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Michigan Supreme Court Declares Sex Offender Laws Are Punitive

Source: ACSOL

The Michigan Supreme Court today issued a decision declaring that the state’s sex offender law adopted in 2011 cannot retroactively be applied to a registrant convicted two years earlier.  The Court based its decision upon the ex post facto clauses of both the Michigan and the U.S. Constitutions.

“Today’s decision is a significant victory not only for the registrant involved in this case, but also for all Michigan registrants convicted prior to 2011,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci.  “This decision can and should be used as a precedent in every state and federal court.

In its decision, the Michigan Supreme Court found that the “aggregate punitive effects” of the state law “negated the state’s intention to deem it a civil regulation.”  In addition, the Court found that the state law “bore resemblance to the traditional punishments of banishment, shaming and parole because of its limitations on residency and employment, publication of information and encouragement of social ostracism…”   Further, the Court found that the law “appeared retributive” and “appeared excessive.”

At issue in the case were provisions of the 2011 law that created a tiered classification system as well as duties and requirements of each registrant based upon the registrant’s tier classification.  One of those requirements was the publication of personal information on the state’s Megan’s Law website.

“The Michigan Supreme Court is to be commended for speaking the truth today in its decision,” stated Bellucci.  “The court did not accept the government’s stated intention that its registration laws were civil regulations and instead examined closely the effect of those laws leading to the conclusion that the laws punished registrants.”

Download a PDF of the decision:

People v. Betts – Ex Post Facto – July 2021

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Great decision! But I’m still confused as to why the conviction date matters if the general matter is deemed punitive? Wouldn’t imposing the same restrictions on someone convicted today be just as bad as imposing them on someone convicted in 2010? I don’t see any rational in saying two people convicted of the same thing 15 years apart is more burdensome on the older conviction. Regardless, excellent move and a step in the right direction!

Two different laws.

This case was about identifying the new law being punitive and cannot be retroactive. That’s what the date matters to know when the new law was initiated.

The law being punitive was a passed law, like Jim Crow laws. Currently, the punitive law is constitutional. The new law now needs to be challenge now that its identification is punitive that is it also unconstitutional.

How does it get there? I guess if the state appeals the decision that it is punitive and it goes to SCOTUS for a possible review. In 2003, Smith V Doe stated the registry was not punitive. Michigan is the second state citing it’s current registry scheme is punitive. IIRC, Pennsylvania went through that process and SCOTUS didn’t take up the case, admitting that the current registry is punitive in PA.

I came off the Penn registry last year. My conviction was 2006. As New Person said Penn Supreme Court had the same type of findings. The only thing that happened was that persons convicted prior to Dec 2012 news laws could not be applied retroactively. Originally I was 10 year, then new law went to 15 year and then Supreme Court ruling brought it back down to 10 year registration period. Also, all the new registration requirements (extra ones, Internet identifies, car/vehicle information, etc etc) no longer applied to us with prior convictions of Dec 2012 but we were still required to register, just far less requirements than those convicted after Dec 2012. Was it fair, no. This was several years ago.

Even though I am now off the registry in Penn I still pay attention to everything that is happening and make donations where I feel they will be best utilized. Penn had already in their history took persons off the registry and put them back on and then back off again over years with different rulings; this means it could happen again.

I highly doubt MI will appeal to SCOTUS. Each state has its own self determination.

It’s completely fine to make a punitive law as long as it does no apply retroactively. The only finding as unconstitutional is applying it retroactively

If I understand it correctly, something must be deemed “punitive” in order for the “ex post facto” Constitutional provisions to apply.
If it is not punishment, then ex post facto would not apply at all. Ex post facto applies specifically to additional (post-conviction) punishment.

I hope that’s the case. The way I read it is that for someone convicted prior to 2011, it’s punitive. But for someone convicted after 2011, it’s not and it can apply to them forever (or however long). Kinda like increasing a prison term but not asking someone convicted previously to serve additional time based on the new law.

While you’ll get no argument from me that EVERYTHING about the SOR is punishment. For the person who was convicted after 2011 the consequences were known…plain & simple. The law is Bull$h!t but the very definition of Ex Post Facto is punishment AFTER the fact….there are people here who have convictions that predate the existence of the Registry. There are people like me who were on probation pre-dating the registry and had our probation amended to include 25 years of LE only registration….every time something was piled on us was AFTER the fact. I don’t want ANYBODY on any registry and I hope we get there some day but my primary concern is for everybody who has lived through EVERY ounce of misery since this farce was created….

I get that. My point is if the registry is found punitive in any way, then it cannot be applied post completion of sentence. Someone technically being aware (which is legal technical bullshit for the laymen as pretty no one is aware of the laws who’s not in the business of it) doesn’t change this. If it’s punitive retroactively, then it’s punitive for the purposes of applying post sentence completion.

What’s worse, is that the registry exists and is forever applied because we’re so “dangerous”. Splitting hairs to whom it can apply based on a date shows they’re underlying reasoning is garbage.

You’re sort of right. Actually, in both cases the law is punitive. The difference is when the punishment is established and applied: before or after the offending act? If the punitive law was on the books when the offense happened, it’s punitive and constitutional because the offender had fair notice of the consequences of the offense. If the law is enacted after the offense has been committed, it’s punitive but unconstitutional. The citizen didn’t have fair notice of the penalties of her/his actions.

It’s the increasing of a penalty after the fact (truly, ex post facto) that makes it unconstitutional.

I get that. But, again, if it’s punitive, then it cannot continue to be applied post completion of sentence. Correct? Isn’t the whole reason the registry exists as it does because it was ruled to not be punitive?

You’re kind of answering your own question. It won’t continue beyond completion of the sentence because (for post-2011 crimes) it is part of the punishment and sentence. That part of one’s sentence isn’t completed until the term of (punitive) registration ends. The potential problem there, as @Chris F pointed out elsewhere, is the legislature is tying the hands of the judiciary. IOW, instead of saying registration for 10-25 years and then allowing a judge to determine what’s appropriate, the legislature is judge and jury itself. That’s an issue that will come to a head at some point.

That is exactly what Michigan Supreme Court said. If its not punitive, meaning no punishment is involved, then it CAN be applied retroactively. But if it IS punitive (punishment involved), it cannot be applied retroactively. We all know that SORA is punitive, meaning if you violate any provisions in it, you will be punished.

Exactly. When a regulatory. Statute can take guaranteed vested rights from someone who has already served they time Is Punishment. Judge Kennedy was wrong not to consider the evidence but trusted the Selector Generals word and find it not punitive.

I’ll try to explain as best I can and give an example. you have one class of people who were convicted BEFORE the 2011 amendments, and another class of people who were convicted AFTER the 2011 amendments, and all those who may be convicted in the future. When the registry was first enacted in 1996, it was indeed regulatory, meaning it was only for the police to monitor us. Amendments after amendments were enacted afterwards and added punishments for not complying. You can’t do that because now people are being punished, and the punishments keep being increased.
The legislature is free to enact laws to punish people for their criminal behavior, but laws like that cannot be applied to people who violated that law before it was enacted.
Take for an example…lets say someone was convicted of shoplifting and was sentenced to 3 days in jail and 12 months probation yesterday. Tomorrow the Legislature changes the shoplifting law to make the punishment a mandatory 12 month jail term. You cannot go back and change the other person’s sentence from 3 days in jail to 12 months in jail because it violates ex post facto (Latin for after the fact). Its unconstitutional. The legislature can only make the new punishment apply to people who shoplift AFTER the law is enacted.
People who were convicted PRIOR to the enactment of the 2011 SORA amendments could NEVER have been given fair warning that their criminal act would subject them to the punishment for violating SORA law. BUT, people who are convicted AFTER the 2011 amendments were aware of the punishments involved. Get the picture?
Another way to put it is the Legislature cannot enact a law and retroactively punish people for behavior that was LEGAL before the law was enacted. In Michigan it is not illegal for me to walk down the sidewalk without having an ID on me. If I walked down the sidewalk today without ID, and tomorrow the Legislature makes it illegal, I cannot be punished what I did yesterday. I can only be punished for what I do AFTER the law is enacted.
The Michigan Supreme Court declared that the 2011 amendments to SORA are punishment, and therefore cannot be applied to anyone who was convicted prior to those amendments, but they can be applied to anyone convicted AFTER. That’s the difference.
I hope this explains it for you.

Because If the [punitive] law existed at the time the crime was committed, it can legally be part of the punishment. Step on the right direction though. Opens up a “cruel and unusual” argument.

A moment of clarity and moral strength, at long last. Congratulations and thanks to all those who fought this good fight. I pray that the California Sup. Court will soon follow suit. And maybe, just maybe, someday, the U.S. Supremes too.


And Boom! There goes a huge salvo stating today’s iteration of the registry is punitive! This is huge when Janice goes up to SCOTUS.

Bellucci Goes to SCOTUS sounds like one heck of an accomplishment. When the time comes I’ll buy her and the crew dinner.

Great Job!!!

wow so many of us have be dealing with this since day one,unbelievable

Good. The inconveniences the people have to deal with impedes a quality of life for the person with regards to housing, jobs, education, going to church, school, just about everything. Get rid of the moniters, the extreme restructions and treat the registrants like any other parolee.

