Tuesday, May 31, 2016

It Will Cost $50,000+ to File an Injunction Against Virginia:SB666/HB1190/HB305 from Becoming Law on July 1st and Since it only Affects 14 RSO's (+8 Co-Owners) in the Entire State I’ve Decided to Wait to Challenge a Law That Affects Many More People

As most followers/readers know since the 2016 Virginia General Assembly came to a close in early March I’ve been looking at the possibility of filing an injunction to stop SB666/HB1190 (HB305 was rolled into HB1190) from becoming law on July 1st. 

Here are some past posts since the 2016 GA ended about this endeavor and what SB666/HB1190 will do April 26, 2016, April 23, 2016, March 25, 2016, March 24, 2016 and March 20, 2016 . 

I spent $4,296.90 in legal research over the last 2 months with a firm in Alexandria, VA looking into what viable options I had for a court-challenge. In those 2 months I received $1,385.00 in contributions from followers/readers but then I refunded $50 to one disgruntled donor, so in the end you all helped cover 31% and I came up with $2,961.90 (69%) for the investigative work. I am so appreciative to those who sent a contribution, thank you! 

What I learned from my request for contributions was that because SB666/HB1190 will only affect a handful of RSO’s that most readers/followers don’t care about it; even in principle…….which is very sad. 

I’ve opposed tons of Registered Sex Offender (RSO) proposals that had nothing to do with me or my spouses but because the proposal was myth-based, fear-monger, hate-driven, denied those affected due process, was a violation of ex post facto and/or was just flat-out prejudicial against those listed on the VSP Registry I stood up in opposition because it was the right thing to do. Proposals that are claimed to make us safer but really don’t……don’t have any business becoming law. 

I learned a lot from the last 2 months of investigative work, like how Virginia doesn’t permit class-action suits so if a laws Constitutionality is questionable you can’t wait for it to take affect and challenge it later because then your court challenge if successful only helps you, not everyone else. In Virginia to challenge a law so that it helps everyone affected, you MUST file an injunction before it takes effect and if you are successful it helps everyone who world have been swept up, not just you. 

I also learned about Equal Protection, Joint Owners, Collateral Consequences, Freedom of Association, Gambling Licensure/Employment (Lottery, Horse Racing and Casino) Spouse prohibitions and Class of One.  

The best option for a challenge against SB666/HB1190 would have been for the non-RSO (the co-owners) which is 8 people. When I went to the DMV back in March and paid for a Kid’s First License plate for my vehicle I wasn’t planning on a court-challenge that only helped the co-owners, I wanted to fight for the RSO’s AND their co-owners. 

So I’ve asked myself is SB666/HB1190 worth $50,000+ to only help 8 people (1 being myself) or should I wait for a future (2017–2020) Virginia law that affects MANY RSO’s and fight it with an injunction? I’ve chosen the latter. 

I’m not an attorney so I can’t file the paperwork myself. 

I don’t have endless financial resources to fight for the civil rights of the RSO’s and their co-owners who will lose their charity license plates this year or who will be denied any letter/number combination because the VA-DMV isn’t sure if the vanity selection has some underlying meaning having to do with children and will just decide to deny all requests to vehicles owned/co-owned by VSP RSO’s. 

The ACLU of Virginia should take up this issue, but they have ignored my pleas.  

Steven Yoder wrote a great article the other day that I posted titled What’s the Real Rate of Sex-Crime Recidivism? One sentence in a 1986 mass-market magazine continues to sway court cases involving sex offenders. In that article there was a portion about Arizona State University law professor Ira Ellman. It said,
Ellman thinks a raft of new lawsuits attacking the worst elements of registries could build a foundation for a case that eventually overturns the 2003 decision. “Trying to get legislatures to fix these things is almost hopeless,” he says. “But trying to get courts to fix them is less hopeless because courts have to provide a rational, reasoned explanation of their decisions.” 

Courts must provide a rational, reasoned explanation for their decisions, but State Legislatures do not! 

The Virginia Legislature can pass laws that are baseless, hate-driven and prejudicial (as long as it’s not race, sex, religion or ethnicity).

SB666/HB1190/HB305 don’t just affect RSO’s who have been convicted of a crime; it affects their parents, spouses and children who co-own the vehicle and who have never been convicted of a crime.  

SB666/HB1190 has in my opinion legalized Guilt-by-Association in Virginia, and I fear this newly successful tactic that has been approved by our Governor will snow-ball over the next few GA sessions. More restrictions and bans for those who live with, who own assets with or who support and love RSO’s in Virginia could be on the horizon from Virginia Delegates and Senators.

And our only option will be a court-challenge. So that’s why I’m waiting for a Virginia law that sweeps up more than just 14 RSO's (+8 Co-Owners).......that will be a better use of financial resources and time. 

Thank you for your support. 

Mary Devoy