Kansas Sex Offender Registration Laws

Since obtaining a successful result for our client in the district court, Joseph, Hollander & Craft LLC has regularly received numerous calls about Doe v. Thompson, et al. from similarly situated offenders curious about what can be done about the extension of Kansas Offender Registration Act (“KORA”) obligations after the passage of Senate Bill 37 (2011). Because our attorneys are focusing on providing our clients the best representation possible, they are simply unable to handle the volume of calls coming into the office. For convenience, we offer the following information for registrants and others curious about the case, its outcome, and next steps:

John Doe sued the Director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (“KBI”) and the Johnson County Sheriff in a civil matter in Shawnee County District Court. He challenged the application of Senate Bill 37 (2011), which expanded the duration and other offender registration requirements in Kansas to individuals convicted of crimes occurring before July 1, 2011 (the effective date of the law). He requested that the amended KORA be declared to be punitive and, thus, in violation of the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution when applied retrospectively. He further requested that he be relieved from registration obligations upon expiration of his original registration term (10 years).

The district court granted John Doe his requested relief. Judge Larry Hendricks declared that increasing John Doe’s registration period from 10 years to 25 years and expanding his reporting and notification requirements beyond those originally imposed on him violated the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution. He ordered that John Doe’s additional 15‐year registration requirement be terminated and that all of John Doe’s information be immediately removed from the public registry.

The Director of the KBI and the Johnson County Sheriff appealed this decision to the Kansas Supreme Court.

On April 22, 2016, the Kansas Supreme Court issued a decision affirming the district court. Under this decision (Doe Opinion), John Doe is granted permanent relief from the extension of his KORA obligations.

Also on April 22, 2016, the Kansas Supreme Court issued a decision in State v. Petersen‐Beard (Petersen Beard Opinion) that blocked John Doe’s victory on this matter from applying to similarly situated offenders.

Petersen‐Beard addressed an issue related to the one addressed in John Doe’s case. Specifically, the case discusses whether offender registration is cruel and unusual punishment in violation of Section 9 of the Kansas Bill of Rights and the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In both cases, the Kansas Supreme Court had to determine as a preliminary issue whether the KORA is properly categorized as punitive. The Doe decision holds that the KORA is punitive. The Petersen‐Beard decision holds that the KORA is not punitive.

Although the Doe and Petersen‐Beard decisions were issued on the same day, the cases were presented to the Kansas Supreme Court and decided by the Court at different times. During the time in between the presentation of these cases, there was a change of justices serving on the Kansas Supreme Court. Although a majority of justices to hear the Doe case determined that offender registration was punitive, those justices became the minority by the time of the Petersen‐Beard case. Petersen‐Beard became controlling precedent on the issue of whether the KORA imposes punishment. Because Petersen‐Beard holds that the KORA is not punitive, offenders situated similarly to John Doe are blocked from seeking relief from KORA obligations in Kansas state district courts on the same grounds by which John Doe received it.

Offenders who still wish to sue for relief from KORA obligations are not completely without options. The Petersen‐Beard decision relies on federal case law to support its holding. In order to change the outcome, the next logical step may be to pursue the creation of favorable federal precedent. The attorneys at Joseph, Hollander & Craft LLC would be willing to consider initiating a federal civil suit for a qualifying KORA registrant. But it should be noted that this option would not be without hurdles. It would be an uphill battle, as the great majority of federal law on the subject falls on the side of finding offender registration to be non‐punitive. And the costs of the suit would be great‐‐‐likely in excess of $150,000.

The firm will no longer be offering consultations to individuals seeking general advice about their KORA obligations.

However, Joseph, Hollander & Craft LLC’s criminal defense attorneys remain ready and willing to represent individuals charged with crimes related to failing to register or failing to provide accurate and complete registration information.

For those interested in the court filings submitted in Doe v. Thompson, et al., in the district court and on appeal, they are provided below.

