John Doe et al. v. Richard Snyder et al., No. 16-cv-13137 (E.D. Mich. 2020)
Nature of Case: Plaintiffs brought constitutional challenges in the wake of 2016’s Does v. Snyder as a federal class action suit against Michigan’s sex offense registry, seeking a permanent injunction as to two classes of people required to register: those who had committed their offenses prior to 2011 seeking relief on ex post facto grounds, as well as anyone required to register alleging violations of Due Process as well as the First Amendment.
Holding: Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan held that Michigan’s registration scheme could not constitutionally be applied whatsoever to the class of plaintiffs who had committed their offense before 2011, and that several aspects of Michigan’s registration scheme could not be constitutionally applied to anyone who was required to register. The Court examined the text of the statute and determined that the amendments in 2011 were not able to be severed from the rest of the registration scheme, and thus that it operated as an ex post fact law as to anyone who had committed their offenses prior to those amendments.
Furthermore, as to the class of those required to register generally, the Court found that the provisions of Michigan law relating to information people were required to provide to authorities as well as banishment zones violated Due Process and First Amendment protections. In addition, the Court enjoined enforcement of those law which would have imposed strict criminal liability.
The Court entered a permanent injunction prohibiting Michigan authorities from enforcing any aspect of Michigan’s SORA to that class of plaintiffs who had committed their offenses prior to 2011, and a permanent injunction as to the entire class prohibiting enforcement of banishment zone restrictions, as well as provisions related to what information people required to register were required to provide to authorities (i.e., internet identifiers).