Monday, March 30, 2015

Virginia Plaintiff Needed: What if We Challenged HB1366 in Court?

In the last 4 weeks of waiting for Governor McAuliffe to either veto or sign HB1366 into law I was considering a court challenge against the new law. Now that it has been signed by the Governor I’ve circled back with a legal group on doing just this. 

A legal challenge requires a plaintiff, facts showing the injury has or will most certainly occur, and a legal argument (vs. a policy argument) about why the new law is bad.   

In order to challenge any law, you have to have a plaintiff who is someone who has standing to bring a legal claim (i.e., someone who has been or will definitely be “injured” by the law), and you have to show what the injury is and how the injury offends the law.   

To get an injunction against a new law from going into effect, you also have to be able to show that your legal case is so strong that you have a “likelihood of winning on the merits” and that a damages claim would not be sufficient to remedy the harm caused.  

At the moment a civil liberties group is considering this for HB1366. 

But first we need a plaintiff.
If you are:
  1. A Virginia Registered Sex Offender, classified as Violent (sorry HB1366 does not apply to Non-Violent Offenders)
  2. You currently have school-aged children (not grandchildren) that are related by blood (not marriage or adoption) OR they will be starting school in less than 2 years
  3. You have NOT already petitioned the court (successfully or unsuccessfully) to obtain permission to be on school property so you can take  your children to-and-from school and/or attend their school-sponsored activities on and off school property
  4. You are willing to be a public plaintiff in a court-challenge 
….then I need you to email me ( immediately so the legal team can determine the likelihood of a successful challenge and injunction knowing they have an actual plaintiff. 

If you are selected you would not be asked to pay for legal representation but you must be willing to have your name entered into the court filings and to travel to ALL court proceeding as the challenge works it’s way through the courts, it could take more than a year.

If you meet the above requirements and are willing to be a plaintiff against HB1366 please contact me and I’ll give you next steps. 

Mary Devoy