If you have been charged with a registration-related crime, contact one of our criminal defense attorneys by calling Joseph Hollander & Craft in Wichita 316-262-9393, Topeka 785-234-3272, Lawrence 785-856-0143 or Kansas City 913-948-9490
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  • My name is not John Doe… It is Edwin David Harris

    I think it is really good work that you are doing. I am a registered offender. And, I have a Wonderful and Amazing partner who stands behind me on everything. I have been separated from my children and anything goes. Whoever opposes me is allowed to step over my parental rights and everything and I am helpless to do anything to raise my children in a respectable and honorable way. Some things are more important than money… Sorry to let everyone in on that. I am not saying that I am the best parent in the world as my offense is actually based on statements from my own daughter and my aggression towards her trying to become sexually promiscuous with someone who is well over her age. I have never faced that kind of opposition with ANY of my children. What I say as a father stands… and there is no give…. because there are some things that should have no give. It is called responsibility…. it’s called accountablility…. something that I now have more than compensated for to not only my children but to Johnson County as well… not maintaining the post claus is almost a crime completely… I am not trying to send other people’s kids through college… I need to maintain and keep sending my own. If you can’t be responsible for your own children, that is your problem. But, if I have to pay for your kids to go… they can call me dad as well, and we’ll just skip right over you, like these new laws are trying to do to me.
    I can say one thing…. massively and to anyone…. no matter what the county tries to call me… childhood name calling and that kind of thing… I am still known for who I am no matter what they say or call me. My daughter… who my offense was against because I didn’t want her having sex with someone… well ever…. but definitely not this guy… still comes to dad’s house when she needs to hide…. again… my word is final…. but when she doesn’t want to listen or hear what I have to say… she just backs up on what the county… which has had NOTHING to do with her upbringing…. says about her father….. What kind of scenario is Johnson County really trying to put together…. I can recall one race…. they were called Nazis… they want absolute control and no responsibility… not someone I would allow around my children anyways…. I don’t know what all can be done…. but, I have a deep respect and much appreciation for you who do and make not only the effort… but…. demand results…. I am so deeply indebted to you for doing so. It’s not only my name as a person… but the most important is my role as a father are being challenged… in a ring with a bell and the last man standing for the right to raise my children… I will always win… but, this is not that kind of fight…. and for those who know how to help us more ignorant people how to fight this type of fight… I appreciate your compassion and willingness to stand for people on such a broad scope. Thank you for everything you are doing and everything you will do. If I was to have a hero… I would fashion them after people who have that strong a commitment to what is right… as you all do.

    Thank You. And, I appreciate everything you are doing.

    Best Regards,
    Edwin David Harris

  • Edwin David Harris

    I was just followed home by the Johnson County Sherriff’s Dept. by a female Cop who I think was just trying to make a name for herself with the Dept. because I stopped along the road to help a couple of Women who needed someone to help them. I am not even registered as a sexual predator and I have to put up with this kind of harassment. How much of a bunch of cowards are Johnson County Kansas Sherriff’s are they…. Such soft crime cowards, that they kill me. Losers!!!! We need the FBI or someone who actually can assess the type of person someone is. I don’t care what Johnson County calls me…. I am what I am… live with it… you little cowards… Scared to face a real man… Call back up because you will need it… I am in the mood to eat someone who thinks their status in with the County makes them immune… to anything… Better figure it out before something gets stupid… I am not like everyone else who had something just happen to them… I am the hunter…. so you better keep your nose clean because I am watching… videotaping EVERYTHING you do… You are on house arrest… I am here to keep you honest instead of just some kind of bottom feeder… learn how or I will teach you a very painful lesson…. explain to your family why you lost your job… and can’t support them anymore… Losers. Play time is over…. I have allowed it for too long… I am here. watching you!!!! Stay straight or I will fix it for you… obviously, the legal service can’t do that…. See me coming… I want you to. My face will be the last one you ever see…. Remember that… Good Night.

  • Witch

    Well said Edwin! It also holds true for Sedgwick county. The implications of the restraints and restrictions on the registration form are nothing short of a blatant lie.
    I went from 10 years to 25. Myself along with masses of others pose no threat whatsoever to anyone! Check out some Adolf Hitler quotes and you will see the sexoffender registry runs parallel to them. Here’s one for you.
    The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.
    What reason would they have to paint such a vile picture of those who pose no threat? Here’s one more for you.
    If you tell a big enough lie and tell it often enough it will be believed.
    These come from the most evil dictator of all time!
    I am also very grateful for the work that is being done!
    Thanks to all the participants!

  • mike

    I have sex case it was in 2001. in the state of Illinois I was charged with a misdemeanor. moved here to Kansas in 2005 it was still a misdemeanor. my registration would have been up in 2012. but when Kansas changed the law they mad it an agg. felony low I got to do this for life. I cant even get a good job. our get help getting a place. I got a girlfriend she helps me out a lot with she has to lie so we can get help.

