After 7 years in limbo, federal appeals court rules on Alabama sex offender’s lawsuit

HOWARD KOPLOWITZ – Seven years after an Alabama sex offender’s lawsuit languished in a federal appeals court, a three-judge panel decided the case in October 2022.

Michael McGuire, a homeless man living in Montgomery, filed the appeal challenging the constitutionality of Alabama’s sex offender registration law in 2015 after initially filing the suit in Montgomery federal court in 2012.

McGuire argued that the state provision requiring homeless sex offenders to report to authorities weekly about where they are living and where they plan to live was unconstitutional, claiming the reporting was more frequent than for offenders who were not homeless.

The Montgomery man also said Alabama’s requirements about living near schools or working with children meant 80 percent of Montgomery’s housing stock and 85 percent of its jobs were off limits to him.

On Monday, a three-judge panel of the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found McGuire’s claims to be moot since the state Legislature updated the law while McGuire’s appeal was pending. The panel also vacated the lower court’s decision ruling parts of the law unconstitutional.

The decision came hours after Talking Points Memo published a story on the seven-year wait for the case to be decided, which experts called “extraordinary.”

3 thoughts on “After 7 years in limbo, federal appeals court rules on Alabama sex offender’s lawsuit

  • April 18, 2023 at 8:46 pm

    Those who write these laws have no idea of the impact these have on the offenders, especially those who have no family and are homeless! Homelessness and hopelessness is not a healthy combination for public safety. What are the lawmakers thinking? How does a homeless jobless man keep up with all he has to do, especially without the support of family? This is inhumane.

  • January 14, 2023 at 6:56 pm

    No way, NO WAY, is that responsible ruling by the court. A non-homeless offender can travel just as much as a homeless offender on any given day. What a lie by the cowardly Atlanta based 11th circuit court.

  • December 17, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    In north Carolina homeless sex offender have to report where they are every single day it was weekly but now daily and in south Carolina they are charging a $250 annual fee for all registrants the sex offender law is getting way out of control


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