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Coates v. Snyder

United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division

June 12, 2018


          Hon. Robert J. Jonker J.


          Ray Kent United States Magistrate Judge.

         This is a pro se civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants Richard Snyder and Kristie Etue. This matter is now before the Court on defendants' motion to dismiss (ECF No. 15).

         I. Plaintiff's complaint

         Plaintiff has filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief against Michigan Governor Richard Snyder and (former) Michigan State Police Director Kriste Etue. Plaintiff is a convicted sex offender. The gist of plaintiff's claim is that he is not bound by requirements of Michigan's Sex Offender Registration Act (“SORA”), which was enacted after his conviction. Plaintiff set forth the following allegations (in his words):

10. On August 5, 1985, Plaintiff was sentenced to a prison term of 9 to 15 years after pleading guilty to Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct. MCL 750.520d. Berrien County Circuit Court Docket No. 85-536-FC-H.
11. At the time of Plaintiff's conviction and sentence, SORA was not in existence. SORA was enacted in 1994 and became law on October l, 1995. See 1994 Mich. Pub. Act. 295.
12. Plaintiff was on parole when SORA became law, and pursuant to the requirements of the act, Plaintiff's parole agent registered him. See 1994 Mich. Pub. Act. 295, §4(2)(d).
13. The 1994 act, established a confidential database containing Information about Michigan sex offenders and was only available to law enforcement agencies.
14. Since the statute's 1994 enactment, it has been amended numerous times and applied retroactively. See 1996 Mich. Pub. Act. 494; 1999 Mich. Pub. Act. 85; 2002 Mich.App. Act. 542; 2004 Mich. Pub. Act. 235, 239, 240; 2005 Mich. Pub. Act. 121, 127, 132; 2006 Mic. Pub. Act. 46; 2011 Mich. Pub. Act. 17, 18, and 2013 Mich. Pub. Act. 149.
15. It is the 1994 act which took effect on October 1, 1995 that governs this action for Declaratory and Injunctive relief.
16. In 2004, the amendment to SORA created a public accessible website that published detailed personal Information about Plaintiff. The [sic] ¶ 2006, SORA was amended again to include geographic exclusion zones. Prohibiting Plaintiff from working, living, or even “loitering” within 1, 000 feet of a school. Plaintiff's crime did not involve minors.
17. In 2011 SORA was once again amended and applied retroactively to Plaintiff. The amendment classified registrants into three Tiers, which determine the frequency of reporting and length of registration. Based solely upon the registrant's offense and without any individual risk assessment. Plaintiff has been classified as Tier Three registrant. Plaintiff's length of registration requirement was extended from ten (10) years to lifetime. Where before under the 1994 law, Plaintiff only had to register for a period of ten (10) years if he was incarcerated. Plaintiff violated parole in 1995, and was sentence to a prison term of 17 to 50 years after his guilty plea to assault with intent to murder. Undoubtedly, Plaintiff was incarcerated for the 10 year period required by 1994 Mich. Pub. Act. 295. The Michigan Department of Corrections registered Plaintiff for well over 10 years before his release on parole on March 28, 2017.
18. Plaintiff's registration requirement under the 1994 act, expired in 2004 or no later than 2005.
19. Under the amendments to SORA, Plaintiff is required to register quarterly and pay a $50.00 registration fee each time he register. Plaintiff's next registration date is December 2017. When under the 1994 act, Plaintiff was only required to register one time and pay a one time $50.00 registration fee.
20. Plaintiff's Parole Agent James Plukas has informed him that regardless of the United States Supreme Court ruling, he still must comply with the registration act or be subject to parole revocation and that Plaintiff must continue to wear a GPS tether while on parole status.

Compl. (ECF No. 1, PageID.3-4).

         Plaintiff seeks various forms of relief including:

a. Adjudge and decree that Defendants, by the systems, policies, practices, and conditions described above, have violated and continue to violated the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution;
b. Preliminary and permanently enjoin the Defendants from requiring Plaintiff to register under the amendments to the Michigan Sex ...

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