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TX: Woman may be first sex offender evicted as towns adopt exclusion zones

… Yet when she showed up to check in at the Meadows Place police station, she said police refused to register her as a resident and informed her she couldn’t live in her home. A city ordinance prohibited registered child sex offenders from living within a certain distance of places where children gathered; her house was too close to a city pool.

“But I already live here,” she replied.

“You can’t anymore,” she was told. In an unfolding legal battle, KJ stands to become the first Texas homeowner evicted from her own house for violating one of the ordinances. Full Article

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  1. Sam

    Someone please tell me again how this isn’t a punishment or inhibits daily life😂😂😂😓😥

  2. COOL CA RC

    umm I m not sure about Texas but I think she is already Grandfathered .

    • Timmmy

      Not just Grandfathered, but cities with less than, I think 100,000 in population, are prohibited from passing such ordinances. She is going to become very wealthy.

      • CR

        The Texas legislature passed a new law that allows all cities of any size to have residency restrictions for RSO’s. It just went into effect in September.

        • Eric Knight

          And in extension, did not take prior residence (grandfathering) into enforcement.

          • lovewillprevail

            The state law does mandate grandfathering in for municipal sex residency/proximity ordinances (of general law municipalities). So if one were living in a general law municipality say 500 feet from a school and then the municipality later adopted an ordinance stating a registered person could not live within 1,000 feet from a school, that person is grandfathered and can remain living in the same place.

            Though what is happening in real life in some cases is that either the city councils are adopting ordinances that do not comply with state law and/or law enforcement is illegally trying to harass and/or ticket people who should be grandfathered as shown in the article.

            Same old thing. Small cities had no authority to adopt these ordinance but did so anyway (got sued and lost so the reason for the new statute). Then when given permission, some small cities still refuse to follow state law.

            I use to live in a small Texas town. The mayor stated on public record at a city council meeting. There are two laws. “Texas law and city law and we do not care about Texas law.”

            Whack a mole. The battles never stop.

      • lovewillprevail

        FYI – in Texas there is no state residency/restriction law. In Texas there are primarily two types of municipalities. One type, which has to have at least 5,000 people and the citizens have to elect a certain type of charter, can adopt any ordinance it wants as long as it does not conflict with state and federal law and the state and federal constitutions. Many of these municipalities for years have had residency restriction ordinances, though few have proximity restrictions.

        The municipalities under 5,000 can only adopt ordinances expressly authorized by the state legislature. The state legislature never adopted a statue authorizing the smaller municipalities the authority to adopt residency/proximity restriction ordinances. But that did not stop many small municipalities. The wanted on the bandwagon so they adopted residency restrictions anyway. Many of these municipalities were sued and lost because it was ruled they did not have the statutory authority to adopt those ordinances.

        Both the municipalities and the public were outraged that the sex offenders had the right to live where they wanted in small municipalities (those not on probation or parole). So the legislature in its wisdom and to appease everyone who was not a sex offender, not only gave the smaller municipalities the authority to adopt residency restrictions , but the authority to implement proximity restrictions.

        Now the small municipalities are all happy because they feel like a big boy city and feel safe. Many smaller municipalities have adopted ordinances. Though some ordinances do no comply with state law. As you can gather from this post, “lights on, but nobody home” describes people running small municipalities.

        On a side note, a few small studies have been done on re-offense rates in a few small municipalities. And guess what, no re-offenses were found.

        So as of today, people like us are now banished from even setting foot in most small Texas municipalities. So, expect the big boy municipalities to soon follow suit. Especially since the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled it is ok to banish sex offenders (and SCOUTS refused to hear the appeal).

        So before traveling to Texas, you need to first read the sex offender ordinances of every municipality you will drive through if you want to avoid getting tickets with fines that range from $500 to $2,000. Remember, small town law enforcement scans plates of people passing through.

        Welcome to the land of the ignorant and the afraid. As an ex-wife’s northern state grandmother once told me, you all are stupid down here because the hot sun has fried your brains…

        .