You know if you know , this is huge in every way . Wowww!

Great news!
So we’ve learned just how easy it is to convince the people chuck limits on congressional power into file 13. I cannot say precisely ” who it was” in MI that created the bill utilizing ex-post language applied to those already convicted. You can bet your backsides I know precisely ” who it was” in WI. He quite literally hand fed the bill to WI’s legislative branch. I found the record of it in our reference bureau and it came with bipartisan support. All of this on the heals of the MN kidnapping of Jacob W, and morbid Jeffery Dahlmer case here on the homefront. It was easy then, and they were willing to try anything, because doing nothing was not an option. I think this court found itself in the same situation – forced to do something. According to the author at issue was the tiers scheme that flipped the opinion with respect to civil intent of congressional aim behind the registration regime. This is so because under smith v doe, state presumably pinned ” necessity ” on conviction itself and not dangerousness. Using a tier system disproves the reliance on conviction as justification and drops it in the lap of dangerousness. In the end game states all still got to violate the constitution first and apologize later. Essentially in effect this means no constitution really exists for individuals in real time.
The people have yet to acknowledge they’ve decided to reinstate human indenture and slavery to machine upkeep. That is the ultimate question, and it be not one of the rights of citizenship, but of the morality in human right itself.

Is this ruling based on date of conviction or date of the crime?

Many registrants have experienced delayed prosecutions. If you committed a crime before 2010, but weren’t convicted of that crime until 2012, you do not benefit from this ruling, correct?


I highly recommend you read today’s decision more closely/

In 2011, thousands of eventual registrants were facing prosecution for a crime previously committed. It’s hard to tell whether or not this decision benefits them.

@Confused…Do what Janice said and read the decision more closely, especially what was written at the beginning:
“Michigan’s Sex Offenders Registration Act, MCL 28.721 et seq., as amended by 2011 PA
17 and 18, when applied to registrants whose criminal acts predated the enactment of the 2011
amendments, violates the constitutional prohibition on ex post facto laws, US Const, art I, § 10;
Const 1963, art 1, § 10.”
Note that opening statement says “criminal acts” not “criminal conviction”.

Really?? I have read it. In the end it didn’t do a darn thing for any of us. My correct stands because none of us are coming off.
I appreciate your fight, but it will be another 9 yrs. Hell I’ll be in a nursing home by then. And still have to register because I’m deemed dangerous. Yea right ! My lower half my body doesn’t even work now after an auto accident. And I’m dangerous???. Why don’t you get legislators to prove if a person is to be a tier 3 in your next law suit…

@Mr. Ed:
Though I have yet to read the Opinion, I doubt your “Correct” is correct. First, the laws in effect when an offense is committed are what matter, not when convicted–that’s literally the whole idea of ex post facto!. Second, if it hinged on conviction, it would incentivize the government to delay prosecutions whenever “better” legislation was coming along.

hey Jay… In your opinion, with the best case, what is the final decision of the judges based on him being pre-2011 or pre-SORA, or both? With myself and others in this group who are pre-SOR a, let’s say that when it was enacted it wasn’t punitive, it was for police use. when it became public, in my opinion, is when it became punitive… Shaming.

Well I was referring to what exactly happens now and how they’ll apply this to us. If … that’s if.. they revert back to old system of Sora, that gives everyone access to come off registry. However, the old system ( and it’s written there in black and white) the clock doesn’t begin on conviction date, it begins upon your release. ( the number of yrs on registry.)
That’s what I was referring to. Unless everyone prior to 2011 comes off. Right now I don’t exactly know how they’re going to address the ruling, And personally I don’t trust the government or legislators…you seen how sneaky they were in moving the new sora into law.

@Mr. Ed:

 the old system ( and it’s written there in black and white) the clock doesn’t begin on conviction date, it begins upon your release. ( the number of yrs on registry.)

Yes, it it’s regulatory, the State gets to determine (i.e., regulate) when the clock starts on it. However, once it becomes punitive, it must be tied to conviction.

An… OK in your last statement here, let me get this straight. If it’s not punitive the clock starts when you were released. Released from custody? Released from parole? Then you stated that if it is punitive then it is tied to the conviction date? As stated by a few recently, including myself, we were forced to sign the sort of paperwork in 94 when sora started and while we were still in custody. So it does the clock start then does the stock clock start on my 92 conviction date my 95 released from custody or my 97 release from parole? Finally… I want to say that I really appreciate your input over the past couple days.

Being on parole or probation is still being in custody. So for someone on parole, you are not released from custody until your discharge is delivered and accepted.
The punitive aspect attaches at the date of the offense, or the last offense if it was ongoing. With SORA being declared punitive, the clock starts at the date of the offense for everyone affected by the 2011 amendments.

@And I CK:
All I was saying is that if a law is regulatory, the State can decide when, if, and how the regulations apply. The State can likewise change those elements as it pleases. That’s true of any regulatory scheme. So the shifting sands MI imposed were completely in line with what is allowed in a regulatory scheme.

If it’s punitive, however, the punishment must be tied to date of conviction…just like any prison sentence is, any fines are, etc.

AJ – I read a lot of your posts and never find a need to correct. Greatly appreciate you and you insight. However if it’s punishment, it must be tied to the date of offense and not conviction. A lot of SCOTUS case law on this.

Just when the restrictive nature of the registry is about to make you pass out and your vision begins to tunnel into darkness…there’s a slight release to the tension and pressure. And for a moment, just a moment, you can breathe again. And you think to yourself, “Maybe this won’t last forever.” You dare to let yourself smile and hope.

Yet another state supreme court flips the middle finger at the United States Supreme Court. Hey, Chief Justice Roberts, sit and spin!!!

Giving Roberts and Alito the bird is the best part of the price club membership.

AH HAAAAA. The stars have aligned. The forks are on the left the knives are on the right. The table has been set and the monstrosity that is the registry is falling apart before my very eyes.

It would be nice if Texas laws was changed and they honored the plea agreements

Texas is in a different circuit. The argument is persuasive, but not authoritative. I can guarantee you that in the circuit TX is a part of it will only be after a very long, protracted, and expensive fight that their registry meets the same fate as MI’s.

I am in the 6th Ciruit, living in TN, and am not sure how much sway this ruling would have in my state. We don’t have a tiered system. If you commit rape or child molestation, you are a violent sex offender and are subjected to lifetime registry and lifetime supervision as a matter of law.

Last edited 2 months ago by WC_TN

This whole lifetime stuff is a bunch of BS especially on a first time or a one time offender. Especially a teenager. A lifetime of registration should be for Habitual offenders. This is out of control.

The only people who should be Registered are people who think Registries should exist. THOSE people are dangerous to everyone, and in myriad ways.


Texas is in a different circuit. The argument is persuasive, but not authoritative. I can guarantee you that in the circuit TX is a part of it will only be after a very long, protracted, and expensive fight that their registry meets the same fate as MI’s.

Huh? Yes, MI and TX are in different Federal Circuits but this was the Michigan State Supreme Court. So the breadth of this decision is the geographic boundaries of the State of Michigan. What makes it especially nice is it probably gives a bit of a boost to the Federal Snyder decision in the persuasive realm.

Especially awesome because this opinion automatically destroys the new Michigan Sex Offender law that did NOT address the in person reporting and the lifetime registration. Here comes the boom!

California I hope is next Janice. Dynamic risk assessments or nothing. Can’t classify me as tier 3 without risk assessments. I will wait a little longer before I file my suit to see if anything is going to happen here in CA.

In the meantime, mike r, please consider chipping in a little to meet this ACSOL challenge grant:

unfortunately for CA, we’ve been attacking parts of the registry and the state amending it. if the registry problems were treated as a whole than fixing each part, then it’s more the feasible to identify the registry is punishment as residency and presence restrictions have been found unconstitutional.

the other problem CA has is that its supreme court doesn’t believe in-person reporting is quasi-criminal any longer like it did in the 1958 Kelly v Municipal decision.

that’s the scary part. CA’s moving threshold of what is punishment and what isn’t punishment.

  • 1958: in-person reporting is quasi-criminal
  • 2007: (?) PC 290.007 and 290.5 intimate that in-person reporting is statutory.

What can CA RSOL registrants do then if we’re fixing the registry as separate pieces than identifying any part of the registry is unconstitutional, then it’s all unconstitutional?

There’s the million dollar question.

I say fight statutory law with statutory law. We gotta emphasize CA constitution’s “right to privacy” law. Each CA citizen has an “inalienable right” to “pursue and obtain privacy.” Thus, once you are no longer under custody, then that individual should regain the right to be left alone. The registry treats its constituents as if they were under custody still after being released from custody “under penalty of law” with prison time for failure to register.

Before the internet, only police had the file and people had to come in and ask to look up information. Today, it’s being shared all about. The right to privacy amendment occurred in the 1970’s, but the registry was started in the 1947. The internet usage became more prevalent in the 2000’s.

An odd ball question is, “Is losing your right to privacy now considered punitive when emphasizing the constitutional law since it is specifically identified in the constitution?”

That would be amazing if the CA supreme court recognizes it, but if it doesn’t, it still identifies an individual should regain it, but it’s lost when you are taken into custody, just like all of your other rights.

