A lawsuit was filed today in a federal district court in California challenging the denial of access to a military base of a military retiree solely because he is required to register. The lawsuit claims that the military retiree’s right to due process was violated when he was denied access without prior notice in November 2021 to Vandenberg Air Force Base which is located near Santa Barbara, California. The lawsuit asks the court to require the commander of Vandenberg Air Force base to allow the plaintiff access so that the plaintiff can receive the benefits of his retirement, including but not limited to, medical care, shopping at the base exchange and commissary and access to MWR programs.
The plaintiff in this case is 75 years old and a retired Air Force officer who served in the military for 20 years. After his retirement, the plaintiff worked on an Air Force base as a civilian employed by a base contractor. The plaintiff was convicted of one sex offense in 1992 for conduct that did not occur on a military base and that did not involve military personnel or military dependents.
“Military retirees who are also required to register are being denied access to military bases throughout the nation without prior notice,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “As a result, military retirees are being denied their retirement benefits. Today’s lawsuit is expected to be the first of many challenges to these unlawful actions.”
According to the lawsuit, the denial of plaintiff’s base access is based upon a policy set forth in a Department of Defense manual that allows base commanders to prohibit individuals currently required to register as a sex offender from entering a military base. That policy, however, also states that a base commander’s authority must not be exercised in an arbitrary, unpredictable, or discriminatory manner.
The lawsuit states that military retirees have a “constitutionally cognizable and protected property interest” in their military benefits. The lawsuit further states that denying military retirees access to military bases deprives retirees of those benefits because they cannot access military bases where those benefits are available.
“The denial of Plaintiff’s base access was arbitrary and not based upon either reasoned grounds or judiciously applied, in that it was based solely upon Plaintiff’s requirement to register as a sex offender,” according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit emphasizes that the Plaintiff had access to multiple military bases for more than 40 years and during that time, Plaintiff’s actions were lawful and without incident.
Download a PDF of the lawsuit:
Lawsuit that Challenges Denial of Military Base Access to Registrant Retirees – May 2022
Awesome! When was that policy in the Department of Defense manual drafted? It must be a fairly recent revision and maybe it is an underground regulation or whatever the federal equivalent would be.
Spent 8 in myself. The affirmative restraint Imposed is clearly retribution and not reasonable regulation. What is cited in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, if anything, on the issue? This is wrong on a whole new level. Well at least from the perspective of the average soldier. Somehow, The Don’s privatization option effort for VA care is pinging my bell. Never underestimate the power of the hospital lobby! Seriously that bunch is like 3rd on the political donation sectors arrays. This private enterprise lends the alternative means to seek care. Nuff said. However having alternate means to seek care does not make the prohibition any less shameful.
I hope you can add Fort Carson to that list
Thank you for all your support ACSOL, Janice and Chance! Even just knowing we have you on our side eases my anxiety quite a bit. I’ll be praying for a win!
all right i wish i could be there in court to watch this one
Great lawsuit. I think disabled veterans should be added as well. I am 100% p&t. I get the same access to benefits (or very close) to those that retired.
I haven’t tried to go on base since the rule change as I have not needed to.
Hope this turns out well!
I wish you luck Janice course someone’s got to stand up but fighting is like Ali fighting his conscientious rights.
‘Glad Janice filed this lawsuit.👍🏻 It’s terrible that benefits that these veterans EARNED are being denied to them.
This is all well and good, BUT, and this is a HUGE BUT, It is NOT the base commander that is blocking us from getting on base.
The “Guard of The Army”, run separate and under different command from any base commander and have the complete autonomy to enforce the ban.
I am stating on my own experience. I’m a spouse of an active duty army 92G and we have went through all of the base channels only to be told that they can’t override the Guard ban.
I can go on base if I go to the Guard office with proof of appointment to get a temp pass that expires 1 minute after my appointment time but thats it.
TriCare requires active duty, and spouses to have Primary Care Physicians on base and to get no cost meds only on base.
The Guard has a packet to request review/exception for the ban but they require a certified copy of case files that means I have to go physically go to Riverside California as they only issue stamped copies from the clerks in person not online, we’re stationed at Ft. Stewart in Georgia at an estimated travel cost of $2000.
If you want I will be a defendant do to my different, but similar set of circumstances.
moderator, pass on my email
This is insane. 20 years services to your country, plus work as a military contractor, get convicted for a sex offense over 30 years ago, only to have the very country that you served turn its back on you. Sort of reminds me how America turned its back on Afghanistan, then donated billions in taxpayer-funded military equipment to the very enemy they initially sought to defeat.
