April 4, 2016
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 14 C 9687 - James
B. Zagel, Judge.
Easterbrook and Hamilton, Circuit Judges, and Pepper,
District Judge. [*]
Pepper, District Judge.
Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) requires sex
offenders to register with the police. Because he did not
have a permanent address (he was homeless), Paul Regains
followed the instructions of officers who directed him to a
local homeless shelter (which they listed on his registration
as his permanent address), and to return for re-registration
in ninety days. When he appeared to report three months
later, Chicago police officers arrested Regains on an
"investigative alert/' because other officers had
not been able to locate Regains at the address provided.
Regains remained in custody seventeen months before the
Illinois trial court found him not guilty of failing to a
report a change of address.
sued the City of Chicago under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
claiming that it violated his rights under the Due Process
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The district court
dismissed the case under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6), finding that either the claim was time-barred under
Illinois' two-year statute of limitations for personal
injury claims, or that it was barred by this court's
decision in New-some v. McCabe, 256 F.3d 747, 751
(7th Cir. 2001), abrogated by Manual v. City
ofjoliet, 137 S.Ct. 911 (2017) ("Manuel
I"). The district court also found that the amended
complaint lacked sufficient factual details to give the City
fair notice, and that because Regains did not specifically
identify a particular constitutional violation, the City
could not be held liable under Monell v. Dep't. of
Soc. Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 692 (1978).
reverse the district court's decision that Regains'
claim was time-barred, and remand for further proceedings.
2012, SORA required sex offenders to register in person
within three days of establishing a residence or a temporary
domicile in any county. 730ILCS § 150/3(b) (2012). Sex
offenders in the City of Chicago registered "at the
Chicago Police Department Headquarters." 730 ILCS §
150/3(a)(1). The law required sex offenders without a fixed
address or temporary domicile to report weekly to the chief
of police in the municipality in which that person was
located. 730 ILCS § 150/3.
plaintiff asserts that SORA required "persons with a
fixed abode" to report every ninety days, citing 730
ILCS § 150/6. Appellant's Br. at 2. In fact, that
section of the statute required a person who had been
adjudicated to be sexually dangerous or was a sexually
violent person to report every ninety days (and required such
offenders to report weekly if they did not have a fixed
residence). "Any other person" required to register
under the statute was required to report once a year. The
record does not indicate whether Regains, had he had a fixed
residence, would have been subject to the ninety-day
reporting interval or the one-year reporting interval. Either
way, the law required homeless sex offenders to report more
frequently than sex offenders with fixed residences. Failure
to comply with the provisions of the statute constituted a
felony, for which there was strict liability. 730 ILCS §
150/10(a); People v. Molnar, 857 N.E.2d 209, 224
2012, the Chicago police officers assigned to sex offender
registration/reporting duty felt that the weekly reporting
requirement for homeless sex offenders had become burdensome.
Some of those police officers engaged in a widespread
practice of steering homeless sex offenders to homeless
shelters that would accept sex offenders, and directing the
sex offenders to return with documentation showing the
shelter as the sex offender's residence. This scheme had
the effect of providing homeless sex offenders with a
"residence," which meant that they were not subject
to the weekly reporting requirement. The officers who engaged
in this steering practice, and their supervisors, were aware
that the number of persons registered at the shelters far
exceeded the shelter's capacity. In other words, they
knew that the homeless sex offenders who listed the shelter
as their "address" likely would not be able to
Chicago police officers assigned to registration duties
disagreed with the steering practice. These other officers
visited homeless shelters that accepted sex offender
registrants and attempted to locate the registrant; if they
could not locate the registrant at the shelter, the officers
would prepare an investigative alert, informing any Chicago
police officer who encountered the registrant that there was
probable cause for arrest.
alleges that in April 2012, Chicago police officers employed
the steering practice when he attempted to register as a
homeless sex offender. He asserts that they directed him to a
shelter, registered him as residing at that shelter, and
instructed him to return for quarterly reporting and
re-registration in July 2012.
early May 2012, two Chicago police officers went to the
shelter to look for Regains. They did not find him, and they
prepared a report for failure to register at that address.
The next day, a Chicago police detective reviewed the report,
visited the shelter without finding Regains, and issued an