I received this email from Paul Reigngold today. It explains a little more about today’s decision. We are NOT cleared for removal quite yet. Sorry for the delayed response but I was off the grid for 8 days. 

As a result of the status conference the parties have now submitted a proposed judgment with just a couple of small areas of disagreement. We expect the court to review it and to enter a final judgment fairly soon. 

In addition, today the Mich Supreme Court decided People v Betts. The Court held that the old SORA was unconstitutional under the state constitution for the same reasons that the federal courts held it to be unconstitutional under the federal constitution. So yet another court is lining up on our side.

Until the new 2021 SORA is held to be unconstitutional, nearly everyone will remain on the registry, but the decision in Betts gives us some reason for hope. In the meantime we are working hard to move the new class action lawsuit (challenging SORA 2021) forward.

P. for removal quite yet.

I hope to God that if nothing else, we can get at least a temporary injunction against the 2020 SORA pending the outcome of the new forthcoming lawsuit based on the strength of today’s Michigan Supreme Court decision in addition to the recent federal decisions. I mean, Come On!!!!! If it looks like and duck and quacks like a duck…
They cannot just let a new version of an already-deemed unconstitutional law go into effect and cause harm while they take another 10 f-ing years to kick the f-ing can down the f-ing road!!!

I hope you guys are able to break SORA 2021 off in the state of MI sideways!!

Hey Bobby S… Is Paul from ACLU, the Oliver Law group or University of Michigan? 16 block

@16block, sorry just noticed your comment. It is Paul Reigngold from the Oliver Law Group.

 The 2011 SORA was imposed on people for the sole fact of their prior offenses and made no individualized determination of the dangerousness of each registrant, indicating that SORA’s restrictions were retribution for past offenses rather than regulations to prevent future offenses.

If this were to apply to all other states (lets say California) does this mean that an expungement/dismissal through PC 1203.4 would be enough to get off the registry?

As of right now a dismissal does not get you off the registry because it is not considered punitive but if it were considered to be punitive through ex post facto then that means it would be double jeopardy for having to register even after a dismissal. Not sure if this is correct or maybe wishful thinking but would this be a good argument?

I don’t know if 1203.4 not deregistering you is specific to it not being punitive, but I’m sure that plays a roll in it. The legislature basically created a new amendment/law that said 1203.4 doesn’t affect registration status. But I think you might be right that if CA registry was declared punitive, 1203.4 might have to deregister you and that amendment wouldn’t be valid.

1203.4 states:

 shall thereafter be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the offense of which he or she has been convicted

It was this portion that helped identify that in-person reporting was quasi-criminal (punitive) in the 1958 Kelly v Municipal decision to de-register registrant via 1203.4.

It would be a simple cut and paste of that decision if the registry is identified to be punitive.

It sounds like a great victory to me, but I have the same question as SR. If it is deemed punitive pre 2011, it should be deemed punitive regardless. No additional restrictions should be applied retroactively period. Still, congratulations on this accomplishment!!

@someone who cares:
It is indeed deemed punitive regardless. The 2011 date matters because it becomes unconstitutional–ex post facto violation–when the punishment is increased after the crime has been committed. It’s punitive all day long; it’s only unconstitutionally punitive for those pre-2011.

And just because CA does not have residency restrictions does not mean that everything else does not apply

Thanks so much*, U.S.News & World Report, for underplaying the importance of the EX POST FACTO & UNCONSTITUTIONAL aspects of the Decision!!😠😡🤬:

Asshats! 😡 *Sarcasm intended!

I emailed US News & World Report to complain about their crappy coverage of a major decision on the unconstitutionality of Registries. 👍🏻

(So I can’t use my Price Club membership in Michigan? 😲)

What’s the ruling for Baltimore Maryland people who were convicted in 1999 to serve only 10 years on the register and then change to life isn’t that an unfair conviction to be convicted twice

I feel like the Megan’s law rules to register. It makes the family of the offender, that are also innocent get judged, wrongly discriminated, bullied and harassed and treated unfairly just walking outside their own door. When they have a clean record and also lose every place they go because of being judged and harassed by all the neighbors. Even our poor innocent children get judged and it is wrong. To have the information publically actually makes the women and children victims and targets of the family of the offender to others and the public in general. So it makes so every one harassed not only the offender but their entire family. It makes it so their kids have no friends in the neighborhood to play with and the mother of the child even hides inside 24/7 because of the harassment and bullying from all the neighbors and constantly being judged. So it does not do any good to the recovered offenders who have families now at all. It is just making things worse for the family who recovered and their children and makes them feel unsafe in their home. They even get break ins and theft because our address is public.

It is much like living in an alcoholic family, which I’m familiar with growing up it never goes away. Except the registrants family can’t keep moving to new cities to start fresh. We find out how cruel people can be and children also. Hopefully the decision today will give us something to hang on to for a while.

@ashley I feel the pain hang tight things are changing in California for the better for the RSO and their families. The law is punitive it was clearly stated by the MI Supreme Court . Janice and the team will take this one to the bank and use this major decision in their upcoming arguments. Keep the faith .

I dont believe the the new law keeps us on the the registry because, the ex post facto decision about the 2011 law was just put to rest by the michigan supreme court.

I understand feeling like this but I’ve been listed on the Oppression Lists for so long that I can’t really relate to it any longer.

I think PFRs (People Forced to Register) and their families shouldn’t worry about “people” judging them or such things. That is easier said than done, of course. But personally, I found that the Lists really helped me with that.

The Lists do little that is useful but one thing that I have found very useful is that they help me identify “people” and families that I don’t need to care about. They help me identify losers. They help me identify “people” that no decent people want to have around. Those are the Registry Supporters/Terrorists (RS/Ts), of course, and those are the “people” who are judging and harassing your family. I have found that they are pathetic people who I really don’t want around my family. Typically they are serious losers. The ability of the Lists to identify such people has been an absolute gift. It is probably the Lists best feature.

I also think the harassment that you describe is very dependent on where you live. RS/Ts are scum and if you live among it, that is what you will see. I have no doubt at all that the nicer the area is where I live, the more the Oppression Lists are completely ignored. I have piles of evidence of that. Still to this day I am pretty surprised at the kind of “people” who zealously support the Lists. You’d think they’d be more aware that they themselves are the dregs of society. But most are clueless. Don’t worry about such “people” judging you. Take a look around at America the last few years. Are you concerned about those “people” judging you?

Regarding your last sentence, is that really because your “address is public”? I rather doubt it. If I were going to break into a home, I would avoid the homes of PFRs. I don’t have a LOT of concrete evidence but I personally feel like those homes are likely a lot more guarded than typical homes are. They certainly should be.

A lot of people might not have a lot of resources to protect their homes but it has never been easier. I won’t tolerate crimes or harassment at my home.

One of the California initiatives passed by just 51%. Every county voted in favor of it except San Francisco. Ever since, I judge every person I meet as an a**hole by a preponderance of the evidence, since they probably voted for the law. True, the other 49% who did not vote for it don’t deserve the label. Well, welcome to the club. You will never be my friend anyway…. because the odds.

More directly to Ashley. The way your children are treated is proof positive that the registry was never about protecting children. The way minor offenders are treated with A Clockwork Orange type “treatments” spell out more examples that inspire a rage that never lets go, at least not for me. Only one example:


Things like this are why I usually agree with Will Allen, and sometimes think he is not militant enough.

I hear you, Ashley. I had to move for my family’s safety because of being publicly listed. Before any of my neighbors knew I was listed, they thought I was the nicest guy in the world. I was always there to lend a helping hand to my neighbors. I even regularly cut one of my neighbor’s grass when I mowed mine, because she was older and lived alone. Many times she offered to pay me but I always refused saying it was no big deal. She would see me outside and bring me some treats for my family. Cakes, pies, cookies, and rant about what a nice guy I was. I would lend a hand shoveling snow in the neighborhood. Help people get their cars out of the snow.
All that ended when word got out that I was on the hit list. My reputation for being a nice and helpful neighbor changed and I was treated as the most vile pos that ever walked the earth. My home was vandalized. My car was vandalized. My tires were slashed. Windshield broken. Spray painted “rapist” on my car. Filing police reports did nothing. The police didn’t care. My little daughter was no longer allowed to play with the neighborhood kids. She would come home from school and tell me the teacher asked her if I ever touched her in a way I shouldn’t. She would come home from school crying because other kids bullied her because of me. My girlfriend and I decided to take her out of public school and home school her. That hurt me because I know how important it is for a kid to have friends, and now the only friends she has is her cousins.
My girlfriend was shunned and asked why she is with me. Well, she sees me for who I am today, and not for who I was in 1993. I didn’t rape anyone. I didn’t molest a child.
It was consensual. It doesn’t excuse it, but I shouldn’t be treated like some monster, and my family shouldn’t have to put up with it. She speaks her mind and is no one to mess with because she’ll straight up stab you in the face with a soldering iron if you mess with her, me, or our daughter.
I’m not a violent person, but I will defend myself and family if necessary, but I so wanted to go on a rampage and burn everyone’s house to the ground. I was so angry. I eventually moved to where I am now and only my neighbor next to me knows that I am on the registry. Maybe others know, but just don’t care. I don’t know. But my neighbor is a nice lady and I have shown her my court papers after she found out. She says I should not be on the registry and that its B.S. Why? Because she sees that I’m a decent, hard working guy who minds his own business and doesn’t cause any problems.
So now I keep to myself. The only people on my street I associate with is her and the guy across the street. He’s 97 years old and outside working in his yard every day and is a pleasure to talk to, and he knows I’ll be there for him to lend a hand when he needs it. Other than that, the rest of the world who thinks the registry is a good thing can f*** off. I have security cameras set up everywhere around my house and if I see anyone near my property who doesn’t have a valid reason to be there, I’ll be right outside with whatever I can grab to make them leave. I hate being indifferent to people now because I’ve always been the guy to help someone when they needed a hand. Now I just don’t care about anyone except my own family.

