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: