ConstitutionalFights.org spoke to our source at the office of the Ohio Public Defender regarding ESORN and County Sheriff Departments in their refusal to comply with the Ohio Supreme Court ruling (Bodyke vs. Ohio).
Our contact person at the Ohio Public Defender (OPD's) office told us that there was a conference call held on the day after the Court ruling (Friday, June 4, 2010) with the Attorney General (AG's) Office and the Ohio Justice Policy Institute (OJPI). During that conference call, the AG office was asked when the updates would be make to come into compliance with the Court ruling. The AG office said that they were trying to create a software program to change the classification of all 26,000 invalidated registrants back to their previous classifications collectively, rather than changing each person individually. The AG suggested that this would be done within a week's time. One week later, our OPD source called the AG office to ask if this had been completed. The AG office asked for another week. So our OPD source will contact the AG office once again on Friday, June 18. The fact remains that the Ohio AG office has had over two weeks to make some progress on updating the ESORN sex offender registry to comply with the Ohio Supreme Court decision and has failed to do so. ConstitutionalFights.org has spoken to two computer IT professionals (one of whom does contract work for the US Department of Defense). Both of these IT professionals told us the same thing; that this simple database change could be completed in one hour.
AG Ordering Sheriffs Not to Act
We also learned today that there is some suspicion that the AG office has ordered local County Sheriff Departments to NOT change any registrants classification at this time. This has not been validated but we do have some reason to believe this may be happening. We were told today that although ESORN falls under the organization of the Ohio AG Office, each County Sheriff Department is responsible for updating and correcting all sex offender registry data. We did not know that the AG has no direct responsibility to update the registry data. But this fact does not dissolve them from responsibility in their failure to direct the County Sheriff Departments to make these updates.
The OPD has considered some options of what they might pursue if the AG Office does not properly act to comply with the Court order. One option is to bring some sort of "contempt of court" litigation unto the AG Office. We have also heard from others that some sort of "judicial order" might be sought if the AG Office refuses to comply in a timely manner. This litigation would be taken only after some time has passed, however, as a judge would likely allow the AG office at least 30-60 days to comply. Judges would not understand that this simple database update could be done in an hour's time, unless we can bring in a computer professional to testify to this fact. Any IT professionals who might be interested in testifying in such a matter, are asked to contact us here.
FAQ and Guidelines
We are still awaiting information about when and if the "FAQ and Guidelines" have been sent from the AG Office to the County Sheriff Departments. We were told by Steve Brown's office ( at Ohio AG ) that these "FAQ and Guidelines" were being drafted last Monday and would be sent soon. That was a week ago. To our knowledge, these documents have still not been sent to the County Sheriff Departments. We have also been told for the past two weeks that letters would be sent from the AG Office to each of the 26,000 reclassified registrants who were affected by the Supreme Court decision. Those letters have not been sent two weeks after the decision came down.
More Challenges on Senate Bill 10
Finally, we talked about the remaining cases which are still pending before the Ohio Supreme Court. Two of the three are juvenile cases and the Chojnacki case deals with reclassification hearings (whether they are criminal or civil). But since the Bodyke case invalidated reclassification, there is little likely to come out of this decision. Since the Supreme Court refused to rule on the Ex Post Facto and other challenges in the Bodyke case, these issues may be brought back up to the Court in other cases. One group of registrants who have not gotten much attention are those who were convicted and given classification hearings between the time Ohio Senate Bill 10 passed the Ohio Legislature ( June 2007) and when Senate Bill 10 was enacted (Jan 2008). Those cases will likely go to the Ohio Supreme Court, as well. So there are new challenges to Ohio Senate Bill 10 in the pipeline.
Please tell us if you see updates
We need to hear from you. If you are directly affected by this Bodyke decision, please check to see if you are still listed here on the ESORN page. We need to hear from you. Please drop us a short email telling us if you 1.) are still improperly listed 2.) have been removed properly, or 3.) have seen your classification changed back properly. Or just send your answer in the Poll at the top right sidebar of this page.
Please email us so we can know how many are seeing their status updated:
If you have not seen your status updated, please continue to contact the Ohio AG Offices daily at:
Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, 30 E. Broad St., 17th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215
(800) 282-0515 ..... or..... 1-866-40-OHLEG (1-866-406-4534)
Call Justin Hykes Assistant Attorney General directly at:
Kim Kowalski: (614) 728-9692, cell: (614) 893-6018
Ted Hart: Deputy Director of Media Relations
PHONE 614-728-4127, cell: (614) 743-2286
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