest you politely remind them of the State statute and the Florida Department of Education position and if that doesn’t alleviate the issue, find out, specifically, under what authority they are acting and let us know. No child should be deprived of a parent!
    The Florida Action Committee

    Amazon Smile – select (FAC Outreach Partner “Justice Transitions, Sanford FL” as your charity.  Make purchases using in order to be certain that Justice Transitions (and FAC members) benefit from your purchases.
    Wed Feb 26 – Free Registrant Peer Support group (no therapist) meets in Pinellas Park area at 5:30 pm.
    Thu Feb 20 – Local Meet-and-Greet in Lakeland (Polk County).
    Fri Feb 28- Free therapist-led Family Support session (no registrants) meets at 7pm in Tampa.
    Sat Mar 7.  Free therapist-led Family Support session (no registrants) meets from 11am-1pm in Central Broward.
    Seating is limited for all events. For more information, or to RSVP email or call 904-452-8322.  No children please.

     Southern Baptist Convention Kicks Out Church With Registrant Pastor
    Ranchland Heights Baptist Church in Midland, which has been pastored by a man required to register as a sex offender because of a conviction 17 years ago, has been ousted by the Southern Baptist Convention. Four years ago, the Church was questioned by the Houston…
    Florida Department of Education Responds to Letter
    We are not aware of any restrictions in Florida’s sex offender registration statutes related to a registrant’s ability to participate in or be present at school functions or meetings. There is a procedure outlined in section 856.022, Florida Statutes, that applies when a registrant plans to attend an event at a child care facility or school.
    Member Submission: My First Experience Traveling as a Sex Offender
    Part 1 Volusia County Florida . This is a recollection of my first travel outside of my state (Florida) to Chicago suburbs for a family event. I went to the VCSO in Volusia county and…
    MN: Another lawsuit challenging residency restrictions
    A group of convicted sex offenders has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a far-reaching ordinance in Apple Valley that severely restricts where they can live, alleging that the ordinance effectively bars them from living anywhere in the…

    FAC Contributor #6 | February 20, 2020 at 10:44 am | Categories: Weekly Updates | URL:

  11. Mm

    I thought this was a very well written article explaining some damages caused by the registry. Might be a good one to forward with letters??? Plus it has a catchy title.

  12. Mm

    Here is another good example of the damages the registry causes and the blatant discrimination from a Taxpayer funded institution of higher learning…. Higher learning is for adults,,,, if they were dangerous they wouldn’t be there trying to better themselves. They aren’t banning murderers, or drunk drivers, or drug dealers….. again I think the best argument is for equality in the treatment of ex offenders period. Also,,,, more evidence that just being in the registry is Punishment.

    • New Person

      Banishment is punishment. Also, preventing one from higher education probably is also a constitutional violation.

  13. David

    Ban ‘child sex offenders’ from community college campus!? That’s outrageous!! 😠 Will they be checking the criminal records of all students registering to attend the college? How about things like domestic violence? Aggravated assault? Identity theft? Don’t these also put their other students at risk? And what about vandalism? Public intoxication? Terrorist threats?

    Oh, that’s right, individuals convicted of sexual offenses are once again very obviously singled out simply because the government provides an easily accessible, free-to-access online registry that allows colleges, businesses, and individuals to screen for sex offenders.
    If the college had to pay for criminal background checks for all individuals wishing to attend, clearly they would not be willing to bear that additional expense.

    It is clear that online sex offense registries are used again and again for discriminatory purposes far in excess of mere public safety and community awareness. 😠
    Maybe it’s time for a new requirement to be added before one is allowed to view an online registry ….. A requirement that one must acknowledge that their use of the registry will not be for any discriminatory purpose and that they will be liable to criminal prosecution as well as civil penalties if they violate that prohibition.
    There needs to be criminal and civil penalties for misuse of registries. 😠

    • Mm

      Gov of NY is pushing for a ban of sex offenders on subways, busses, and public transportation,,, even tho 95% of sex offenses that occur in those places are committed by people not on the registry. Tell me just being on the registry isn’t some sort of disability, especially in a place that relies so heavily on public transportation. Statistic wise it makes more sense to ban anyone not convicted of a sex offense. its not going to solve anything. I think this article hits the nail on the head. “The registry isn’t a solution to a problem, It’s a performance”.
      I think the ACLU should sue and make them change the name of the registry to “EX SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY” then make them pay damage for labeling us all improperly and causing all this mess to begin with. Calling it a sex offender registry makes it sound like the people on it are waiting on the bushes to jump out and grab a little kid right now. When in truth every single one that’s ever been in the system for a sex offense has had the privilege of attending the best sex offender programs available to teach men not to act out sexually. They are keenly aware of the consequences of offending and way less likely to step over the line!!!

    • Warpath

      Old news. They were sued and the reversed the order

  14. David

    👍 Hooray for media that tie these four words together: “unconstitutional sex offender registry”! 👍

    “State must recast sex offender law or give it up, judge rules – Spartan Newsroom”

    • Sheldon

      I just recently found a podcast on you tube thats called registry matters, if anyone has never heard of it its a very good podcast to listen to. i thought I just mention it, if anyone is curious.

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