    • T.J. TEXAS

      Yrur crime cannot change time period if you were convicted in Illinois!!! Even if you move they still have to abide what was on your case in the state you moved from. You need to hire a Lawyer to get you off the Registry!! NOW

  • Ruined by Registry

    My husband was tried and convicted of a crime he did not commit, because of a custody battle over his son. Since then he has been on the Kansas sex offender registry since 2004. He was supposed to be done registering in 2014, but when the law changed, his registration term changed to life. In 2013 he forgot to update his new vehicle information, and was charged with 2 counts of failure to register, a felony. He is now serving a 36 month sentence. This registry has absolutely ruined our lives. He couldn’t find a job, the police were ALWAYS finding something they said he was doing wrong. We couldn’t find decent housing in our town because he was black balled for being on the sex offender registry. And on and on and on it goes. He will never be left alone. And all for a crime he did not commit. But since we had no $, we were stuck with a court appointed lawyer that apparently was working for the other side. Anyway, there definitely need to be changes in the offender registry. It is ruining people’s lives.

  • Mr. Spectre

    I wont go into a long rant, but i am a very low level offender and registering for this crap is the pits. If i was in my home state of ohio, i doubt id have issues, but im in Missouri and lets just say that i know the attorney general very well due to the crap ive gone through. As of today ive had 3 people in the sheriff dept basic throw me down the well for not knowing updated situations with the laws they created. I hope my pardon comes through because low level offenders need a voice and im glad that many law offices are trying to help whether its for money or the people.

  • jane doe

    I am a low level offender, was led to believe the other person involved was of age. My registry time was doubled AFTER my sentence was handed down because of this law.

    I am (or at least until im 70, when my registry ends) going to be held to a job that I cant support myself on (because of background checks) and will continue to live with an abuser because thats better than renting from slum lords in dangerous neighborhoods. Because of my sex offender status no decent apartment or housing manager will even consider renting to me. Yes I made a mistake but im not dangerous and only deserve to serve the original sentence of 10 yrs on the registry.

  • Erik Henson

    I committed my offense in 2008. Pled guilty to a misdemeanor and received and SIS and 2 years probation. I moved to Kansas and was told I did not have to register because my offense and sentence did not require it. I thought finally I would be able to find a job, support my kids, and try to live a better life. I work as an advocate for other offenders. I pissed off Jackson County by trying to help another offender get his registration straight. All that got was him arrested because he did not remember his password to and old email account and it got me turned into KBI. KBI sent me a letter stating that Jackson County had inquired about my registration status and told KBI that I should have to register again because of the law change. Tell me law enforcement doesnt use and abuse their power. I use to see it all the time. I saw it because I was an officer when I was arrested for having a relationship with my neighbor. I was on the front page of the news paper. But even as an officer I treated everyone I encountered as if they were good until they showed me otherwise. I made mistakes and I have lost everything but I will continue to fight and move forward the best I can. These laws need to be changed.

  • King of Wishful Thinking

    The work you guys are doing must be done. For the sake of all those who are on the registry and for the loved ones we have. I am on the registry for a misdemeanor was originally sentenced to 10 years on the list it was extended to 15 by the 2011 update and I am now facing a felony charge due to the fact that I have moved so much having to follow jobs to support myself (near impossible feat) and I couldn’t appear in person to “let them know I was leaving the county”. This makes it impossible for anyone on this list to live let alone make a living or support a family. I thank God everyday that I haven’t been blessed with a child as of yet because I couldn’t support one if I did. I am hoping that the ruling comes down on our and I do mean our side because ladies and gentlemen it is going to have to be a team effort. Yes we may have made mistakes but our rights and our freedom and our pursuit of happiness are just as important as everyone else’s and we must fight just that much harder. Thank you and good luck.

  • Mr.smith

    After 2 years in prison, during which time I completed the R.D.A.P program and got my GED, followed by 5 years of probation during which time I completed S.O treatment, I am now told that my ten year registration period is for life. Please someone tell me where is the logic in this situation. Why would they put me through all this treatment and tell me I’m good to go then turn around and continue to persecute me. I hoped this nightmare was nearly behind me but it seems that is no longer. I have taken responsibility for my actions and have done my time, yet the pariah status the state has nailed to my back endures. I can not find work or a place of my own. I can not spend time with my child unless I pay a stranger that works for a local family agency to watch us. This state has made it impossible to live here If a person is a S.O, which must be the point. I think if they had their way they’d put us in front of a firing squad. I don’t mean to be so grim but this is how I feel about it. Since this nightmare started I have done nothing but try to better myself, to comply and do what I’m told but this is going to far and needs to change. Please help end this nightmare.

