Case: Whitaker v. Perdue

4:06-cv-00140 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

Filed Date: June 20, 2006

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On June 20, 2006, six low-level sex offenders filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, against the state of Georgia. The plaintiffs, represented by the Southern Center for Human Rights and the ACLU of Georgia, challenged provisions of the state's new sex offender law that prevented sex offenders from living and working within one-thousand feet of school bus stops and churches. The plaintiffs had committed their crimes when they were young …

On June 20, 2006, six low-level sex offenders filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, against the state of Georgia. The plaintiffs, represented by the Southern Center for Human Rights and the ACLU of Georgia, challenged provisions of the state's new sex offender law that prevented sex offenders from living and working within one-thousand feet of school bus stops and churches. The plaintiffs had committed their crimes when they were young (often statutory / consensual sex acts with a person a few years younger), and argued that the Georgia law violated their rights because it did not distinguish between low-level and high-level sex offenders, nor did it allow them to seek an exemption. They further alleged that the law automatically exposed persons to felony prosecution and forced nearly all sex offenders out of their homes, and that it would also undercut church efforts to reform sex offenders.

On June 27, 2006, U.S. District Court Judge Clarence Cooper granted a restraining order against the enforcement of the bus stop portion of the law and scheduled further hearings. The court's discussion focused on whether or not "bus stops," as defined in the statute, meant places where school buses actually stopped to pick up schoolchildren, or places formally designated as bus stops by the relevant school board. The court ruled that "bus stops" must be designated, and since no school board had yet designated any bus stops, the court denied the Motion for Preliminary Injunction.

On June 29, 2006, the Judge Cooper certified a plaintiff class of all persons who registered with the State of Georgia as sex offenders on or before July 1, 2006 and who reside within 1000 feet of a currently-designated school bus stop or a school bus stop designated in the future.

Following the issuance of the TRO (temporary restraining order), three counties designated their "bus stops" to remove the ambiguity, and then entered into consent orders that barred enforcement of the law until further order of the court. The plaintiffs then filed another motion for preliminary injunction challenging the residency restrictions barring a home within one-thousand feet of a church. This was filed on behalf of nine elderly and sick sex offenders who mostly live in nursing homes. Each of the affected counties allowed these sex offenders to remain in their nursing homes.

The District Court permitted the key portions of the plaintiffs' case to move forward, including challenges based on the following constitutional provisions: (1) Article 1, § 10 of the Georgia Constitution, which provides that states cannot pass laws that increase punishments for criminal acts after they have been committed ; (2) the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which protects certain fundamental rights from being infringed upon; and (3) the Free Exercise Clause of the United States Constitution, which protects religious beliefs and religious practices.

On October 14, 2008 the plaintiffs filled their 4th amended complaint. The plaintiffs made clear that the most significant part of their challenge to the law involved the school bus stop provisions.

Prompted by some changes to the law, in March 2009, the Court decertified the previously defined class and certified several new subclasses, including all persons who are registered, are required to register, or will be required to register in the future as sex offenders pursuant to § 42-1-15 who (1) reside in counties in which the school board has designated school bus stops for purposes of § 42-1-15 and (2) either do not own their own homes or do not fall within the homeowner exemption of § 42-1-15(f) or (g), as determined by the sheriff in the county where such persons are registered. The 2009 order found that one of the plaintiffs had standing to represent this subclass because she was leasing a residence that fell within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop in Columbia County.

Within the same March 2009 order, the District Court granted the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction restraining the defendants from enforcing the sex offender law's provision that barred registered sex offenders from engaging in volunteer activities at church. The district court found that "because the Church Volunteer/Employment Provision fails to provide fair warning to Plaintiffs or adequate guidance to law enforcement, it is substantially likely that it is unduly and unconstitutionally vague." Lastly, the District Court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' takings claim on behalf of renters affected by the sex offender law.

In September 2010, the Court approved the plaintiff's voluntary dismissal of several claims. But the school bus stop claim based on substantive due process and vagueness remained. Then, in March 2011, the Court allowed the Plaintiffs to substitute new named plaintiffs. However, the counties in which the plaintiffs lived rescinded the bus stop designations. Accordingly, on September 30, 2013, the District Court dismissed what was left of the case, finding no remaining plaintiffs with standing to bring it. This case is closed.

