Major changes could be coming to the Michigan Sex Offender Registry.

Judge Robert Cleland is expected to issue a ruling that would make some of the provisions of the public website unconstitutional. This may result in the removal of some 44,000 names from the registry.

Here's how it works:

The judge is expected to issue a written ruling, but this action is expected to take some time -- enough time for the Michigan legislature to make changes, addressing any parts of the law which could be deemed unconstitutional. The judge is reported to have done the same thing last year, but no action was taken by legislators.

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If Michigan's governing body fails to act this time, the judge could order that police will not be able to act on the rules of the registry that could be considered unconstitutional.

Thousands of people on the registry have filed a class-action lawsuit, forcing the state to address certain aspects of the registry laws:

  • Lifetime registration requirements
  • Loitering restrictions
  • Ongoing reporting requirements
  • Residency exclusions