Thank you Janice and may God always Bless all that you do. This is an important case, as I am a retired Military Veteran. I will not even try to enter a Military Base until this is resolved, just to save myself the embarrassment.
I would like to be included in a class action suit on this matter. I am a Retired Disabled US Navy veteran who served 20 years honorably. I had been going on base for many years AFTER my conviction. Last year I was denied entry to Luke AFB in Litchfield Arizona due to being on the Registry. I have been “off paper” since Aug 2015 and have not had any further legal issues. I too am being denied access to my benefits of being able to shop at the commissary and exchange.
Additionally, I had to cancel a trip to Hawaii due to the fear of being denied the ability to stay at the Hale Koa military hotel due to this issue.
Thank for all your efforts for us!
Yes. If the person completed their sentence, they should have access to 100% of life. By your standard, you shouldn’t have received your license back as there’s a “danger” you’ll offend again against your future clients.
No one should be forced to register so your point is wrong.
If people want to talk about people who are on probation or parole, then perhaps there is a discussion to be had. Other than that, it’s just Amerikan idiocy.
You have a skewed perspective of who is on the registry and whether they pose a current danger. The blanket policy that the military is now enforcing is that anyone who is currently required to register regardless of the offense or how long it took place cannot enter a military base. This is wrong and a violation of the rights of military retirees who devoted at least 20 years of their life to protect this country. I am a veteran who decided not to make the military a career and yet I honor those who made a different decision based in part upon promises made to them by the federal governments such as lifetime medical care and access to facilities such as exchanges, commissaries and MWR programs. We cannot let this continue and that is why we filed this lawsuit which we expect to follow with additional lawsuits.
Unless you served, you have no idea about base security of hardware, etc, as well as those who have served with convictions.
Sometimes I wonder if you actually believe the things you write, or if you are just seeking to feed some obscure addiction for attention.
Seems that their are a lot of underhanded activities going on today. Should we call this registry a Hogan’s Hero’s of offenders of war to win a war or an Ali fight for justice. I believe I mentioned my uncle on here that was with a friend that stole a car. Yes they sent both of them to prison.
My grandmother even wrote a letter to the governor or maybe it was the president at that time to pass on her views and amazingly they shipped my uncle and his friend to war during WWII. After the war my uncle still had a bit of trouble which was mostly drinking, Of course his friend got killed in the War but still he got all his medical rights. Sure I mentioned Ali and that was a who different situation but was it. Their were pro’s and cons’ about Nam but still an objection is an objection and yes we all have a conscious
Sure we all have objections to much of this registry but who is respecting who with this underhanded type of justice.
Wow! I’m entitled to my opinion. You seem to like gas lighting and make false assumptions! I don’t agree with the registry and I think In (most) instances, it serves no purposes. I had to jump through hoops, get all my charges dismissed/expunged and obtain a COR to obtain complete freedom. I noted that some individuals stated I had no idea what it’s like to serve? Well stated. The military has no code of ethics, but the military does have 7 military values! If you break the law in the military; your court marshaled and in most instances discharged! I feel that nobody with a serious offense should be allowed back into a secure military base! What if you had 3 different offenses? What if the offense was 25 years ago? 5 years ago? 1 year ago???? I don’t feel most individuals convicted of a criminal offense should be allowed onto a safe/secure military base. I’m entitled to my opinion and regardless of your service, you broke the law! Military personnel are held at higher standards. Unfortunately, I don’t believe this lawsuit will prevail.
I find it interesting this new DoD policy directive comes from the administration of chief hands layer/hair smeller himself that has made many a female uncomfortable. That is like the administration chief from Jan 1993-Jan 2001 signing the registry himself with his behavior and not partaking in it as many thinks he should. Both seem to be out of their minds.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that DoD is now using IMESA and DBIDS for base access, and those hit NCIC looking for ANY felony conviction and will bar access – not just RSOs.
Thank you for pursuing this effort. I served 11 years in the military and am now being denied a veteran benefit provided by the DOD to use the base exchanges, commissaries and MWR facilities because I am being denied entry onto bases. Please provide updates on this as they are available.
I am retired military and no longer required to register can I access the military base?
I am wondering what the status of this case is. Thanks in advance!