Summary Authors

Justin Benson (3/3/2012)

Saeeda Joseph-Charles (11/14/2016)

Related Cases

Mann v. Georgia Department of Corrections, Georgia state trial court (2003)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/36207441/parties/smiley-v-perdue/


Judge(s)

Cooper, Clarence (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bright, Stephen B. (Georgia)

Garrett, Margaret Fletcher (Georgia)

Geraghty, Sarah E. (Georgia)

Kung, Lisa L. (Georgia)

Littrell, Elizabeth Lynn (Georgia)

Weber, Gerald R. (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Baker, Kay Denise (Georgia)

Blalock, William H. (Georgia)

Brantley, Overtis Hicks (Georgia)

Judge(s)

Cooper, Clarence (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bright, Stephen B. (Georgia)

Garrett, Margaret Fletcher (Georgia)

Geraghty, Sarah E. (Georgia)

Kung, Lisa L. (Georgia)

Littrell, Elizabeth Lynn (Georgia)

Weber, Gerald R. (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Baker, Kay Denise (Georgia)

Blalock, William H. (Georgia)

Brantley, Overtis Hicks (Georgia)

Conner, Jerry Ann (Georgia)

Drolet, Joseph J (Georgia)

Hudson, David (Arkansas)

Hutchinson, Martha Suzanne (Georgia)

Lee, Nathan Thomas (Georgia)

McDonald, Nikisha L. (Georgia)

Nkumeh, Nwakaego Ijeoma (Georgia)

Okparaeke, Nwakaego Ijeoma (Georgia)

Olens, Samuel (Georgia)

Orland, Devon (Georgia)

Pacious, Kathleen Mary (Georgia)

Patty, Clifton M Jr. (Georgia)

Ranck, Brian C (Georgia)

Skipper, James M. Jr. (Georgia)

Smith, Suzanne H. (Georgia)

Westmoreland, Mary Beth (Georgia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

4:06-cv-00140

Docket (PACER)

Smiley v. Perdue

Sept. 30, 2013

Sept. 30, 2013

Docket
1

4:06-cv-00140

Complaint - Class Action for Injunctive Relief

June 20, 2006

June 20, 2006

Complaint
7

4:06-cv-00140

Brief in Support of Motion for A Preliminary Injunction

June 21, 2006

June 21, 2006

Pleading / Motion / Brief
16

4:06-cv-00140

Order [Granting TRO]

June 27, 2006

June 27, 2006

Order/Opinion
36

4:06-cv-00140

First Amended Complaint

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

Complaint
44

4:06-cv-00140

Proposed Order Denying Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction

July 19, 2006

July 19, 2006

Pleading / Motion / Brief
59

4:06-cv-00140

Second Amended Complaint

July 26, 2006

July 26, 2006

Complaint
67

4:06-cv-00140

Consent Order

July 28, 2006

July 28, 2006

Order/Opinion
115

4:06-cv-00140

Third Amended Complaint

June 1, 2007

June 1, 2007

Complaint
186-1

4:06-cv-00140

Plaintiffs' Brief in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction to Stop the State of Georgia from Criminalizing Protected Religious Activity

June 24, 2008

June 24, 2008

Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/36207441/smiley-v-perdue/

Last updated June 4, 2022, 3:16 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

Complaint

June 20, 2006

June 20, 2006

PACER
1

Complaint

June 20, 2006

June 20, 2006

PACER
2

Summons Issued

June 20, 2006

June 20, 2006

PACER
2

Summons Issued

June 20, 2006

June 20, 2006

PACER
3

Summons Issued

June 20, 2006

June 20, 2006

PACER
3

Summons Issued

June 20, 2006

June 20, 2006

PACER
4

Summons Issued

June 20, 2006

June 20, 2006

PACER
4

Summons Issued

June 20, 2006

June 20, 2006

PACER
5

Summons Issued

June 20, 2006

June 20, 2006

PACER
5

Summons Issued

June 20, 2006

June 20, 2006

PACER
6

Order of Recusal

June 20, 2006

June 20, 2006

PACER
6

Order of Recusal

June 20, 2006

June 20, 2006

PACER

Remark

June 21, 2006

June 21, 2006

PACER

Remark

June 21, 2006

June 21, 2006

PACER
7

Motion for Preliminary Injunction

June 21, 2006

June 21, 2006

PACER
7

Motion for Preliminary Injunction

June 21, 2006

June 21, 2006

PACER
8

Motion for Preliminary Injunction

June 22, 2006

June 22, 2006

PACER
8

Motion for Preliminary Injunction

June 22, 2006

June 22, 2006

PACER
9

Motion for TRO

June 22, 2006

June 22, 2006

PACER
9

Motion for TRO

June 22, 2006

June 22, 2006

PACER
10

Certificate of Service

June 23, 2006

June 23, 2006

PACER
10

Certificate of Service

June 23, 2006

June 23, 2006

PACER
11

Notice of Appearance

June 23, 2006

June 23, 2006

PACER
11

Notice of Appearance

June 23, 2006

June 23, 2006

PACER
12

Notice (Other)

June 26, 2006

June 26, 2006

PACER
12

Notice (Other)

June 26, 2006

June 26, 2006

PACER
13

Notice of Appearance

June 26, 2006

June 26, 2006

PACER
13

Notice of Appearance

June 26, 2006

June 26, 2006

PACER
14

Notice of Appearance

June 26, 2006

June 26, 2006

PACER
14

Notice of Appearance

June 26, 2006

June 26, 2006

PACER
15

Motion to Certify Class

June 26, 2006

June 26, 2006

PACER
15

Motion to Certify Class

June 26, 2006

June 26, 2006

PACER
20

Motion Hearing

June 26, 2006

June 26, 2006

PACER
20

Motion Hearing

June 26, 2006

June 26, 2006

PACER

Set Motion and R&R Deadlines/Hearings

June 27, 2006

June 27, 2006

PACER

Set Motion and R&R Deadlines/Hearings

June 27, 2006

June 27, 2006

PACER
16

Order on Motion for TRO

June 27, 2006

June 27, 2006

PACER
16

Order on Motion for TRO

June 27, 2006

June 27, 2006

PACER
17

Notice of Appearance

June 28, 2006

June 28, 2006

PACER
17

Notice of Appearance

June 28, 2006

June 28, 2006

PACER
18

Response to Motion

June 28, 2006

June 28, 2006

PACER
18

Response to Motion

June 28, 2006

June 28, 2006

PACER
19

Reply to Response to Motion

June 29, 2006

June 29, 2006

PACER
19

Reply to Response to Motion

June 29, 2006

June 29, 2006

PACER
21

Order on Motion to Certify Class

June 29, 2006

June 29, 2006

PACER
21

Order on Motion to Certify Class

June 29, 2006

June 29, 2006

PACER
22

Motion to Stay

June 30, 2006

June 30, 2006

PACER
22

Motion to Stay

June 30, 2006

June 30, 2006

PACER
23

Motion for Leave to File

June 30, 2006

June 30, 2006

PACER
23

Motion for Leave to File

June 30, 2006

June 30, 2006

PACER
24

Order on Motion to Stay

June 30, 2006

June 30, 2006

PACER
24

Order on Motion to Stay

June 30, 2006

June 30, 2006

PACER
25

Motion to Stay

June 30, 2006

June 30, 2006

PACER
25

Motion to Stay

June 30, 2006

June 30, 2006

PACER
26

Notice of Appeal

June 30, 2006

June 30, 2006

PACER
26

Notice of Appeal

June 30, 2006

June 30, 2006

PACER
27

Transmission of Notice of Appeal and Docket Sheet to USCA

June 30, 2006

June 30, 2006

PACER
27

Transmission of Notice of Appeal and Docket Sheet to USCA

June 30, 2006

June 30, 2006

PACER
28

Order on Motion to Stay

June 30, 2006

June 30, 2006

PACER
28

Order on Motion to Stay

June 30, 2006

June 30, 2006

PACER
29

Notice of E-filing Requirement

July 5, 2006

July 5, 2006

PACER
29

Notice of E-filing Requirement

July 5, 2006

July 5, 2006

PACER

Notification of Docket Correction

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER

Notification of Docket Correction

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
30

Response to Motion

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
30

Response to Motion

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
31

Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
31

Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
32

Motion to Dismiss

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
32

Motion to Dismiss

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
33

Response in Support of Motion

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
33

Response in Support of Motion

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
34

Motion to Dismiss

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
34

Motion to Dismiss

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
35

Response (Non-Motion)

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
35

Response (Non-Motion)

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
36

Amended Complaint

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
36

Amended Complaint

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
39

Transcript

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
39

Transcript

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
50

Order on Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
50

Order on Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages

July 7, 2006

July 7, 2006

PACER
37

Notice of Filing

July 11, 2006

July 11, 2006

PACER
37

Notice of Filing

July 11, 2006

July 11, 2006

PACER
38

Order

July 11, 2006

July 11, 2006

PACER
38

Order

July 11, 2006

July 11, 2006

PACER
51

Order

July 11, 2006

July 11, 2006

PACER
51

Order

July 11, 2006

July 11, 2006

PACER
52

Motion Hearing

July 11, 2006

July 11, 2006

PACER
52

Motion Hearing

July 11, 2006

July 11, 2006

PACER

Submission to District Judge

July 12, 2006

July 12, 2006

PACER

Submission to District Judge

July 12, 2006

July 12, 2006

PACER
53

Motion Hearing

July 12, 2006

July 12, 2006

PACER
53

Motion Hearing

July 12, 2006

July 12, 2006

PACER
40

Response (Non-Motion)

July 17, 2006

July 17, 2006

PACER
40

Response (Non-Motion)

July 17, 2006

July 17, 2006

PACER
41

Response (Non-Motion)

July 17, 2006

July 17, 2006

PACER
41

Response (Non-Motion)

July 17, 2006

July 17, 2006

PACER

Submission to District Judge

July 19, 2006

July 19, 2006

PACER

Submission to District Judge

July 19, 2006

July 19, 2006

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Georgia

Case Type(s):

Criminal Justice (Other)

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 20, 2006

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All persons who registered with the State of Georgia as sex offenders on or before July 1, 2006 and who reside within 1000 feet of a currently-designated school bus stop or a school bus stop designated in the future

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

State of Georgia, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Ex Post Facto

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Non-settlement Outcome

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief denied

Issues

General:

Sex offender regulation