WINNING THE FINAL JUDGMENT IN SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION ACT LITIGATION
On June 21, 2021, Judge Cleland of the Eastern District Court of Michigan issued an order granting final judgment declaring the 2006 and 2011 amendments to Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration Act (“SORA”) unconstitutional. The problems with 2006 and 2011 SORA amendments were legion, including unconstitutional vagueness, ex-post facto application of law, and violations of the First Amendment. Despite a new SORA statute going into effect in March of 2021, Judge Cleland held that “the possibility of future prosecution for violations of the old SORA statute require the entry of a final judgment . . .” Judge Cleland also rejected Michigan’s request for clarification because the final judgment will provide a single document providing succinct guidance on all aspects of the ruling and its interaction with the new SORA statute.
The parties now have until July 12, 2021, to submit a joint, proposed order to give effect to the Court’s rulings. The entry of this order will bring an end to nearly a decade of litigation by individuals subjected to a statute with numerous constitutional infirmities and allow them to move on to new chapters in their lives.