A lawsuit was filed this week in Sacramento Superior Court challenging the application of a tiered registry law provision that has resulted in individuals being assigned to Tier 3, the highest tier, even though their felony conviction was reduced to a misdemeanor. Specifically, the lawsuit is seeking relief for an individual convicted of a felony violation of Penal Code Section 288.2 that was later reduced to a misdemeanor.
According to the lawsuit, the individual should not have been assigned to Tier 3 or to any tier, but instead should have his requirement to register automatically terminated. The lawsuit seeks relief not only for one individual, but for every individual in similar circumstances.
“The Tiered Registry Law amended all registration requirements when it became effective in January 2021,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “The change that is significant in this case is that the amended law clearly states that only those convicted of a felony violation of PC 288.2 are required to register.”
The lawsuit also asserts that the reduction of a felony offense to a misdemeanor is for all purposes, including the Tiered Registry Law. The defendant in the lawsuit is Attorney General Rob Bonta, who is being sued in his official capacity.
“This lawsuit is the second lawsuit filed in which a provision of the Tiered Registry Law is being challenged,” stated Bellucci. “Because the legislature refuses to modify the Tiered Registry Law, it is necessary to challenge in court provisions of that law as well as their application.”
The first lawsuit challenging a provision of the Tiered Registry Law that assigns individuals convicted of Penal Code Section 288(c) was filed in Sacramento Superior Court on February 17, 2021. The Court granted the government’s demurrer motion on October 13, 2021, which in essence dismissed the case. An appeal of the Court’s decision is currently pending.