NOTICE: Interim Order and Injunction Impacting Enforcement of Michigan's Sex Offenders Registration Act

April 7, 2020

On April 6, 2020, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan issued an Interim Order and Injunction in the case of John Doe, et al. v. Richard Snyder, et al., Case No. 16-13137. This case is a class action lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Michigan's Sex Offenders Registration Act (SORA)

The Court specifically prohibited the defendants and their agents, which includes members of the Michigan State Police (MSP), from enforcing registration, verification, school zone and fee violations of SORA that occurred or may occur from February 14, 2020, until the current COVID-19 crisis has ended, and thereafter until registrants are notified by the MSP of what duties they have under the SORA going forward.  

The Court stated the “current COVID-19 crisis” shall be considered ended when there is no longer an operative federal or state executive order or legislative act declaring a state of emergency, or when the Court determines that the conditions giving rise to the need for the Interim Order no longer apply.  

The Court noted that the interim injunction only prohibits enforcement of the SORA; it does not prevent the MSP from maintaining the Sex Offender Registry, such as inputting information about new registrants or continuing the Public Sex Offender Registry.  Furthermore, the Interim Order and Injunction does not prohibit individuals required to be registered under the SORA from voluntarily complying with the requirements of the SORA, including, but not limited to, reporting in-person to a registering authority to register or verify information required to be reported under the SORA.