Tuesday, September 11, 2012

ALERT: CERTAIN Registered Sex Offenders and The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) Reauthorization Act of 2010

9-11-2012 National:

CAPTA Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act was a federal law first enacted in 1974. CAPTA is a law likened to a spider web, in that, it has fingers that tie it into any form of proceeding affecting a "Child." And, until 2010, in the 111th Congress, it did not tie into "registered sex offender" laws.

In 2010, when CAPTA was up to be reauthorized, -a few lines of code- was tucked into the bill making it applicable to certain registered sex offenders, under certain circumstances, REPEAT, under certain circumstances ONLY. As best I can tell, the RSO must be involved in a court or other proceeding (non criminal), where the court is required to make a decision in the best interests of the child. ex: Probate proceedings, Child Custody, Visiting Rights, Divorce, Adoption, Termination of Parental Rights, and I'm sure there are others which escape me right now.

WHY have folks not heard about this? The federal law was amended in 2010, and many states have not yet decided how they will implement it. Yes, this is another of those federal laws which dock the state federal funds if they do not implement it, and a federal agency decides if, a state, after enacting it, is or isn't in full compliance, which then determines if the state is docked federal funds.

Today States are in a transition period! Please see this Michigan news item from 5-1-2012: Sex offenders could lose parental rights under law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder. In Oklahoma House Bill 3049 "Sex offenders; prohibiting certain sex offenders from residing with minor children; effective date." passed and will become law.

How will the federal law affect registered sex offenders? This is the most difficult part, it depends on how a state enacts the federal law. So far, in the two states mentioned, RSOs are affected differently. Your state decides how it will enact CAPTA. Local lawyers are the only folks who can PROPERLY advise you, or even tell you, if you will be affected. And, as of today, remember not every state has addressed CAPTA yet!

OK, what did the 111th Congress insert into CAPTA (S-3817)?
(I) in subclause (III), by striking ‘‘; or’’ and inserting ‘‘;’’; and
(II) by adding at the end the following:
‘‘(V) to have committed sexual abuse against the surviving child or another child of such parent;
‘‘(VI) to be required to register with a sex offender registry under section 113(a) of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C. 16913(a));’’;
I have provided links to the bill in the 111th Congress, if you are brave enough to read it, it is a monster bill, like I said, a spider web into many other laws; have at it.

It might be easier to read this, which explains CAPTA overall, then search it for the insert I mentioned above, still a daunting task. Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) Reauthorization Act of 2010. More about CAPTA 2010 can be found HERE

OK, every RSO -in the state where you live- need to find out how your state -has or will enact- this federal law. Watch the news for your respective areas. And never forget, if the law does not affect you today, it could if your family situation changes in the future (i.e., divorce, visitation rights for previously divorced folks, etc.).

Whatever folks find, please let me post it here for other folks to learn from.

Thanks, and have a good day and a better tomorrow.

If you cannot read the links, copy and paste this into your browser, and read it there: http://truths-authority-factoids.blogspot.com/2012/09/alert-certain-registered-sex-offenders.html