MI: Class of sex offenders seek damages from Michigan governors for their enforcement of registration requirements

Source: courthousenews.com 5/3/23

Various state officials, including several governors, can be sued in their individual capacities for damages after they continued enforcement of unconstitutional sex offender registration requirements, a class of anonymous plaintiffs told an appeals court panel.

CINCINNATI (CN) — A federal judge improperly granted several state officials immunity and erred when it dismissed constitutional claims brought by a class of anonymous sex offenders, the class argued Wednesday before the Sixth Circuit.

The class sought damages for injuries inflicted by a series of amendments to Michigan’s Sex Offenders Registration Act, or SORA, with a federal lawsuit in 2021 that named Governor Gretchen Whitmer, former Governor Rick Snyder, Michigan State Police Director Colonel Joseph Gaspar, and Kriste Etue, former director of the state police, as defendants.

Importantly, the 2006 and 2011 amendments — which prohibited sex offenders from residing, working, or loitering within 1,000 feet of a school and imposed onerous in-person reporting requirements — had already been held unconstitutionally vague in two previous lawsuits.

The current suit sought damages against Whitmer, Snyder, Gaspar, and Etue in their individual capacities for their alleged enforcement of the invalidated provisions following previous court orders.

U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts, a Clinton appointee, granted the officials’ motion to dismiss in September 2022 and determined they were entitled to sovereign immunity despite being sued in their individual capacities.

Roberts agreed with the officials that the state of Michigan was the “real party in interest” in the lawsuit filed by the class of sex offenders and emphasized the relief granted in the previous lawsuits was rendered exclusively against the state.

In its brief to the Sixth Circuit, the class argued it made clear in its complaint the officials were being sued because of their actions as individuals to allow continued enforcement of the unconstitutional SORA amendments, which prevents the application of sovereign immunity.

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Nice! I REALLY hope the lawsuits go through!

Wow! That’s amazing! If they win, this could greatly turn the tied of politicians rolling their face across the keyboard to apply more and more bad laws just to simply look good on the ballot.

Leadership at the top should not be able to be excused via immunity from any action such as these when they are fully culpable. That goes from our US government all the way down to the local city government even if they technically are not aware of anything. As Truman said, the buck stops here. The buck needs to stop at the top dog and the hierarchy even if it is unpopular and merely is allowed when pandering to the ignorant society. I have seen everyone from a military service chief on down to a flight commander be relieved of duty for lack of confidence in their leadership abilities when things happen within their command.

There is a certain congresswoman from New York who says the current administration should just ignore court orders and opinions to continue with their own personal agendas. Elected officials and those who are in their employ administratively are not above court opinions.

May the Does here win and direct/persuasive precedent be set.

The state was not thumbing its nose at any court decisions,” [Michigan Assistant Attorney General Scott …] Damich said.

Bullsh*t!! 😡 That is most exactly, precisely & completely what the State of Michigan did!! 😡

What part of UnConstitutional is so f*cking difficult to understand??!! 😡

Last edited 4 months ago by David🔱

“I was only following orders” comes to mind.

If Sovereign Immunity covers individual State actors, in their enforcement of unconstitutional laws, then the State is free to do exactly as it pleases with no limits or accountability. Any law can be passed, then enforced with indifference as to the nature, effect or cruelty of its impact. The rights of any person can be trampled, with no need for concern on the part of the officials enforcing the laws. This can go on and on for years, even decades, as the constitutionality of the laws are debated in the court system, while State actors continue to subject citizens to the laws they enforce with indifference or even zeal. When all is finally said and done, no official of the State ever has to answer in any way for anything that was done.

At some point, doesn’t somebody have to take responsibility of their actions as individuals? Enforcing laws that were, at their inception dubiously constitutional at best, without first confirming that they are indeed within the scope of constitutionality, is a clear and consciousness decision on the part of these State actors. As such, they can and should be help responsible for the results of their decisions.

If a State actor chooses, through the authority of their office within the State, to enforce laws that create real damages upon people unconstitutionally…those that suffered must be allowed to seek redress. I was only following orders was not, and can never be a valid defense shielding people from the responsibility of their choices. Otherwise…

Nobody, not a single legislator, Governor, or Law Enforcement official, was ever held accountable for any result of the Jim Crow laws. They all were allowed to wash their hands of everything, forever. After all, they were all just following the orders…of the people who cheered them on…for decades.

The state of Michigan the Politicians of the state of Michigan the state attorney general the Federal government the U.s attorney general and any judge who has ever upheld or enforced the registry retroactively upon a citizen who has served his or her sentence should be open game for a law suit. They all swear to uphold every citizens constitutional rights. With that said, this should hold them 100% accountable and liable for their neglect of powers, Michigan and the U.S government have failed the people once again. Enough is enough.

The lawsuit should include verbal and physical abuse to love ones because of the registry.

“…determined they were entitled to sovereign immunity despite being sued in their individual capacities.”

We need to get rid of sovereign immunity and qualified immunity for government officials in this country. Period!

ORDER: Plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration (ECF No. 3) is granted. The Court directs the Clerk of Court to vacate the transfer order and reopen this case. (ECF 2.)Within 30 days from the date of this order, Petitioner must file a letter providing the county of his residence in Maryland.

Gaining Traction!

Yes the key to avoiding dismissal by immunity is factual evidence of either not following the law willfully ( catching then violating the law) or catching them unlawfully combining dissimilar situated sub sets of individuals into one group.
These are things not covered by sovereign authority.
Judges can fail too.
I hope this sets precedent, but ya know….

Why not include those that wrote an unconstitutional law as well? If they write something that violates the constitution and causes damages, I think they are also responsible.