Michigan Supreme Court To Hear Homeless Sex Crime Registry Violation Case

The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments concerning whether a homeless man who failed to comply with the sex crimes registration requirement can be charged with a violation.

At issue – whether it is a due process violation to prosecute someone for failing to register their residence when they lack a home.

MCL 28.725(1) provides:
An individual required to be registered under this act shall notify the local law enforcement agency or sheriff’s department having jurisdiction where his or her new residence or domicile is located within 10 days after the individual changes or vacates his or her residence, domicile, or place of work or education, including any charge required to be reported under [MCL 28.724(a).]
Here, the prosecution has charged Dowdy with violating this statute by failing to register.

Earlier this year the Court of Appeals for Ingham County held that the fact that a person has no residence by definition makes it impossible for homeless people to report their “domicile or residence.” As such, both the lower court and the appellate court found the charge violated Mr. Dowdy’s constitutional right to due process.


As sex crimes defense attorneys, we understand the critical importance of protecting an individual’s constitutional rights. In some instances, police officers and other law enforcement officials lose sight of these fundamental principals in their quest for a conviction.

For more information, of if you have been charged with a Michigan sex crime, contact Grabel & Associates, dedicated to protecting your rights and securing your freedom.