  • Gerald D Luke Jr

    Ok in my case here i was falsly accused of this heinious crime just because i am a Mormon . What had happened to me i am considered a what you might call it a patsy . And this just because my sister Cheryl Luke Bohn married Stephen Charles Bohn.. His ex-wife Julie Creek was caught in adultry / a love affair with steves friend of his at the time . they had a daughter by the name of kelsie . now since steve had joined the churc /Mormon Church and this Julie foundout about it /what the problem here is Julie was actually going after her ex-husband.

    My name is Gerald D Luke Jr. right now I am trying to find away to get cleared of this , the reason why I say this back in 2010 the year before I was to come home in January 27th 2011.
    Ok what caused all of this to happen to me like this was that my brother in law Steve Bohn married my sister Cheryl and his ex wife Julie Creek caught wind of this that we are all Mormons so she decided to cause my brother in law and our family alot of trouble here.

    So she had presuaded and put the daughter up Kelsie up to alot of things to get someone in the household in trouble just because were Mormons . It could of been my dad brother and or the my neices too. somehow i got it just because i was short 4’8″ and I also had a lot of health problems my mom told this young lady to stay away from my brother and I but she would not listen . That because her mother Julie Creek put her up to it . Julie was trying to get back at Steve like revenge to him by going through me to get back at him. For joining the Mormon Church she does not know who I am at all. Now getting tothe 2010 Court with Judge Tatum at first he did not want to view the video he knew it was tampered with too. so he rescheduled the court another time he wanted to findout if Kelsie was actually lying about this whole thing I had found out too she was trying to clear me too at various times the her mother did put her up to it too. Anyway what transpired in the court room too my niece Shelby was put on the stand the DAs tried to convince Shelby togo against me she didnt she stood up agains the DAs too so they called in Kelsie after that my attorney Carl E.Cornwell asked Kelsie if she had talked to Shelby at school she kept denying it many times on the stand . Then Cornwell then said but wait your mother sent a letter to the DAs office to the School and to my Parents too then she changed her story right there on the stand she was under oath too she at that time was going to college down in Pittsburg kansas. then she was asked as well if her mother put her up to it as well she denied that too. and then religion came up as well. . I had found out too that the DAs came into the courtroom saying that I am of the wrong faith. that upset my mom but my dad calmed her down saying dont make these guys madder too. now Judge Tatum after listening to all of this said he could not see just how someone like me would go around and do this kind of stuff either. In other words I think Tatum tried to get me cleared that day but the DAs came out and said something to the fact But he said he did it . Both Tatum and Cornwell oh they both got mad at the DAs too wanted to rip their heads off too. So now I am currently still re registering right now . Until I can get help from someone who Can help me to get my record cleared and expunged too. I would appreciate that too;-) And oh yeah Kelsie also told my neice Shelby too she tired of all of this and wants to bring everything out into the open but she couldnt talk about it at that time . Because her mother Julie is controlling her right now too. There has got to be away something can come into my favor here I am unemployed and working on My SSI right now . So anyways I just felt like Tatum did try to clear me that day why did the DAs conrol him and why didnt Tatum just say I am cleared and let me go . I feel like someone here is controlling the whole situation here. I am originally from Topeka kansa myself too born raised lived there as well proud of it too.;-) So if there is anyways you can find away or an alternative for me so that I can get cleared of this ;-) somehow.

    I forgot to mention as well there was almost confession from this Julie Creek as well ;-) and there also too that the video transcript was being tampered as well there were black marks on it and i needs someone there if possible too to find away to help me to re investigate my case and find away to get Julie Creek to confess up on this as well and what happened to my last entry here????? Anyways I just thought you would needs to know about this too I would appreciate your help on this too;-) Have a great weekend.

  • Gerald D Luke Jr

    I have a copy of the deposition too that shows that Julie admitted to this against me just because were Mormons and also the other part was added in later on to make it sound like it was valid I just needs someone to help me to re investigate my case to help me to get cleared as well Ill even show you the deposition and the other stuff too I was forced by Donald Sundberg to say what he wanted me to say to him and my former attorney Trisha Barr Tenpenny also had just plead guilty instead of not guilty . I dont what to do right now until I hear from you folks please also pass this on to someone who is reliable and trustworthy too;-) To give me assistances on this I would appreciate your help on this too;-0 have a great day and weekend too;-) Gerald D Luke Jr;-) My whole family would feel much better too if I gotten cleared totally too;-)

  • Shannon

    So if I’m understanding this correctly, the Supreme Court ruled to keep KORA the way it was?

