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REGISTRY COMPLIANCE CHECKS AND CPS INVESTIGATIONS:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
A Fact Guide Complied by Once Fallen
Created on 7 Aug. 2010
Most Recent Revision: 19 Nov. 2019


[NOTE: This fact page compiled from information obtained from both online activist forums and blogs that focused on
these issues. Below are highlights of numerous "what to do" lists from across the Internet, and as many give similar
advice, I'm not contributing the advice to any one person]

DEALING WITH REGISTRY COMPLIANCE CHECKS

It is time for the "Sweeps" -- No, not the TV ratings "Sweeps," the US Marshalls sweeps. Formerly called FALCON raids,
the gestapo.. er.. "US Marshals", working with state and local T4 Squads.. oops.. "Law enforcement," are conducting
nationwide sweeps. It is not uncommon these days to see regular reports of sweeps or so-called "compliance checks"
across the county. They will try to scare you into allowing warrantless searches of your property, including your personal
effects and your own body.

This has been my personal experience with these compliance checks:

I encountered a few compliance checks since my release from prison in 2003. Often, it was the same officer that issued
court summons, a single uniformed officer in an unmarked squad car. He never even attempted to step inside but I had
to meet him at my residence and sign a brief form confirming I was at the location met. I felt disgusted by the act of
residence verification; the only upside was that the man was cordial and did not try to push his authority. In 2013, my
county sheriff decided to conduct a major compliance check operation working alongside the US Marshals. The Marshal
pounded at my door nd was dressed in full goon-squad attire and demanded threateningly that I let him see my
bedroom to confirm my residence or he'd return next week. (He was escorted by a county cop who looked apologetic at
having been paired with this punk in SWAT clothes.) Since I was not on supervision, I "kindly" told him where he can go
since he did not have a warrant and he had no choice but to leave. He never came back. There was a second
compliance check operation in 2017, and this time the US Marshals were not as disrespectful. They were obviously
briefed I know my rights.

Nearly every registrant will endure a compliance check at some point in their lives, even if you aren’t on supervision.
Based on a 2016 survey of 195 registered persons conducted by OnceFallen.com, over half of respondents had
experienced a compliance check within three months prior to taking the survey, with just over a fourth subject to a
compliance check within a month prior to taking the survey. Nearly three out of five respondents have endured multiple
compliance checks within the past year, and three out of five respondents have endured at least 10 compliance checks
during their registration period. Only a fourth were on supervision/ parole/ probation. If the agent at your door is a
federal agent (like a US Marshal), you are more likely to encounter rude and threatening behavior.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE 2016 ONCE FALLEN POLICE COMPLIANCE CHECK SURVEY

If you are NOT on probation/ parole, you have the same rights as any other citizen and thus maintain your right to
refuse them entry. Below are a few tips posted on a forum that you should keep in mind if the gestapo come to YOUR
door.

  • Some have suggested not even answering the door in the first place if you are not on supervision. That may a
    feasible solution so long as you aren't on paper in some cases.
  • DO NOT sign anything, ever, at your door! No matter how "innocent" it seems. Politely refuse, unless you can
    speak to your lawyer first. (NOTE: If you do not have an attorney, be sure to read anything you sign if you feel
    compelled to do so. Standing up to a cop is scary, indeed, but they know you have to give up your rights willingly
    in order for them to proceed)
  • DO NOT answer any questions beyond confirming that you are you, and required registration info. Anything else
    could be used (or twisted) to incriminate you.
  • DO invoke the 5th amendment if necessary. But be prepared to be peppered with more questions (What are you
    hiding? Eh?), and reply only that you want your lawyer present first.
  • DO NOT let anyone into your home without a warrant, unless you are still "on paper" (i.e., probation/ parole) and
    it is required. "Uncle LEO" has no right whatsoever to enter a person's home without a warrant, UNLESS you give
    them permission to enter. Don't fall for the old "can we come inside to confirm you live there" trick. Once inside
    they are looking for any reason to lock you up. Depending on the state, having toys or other items they consider
    "paraphernalia" may subject you to arrest or investigation.
  • DO NOT leave your home while LE is still at your door. You have strong protections in your home, but practically
    none once you are out on the street.
  • If you have easy access to a camera (cell phone in pocket), take a picture of the group on your porch,
    or better yet record the whole thing. Many cell phones have a "record" feature for you to talk into. Turn it on
    and keep it aimed at everyone speaking. The last one is highly important, in my opinion. HOWEVER, it may It may
    be illegal depending on the circumstances and where you live. According to a 2012 guide by The Reporters
    Committee for Freedom of the Press (found at https://www.rcfp.org/wp-content/uploads/imported/RECORDING.
    pdf), the following states require BOTH parties to consent to the recording of conversations: CA, CT, FL, IL, MA,
    MD, MI, MT, NH, NV, PA, and WA

