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ACSOL Requests CA Supreme Court Review of In-Person Registration Requirement

The Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws (ACSOL) is requesting review by the California Supreme Court of the requirement that individuals register in person at local law enforcement agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic. The request was submitted earlier today, however, the Court has not yet formally acknowledged receipt of that request.

“Because it is impossible to obtain relief from the state’s Superior Courts, which are closed or operating at a minimal level, ACSOL is requesting relief from the state’s Supreme Court,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “If it chooses to do so, the Supreme Court could require all local law enforcement agencies to immediately stop in-person registration which is a threat to public safety.”

The request submitted today to the Supreme Court is similar to five lawsuits filed last week in four Superior Courts in that it challenges in-person registration. Today’s request is different, however, in that it includes five registrants who live in different locations throughout the state. Each of the registrants in the request suffers from a significant medical condition and/or is 65 years old or older.

“In the absence of a statewide ruling, many local law enforcement agencies will continue to require in-person registration even though there are alternate effective means of registration available,” stated ACSOL President Chance Oberstein.

The request filed today highlights alternative registration methods currently being utilized by the Los Angeles Police Department, the State of Pennsylvania and the State of Oregon. The request does not, however, ask the Court to require local law enforcement agencies to use any one of those alternative methods.

According to the request, agencies that require in-person registration are abusing their discretion because state law does not require in-person registration for most registrants. In addition, the request alleges that in-person registration requires individuals to violate a Governor’s Order that requires residents to stay at home except to meet essential needs such as food and medicine. The Order does not include an exception for in-person registration.

The request describes the possibility of risk of infection to COVID-19 during in-person registration in graphic terms. “During the registration process, Registrants are exposed to premises that re often unsanitary, crowded, and do not allow for ‘social distancing’ as well as other preventative measures mandated by state and local government. Many police departments and sheriff’s stations are located in areas with large homeless populations. In addition, Registrants are forced to enter, sit in, touch, and otherwise interact with unsanitary, and often narrow and cramped, physical environments while registering. Those environments, as well as, the registration procedures employed by Respondents, require repeated and prolonged physical contact with potentially virus-ridden surfaces and objects such as countertops, clip boards, various papers, pens, pen chains, ink pads, chairs, door handles, water fountains, and Livescan and other fingerprinting machine. These unsanitary surfaces are touched by many other Registrants, as well as other visitors to the station and employees of the registering agencies.”

The request argues that “any theoretical benefit gained by in-person periodic updates is dwarfed by the real and potentially deadly risks of COVID-19 infection imposed upon Registrants, law enforcement, and the public by forcing Registrants from their homes and into unsafe environments. Indeed, requiring in-person registration for periodic updates undermines the public safety measures employed by state and local governments to protect public health, for no discernable public safety benefit.”

This article will be updated when additional information, including but not limited to, formal acknowledgement of the request by the California Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Petition

Join the discussion

  1. Mark Judkins

    While I am not knowledgeable in the legal field, I do know that this is absolutely the correct moral thing to do. Many kudos to Janice and Carlton. I hope that common sense prevails.

    • Ira Ellman

      I am very glad we (which means Janice. and I assume Carleton) have done this.

      As Janice observed earlier, it’s a bit of a Hail Mary pass. Getting the California Supreme Court to hear a case directly, without it first coming through the lower courts, is rare. But these circumstances are also rare. So this is definitely worth trying. And one can hope that it brings helpful public attention to the issue as well.

      So a thank you for moving on this. Good work.

    • Eddie V

      In Santa Clara County the. San Jose police Department is closed to the general public during the Corona Virus. Untill May 3.. I took a picture of the sign on the door cause I went today to give my monthly homeless registration and its posted on the window I tock the picture to cover my ass.

  2. SR

    Thank you Janice and ACSOL! I have to register this month. And while I’m not worried about the health issues, it would be nice getting to skip a year. This time of the year is always anxiety inducing for me. Being back in that environment, even in limited capacity, is very triggering for me.

