Dear Members and Advocates,

Yesterday, a Motion for Reconsideration was submitted in the “In-Person Challenge”. Last week, a Federal District Court Judge ruled that the plaintiff, Matthew 25 Ministries, Inc. did not have standing to sue on behalf of their members. While the dismissal of the case on those grounds was disappointing, the order itself was anything but. The Court found that the individuals likely would have standing to bring the challenge and further stated the following: “Truly l tell you” reads the verse for which Plaintiff is named, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”Matthew 25:40 (NIV). In designing the myriad requirements that pertain to those convicted of sexual offenses, the Florida Legislature may have fallen short of both this creed and the Constitution.”

The Judge could have just entered an order dismissing the case, but the fact that he offered a roadmap and reason to come back is something that offers hope to all of us. It would be great if the Motion for Reconsideration will be considered and granted, but if not (as the Motion suggests) it will require filing an “identical complaint with identical claims and identical arguments.”

Tonight, August 27, 2019, between 6:30 PM and 9:30 PM, the City of New Smyrna Beach will be holding their City Commission Meeting at City Hall Commission Chambers, 210 Sams Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168. They will be considering increasing their Sex Offender Residency Restriction contrary to all empirical research and for no reason other than neighboring cities in Volusia County have harsh restrictions and they are now effectively saying “not in my backyard”. If you’ve ever asked “what can I do to help make a difference”, here’s one answer. You can show up at City Hall tonight and speak out against the residency restriction. Even if you stand up and say “my name is [FIRST NAME] and I want to voice my opposition to increasing the residency restriction”, then sit back down, you will at least have done something.

FAC has sent our own letter to the City Commissioners (which can be read here) it also references the Broward Re-Entry Task Force Report (here) and has the contact information for the Commissioners, so if you can’t make tonight’s meeting but want to send your own thoughts in advance of the meeting, please do so and fee free to utilize any of the points made in our letter in your own or in your presentation before the meeting.

Sincerely,

The Florida Action Committee


Reminders:

Sat Sep 7- Family Support Session in Central Broward County -RESERVATIONS ARE CLOSED.

Sat Sep 14- Meet and Greet in Sarasota County from 2-4pm.  Everyone Welcome. RSVP for location and details.

Mon Sep 16- Meet and Greet in Lee County from 6-8pm.  Everyone Welcome. RSVP for location and details.

Sat Sep 28-Workshop in Apopka from 1-4pm – Come ready to stuff envelopes, make phone calls, plan projects for FAC Team Orlando

For more information about these events, or to RSVP email [email protected] or call 904-452-8322.  No children please.


SOME HEADLINES FROM THIS WEEK

Duck Soup: A look inside Florida’s Civil Commitment Center and the First Amendment

A recent decision out of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals gives us a peek inside the Florida Civil Commitment Center. As the Opinion begins, “James Pesci is a detainee at the Florida Civil Commitment Center (FCCC), a for-profit facility that houses sex offenders …

Online Advocacy Training from Florida Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform

Next year’s legislative session is only a few months away, and it’s time – right now – to start advocating in our communities for positive criminal justice reform that makes a real impact for our families, friends and neighbors. Join us for a series of online advocacy…

Man tired of spending time in prison for failure to register seeks DNA to prove actual innocence

Don Johnson (not of Miami Vice fame), like some people, are on the registry not because of actual guilt but because they accepted a plea years ago to avoid the risk of trial and because they thought it would put an unpleasant experience behind them, not knowing a…

New Bill would end statute of limitations on reporting sexual battery on a minor in Florida

A new bill in Florida would end the time limit a minor would have to report sexual battery. SB 170, sponsored by Sen. Linda Stewart and a companion bill in the House, HB 69 was sponsored by Rep, Tracie Davis. “The bill was inspired by women such as Donna Hedrick, who…

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