This might be a big victory for us on Michigan registry….but…. remember there is also a federal registry. And your most likely on that, regardless of what Michigan does.
To give you an example of the cluster F*** here, Michigan will allow you to apply for your gun rights back after several years have past as a felon.
BUT…. The feds will arrest you, if your in possession, even if it’s ok in Michigan by Michigan laws to have your gun rights back.
So see the dilemma here?? It’s a great win no doubt, but we also have the feds to deal with. With more states getting on board, tackling the feds will be a breeze.

There is no public federal registry.

Yea there is… public can search it, but mainly for FBI use.

There is not a federal registry. There is a federal regulation that encourages states to do something.

It’s a national registry, but only law enforcement can use it. but public can search it…

How will this effect anyone convicted of their offense prior to Megan’s international law , based on international travel ?

@ Buckeye: It will only affect IML for those people who are removed from the Michigan registry.
IML is based on (1) if your offense involved a minor and (2) if you are listed on a state’s registry.

SADO handled this case and they don’t answer questions from individual registrants. A good attorney to contact in Michigan to see how Betts affects you is Nicole Blank at 248-515-6583.
I will post more on this decision when I get time.

Oh please do @Detroit…please regale us with more of your wisdom & insights….we’re all waiting with breathless anticipation. All of us who have been removed from Michigan’s registry can’t wait to hear what you have to say next…oh wait, nobody but the Holmes Act people have been removed. Guess what @Detroit? The probability of getting removed from the registry with the final judgement of Does II isn’t very likely at all….see @BobbyS’s post above. He’s quoting one of the principal attorneys in this case….that guy doesn’t think we’re getting off either…quit throwing your 2 cents in! Nobody cares

Please be kind

Anyone have an idea of how this would affect someone moving to MI from another state where they were convicted before 2011, but are required to register for life? Probably this detail was not addressed.

Also, as far as IML goes, one of the qualifications is that you are required to register in a jurisdiction. If you are not, then you are not on the IML.

Also, I don’t think there is a separate federal registry, that’s just a compilation of the state registries. If you’re not on any state registry then there’s no federal listing.

Can we sue Michigan for damages? Major decisions in my life—where I work and where I live—were made based on laws that Federal and now state judges have ruled unconstitutional. My income and my children’s school district have been affected because I had to abide by an unconstitutional set of laws.

First you would have to look at your State’s laws regarding immunity. This usually starts with a Notice of Claim, which must be filed with the State within a certain period of time, the clock started on 27 Jul 2021. The State usually has a certain amount of time to respond, or ignore, then you have a set time to file a lawsuit. Depending on the cause of action, the State in its law may or may not have waived its immunity.

In most cases the State will claim immunity under the 11th Amendment, as you can’t sue the State itself for money, unless waived. But, you can get around this by suing a government official in their individual capacity, then the case turns on you getting past qualified immunity. Because the State employee(s) you target will likely try to claim qualified immunity, you’ll have to get past that. It’s not easy, but can be done.

My question is if this is implemented, what would it mean if one has a conviction date from the year 2000 and was released in 2007? Would we be off the registry?

I think the real question is, will the State say this decision only applies to Mr. Betts and make us file a class action like the state did in the Does I case, saying that decision only applied to those plaintiffs?

So I’ve had time to read the ruling several times. I’ve read if forward, backwards, and sideways and its quite clear to me now. I was wondering of the State might try to say this decision only applies to Mr. Betts, and we would have to file a class action to benefit from it. I see that is not the case, as clearly stated in the opinion: “Michigan’s Sex Offenders Registration Act, MCL 28.721 et seq., as amended by 2011 PA 17 and 18, when applied to registrants whose criminal acts predated the enactment of the 2011 amendments, violates the constitutional prohibition on ex post facto laws, US Const, art I, § 10; Const 1963, art 1, § 10.” There’s the key phrase, “…when applied to registrants…”. This applies to ALL of us who are pre 2011.
I am curious about one thing concerning Betts. He was charged with failing to report an address change, email change, and the purchase of a vehicle. I am wondering if those charges arose from him not even going in to verify on the month he was required, or did he go verify, but not disclose that information? A search of him on the registry lists him as “failed to verify” and “fee violation”.
I was convicted in April 1993 and sentenced on June 2 of the same year, well before SORA was created. I remember when it was enacted. I was in a secure level one and was told that if I didn’t sign the registry form I would be transferred to a level II facility. Many of us refused to sign and were transferred, but were later transferred back to level I after signing it.
I remember my one time $50 fee being changed to $50 annually. I remember in 2011 coming home from work and finding that letter from Lansing in my mailbox stating that in order to align with federal SORNA, I have been classified as a tier 3 and must now register for life, instead of 25 years. I’m not a lawyer, but I understand the Constitution, and understand case law and the terminologies. I knew immediately that this was an ex post facto violation and double jeopardy as it had just increased the punishment of a crime previously committed. I also knew it violated my due process as I was never evaluated by anyone before being assigned a tier 3. I was already working on my own pro se lawsuit when the first Does case was filed, so I waited for that outcome. My biggest beef was being placed on the registry to begin with, as the law was enacted AFTER my conviction.
So here I am 10 years later and the Courts are finally seeing it the way I do. I am now beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. I finally have hope, no, I am EXPECTING to be removed from the registry soon.
I regret now going to the Oak Park Police post last month. I only went to inquire whether or not Judge Cleland’s injunction was still in place, and I was told registration was still voluntary. I told them as long as I am there i will go ahead and take care of it and pay last year’s fee and this year’s. I could have saved $100.
I am very much inclined not to verify in September. From what I interpret from this ruling, I cannot be punished for failing to verify. I don’t know yet what I will do, but I do plan on contacting an attorney about it.
I really doubt the State will appeal this to SCOTUS, but if they do, I think SCOTUS will either reject the appeal, or uphold the opinion.
I am anxious for Judge Cleland’s final order now, because I think this is going to influence him in a very good way that will benefit me and everyone else similarly situated.

Disgusted in Michigan… I was convicted in December 1991, sentenced in February 1992, arrived at South complex, state prison of southern Michigan in Jackson in March 1992. Like you, in 94, I was called down to the a RUM‘s office designed the SORA paperwork. I asked, what if I don’t sign? I wasn’t told that my security level would be raised, I was told that anyone who didn’t sign would max out and with a 15 year tail that didn’t sound too appealing to me. I’m curious and just for the sake of discussion when do you feel the registry became punitive? 2006, 2011, when the registry went public? I honestly believe the $50 annual extortion fee will be raised. What’s your freedom worth… 500 a year, 1000?meeting

Thus this is a good ruling, and significant one with the ex post facto and convictions prior to the 2011 ruling, however keep in mind that NO WHERE
Dose it say any or all convicted before 2011 will come off registry.
What they will probably do is go back to the old system and 25 yrs max is most you’ll do on registry and tiers won’t apply. They are not going to make it easy for us.

Many of you asked me in past what I felt the ruling would be on this, and I was spot on… However keep in mind this is the Betts case, not the DOE’s case. Cleland hasn’t handed down final judgement on that yet. But I recon he’ll follow suit and uphold it as well. The Bett’s case is what we were waiting on, and sure Cleland was as well. And yea I know Cleland, he’s fair and lives and breathes the constitution. I faced him in past. You don’t want him pissed off.

As for the registry, you have to realize….that’s not ever going away. Not if state and federal legislators have at it. It’ll be tweeked… and new offenders are in for a rough sailing after the 2021 amendments of Sora. That will definitely apply to them. But with new offenses committed and hitting news practically daily, it’s not doing much to help the rest of us with getting rid of registry. Those affected by the 2006 and 2011 amendments to Sora are ones it affects. Because they had no say, nor informed of requirements prior to sentencing. For example, I was convicted in 91′ , a couple months left on parole I was put on the new registry
and to only report when I changed address, and register for 10 yrs I think it was. Next thing you know it was 25 yrs, then life… point is usually in sentencing it’s explained or written as regards to your requirements. But in my case for example, there was no registry. I could have changed my plea knowing all that. That’s where the unusual punishment, and unnecessary punishment comes in. That’s what the justices ruled in Bett’s case.

When the update comes out and Cleland gives final judgement on Doe’s case,
is when we’ll know exactly how it will be applied and who it affects.

My gut feeling, would be nice to come off registry for all of us. But I don’t see that happening quickly, what I see happening is reverting back to original Sora.
The 10, 15 and 25 yrs max. to register. Followed by many changes to requirements. But we’ll still be registering till then. Let’s see how Cleland hands down final judgement now after this.

@Ed, my original was 25 years which was up last year.6-19-2020. So will see if I’m removed from the registry or not. I believe myself and many others should be removed ASAP.

Hey Bobby, my original 25 yrs as well. which would have been up 6-2019…. from time Sora was enacted. If from my conviction date I would have come off 6/2016. So yea I’m pissed that it dragged on and I gotten screwed.
I was convicted in 91, then started parole in ’93. in 94, I was suddenly put on registry as level one/ tier one, what ever the hell they called it then, for 15 yrs. then moved to 25 yrs , now to life.. Thought what the hell. Talk about punishment over and over. So I’m pleased about the ruling for Bett’s, and believe Cleland will surprise us by following suit with Bett’s. I know Cleland very well.
He Live’s and breaths the constitution.
But with the ruling, I’m grateful, but won’t believe it until I get it in writing saying I no longer have to register and get off this damn registry like I was promised to the first time after 15 yrs. I should be long off it by now. I been screwed too many times by the messed up system that law enforcement can’t even get straight half the time. I’m fed up.

I just reread Judge Cleland’s opinion on 2/14/2020. The opinion made clear that the 2011 amendments were not severable. Therefore it made Sora in it’s entirety null and void for anyone convicted prior to 2006 and 2011, that had no other registerable offenses.
A scenario of it would be a bowl of alphabet soup of who does what and when, and that not law enforcement nor the registrants would know what applied to who and/or when.
After rereading that today, in my humble opinion; Judge Cleland’s final order will take all those convicted with no other offenses prior to 2011, immediately off the registery. Though so much has happened in all these years, I wait and hope for justice to prevail.

States seek severance to limit the implications to that pesky people’s intent quotation in the Whetterling Act preamble. They want the presumption of congressional integrity to stick with respect to the people’s ” civility” and gov use of the database.

This is the best thing since sliced cheese. I was convicted in April 1993 before the registry was created. If I’m reading this opinion correctly, does it mean I never should have been forced to register? And the 2011 amendments which changed me from 25 years to life.
Thank God we have Supreme Court Justices who have common sense and understand the law.
Not take me off this damn punitive registry that has been punishing me for years!!!

Not sure if it means you never should have been, but that peculiar point is moot today for persons similarly situated, you in 93, April 92 for me. We both know for certain no court paperwork for our registration duty exists. Disheartening to know Congress gets to promulgate vindictive ex post facto laws under the disguise of regulation to deny the obvious abridging of Art 1 clauses and to reconstitute a form of slavery. And they’ll completely get away with it. All such facts prove is the actual lack of constitutional reverence that exists by the people’s representatives.

Great outcome UCLA on the Betts case!!!!!!
Now if judge Cleland will use carbon copy paper on the does ll case, that will set the legislature back on track with the constitution!

I apologize for repeating my post from the FAC site, but I thought it could add to this thread.

At some point the arguments used against the ex post facto application of registry laws should be directed at bills of attainder, which are mentioned in the same sentence of the constitution (Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 provides that: “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed.”)

Unlike ex post facto laws, bills of attainder are not predicated on any time frame, but merely prohibit punishment without due process. The key to both is the question of whether punishment is being applied extra-judicially. I defy anyone to find a sex offense statute that lists registration as part of the punishment. Statutes do require adequate notice. States and the feds have essentially considered Smith v. Doe as carte blanche to administratively apply any restrictions they choose. Recently, courts seem to be creating cracks in the punishment wall in these ex post facto cases.

However, as Janice Bellucci of ACSOL points out, timing is everything. A premature attempt to abolish the registry as a bill of attainder could result in a long-lasting negative decision as in Smith. To quote Porky Pig; “We must be vewy, vewy careful, hu, hu, hu, hu.”


Oops, Elmer Fudd.

What is the FAC site

Florida Action Committee

Sounds good Michigan the registry is literally falling apart right before our eyes
Down here in California were still fighting the good old fight the DA office don’t wanna let registrants go free without Court hearings, LE is still running around with their task forces hunting down sex offenders for Couch Surfing because they cant afford a place to live and tier 3 offenders who’ve been left on the registry for life just off their convictions no risk assessment.
We still got along ways to go in California i just hope next year on my birthday i can petition and be done with all this BS

Good luck 🗣

Last edited 1 month ago by AERO1

It is great news, but putting a date on it is punitive! Once you’ve served your sentence, that should be the end of it.

In this case, the 2011 amendments completely restructured SORA through the imposition of a tiered classification system, and the duties and requirements of each registrant were based on that registrant’s tier classification. Removing the 2011 amendments from SORA would render unclear who was required to comply with the act, how long each registrant must comply, how many times annually each registrant must report to law enforcement, and what a registrant must show to petition for removal from registration. Outside the tiered classification system, certain discrete provisions of the 2006 and 2011 amendments—including the student-safety zones of MCL 28.733 to MCL 28.736, as amended by 2005 PA 121, and the in- person reporting requirements of MCL 28.725(1), as amended by 2011 PA 17—could be excised from retroactive application without affecting the statute’s workability. However, even if the retroactive application of SORA without these discrete provisions were constitutional, that application would require improper judicial engagement in essentially legislative choices. Furthermore, the passage of 2020 PA 295 did not support the prosecution’s proposed remedy for severing the 2011 SORA. Similarly, the proposal of amicus the Gratiot County Prosecutor’s Office to remedy the constitutional violation by excising the particular provisions of the 2011 SORA that extended beyond its federal counterpart, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), 34 USC 20901 et seq., was rejected. The fact that the 2011 Legislature did not amend SORA to create an identical statutory scheme to SORNA and instead included several additional provisions indicated that the Legislature was, at the very least, not motivated solely by a desire to conform to SORNA.

The last part is what I enjoyed the most. Almost seemed like they were giving the legislature the bird. But since their opinion stated that the 2011 amendments are not severable from SORA, does that mean that the entirety of SORA is not valid?

I only had time to read a few comments, but unless someone stated it and I missed it, people don’t understand the biggest benefit from this decision.

True, it currently directly affects those suffering ex post facto. BUT, by declaring registration punitive it now opens the floodgates for all other Constitutional challenges that before would lose immediately if registration is not punishment. Now, cruel and unusual punishment and due process can be challenged as well.

Good point Chris. I also wonder whether a law written as regulatory but interpreted as punitive is constitutional—when I was sentenced, the registry wasn’t really a part of my “sentence.” There was a woman in the courtroom, a county employee I believe, who made sure I filled out some paperwork to go on the registry, but the judge never handed down “25 years of registration” to me and obviously judges and prosecutors have zero discretion for applying the registry. While legislatures can determine punishments and set mandatory minimums, don’t they have to do so as a punishment, which changes who administers the registry (it should be the DOC, not the state police as it is in Michigan)? If it is a punishment, it needs to be treated formally as a new form of punishment, doesn’t it? We have these amateurish laws masquerading as regulation but which serve to unfairly punish people who have served out their sentences. They really need to all be re-written from the ground up (or, preferably, discarded entirely).

Your point is well taken. As mentioned above, the Constitution prohibits both ex post facto laws as well as bills of attainder. Although ex post facto has a huge amount of federal case law, there seems to be precious little regarding these. One very early Supreme Court decision is Cummings v. Missouri, U.S. 4 Wall. 277 277 (1867) which states in part:

“3. A bill of attainder is a legislative act which inflicts punishment without a judicial trial. If the punishment be less than death, the act is termed a bill of pains and penalties. Within the meaning of the Constitution, bills of attainder include bills of pains and penalties.”

“4. These bills, though generally directed against individuals by name, may be directed against a whole class, and they may inflict punishment absolutely or may inflict it conditionally.”

This seems to cover registration and to answer your question. I’m not a lawyer, and don’t have an opinion as to how and when this should be addressed in the courts. However, I do think that no case should be brought until the opinion that registration constitutes punishment is widely recognized. A favorable decision could eliminate the registry, whereas an adverse decision could exacerbate the pain, as did Smith v. Doe. I’ll leave the timing and circumstances of such explosive cases to people like Janice and Professor Ellman.

Veritas et patientia.

You hit the nail on the head. Now that it has been declared punitive, it opens the door for other constitutional claims, due process being probably the biggest one. Everyone charged with a crime MUST be informed what the punishment is before entering a plea. That is so the defendant can have an opportunity to discuss it with an attorney in order to make an informed decision on how he wants to plead and challenge the case.
Those of us who are pre 2011, and especially pre SORA, were never infomed in advance of what SORA would entail or the consequences of violating any portion of it. When the tiered system was put in place in 2011 and changed the 25 years to life, we were never given an opportunity to challenge it. That violates due process. Had we known in advance that this is what SORA would be all about, many of us could have chosen a jury trial instead of taking a plea deal. With a jury trial you have at least a 50/50 chance of aquittal and if found not guilty would have never been subjected to SORA.
I think this is a huge argument especially for people like me where there was no SORA when the criminal act was committed.
Now that our sentences have been completed years ago, we have no avenue to appeal our convictions. Double jeopardy also attaches now that its been declared punitive. Double jeopardy not only means you cannot be charged twice for the same offense, it also means the punishment for a crime can not be increased once sentence has been imposed, with the exception that if the sentence was not valid. Adding all these amendments to SORA, especially life time registration, has clearly increased the punishment for a valid sentence that was previously imposed.
I hope Janice and Ms. Aukerman are reading this, but I’m sure they are already aware.

The court did not rule this why because they were being malicious and leaving a loophole for post 2011 registrants to remain on the punitive registry. They were presented a question by this one defendant and they answered THAT question. “Can the law be retroactively applied to someone years after he was convicted”. Their answer was “NO”. That was the only question presented to them. The question was not, “is the entire registry punitive and unconstitutional?”. They can only rule on the specific question presented to them. Even though they went into length in their opinion to discribe the registry as punitive in its entirety, that was not part of the decision on this particular case. The conclusion for this particular case is; This law cannot be retroactively applied, as that was what the defendant asked them.
Now if someone else would bring a challenge about the punitive nature of the registry, I suspect we would get a favorable ruling in that case as well based on how the court expresses that they find the entire registry to be a form of undue punishment in addition to the court ordered sentences.

Exactly…. The registry in general will remain in place. The ruling on Bett’s case will change a significant amount of the registry for ex post facto, and those prior to 2011. And it is no doubt a significant ruling and paves the way to address other parts of registry and the registry as a whole. But all in all, the registry will remain in general for many. And that needs to be addressed with a new case. And address the new Sora that went into affect recently and is crap for all. Which will happen. Guarantee you that.

The Michigan Supreme Court DID rule that the 2011 amendments made it punitive, so that does not need to be brought to court. All people have to do is cite that when challenging other aspects of it.
The legislature can make SORA as punitive as they want as long as they don’t make those harsher changes retroactive. They can only make punitive changes apply prospectively, so there would be no merit for someone convicted AFTER the changes.
That is the way the Constitution lays it out.

Something that many people have overlooked is the fact that when SORA was first created, it’s intent was to be a tool for the police to use for investigating sexual assaults. If an assault happened in an area where someone on the registry lived, he would be one of the first suspects the police would investigate. That is what the registry was for.
Since then it has ceased to be a tool for police and has become, and I wince when I say this, a means to keep the public safe and to prevent the registered person from doing it again. We all know how stupid that is. Since when does having someone’s picture and information listed on the internet for the world to see keep the public safe? Since when does this prevent the registrant from committing another crime?
There is NOTHING anyone can do to prevent a crime. Even published laws do not prevent crime. We all know that. There are laws making it illegal to murder, but that doesn’t stop anyone. Look at how many murders there were in Detroit alone last year.
Did the Legislature enact a law against murder thinking that if its on the books, no one would ever commit murder? Does that law being on the books keep people safe from people who intend to murder? Of course not, and its stupid to even think so. So how do all these amendments to SORA “prevent” sexual assaults or keep the public safe? They don’t. I will never rape anyone, but having my name on the hit list would never stop me if I wanted to, therefore, the public can never be safe.
This is why the registry needs to be abolished. It does absolutely NOTHING to keep the public safe or to prevent crime. All it does is subject the people on it and their families to a life of misery and makes them a target to those who would seek to do them harm.
I’m going to go create a list now of everyone I can think of who has ever committed a crime and publish it on my YouTube channel so the public will be safe.

Its about time they STOP PUNITIVE PUNISHMENT UPON OUR FAMILIES TOO ! The state needs too pay for all the damage it has inflicted upon registrants and their families for the last 28 years unjustly ! I hope we can hold them responsible & accountable for the pain & suffering all of us had too endure . Another will and still se all sit here and suffer NO CHANGES !! This is Sick ! Those of us who were forced on this Hit list should of been free 28 years ago and we still are NOT !!

@@ Another WIN and still we all sit here and suffer “NO CHANGES” ? This is Sick ! The Court needs too step UP ! End these barbaric punishment’s they are allowing !

So here’s a thought/question for the legal-beagles on here and out there…

If MI’s SORA is punitive, will MI be able to apply it to someone moving in from out of state, regardless the date of their conviction? It would seem that even the boilerplate catch-all language of “if committed in this State” and such won’t help. I don’t see how a State can apply any punitive act upon someone who was not subject to the penalty while a resident of another state. After all, someone who committed an act in a state other than Michigan has violated no Michigan laws…and therefore cannot be punished by Michigan.

AJ, its not about it being punitive in general, its about applying punitive amendments retroactively.
Someone moving to Michigan who is required to register in their state will be subject to registration in Michigan. However, with the State Supreme Court declaring the 2011 amendments cannot be applied retroactively to anyone who committed their offense prior to 2011, if someone moving here committed their offense prior to 2011, they would not be subject to it.
I would say that if someone moving here from another state who committed their offense after the 2011 amendments would be subject to it. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am.
Every state has the right to make SORA punitive. They just cannot make those punitive changes retroactive. They can only apply them prospectively.

@Disgusted in Michigan:
I am well aware of the ins and outs of ex post facto. Part of the process of finding a law to violate EPF includes the fact the law is punitive. Therefore, MI-SORA is “punitive in general” (the date element only decides whether or not it’s EPF, too) and is, therefore, not a civil, regulatory scheme. Since it’s punitive, I don’t see how it’s constitutional to apply it to someone who has not violated any MI criminal laws. I wholly agree anyone pre-2011, regardless of jurisdiction, will be exempted. It’s the non-MI, post-2011 cases that have me scratching my head. Again, how can a State apply punishment (i.e. something punitive such as MI-SORA) to a person who hasn’t broken a criminal law? I don’t have the answer but I know where my thoughts lie.

Very true AJ. Instant procedural procedural due process issue there.
I know I haven’t been active here much the last 2 years but I try to pop in for major stuff like this.
Being declared punishment opens tons of doors to strike it down. It shouldn’t extend the “punishment” past the duration under government supervision either. Punishment shouldn’t be mandated by legislature as it is the judicial responsibility to tailor it to the person. Lots of challenges that only had to pass rational basis review now get strict scrutiny.

It’s a new world.

How many states now cite that the registry is punishment now?

Alaska, iirc

Heh, I’m getting flashbacks with seeing AJ and Chris F’s comments back when we would comments so much back in the day.

Yes, those days were very interesting at times and the discussions a welcome distraction. Full time employment and time with my kids eat up my time now. I couldn’t do either of those until off the registry but I will never forget the unjust treatment the registry creates for no reason.

So now that MSC, has ruled on Betts favor and deemed the 2011 amendments unconstitutional and I know we are still waiting on Judge Cleland for some reason. Does anyone have a guess when they will start removing pre-2011 people from the registry. I’m not worried or could careless about the other provisions, I am just concerned with the part where those of us that were changed from 25 years to life will finally be removed from this damn thing. My so called 25 years was up last year. 6-19-2020. Anyone have any guesses? Thanks for your time in advance.

No a lawyer, but my guess is that the State will say that the new 2020 version of the law applies to you and that you must still register. You’ll have to sue again to come off the list, possibly.

One could see the state amended the law for the next 10 years, slowly reducing the requirements, without ever taking someone off the list.

Bobby – until the latest 2020 law is challenged, I don’t see that changing. The new law would have to be struck as it will be presumptively “constitutional”. Unless Cleland includes life without assessment punitive in his final judgment that could change.

Maybe someone else can chime in on their opinion.

@BobbyS….I’m in concurrence with @BM & @John Doe. I’ve had several conversations about this with my attorney. Cleland’s hands are basically tied as he can only rule on the old law. The new law will have to be challenged….In my mind, I believe that personal legal challenges once the final judgment is issued will never be more ripe for the attempting. If you CAN then you probably should attempt it before you get boxed in by the inevitable DOES III….

You are 100% correct in regards to Cleland’s hands being tied with his final order in Does v. Snyder. However, this ruling is the People v. Betts and it was decided by the State Supreme Court, which effectively renders their decision the law of the state that all legislators, prosecutors and authorities are bound by. This decision will not be passed back to the lower court where both parties can squabble over what it really means for the next 2 years.

I do not completely agree with BM and JohnDoeUtah. Unlike the 6th Circuit’s opinion on Does v. Snyder, the Michigan Supreme Court ruling is binding for the state of Michigan. Michigan legislators and authorities will have to comply and those measures that are found to be constitutional violations will no longer be enforced regardless of which version of the law they are in. That does not necessarily mean you are coming off the registry. It just means you cannot be prosecuted for not complying with the parts found to be unconstitutional. I do recommend that you continue registering as you had been until more information is provided, as it takes time for the new ruling to work its way down the ranks..

Seth – unfortunately this is a new law, new Kennedy / Mendoza factors will have to be applied to see if it amounts to “punishment”. The 6th ruled Michigan SORNA punitive but not the Federal. Same court, different cumulative burdens, different outcome.

I am well aware of the different court circumstances. I have commented that Judge Cleland’s final order will do nothing for the new SORA law and that a new challenge will have to be started. However, that is not what is at stake now. The state supreme court’s decision is actually binding and now no law in Michigan can be retroactively applied, regardless of if it’s SORA II or any other law. That decision is effectively the law of the land in the state of Michigan.

I want to point out a couple holes in what you said.

First, neither the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals nor the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Michigan’s SORA is punishment. They ruled that it can’t be retroactively applied. They both did go further to express that they find it to be punitive, but that was not what they ruled on. The question brought to them was does it violate the ex post facto clause and that is what their decision addressed. That is why post-2011 registrants will have to file another lawsuit. Because even though both courts found it to be punitive in their opinion, they could only rule on the ex post facto question.

Second, there is not a federal SORNA. There are only federal guidelines recommended to states so that they can receive federal grants. There is no federal sex offender registry to rule unconstitutional in any way.

Just a wild guess, but if post-2011 registrations are punitive, they cannot be applied to those whose convictions pre-dated the new revisions because that would be another violation of the ex post facto clause. Those convicted after the new revisions could not argue that since their convictions were newer.

There are the Federal laws about putting marks on passports and denial of housing assistance for those on the registry that could be challenged. The best bet, since the states allow that to happen by providing their lists of registered citizens to the Feds, would be to add all that onto a state challenge. States will try to say they can’t control what the feds add on, but they are the gatekeeper of their registry and could simply not provide it when they know doing so adds more restrictions to their citizens.

Seth, I appreciate your comment but there are no holes. BOTH the 6th AND MSC ruled the 2011 were punishment and could not be applied retroactively. The ONLY way they could not be applied EPF is if it IS punishment. You yourself state that neither court ruled it punishment, then go on to say they found it punitive.

Where you’re mistaken in your thinking is that michigan cannot modify the law like they did and apply it. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Less restrictions could make it in the eyes of the courts non-punitive and regulatory. Then they can apply it retroactively since it isn’t punishment. Hence Smith v Doe

Again, the only conclusion both courts came to is that the law cannot be retroactively applied. They literally stated that. We are asked to decide whether the retroactive application of Michigan’s Sex Offenders Act (as amended in 2011) … violates state and federal constitutional prohibitions on ex post factor laws,” “We hold that it does.”
Even this very post makes that clear. They went on to describe why they find the law to be punitive, but that is not the question they were asked to answer. The court decides the question presented to them.

I never said the state can’t modify the law and apply it. I said this particular law and any others attempting to be retroactively applied cannot be enforced. The court did not say it can’t be retroactively applied because it’s punitive. It cannot be retroactively applied because because that would be a violation of the ex post facto clause whether it’s punitive or not.


It cannot be retroactively applied because because that would be a violation of the ex post facto clause whether it’s punitive or not.

There cannot be an ex post facto violation without the law being punitive! There’s no “or not” to it. Wake up, dude.


First, neither the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals nor the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Michigan’s SORA is punishment. They ruled that it can’t be retroactively applied. They both did go further to express that they find it to be punitive, but that was not what they ruled on. The question brought to them was does it violate the ex post facto clause and that is what their decision addressed.

Your statement makes no sense. For a court to find an ex post facto violation it first must find the law to be punitive (read: punishment). Going all the way back to Calder v. Bull (1798), SCOTUS has held that EPF only applies in punitive situations. So again, your statement makes no sense because punishment is a bedrock element of EPF analysis.

I still have not been registering, and I get o nervous when police are driving behind, how many of you are still not registering? I was convicted in 98, which made me 13 or 14 at the time of offence. I have not been on online registry anymore for several months.

Why have you not been registering? The new law went into effect on March 24th. Did you receive a letter from the state police about it?
I am not positive, but I believe that tier Is were removed and no longer need to register. Is that your situation?

@Hopeful: I’m not doing verification until the emergency order is lifted, as per the MISORA website—while we are “allowed” to verify anyway, I think it’s unlikely any state employees actually want extra work to do so this is win/win. But if your offense was as a minor, aren’t you eligible for the youthful offender removal from the registry? If you aren’t seeing your name on the registry any more, that might be why! If so, congrats!

I’m still shocked riverside county public defenders office wouldn’t file my petition because I have 2 failure to register changes on my record I received probation on both changes and completed them bout why fo I have to wait 5 more years.I’m so angry I don’t know what to do anymore
I guess I’ma be homeless for the next 5 yearz

You have to remember we are dealing with multiple classes in the Law Suit. Those pre-2016, pre-2011, and Those pre-2006. My only concern is that the ACLU never addressed the length of time we had to register only the tiers. However, in People v. Betts did address that issue and stated that the 2011 amendments could not be applied retroactively as well as 2021 amendments to the ex post facto class. People v Betts did address the pre-2011 class.

Do you know if Michigan had lifetime registration pre 2011 and 2006?

Mr. Ed, the lifetime registration was imposed in the 2011 amendments. Prior to that the max was 25 years.

My apologies. My reply was for @The Truth.

Final order is out….We got nothing as expected.

@Michigan….nothing here was unexpected. He put the final nail in the pre 2021 sora and by his own words admitted there was NOTHING he could do about the new one. Just another shit sandwich for us to swallow….

Oh, no. You’re wrong. We won big time. I don’t have to give the cops my phone number or tell them when I buy a new car while I drive past a school, but I still get to stay on the registry for the rest of my life.
I only hope that Michigan has to pay the ACLU millions and millions in attorney fees.
Big time win (written with as much sarcasm and anger I can muster).

My sentiments exactly. Are you sure about the phone number and if you buy a car? I hate to say it but I feel more in the dark now then pretty much at any other time. I’m not sure what the hell I’m supposed to do and what I’m allowed to do anymore. So is there anyway on the next class action suit to cover our asses for a future sleight of hands by the legislature because you can bet they’ve got more tricks up their sleeve.

Well…. I was wondering about that. And according to The Intern Tim, in the most recent emails sent out, the Bett’s case only applies to Bett’s, it is NOT class action. There fore another lawsuit has to be filed, another 2-3 yrs of waiting. The new 2020 Sora holds us ALL on it to register. And we’re required to register.
I knew it was too good to be true.

So we have to bring are own individual lawsuit? I really am getting confused over this what a cluster f!%ck.

“Michigan’s Sex Offenders Registration Act, MCL 28.721 et seq., as amended by 2011 PA
17 and 18, when applied to registrants whose criminal acts predated the enactment of the 2011 amendments, violates the constitutional prohibition on ex post facto laws, US Const, art I, § 10; Const 1963, art 1, § 10.” < Top of page 2.

Bottom of page 2.
"Considering these factors cumulatively, the 2011 SORA’s aggregate punitive effects
negated the state’s intention to deem it a civil regulation. Accordingly, the retroactive imposition of the 2011 SORA increased registrants’ punishment for their committed offenses in violation of federal and state constitutional prohibitions on ex post facto laws."

I'm not seeing where the decision only applies to Betts.

I’m not either, but according to The Intern Tim, and he got information from the law group… That it’s only applying to Bett’s, not as a cival suit. So, I’m confused too. I know what it says in the court papers. But you know how sneaky the legislators and their attorneys are. They are always one step ahead of us in making it stick. Why do you think they made the 2020 Sora in first place?? They anticipated this would happen and made it so we have to file again, another 2-4 yrs of waiting.
Until I have paper in my hand that says I don’t have to register, I’m not buying any of this s**t. I know I’m angry… why?
Because My daughter went over seas to visit husbands parents. She was in accident, put in a coma in very bad shape.
I notified the sheriff department that I needed to fly to fly over seas immediately, they freaking denied it, saying I didn’t give 30 days notice. What **** difference dose that Make??? Seriously!! You can’t keep treating and punishing me like I’m so just out of prison murderer. That came from Lansing. Well my daughter died, and I couldn’t be there.
I’ll find a way, and sue the state silly.

@Mr. Ed: incredibly sorry to hear about your daughter. That must have been a very painful experience. There’s no reason why International Megan’s Law can be retroactively applied, based on the Snyder and the Betts rulings. Once it falls in Federal court, I hope you have an opportunity for major financial compensation (but I know it will be a battle).

After Cleland’s judgment, today, I’ve lost faith that anything is going to meaningfully improve. At this point, suing them seems like the way to go.

Wow. Very sorry about your loss.

I’ve never heard of any law enforcement agency in all of America that has any authority to tell anyone they cannot travel internationally as soon as they’d like. Is that a MI law or something?

It’s in the Sora that you have to give them 30 days notice of international travel. I’ve been on Sora since it began, and been out of the country on and off over the years. Yes, it is a Sora law, one they really check up on. one Time I was going over seas, I had to give 30 days, you have to have address that can be verified of where your going, contact people over there where your staying, the whole fraking kaboodle….then just a few days before you leave state police will pay you a visit to verify. And when your due back the state police will pay you a visit again to verify you returned. And if your not home they will stop in every fraking day until they verify your back….
So hell yea it’s a law. A SORA law.

So, MI law?

Sorry, I could research around but I’d prefer to hear from you exactly what law you are following.

Mr. Ed, My sincere condolences to you and your family. I have no words…
If there’s anything I can do for you, please let me know.