    • JM

      This is about health issues, but more than that it is about protecting a class of citizens during a time of crisis.
      My son had to complete his annual registration in San Diego today, the only day they were opened this week with very limited hours. We were told that they (the sheriff dept.) would have them come in one at a time.
      Not surprisingly, they LIED. In the cramped, tiny space there were about 8-10 registrants at the time. Each were given the same pen, the same clipboard etc. to use. One registrant in his 70’s said that he was sick. There were NO precautions taken at all.

      There are just not enough words or praise that I can give to Janice and team. Without people like her, without people working along side of her where would we be?

    • James I

      Well, we are all taking a fair financial hit now, but I’m off a hundred bucks to you, a Benjamin, I wish it could be more. If anyone out there has a dollar or a fiver, try to send it off if you can.

      God knows it is tough, but Janice and Chance and their support team are doing a job for us to be sure!

      Good Luck to Everyone,

      James I

  3. KM in SOCAL

    I definately agree with all the in person lawsuits. I live in an area that straddles the county line. In my physical county the registration officers are allowing non-annual updates to be conducted by email or phone. The other county had to be sued.

  4. New Person

    Thank you very much for going to the top in these serious times rather than fighting each individual counties because timing is of great import to preventing or mitigating the spread of the disease, but also reveals the hypocrisy of everyone “stay at home” order by the governor as it does not include registrants.

    While I am not over 65 years old, my health constitution is weak to where I am very susceptible to colds and flus along with taking longer to recover.

    First the it was just 14-days. Now, it has been pushed to an extra month. And with no vaccine in sight for the next year and a half, all we’re doing is flattening the curve, but that doesn’t mean it stops the spread of virus and it’s mortality rate. So every registrant might still be affected by this virus if the pandemic persists longer and longer.

    The President presented a grave projection recently for the next two to three weeks. It’s a shame that registrants are not treated equally like a US citizen, especially we’re deemed to be no longer under custody.

  5. Tim cook n WI

    The 03 Rehnquist courts all to clearly stated “in person reporting isn’t in the complaint here” though the state’s do intend to demand it ( not alaska) from registrants by law in future.
    In person demands by authority triggers habeas corpus doctrine.

  6. Saddles

    @Jim I have to agree with you on that clip board sign in. When I went for a visit to my PO once he said to me I would rather not you bring your bible in here. They don’t even use bibles in a court of law any more. Why I wonder. I didn’t have any parents to go to court with only my sister and some if you plead guilt I’ll make sure things will be ok for you type deal. rediculous.

  7. James

    I temporarily registered today 04/02 over a different LA Harbor Division police number than provided by ACSOL and after the virus threat is gone, I will be called to take a photo and do whatever else is needed. I have an appointment 04/08 to register in person at the Hemet Riverside Sherrif’s station in person for a residence I have there. I am 70, not sick, but plan a wearing a hazmat type outfit, unless we are lucky in the Supreme Court before then.

    • Janice Bellucci

      @James – If you decide to wear a Hazmat suit to registration and someone takes a photo of you wearing that suit before, during or after you register, ACSOL will post the photo on this website (but only if you agree).

      • Love, peace, and happiness

        @Janice: I’ll do it. I have to register in Ga in May. I have masks, but no hazmat suit. I’ll try to get one by then but if anyone wants to send/donate/sell one to me?

        • David

          @ LPH: You can pick up a painter’s full body suit for cheap at a Harbor Freight Tools store. (Made of some sort of Mylar-type paper fabric.)

  8. Saddles

    Talk about Hazmat Colonial bunny ears ?*%#!!

