6th Circuit Court of Appeals case — Does v Snyder

In late August the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a ruling that has registrants and lawyers around the country excited.  The case, Does v. Snyder, challenged various parts of Michigan’s sex offense registration law.  Six individuals using the last name “Doe” won, the State of Michigan lost.   The Sixth Circuit is the *first* federal appeals court to declare what the whole world has long known,  the sex offense registry is “punishment”—a big victory for reason and justice.  Co-counsel for the winners,  Paul Reingold of the Michigan Clinical Law Program and Miriam Aukerman of the ACLU of Michigan, have a new memo with detailed information about the decision that includes advice for registrants – stay compliant with the current law until the dust settles. 


The legal wrangling ain’t over… As Michigan, the losing party, operates a busy scarlet letter machine that has made the state’s sex offense registry one of the largest in the country, they quickly requested a rehearing before the panel of judges that decided the case.  Request refused.   Then Michigan asked to put the decision on hold, “remand.”  Court issued an order putting the decision on ice.  As soon as that order for was issued, lawyers for the winners asked the court for rehearing.  Quickly the court vacated its order.   When things finally get  settled with the 6th Circuit, Michigan has the option of asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision.   So stay tuned.   Below are links to the  Aukerman/Reingold memo, the decision and other material.  Have a look at the news headlines.  –Bill Dobbs

Sex Offender Registration After Does v. Snyder

By Miriam Aukerman and Paul Reingold



ACLU of Michigan has a statement about the decision here, and more here and here.     


Sample Pleadings in connection with Does v. Snyder



Does v. Snyder – decision filed Aug. 25, 2016

US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Case Nos. 15-1536/2346/2486


Audio of oral argument – Part One–Jan. 27, 2016    Part Two–Apr. 27, 2016

News coverage and blog stories


Washington Post | Aug. 26, 2016 | By Fred Barbash

Court says Michigan sex offender registry laws creating ‘moral lepers’



Reason.com | Aug. 26, 2016 | By Jacob Sullum

6th Circuit Says Mich. Sex Offender Registry Is Punitive and, Not Incidentally, Stupid



Mimesis Law | Aug. 26, 2016 | By Andrew Fleischman

Sixth Circuit: Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry Is Punitive



Simple Justice | Aug. 27, 2016 | By Scott Greenfield

The 6th Circuit Finally Said The Magic Word: Punitive



Michigan Radio | Aug. 26, 2016 | By Jack Lessenberry

Michigan’s sex offender law is unfair and probably unconstitutional



Slate | Aug. 26, 2016 | By Mark David Stern

Appeals Court Issues Scathing Ruling Against Michigan Sex Offender Penalties



  1. ..missouri abuse the law in that offenders who have not offended in 20+ years are treated as though they just committed the offense.

    1. This is part of the huge problem most all offender organizations have with the registry. Everyone gets treated by one rulebook and there are no alternatives. (Apologies for the lack of response, Ronald, please feel free to post)

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