Something to keep in mind: The US Marshals were granted jurisdiction in "investigating and apprehending" Failure to
Register violators who cross state lines. The US Marshals DO NOT have the authority to handle compliance checks.
They simply tag along. The local authorities are the main individuals in charge.

Addendum: In regards to videotaping police, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review a federal appeals court
decision finding it unconstitutional to enforce an Illinois state law that makes it a felony to videotape police officers
working in public if a microphone is turned on. The case in the US Appeals Court decision is
ACLU of Illinois v. Alvarez,
679 F. 3d 583. (7th Cir. 2012). This makes the decision the current precedent.

DEALING WITH CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES (CPS)

Let’s say you meet a nice gal who just happens to have a kid, or someone from your past who has a kid finds out you
are on the registry and wants you investigated. A call is made to CPS and one of their agents shows up at your door.
What are your rights?

The most important thing to remember is a CPS agent is a government agent (i.e, an “officer of the court”) which means
they have investigation and decision-making powers but are limited by the Constitution just like a cop. CPS does have
the obligation to investigate all complaints of child abuse and neglect no matter how frivolous, and they can make your
life miserable. However, they don’t have full police capabilities. CPS agents aren’t cops, and have no direct power of
arrest; they must call a cop to have you arrested or a court order to have your children removed. Still, being
investigated is stressful and they can have your children removed from your house or even get you arrested under the
right circumstances. Worse, since they aren’t traditional LEOs, they have less investigative training and more prone to
mistakes or personal biases.

Many tips related to dealing with police at your doorstep apply to CPS. Below are various tips I have seen from online
lists I feel are important to remember:

  • DO NOT LET THEM IN THE HOUSE WITHOUT A WARRANT: Even if a police officer is present, they can only
    enter your home if you consent, if they have a warrant OR if they hear an emergency situation going on (“exigent
    circumstances”). Do NOT consent to let them into home even if you feel you have nothing to hide. And even if you
    do consent, you can force them to leave at any time. No Court Order, no entry, simple as that.
  • ASK QUESTIONS (AND RECORD THE ANSWERS): It is suggested you buy a recording device and let them know
    they are being recorded if your state allows recording of government agents. (As noted above, some states
    require of both parties involved in the conversation.)  Under federal law, CPS agents are obligated to tell you the
    exact nature of the allegations against you. Ask questions like – “Can I see your ID? What is the name and phone
    number of your supervisor? What are the exact allegations that have been made against me? Do you have a
    warrant to search my home or speak to my children?” Document everything about your interactions with these
    agents.
  • BE POLITE BUT DON’T ANSWER QUESTIONS WITHOUT REPRESENTATION: Your words can easily be twisted
    around. Don’t speak to them without a lawyer or representative. Say nothing to them. The word NO is a complete
    answer. The more you speak, the more evidence you give them. But be polite in rejecting them, as anger can be
    used against you. Even if you are poor, you can get help from legal aid.

OTHER USEFUL RESOURCES

Resources change frequently, especially as it relates to Internet-related issues. These resources were online as of
November 2019: