ACSOL Leaders Discussed New SORNA Regulations

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ACSOL President Chance Oberstein and ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci discussed the new SORNA regulations during an “emergency” meeting held on Dec. 11 for two and a half hours.  The meeting was attended by about 250 people from at least 10 different states.

“ACSOL thanks everyone who attended Saturday’s meeting regarding the new SORNA regulations,” stated Bellucci.  “It was an opportunity for registrants and family members to hear the views of two experienced and caring attorneys as well as to both ask questions and make comments.”

During the meeting, Oberstein stated that the new regulations are likely to become effective on January 7, 2022, because it is unlikely that Congress will oppose the regulations.  He added that the new regulations are unlikely to immediately affect anyone because government notice is required before a registrant can be found in violation.

Bellucci added that government notices are likely to be communicated first to registrants who live in one of the nation’s 18 states that are SORNA compliant.  Those states are Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming.  The next group of registrants expected to receive notice of new SORNA requirements are individuals convicted of a federal offense who are currently on parole, probation or supervised release.

“The biggest problem caused by the new SORNA regulations is uncertainty,” stated Bellucci.  “For example, the new SORNA regulations will increase the number of times some registrants must register from once a year to four times a year.  The questions are who are those registrants and when will their new registration requirement begin.”

It is possible that some non-SORNA compliant states will protect their citizens from the new SORNA requirements, according to the ACSOL leaders.  

“Despite the assertion that the new SORNA regulations will not increase the cost of registration, state and local governments can be expected to pay a lot more to register individuals if those regulations are implemented,” stated Bellucci.  “The new SORNA regulations also falsely claim that  they will make it easier for registrants to determine what they are required to do.”

For those required to comply with the new SORNA regulations, the following apply:

  • Notify local law enforcement if you are leaving your residence for 7 days or longer
  • Provide notice to local law enforcement at least 21 days in advance if you plan to travel overseas
  • Disclose all “remote communication identifiers” including internet usernames and phone numbers
  • Register up to 15 years if assigned to Tier 1
  • Register for 25 years if assigned to Tier 2
  • Register for lifetime if assigned to Tier 3
  • Disclose occupational and professional licenses
  • Disclose vehicle information including location of cars, watercraft and aircraft
  • Disclose all passports and immigration documents

In addition to the requirement of government notice, the new SORNA regulations provide a defense if a registrant attempts to comply with the regulations, but finds it is impossible to do so.  For example, a registrant who is required to register four times a year may attempt to register more than once, but if local government refuses to register that person four times a year, the federal government may not violate that person.

According to the new SORNA regulations, the new federal regulations are the minimum requirements a registrant must meet.  State and local governments may levy additional requirements.  As a result, a registrant convicted of possession of child pornography may be assigned to Tier 1 under SORNA yet be assigned to Tier 3 under state law.

The new SORNA regulations provide an exception to the 21-day notice required for overseas travel in case of an emergency.  The regulations, however, do not define what is or is not an emergency.

The ACSOL leaders stated that litigation will be necessary in order to challenge several provisions within the new SORNA regulations.  The litigation is expected to be initiated during the first quarter of 2022 provided that plaintiffs and financial resources are available.

Listen to the recording of the meeting

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Total idiocy, this will increase violations dramatically, and it will have untold impact on the well being of registrants, especially those that have kind of found a niche in society and are functioning, but now they will lose employment, licenses, will be subject to harassment and discrimination. I see nothing good for anyone in this. It will further burden law enforcement and waste resources.

Thank you, Janice and Chance.

WHICH SORNA TIER? Convicted of 288a and given 12 month (so NOT more than 1 year) sentence in county jail and freed after 8 months. Does this mean he is on Tier 1 according to SORNA? (§20911(3) Tier II sex offender. The term “tier II sex offender” means a sex offender whose offense is punishable by imprisonment for more than 1 year and— (A) is comparable to or more severe than the following offenses, when committed against a minor, or an attempt or conspiracy to commit such an offense against a minor:…..

Very informative meeting!! If anyone could not attend in person, I would certainly encourage them to listen to the recording!
Thank you for reiterating that “government notice is required before a registrant can be found in violation.”
(I can’t recall when I last received any government notification of anything at all – except for the income taxes they want from me every year!🙄)

Dear Readers

In a word: DONATE!

As much as you can and as often as you can. Donate now, donate often.

If you register in California, and you received a 1203.4 for your sex offense, then you do not have to register under SORNA? Also they mentioned you must receive “penal consequences” to be considered “convicted under SORNA. What is considered a penal consequence? Isn’t registration a penal consequence?

how can we donate?

It seems to me each state’s AG has an obligation to protect people from the feds actions should the promulgation conflict in any way from current state law. The same duty exists for any potential abridging of due processes written in state statutes.

Since I live in Maryland I will post anything I may receive from the state. Holding out hope that not much will change for me, yet it’s the unknown that puts the fear on high heat.

@Janice, I was on the conference call and posed a question regarding tapping ACLU and the UN HRC (united nations human rights council). I got muted and couldn’t unmute to explain about UNHRC. Is there any man power to dedicate to brining up such issues as the SORNA to them? If at least we can make them aware and let the eyes of other nations see the horrific laws crushing RSOs, perhaps they can at least look into it.

I have to second that emotion Will Allen! Tim in WI its about time you got your head out of computers.oops. To much thinking can drive a man crazy and too much wisdom can drive one stir crazy.. loved the movie. Wonder iif that was PG rated or even G rated. If one puts a ratting label on the registry I am sure Will Allen can come up with a good one. Now I’m sure George Washington grew hemp for rope and Jefferson grew grapes for stomping now with the invent of internet we see a registry problem.

Man is always out there to take advantage of another any way he or she can. Take a look at this registry. Nothing wrong with a little punishment but too much is too much. Guess they will start growing marahajana here in VA and if the rating quality isn’t good or doesn’t pass inspection your busted. I’m sure a little peace pipe would do good for a lot of government today.

put everything in your wife name or someone maybe it will help

At the point of where I just don’t care anymore.
[Moderator’s note: edited for not following guidelines]

So my husband took a plea to Indecent Assault ( misdemeanor) in 2009.
He got 10 years on the registry
We’re in PA.
In 2012, his registration was changed to Lifetime.
Then the Munoz case came along and my husband was put back to 10 years registration.
Last year, he was removed by the state for fulfilling his 10 year registration.
Please tell me, he won’t be put back on!

so if california ag doesn’t issue some sort of statement or instructions is it safe to say california will still not be following sorna?

Another violation of ex post facto, not thinking this will affect anyone who was removed under the Munez decision, that’s why Pa isn’t on the list of this BS, probably the reason other states aren’t on board either.

I know this is a long shot but wouldn’t it be great if these regulations were published by Attorney General Merrick Garland with him knowing they would fail or knowing what a disaster they were and not even those hired to protect our rights understand it? This way he could “abolish the registry” by leaving it up to the courts? No politician wants to be seen being leninat on registrants but this would be a clever way to get something done with clean hands.

Well, seeing that the Pennsylvania constitution has greater protection than other states , I just don’t think they’re going to let this happen to Pa residents, along with other states that may be similar, with the Munez decision, ex post facto comes into play, which has already ruled that, you can’t just add on new laws and apply them to people currently on the registry, however, they can pass the laws and when someone commits new offenses, then they can apply it to those persons, but not anyone who was never required to register, people who were on the registry and were let off, due to the Munez decision and people who are currently on the registry, they already tried putting people back on the registry in 2012, which they accomplished for 5 or 6 years, until Munez, states like Pa aren’t going to let this sht fly folks, and it’s going to be challenged, you have all these states with all different SO registry’s, their own rules and regulations and now they’re going to alter them all, now they’re trying to make one big registry it seems but, then they’re altering over 200 registry’s which means, altering millions of registrants requirements, in turn will trigger, mass challenges and lawsuits, sorry but, this will take the entire registry down, of corse, they will try and revert everyone back to the old registry but, it will no longer be, because it will be repealed, so like our old registry, there is no registry to put people back on, the registry will be, abolished, once and for all, these politicians are getting to big for their underwear, not as smart as they think they are.

I do my annual on the 4th. If there are any new bullet points to initial, I will report back here.

There are plenty of intelligent and knowledgeable people here whose opinions I respect. I would love some feedback about my possible future domestic travel plans regarding SORNA and its related regulations to be sure I am understanding SORNA.

a) One out of state travel plan is to DC (ASCOL related) and then to nearby states for 2-3 weeks. The other out of state vacation may be for 2-3 weeks later this year.
b) Before I travel I will inform myself of all other state and local laws and be sure I visit in such a way where I do not have to register. I am not on probation or parole.
c) The non-SORNA state where I live, work and register has no travel requirement other than if you change your address, you must give a 7 day in person notice before. Address and change of address are not legally defined. A local attorney suggested I give notice I will be on a domestic vacation and give an expected return date (and provide no other information) in case of a compliance check not required by law.
d) SORNA law states it does apply to those with a state conviction if one crosses a state line or enters a reservation. My offense was with the state but dismissed. State requires me to register. SORNA law requires me to register. SORNA law requires one to register and update where one resides, works or attends school. SORNA law defines resides as the location of an individual home or where on habitually lives. I have owned and lived in the same place since 2014 and intend to return to the same place after my vacation. I interpret SORNA law as I am NOT changing my residence.

If I am not changing my residence as defined by SORNA law, I interpret that SORNA law does not apply to me because of my 2-3 week vacation. SORNA law states there is a criminal penalty if 1) I am required to register, 2) if a state conviction and I cross the state line or enter a reservation, and 3) if I knowingly fail to register. If I am not changing my residence as defined by SORNA law, then I interpret SORNA law as I am not required to register per SORNA law or any of the SORNA regulations because of my 2-3 week vacation.

SORNA law already does not require me to comply with SORNA or its regulations if I don’t leave my state or enter a reservation located within my state as I have state conviction for SORNA purposes.

SORNA law also states the AG has the authority to adopt regulations to interpret and implement SORNA law. I can find nowhere in SORNA law that gives the AG the authority to expand SORNA law. And I though the Gundy case stated the same, the AG can only interpret and implement, not expand SORNA law. So if correctly interpret the SORNA law definition of residence, then in addition to SORNA law not applying to me while on the 2-3 week domestic vacation, then no SORNA regulations should also apply. All of us attending the DC trip need to know and understand. Your opinions?

I have a question for everyone, has anyone received any letters or, had police or compliance officer tell you that you have to re register, or your requirements are more broadened, I know when they enforced SORNA in Pa back in 2012, I think it took a year for me to receive a letter, saying what my requirements were and that my registration time was extended as well as my tier, which went from 1 to 2 and 10 years to 15, I think I am misunderstanding how this federal thing works now, it’s a little confusing, some people are saying if you cross state lines, you may have to register I’m that state, if you’re currently not on the hate list, but not forced to register in none compliant states.