MT: Montana Supreme Court rules in Sexual and Violent Offender Registration Act case

Source: 6/15/23

HELENA – A Montana Supreme Court ruling deemed legislative amendments to the 2007 Sexual and Violent Offender Registration Act punitive in nature and in violation of the ex post facto clause of the constitution if applied retroactively to offenses that happened before the amendments.

According to a summary of the case of Montana v. Hinman, the ruling “held that numerous legislative amendments to the Act added restraints on registrants that significantly hinder their liberty and privacy.”

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This is awesome news!

This is amazing 🙌!! I pray, just PRAY, that it catches on and start making a path way off for everyone pre 2007 and beyond eventually.

And so again we have a ruling that states registration is punitive. When will this be challenged in SCOTUS?
Clearly, registration is additional discriminatory punishment above and beyond incarceration. And distinct from any other crime sentence standard.

Congrats MT… Good for them ! Now lets go Michigan !

Thanks @Eugence V. Debs for bringing this to our attention yesterday under a different post with the opinion attached. Another state ruling in the same vein as MI and PA of late…

So, in other words, Arizona changing the law requiring SOs to re-register every year in their birth month is Unconstitutional.

Im curious why is was deemed punitive but previous rulings such as retroactive applicatiuon of the registry isnt considered punitive?

This is good news, but the law was passed in 2007 and only now in 2023 ruled an ex post facto violation. A bit late. Helps no one convicted after the law passed.

While this is good, I don’t think we should get ahead of ourselves. The court ruled that the added on amendments are punitive in nature, not the registry itself is punitive. Basically this ruling just stopped the bleeding in Montana, but it didn’t heal the wound.

I just read through the decision, and was particularly interested in reading the dissent, written by one of the two justices. It essentially boils down to the fact that “our state isn’t as restrictive as other states” and gives the usual ad hominem poppycock about how the “Level 2 Offender” had a duty to meet his registration requirements. The dissent cited a whole lot of other states’ laws with regards to the “civil nature” of the registry, and rarely gave any acknowledgement to the criminality of not following the registry’s intrusive requirements.

G4change took the words right outta my mouth. Sanity can prevail after all.

How much time did the court spend explaining this peculiar use of state database. Aside from the punitive intent behind the people’s 2007 amendments the “on its face” is rooted in the initial ” unquestionable unconstitutional punitive effect” identified by the minority in Smith V Doe. The 2007 laws were flowered from the same poised foundation- the database. The registry being the purveyors dubious intent to install the people’s GENERAL trust in the database driven infrastructure to add security to their lives.
Simply because you are not responsible for CC charges you didn’t make, doesn’t factually describe their systems as secure. In fact! it says quite the opposite. Convenience should never be confused with security. If the purveyors of database have their way, society will be cash less. Before that could happen TRUST must be built in naturally OR by forced assimilation.
If no liberty at stake who would complain? -J.P Stevens

Anything retroactive law should be illegal, that should be nation wide. Now laws passed after that are a different beast but what I plea to in 1997 I should be still feeling the affects in 2023. Texas passed changed laws in 2005. Anyone plea after that should be the only subject to those laws.

I think we need a new lawsuit filed in Texas. I think they will to cave to some concessions. We just need the right representatives attorneys for it. Getting rid life time is the main thing first.

So what does this mean? If you were pre 2007 you just get to quit registering immediately in Montana?

Filed Notice of Supplemental Authority in my appeal of dismissal for my registry fee case, citing this case.

if The registry isn’t punishment, then why they give me 4 more years on the registry for FTR ?

With more States’ Highest Courts ruling that Registries are, indeed, punishment and – with luck – SCOTUS ruling against “Chevron deference” (and, thereby, possibly against SORNA), there may be an end in sight for the Registries. 🤔🤷🏻‍♂️
Though, at the very most optimistic, I would think that’s still 5 to 10 years away. (I certainly hope that I am wrong and that it happens so much sooner!!🙏🏻)

There is a key element in this ruling is that this court is likely conservative based.