ILNews

Judges disagree on registration by homeless

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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Indiana Court of Appeals judges disagreed today in an opinion in which the majority ruled that a man who claimed he was temporarily homeless should be charged with violating the Indiana statute that requires registered sex offenders to provide their new address to authorities within seven days of a move. One judge dissented, saying their ruling would make homelessness a crime.

Judges L. Mark Bailey and Ezra Friedlander affirmed Daniel J. Milliner's conviction for failing to register as a sex offender and the order revoking his probation and reinstatement of his previously suspended sentence.

In Daniel J. Milliner v. State of Indiana, No. 31A01-0710-CR-470, Milliner argued that after he and his wife separated in late July 2005, he was temporarily homeless and was living with different friends and relatives for a couple of days at a time before he moved in with his girlfriend in fall 2005. Because he considered himself homeless, Milliner said he believed he wasn't required to register every time he moved.

However, the majority didn't agree that he was homeless but that he temporarily made his home with others. Milliner said he never lived with someone for more than seven days, so he didn't have to register each address. The seven-day grace period allows for a registrant to avoid prosecution by reporting a change of address, whether permanent or temporary, wrote Judge Bailey, not that one only has to register if they live in one place for more than seven days.

"The record shows that Milliner moved from one residence and to another, even if the new residence was temporary, 'thereby changing his home address,' and that he failed to re-register as a sex offender within seven days of the move," the judge wrote.

In a short dissent, Judge James Kirsch disagreed with his colleagues in the interpretation of the statute requiring registration. According to the judge, the majority make homelessness a crime for anyone who is required to register as a sex offender.

Judge Kirsch wrote that their interpretation is that the statute requires a homeless person to register every place that he or she sleeps within seven days, even if that is a homeless shelter or park bench. That is not what the General Assembly intended when it enacted the registry statute, wrote the judge.

"A homeless individual who moves about, staying at emergency homeless shelters when space is available and on the streets when it is not, would be required to register retroactively every single day the location where he slept six days earlier even though doing so would not provide any meaningful information to anyone or protect the public in any way," he wrote.
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  1. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

  2. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  3. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  4. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  5. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

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