  • Same old story…

    So it seems if we donated any money to “Jon Doe” then we helped him win a case that benefitted only him. I don’t know about anyone else here, but I don’t have $150,000 to put towards a case that NEEDS to be fought. Good job on winning for Jon Doe. And of course you would be willing to fight for another offender in the same situation…who wouldn’t be willing to take on a case valued at upward of $150,000.
    Basically you are saying no money, no help…

  • Omega

    Well the only way we are going to beat this issue is if we band together. Everyone who has to deal with the registration can see that it’s all about oppression. It’s as if they get a kick out of it. I am an offender myself. I have been on there for over 12 years. I got in trouble with a teenage girl when I was an older teenager. The crime wasn’t really morally wrong as it was lawfully wrong. I was originally told to register for 10 years and that has been extended to life. I don’t care about having the charge on my record because it doesn’t look that bad considering how old it is. It looks bad on a website though. All I want is to have been on the registry for the initial ten years that I was told. It’s punitive enough as is but it’s is worse when you’re told one thing and then lied to. I pushed myself through four years of school earning an associate’s and bachelor’s and can’t even get a decent job because of the registry. I have wrote Brownback and Obama trying to get some justice. Brownback never even responded which is not a surprise because he is the one who made the new registry laws. Obama’s whitehouse team responded with a letter on how they were trying to change these laws. Obama has been fighting to remove the registry all together saying that “It only punishes the offender more”. He could not get his agenda past the house and senate though. Even if he did the general public would have made an outcry because they believe that the registry protects them which it doesn’t. It’s about time we do for self though. I have two degrees in web design and PhotoShop and we truly need to put something together. If we put together money and/or time we can become such a nuisance that they cannot just ignore us. If we form a large group together we can all send daily letters at the same time to Brownback’s office and the whitehouse overloading their inboxes. We have to show them that we are not just gonna sit back and made into scapegoats. If anyone is interested send me an e-mail and we will go from there. [email protected]

  • Devin

    So, I would like some guidance on how to reopen my case. I was a month into being 18 and she was 2 weeks from being 16. I know this doesn’t stop the fact it was illegal but my charge was rape. I pleaded down to indecent liberties with a child. I have proof from her best friend at the time and other witnesses that the girl lied due to me not wanting to be with her. I do admit that there were relations because I don’t like to lie and I won’t. However the only reason I took the plead was because in the plead and even stated by the judge I would only have to do 10 years of this sex offender crap. I was 18 and had no money and was scared that if we went to trial no one would give me the time of day and listen to
    The case but only see a black kid who was another trouble maker. What’s sad is today at 25 I realized that my sexual relations with her where wrong however I did not rape her and the sentence I got maybe at ten years is what ever because I can have kids and they can live normal due to it being over. I did not rape her though and I have proof, as well as witness and a whole town that supported me and even gave my mother bond money to get me out. The girl lied about another kid in another town after she transferred schools because the truth got out and I took the plead after graduating due being told regardless of i beat the rape charge the state will come after me for admitting relations. With this new ruling however I know longer care. This is a punishment a scarlet letter if I do say so myself and I’ve lost 3 cars, and the right to even go to my nieces and nephews events or even my kids down the road. I’m married man who is afraid to even have kids because I just want them to have a normal life without them going to school being made fun of on top of that me not being able to be there for them. I guess what I’m saying is I need help to reopen my case because this is not what I was promised, nor is it fit. I rather take my chances knowing I can beat the rape charge and make the state come after me for Me admitting to relations rather than even be free. This isn’t freedom,but is only hell. I live in fear every single day that someone will harm my wife or me because of this situation. My wife says she is ok with it but I’m not. I got bumped from 10 years to 25 years. I’m on year 7 right, and have never missed a beat including my probation. Please someone help me to the right path because I can’t sleep knowing that I have to live being on sex offender list that has me next to people who touch children or harm. I’m a non violent man and just want somewhat of a normal life. I ended up going to college for basketball only to have most other colleges say no due to my offense. I have a degree in accounting. I’ve done so many thing to try and move on and better myself but this I just can’t get past. If anyone can help me I appreciate it and God bless.