Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Minnesota Court rejects civilly committed registrant's bid to change legal name to "Better Off Dead"

Image result for MN-MSOP

It is New years, so you know what that means, time for the annual Shiitake Awards! Click the link to take the survey:


And for the New Year, lets start it off with an interesting case. 

I have been in contact with some folks at the Minnesota Civil Commitment Program (MSOP) and have hosted a blog on behalf of one person currently indefinitely detained for 10 years. Those in the MSOP ("Minnesota State's Other Prison" as it is derisively called on the inside) have tried many ways to share their experiences. This way certainly received some attention. I commend Mr. Better Off Dead for trying this unique protest.

Too bad the courts rejected this form of protest and I thumb my nose to this kangaroo court. 

Maybe I'll retire my old "Fallen One" moniker and legally change my name to Derek "F**k-The-Registry" Logue someday. 

MN COURT REJECTS CIVILLY COMMITTED SO’S NAME CHANGE TO “BETTER OFF DEAD”

Edited from following source: Rochelle Olson. “Court rejects sex offender's attempted name change to 'Better Off Dead'.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune. 30 Dec. 2019. 

A man indefinitely committed as a sexual predator can't rename himself "Better Off Dead" even when he claims he's doing it for religious reasons, the state Court of Appeals ruled Monday.

Hollis John Larson has been committed since 2008 under the MN SO Program (MSOP) that allows for indefinite confinement for predators. Larson "professes a religious belief involving Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Agnosticism," the court said. His desired name change is "in accordance with that religious belief and to express his freedom of speech."

A three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals agreed with a lower-court ruling denying the name change in part because "Better Off Dead" is an idiomatic expression, contains no pronouns and is "inherently misleading."

Larson, who represented himself, said the only way for him to "achieve reconciliation with the divine is to escape the cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth by being and remaining dead," according to the ruling.

The District Court didn't buy it, saying that the name Better Off Dead "has no known connection to any particular religious faith or belief."

Anoka Co. objected to the name change on the grounds that it would be confusing to law enforcement. The District Court, and now the Court of Appeals, agreed with that argument. The courts also said that denying the change wouldn't impinge on Larson's constitutional rights. Larson failed to convince the court that he did not intend to "defraud or mislead," the ruling said.

The inmate stated that every document "created by his current captors" with his new name Better Off Dead would also refer to his old name and wouldn't cause confusion or harm public safety. Anoka Co. countered that the name change would compromise the public's ability to maintain and access his records.

The Court of Appeals also rejected the name change on freedom of speech grounds. Larson claimed that renaming himself Better Off Dead was a "peaceful form of protest against [the government], all these entities that caused me this pain and suffering and leading to my philosophy in life." He argued that the name change would allow him to "officially communicate his life philosophy to society," the ruling said.

The case is an “unpublished opinion.” In the Matter of the Application of: Hollis John Larson for a Change of Name, A18-2153 (MN Ct of App. 30 Dec. 2019)

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