ACSOL Files Lawsuit Due to CA DOJ Failure to Provide Tier Assignments

ACSOL filed a lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court today alleging that the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) has failed to provide tier assignments to thousands of California registrants and thus violated a state law that required all registrants to receive a tier assignment by December 31, 2022.  As a result of the agency’s failure, there are thousands of registrants who are being prohibited from petitioning for removal from the registry.

According to the lawsuit, CA DOJ failed to provide tier assignments to 12,438 registrants as of November 2022.  This allegation is based upon a CA DOJ document dated November 15, 2022.  The lawsuit requests the court to order CA DOJ to immediately assign tiers to all registrants and to allow courts to consider petitions filed by or on behalf of registrants who have not yet received a tier assignment.  

“The Tiered Registry Law includes tier assignment for most offenses,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci.  “In those situations, there is no need for a determination by the California Department of Justice regarding an individual’s tier assignment.”

The lawsuit includes a total of three plaintiffs — two individuals and ACSOL — who have been harmed and continue to be harmed by the agency’s failure to provide tier assignments.  One of the plaintiffs, in fact, filed a petition in 2022 but withdrew that petition after the District Attorney objected to it because the petitioner lacked a tier assignment.  The lawsuit also mentions ACSOL Treasurer Frank Lindsay who filed a petition in January 2022 that San Luis Obispo Superior Court rejected due to his lack of a tier assignment.  Mr. Lindsay received an assignment to Tier 2 earlier this week and is now eligible to petition for removal.  Mr. Lindsay was convicted of a single offense in the year 1979.

“The California Department of Justice has had more than four years to assign registrants to a tier,” stated Bellucci.  “Their failure to do so has prevented thousands of registrants from being removed from the registry.”

Download a PDF of the petition:

ACSOL Lawsuit Due to CA DOJ Failure to Provide Tier Assignments 1-5-2023 (PDF)

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Give em hell Janice. GO TEAM!


This is very important and the DOJ should be held accountable, if they do not assign a tier then the

the applicant should be able to file a petition and the court must request a tier for the individual !

So what will be the the damages paid to the plaintiffs if it is won in court?

Over here in Gilroy CA most of the registrants don’t know they are suppose to ask for their tier letters. It’s never mentioned during your in-person registration. When you do ask for one, you are told to come in ONLY on Wednesdays from 11-1pm (when they do registrations for sex offenders) to receive it. And when you do get it, the detective in charge sends a SWAT team to your door the next day to verify your address. Don’t know why it’s done this way but I’m guessing ‘because they can’. By the way, the 5 day before/after your birthday (that we initial on paper) is currently out the door. You only get 1 Wednesday before/after your birthday to register or you face a violation of non-compliance.

Believe it. This is inevitable evidence of rule by fiat. As the US code gets larger in range and scope eventually causes failure ” to follow the letter” of the law or apply it ad hoc in the instant case. CA here resembles IL reports in the last couple of years after suits filed for keeping folks past their “mandatory release dates (MR). As government gets larger naturally inefficiency rears its head. And when that begins the people begin to be indifferent as to the knowledge of law’s enforcement.

I’m very glad that ACSOL has filed this lawsuit against the CA DOJ to force them to get all these Tier designations completed. It’s frustrating to still be a “TBD”.

Many thanks to Janice!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

If a registrant fails to do their “duty” to register, it’s jail time. CA DOJ has had over four years to their “duty to SB-384 registrants” and they are still negligent. I doubt there will be any penalties for the suppression of potential freedom and justice to over 12,000 registrants without a tier level.

Since they obviously can’t keep up with all the regulations they keep piling on registrants, how about we just do away with the whole registry scheme? Sounds like a great idea to me.

Im glad Frank Lindsay finally got his Tier assessment, I know getting a TBD on your Tier letter must be a very depressing and hopeless feeling.
Seven years ago everybody in California were lifers there was no California Tier law, Teenagers who were convicted with Romeo and Juliet cases were being lumped in together with people who were convicted of sexually violent crimes with multiple victims.
So I understand why the Tiered registry was made, not all crimes are the same and every case is unique in its own way, so people who are placed in the highest tier who haven’t committed any crimes for 30 years should have an opportunity to be removed from the registry and get on with their lives, especially if they were very young at the time when they committed their crimes.
The only Tier 3 offenders who wouldn’t benefit from the 30 year registration mark are people who were already well advanced in age when they committed the crimes and therefore have to suffer harsher consequences because they should’ve know better.

Hello, over the years, I’ve read about legislation being enacted to help registrants be removed from the registry. There’s always been push back to hinder and prevent this. I guess I am being cynical, but I haven’t read exact numbers of registrants who have been actually removed from the registory of over a million +- men on it. DOES ANYONE HAVE A NUMBER OF MEN TAKEN OFF THE REGISTRY TO DATE? Thank you for your hard work Matt

Tier assignments are statutory based on the record of conviction found in the rap sheet (but even that may need corrected.) With enough research and persistence it is a black and white issue that is fairly easy to determine. A copy of the rap sheet should be enough to convince the judge of the correct tier assignment unless the rap sheet is in error. The local cop shop got the tier wrong based on an incorrect rap sheet, so I called the DOJ and got the rap sheet corrected. Then the DOJ insisted the cop shop fix it with a new letter of Tier 1 assignment. That took me from Tier 2 (20 years) to Tier 1 (10 years), so I’ve been off the registry for a while now.

Glad to see this happening. I went from not being listed on the registry to being listed after 12 yrs of registering; to then being placed in the TBD Tier and unable to do anything again. Not to mention me finding out of being on the registry by a very mean and judgmental neighbor that spread my information around my community. Ppl have said “oh it’s different because your a lady on the registry” but it is far more than that—- as a human it is humiliating to say the least. Thank you Janice for your dedication and the hope you have brought to many of us.

Does this mean the DOJ is going to pause any tier designations until the final decision at court?