Ohio County Sheriffs are now imposing mandatory fees (up to $100 per year)on those who are required to register on sex offender registries across the state. See also "Forcing Sex Offenders to Pay Fees".
We obtained this letter from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office from a reader:
The imposition of fees on the 30,000+ registered sex offenders in the state now debunks the false notion that the retro-active Adam Walsh Act lifetime registration laws are not "punitive" in nature, as courts across the state have ruled. Fining citizens up to $100 per year for each forced registration reporting is indeed punitive...without question. When will our state courts recognize this fact? What happens if a sex offender does not have $25 at the time of registration? Will they then be denied the ability to register until they pay (thereby putting them in violation of registration laws and exposing them to incarceration)?
Where are the Ohio indigency policies for those who are unable to pay these fees? How many registered sex offenders will be imprisoned because they do not have the $25 fee to pay at the required time of registration? And where are the attorneys and civil rights organizations who should be suing the state over these imposed fees?
WDTN.com : Sex offenders Will Pay Fee to Register
Constitutionalfights spoke with the Montgomery County Public Defender office and the Montgomery County Sheriff office today:
The Public Defender is awaiting direction from the Ohio Public Defender office. We will keep you posted.
The Sheriff SORN office states that the only exemption to these imposed fees is providing proof that an individual falls below 125% of the poverty level (approx $9735 per year for one person, gross).
Any inability to make fee payments will be deferred for one year, after which they will be forwarded to the Montgomery County Prosecuter for prosecution (bill collection). Once this collection process begins, an individual would have 90 days to make full payment. Constitutionalfights never condones violation of any law, but neither do we condemn acts of civil disobedience. For instance, if every sex offender in the state refused to pay these fines for the one year period, it would certainly put the County Sheriff's departments on notice, would heighten public awareness of the issue as it would become a state-wide news story, and would put the squeeze on the already-cash strapped Sheriff Departments across the state
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