  9. Carl

    Cass County Texas are doing electronic registration, excluding first time registrants

  10. CA

    Very Impressive Janice and Chance!
    Even in these grim times you guys continue to fight for registered citizens rights, Bravo!!😎

  11. USA

    First, Thank you Janice! Your a fighter! Prior to (hopefully soon again) my legal issues, I worked within healthcare. My spouse (I’m trying to be a little confidential) oversees the clinical operations for a very large and well known healthcare organization. They don’t (she is working from home) want her to leave home due to this pandemic. The virus has affected a multitude (2 died yesterday) of patients and if ANY healthcare worker is exposed to them, they must be quarantined. This means they are living in hotel rooms to avoid exposing family and friends. I’ve visited grocery stores, restaurants and I’m amazed and shocked (this is new to us all) to see the social distancing (clear barriers/sneeze guard) at restaurants, grocery stores and I imagine all stores, once they re open. The check out at Target had 6 feet separation between customers, numerous stickers reminding us of this and the cashier was wiping down the check out each time a new customer came through. I went through the drive through at Chik Filet and the people taking the orders all wore this large plastic (like a sci fi movie) face masks (clear) that covered their entire face! When will this end? I think people will be very vigilante for the next 6 months, but things will never be the same. We might see requirements at stores/restaurants/stores requiring social distancing certification? You must be Social distance certified if you run a store? Restaurant? Public business? So, here is the magic question? When will it be safe for us to register in person? What about those who have underlying health issues who are more prone to obtaining the virus? Shouldn’t we require (Janice) all law enforcement facilities to provide safe locations for us to register? I don’t want to expose my hands to bring finger printed yearly? Was the machine cleaned?

    • David

      @ USA: “When will it end?” As soon as they have a safe and effective vaccine* – that’s when things will start to go back to normal. Until then, heightened precautions will remain in place as this is a known to be a deadly virus to some and extremely sickening to many others.
      *Even if developed at record-breaking speed, it will still be 12 to 18 months before and effective vaccine is available.

  12. USA

    Here is the bottom line. This virus will change life as we know it. Social Distancing will be the new norm. If you think All Countries aren’t taking notice, your crazy. What new virus will occur next year? Just because this virus is treated or eradicated doesn’t mean this won’t occur next year and the year after. Changes are coming! What will LE do to protect both LE and those registering? One lawsuit will change this. If there are ANY law enforcement agencies still requiring in-house registering, they are nuts! This is the time to think out of the box and turn this negative into a positive! This virus will not disappear.

  13. USA

    Update: I went to register in OC on 03/24. I’m very diligent about following the law. The doors where locked and they had a number to call in order to register. I immediately complied and was informed I would have to come back at a later point to register again? In the mean time, I called LB to register as well. I have both a primary and secondary address. The young lady on the phone stated I was non compliant for not registering? I thereafter called OC (well you didn’t really register/didn’t she see the note in the system/these young kids answering the phone could get people arrested and thrown. In jail). She (OC) offered to call LB. I’m waiting. For a call back.

    • AERO1

      I hope u took a picture of whatever note Santa Ana PD has on there door…and get a lawyer ASAP because you could get locked up for weeks until they clean up this misunderstanding

  14. USA

    OC called LB! Somebody (LB is allowing you to register over the phone and come in and get finger printed)? In the mean time, I or anyone of you could get pulled over, arrested and exposed to a deadly virus, as a result of a mistake. This virus will be around for 2-3 months and things will never be the same.

  15. Saddles

    I believe in situations like this that LE will have different methods of handling all this in crisis like this. Seems this is a type of culture shock nobody foresaw or was prepared for. As far as Josh and some of you others worrying isn’t too good but if you made an honest effort than thats all one can do. You all say many of your offenses are 9 or10 years or older I’m sure they are not even worried about it. Course they will demand that you show up in person but As long as you make an effort than thats good. I’m sure it is kayos in bigger city’s but all things come out in the wash. Putting one’s life in jeapordy is not worth it. So look on the birght side

    I talked to my little sister today and she and her family are ok. My nice and her husband work at Oak Ridge and where they work that place has been closed down for a few weeks. Its not so bad in TN as in other places. Things will get back to normal soon but worrying about who’s going to violate who is a bit premature if you ask me.

    I sort of understand Will Allen about all or a lot of this is a bit of a BS ordeal and governments are not only going against principal but Commandments also or who is bearing false wittness on another. Much of this sex registry ordeal is a bit much or who pays boy scout dues out of season. I’m sure all wish they all had the cash back from all the fines and other things involved in all this ordeal we all have went thru.

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