Déjà vu? So we had the original six that we represented by the ACLU. Then the court said yeah no problem… But this is just for those six. So then we had to start a class action lawsuit represent all of us. Where does that wind up? So we start a new class action and just before it finally works its way through the courts the state of Michigan drops another no sora on us. When does it snap and when do we quit chasing our tails? Send me the next step is to see which judge CLELIND. Perio D… Comes up with on his final judgment. Someplace, somehow this BS Hass to end.

Here’s the ironic part…the original six are now back on the registry under the 2020 amendment….anybody else starting to realize that the powers that be will NEVER let us go…there will always be a “but”……this BETTS decision can only be used in another lawsuit…those waiting for a Cleland miracle are going to be sorely disappointed as well… advice is to file on your own before the aclu locks you out for another 3 years. It’s the only chance we got because they will NEVER let us go in mass….period!

so like a lot of you I got another email from Tim today at ACLU. If I read it right, we walk away from this class action lawsuit without a damn thing to show for it. This is unbelievableAnd it’s getting really old. I don’t know what judge CLELIND how to say but obviously it wasn’t anything good. SMFH.

You read it right. We traded one punitive, ex post facto law, for another, slightly different, punitive, ex post facto law. The state lost two cases, and as a result, didn’t really lose anything. We traded an unconstitutional law, for one that’s still unconstitutional. And is actually less clear than the previous law. Give it another 5 years and we’ll have another “victory.” I am glad Betts won’t face any time. And there are likely a few people who will avoid some charges, but that seems to be the full sum of ten years of litigation. That and the ACLU will get a hefty check in the mail.

That part sticks in my craw really bad….the ACLU will likely get a couple million out of this…..this is headed for Does III….Whoopty F’n Doo!!!! Only silver lining is that we’re no longer under a class action lawsuit for the time being. We should be able to file suit individually now with several good legal decisions to cite….

@josh that’s what I’m doing Iam calling to get a lawyer. F this sh@#. I’m done with this I emailed Tim from the aclu and I don’t want any of there shity help. I’m so mad right now this is crazy. Why fight if they can’t do anything to help. Alot of you guys have been on it longer then me. I’m sorry I’ve been on it since I was 20 this has to stop. People are getting killed over this and they don’t care. The government and people that support this are a bunch of fart sucking dumb bastards and I’m sick of it. Home of the free bullshit only if you lick the boots but even then it’s f*d.

I’m with you R33. I’m having a very difficult time trying to understand why the ACLU even litigated this without bringing up the unconstitutional aspects of making people register BEFORE sora even existed, or why the ex post facto application of 25 years to life was blanket applied to people. I could care less about safety zones, email addresses and such. To me those things are not punishment. Having your 25 years changed to life is the punishment.
Someone please explain to me why the ACLU did not address that.

Exactly this. The relief that was granted, today, necessitates having access to a time machine, in order to take advantage of. I was released from a retroactive law, only to be retroactively subjected to a prospective law. There is so much wrong with that judgment, it would take a post the length of a Gideon bible, to go through all of it.

And this business about, “You do the crime, you do the time.”
I never signed up to have to go tell the local sheriff, every time I bought a salt and pepper shaker off of aliexpress, or risk a couple years in prison. I never signed up to have to worry, when I was buying a burger, if I was somehow loitering 985 feet from a school.

It’s not about sympathy, or pity, or any of that nonsense. It’s about wanting equal protection, under the law. And that absolutely did not happen today.

Prior to the 2011 law, did michigan have a lifetime registry?


Cant wait too file law suits on these A$$ Clowns ! The longer they retroactive punishment the more we will get PAID !

Hell yeah, I nvr did time for original charge. But I did a year for fail to register when I was in the middle of moving.

@ TnT:. Don’t get your hopes up for a lucrative lawsuit. The prospects of you getting a big payout (or any payout, for that matter) are probably very slim. Here’s why:
1. Forget taking it to any jury. They’ll have no sympathy for you. Equally, if you go before a judge, he’ll likely say “Hey, you’re lucky to be off the damn registry. Don’t ask for anything more. Case dismissed. Now get out of my courtroom.”. And….
2. With no prospect for a big win or settlement, you won’t be able to find a lawyer who’s willing to take the case. It would be a waste of their time. Sorry, TnT, that’s just how it is. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Hey David Fleur de Lis’, why can’t WE here in CALI get Janice all the edgy and mutliple entries here for her fight for all to SCOTUS Next 23!””??
Alot is here and more than fourty comments, but what about ACSOL and what it was designated for CA, why doesn’t this much effort show on items here like SB145 and now upcoming all to the SCOTUS Steps for Chance and her efforts and Ira and The Board Members for all to go and show and stand and speak. WOW alot here for another State

@ David …. The Pain Is Real ! Bs that they can retroactive punishment upon someone and not be held accountable… Fock Them !

@ TnT: I absolutely understand and sympathize – I have been on the hit list myself for 20+ years. I am just stating the realities that would face a lawsuit. I know very well that it is not justice. 😒

Ok so the new law in Michigan says it’s not retroactive. so if it’s not retroactive then what? @Disgusted in Michigan maybe you can help me on this part. I would really appreciate it thanks.

R33…it means that anyone who violated the sections that have been ruled unconstitutional cannot be charged for those violations.

@ Disgusted in Michigan … WELL ….. I think about 20,0000 plus of US have already been charged with these Violations like myself 1 to 3 year sentence in 1992 ???? 5 years before a registry was ever Even thought of???? This is 2021 WTF !!! They already and STILL are applying unconstitutional punishment and the Court has & will Rule this Again & Again ! So we just keep getting Focked until the End of Time ??? Anyone retroactively added too this hit list Has & Is being Punished !! My sentence was up in 1995 the Entire Sentence ! Like many others, The registry is PUNISHMENT ! Fock the State of Michigan !

Yup, I had to do a year for a technical violation, no time at all for original charge 25 years ago. Did my year about 5 years for technical violation.

I hope you paid them back in magnitudes. There is no reason to stop paying them back. This is war. They deserve consequences until they can learn to stop harassing and mind their own business.

What do you mean wouldn’t that be all of it technically cuz it don’t specify. Also dose anyone listen to the podcast registry matters they were just talking about this on there you guys should listen to it. It is on YouTube.

I listened to registry matters also and larry the Attorney makes it sound that we are on our way off the registry for pre 2011 registrants.

I know what you mean Larry seamed very happy with it. So maybe there still is hope I don’t know man this stuff sucks

If there’s a silver lining at all Cleland used the words punishment. But whatever. I’m over this cat and mouse game.

The only silver lining is it was declared punishment. I’ll be using that when I file my own lawsuit for ex post facto violations. Hopefully it will only take me 10 years to win.

Has anyone noticed how our AG has kept quiet about this whole situation?

@And I ck, ya from what I understand they asked her office for a statement, and so far she has refused to give one so far.

BOBBYS… No problem about your response time to my post regarding Paul. I had called the Oliver Law group a couple weeks ago and was informed that they charge $100 to talk to an attorney on the phone. I figured, why would I pay for bad news but I can get it for free. As far as our attorney general… I really haven’t been able to find anything that she said to see about the registry for over a year now
how’s the healing process going?

@And I ck, if your speaking of my healing die to chemo and stage 4 colon cancer, it’s going as well as can be expected, my hands and feet are extremely dry and raw, from chemo. The good news is my last chemo treatment will be Monday the 9th. They will still have to keep a close eye on me for the next two years with catscan’s and Colonoscopies, to make sure the cancer doesn’t try to come back, or if it does come back they catch it early this time and get rid of it. Thanks for asking though very much appreciated.

What you want her say? She wants to get re-elected? You want her to alienate the other 50% of people who actually did vote for her the first time…we’ve gotten all the help we’re gonna get from her. She’s covering her ass now

The other major achievement in the Does case is that they can’t keep piling restrictions on us. Since I was arrested in the early 2000s, I’d felt hopeless that we would just keep seeing new restriction after new restriction, new fees, new places we can’t live. This, and the Betts ruling, make it clear judges are inclined to rule that any new restrictions are punishment and violations of ex
post facto. I feel this makes International Meghans Law and any new federal laws vulnerable to lawsuits which hopefully won’t languish for decades in courts.

The other major piece is that the Does case led to is that the new Michigan SOR law has a provision for expunged records to be relieved of registration duties. That might be the easiest way to push to get more registrants off—suing the state to allow registrants to apply for expungement. Lawmakers are very pro-expungement right now and there’s no reason registrants should be denied this option.

Literally… I really hate to be a pessimist but who says that they can’t drop more crap on us? A year ago did you think they would come up with another Soora that was suspect yours? Six months ago did you think that the original six would be placed on the new Soora after being taken off of the old? Do you think they can’t raise the extortion fee? I don’t think they worry about what’s legal or what is constitutional… I think they just figured that for as long as they can pull something they’ll do it.

It may say that, but that won’t stop the legislature from continuing to screw us over. You do realize there’s a Constitution that says what the legislature can and cannot do, right? Its clearly written in the Constitution that ex post facto application of ;laws is illegal, but did that stop the legislature? No. Do laws stop anyone from doing illegal acts? No.
I’m a realist. Watch what new crap the legislature comes up with down the road to apply to us. It will happen. I guarantee it.

Are pre 2011 coming off ?

The simple and plain answer is NO.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x