  3. AlexO

    A good but sad article. I liked that they said research shows most established fears to be completely wrong. Even better was the sheriff admitting these laws do nothing and they don’t even have the resources to enforce them.

  4. CR

    I believe she is grandfathered under the new law that went into effect here in Texas recently. The old ordinance that the town had previously since 2006 is void because they didn’t have the authority to pass such an ordinance at the time. It can’t apply to her. The town’s new ordinance came into effect after she established residency. So she’s grandfathered. But the town is going to fight, so she is going to have to fight even harder for her rights.

    • lovewillprevail

      CR, that is also my opinion. Hopefully she will prevail and also get her legal fees reimbursed.

  5. AJ

    “Thanks in part to the small parks and their new equipment, Jessup said all but 147 of Meadows Place’s 1,456 residences are now off limits to registered sex offenders looking to move into the city. He said a new pocket park is planned in the city’s north, which will expand the exclusion zone.”
    —–
    Keep up the good work, Meadow Place. The more you show active attempts at creating a banishment zone, the better it will look for our side in a lawsuit. Were this not in the 5th Circuit, I’d say “any judge” will see through the sham parks they’ve built. The quotes from the city officials in this article will come back to haunt them, I’m quite sure. (And were I her attorney, I’d be getting photos of every single “park” they’ve created.)
    =====
    @mike r:
    Using his car odometer to identify the boundaries, he found a house to buy. On the day of the closing, however, police informed him he’d mismeasured the distance from a community swimming pool; his house was only 850 feet away.

    He canceled the deal. Three months later, Gallegos purchased another house, this time using Google Maps. Days after closing, Venus police told him their laser measurements showed it was 48 feet too close to the prohibited zone.
    —–
    This is exactly the type of example you can use in your lawsuit, showing the type of tools available to the RC (odometer and Google Maps), versus the super-duper accurate, high-tech, and expensive systems the Government can afford, has, and uses (laser measuring).

    • Lovecraft

      Texas isnt the only state where premise restrictions are being used to effectively ban rc’s from large areas in the city. I know many of you are aware, but sometimes statewide presence restrictions can lead to way worse. Not only are they building parks etc, but many new developments (apartments, condos, etc) are being outfitted with daycare built right in. There is even an article where a devleoper says he now uses these daycare facilities as a feature in their housing developments because it promotes a safe environment with rc’s not being allowed to live in their developments. I wish I could locate the article it was in NC, but i saw it almost 2 years ago and this was before I understood the importance of the larger picture and before I became an advocate.

      This past summer they started something else in Raleigh, NC called pop up daycare. As it stands with the 300 ft presence laws in effect anywhere children congregate you can litterly be in violation being or going just about anywhere.

      http://www.wral.com/new-downtown-raleigh-childcare-center-offers-on-site-near-site-pop-up-care/16767637/

    • TS

      @AJ, et al

      Go to the city planning department, ask them for a measurement between house and park, school, etc. Right there is correct government provided data. Cop measurement most likely won’t hold up in court because they’re not professional in that area for home related uses. A professional surveyor or city planning will because they are. Cops can reconstruct accidents with their tools, but housing is different.

      • AJ

        @TS:
        Oh, I’m well aware of the way to get legally binding measurements. That’s all well and good if/when one is trying to buy a house or whatever. How about the tourist who unwittingly is “too” near a park, school, library, or whatever, and gets nailed? I wonder if Lambert v CA (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/355/225/case.html) would hold up as a defense–as long as one isn’t present in a State long enough to trigger registration. Of course even if Lambert does apply, that doesn’t stop Barney Fife from arresting you and letting you rot, what with your being from out of town/state. I suspect Lambert is the reason States give you a laundry list of things to acknowledge each time you register.

        • TS

          @AJ

          Thanks for the tourist angle. That is flippin’ crazy to have to worry about that while on R&R.

          • AJ

            @TS:
            You’re welcome. Another thought came to mind about a tourist and RC laws. I wonder, do they even apply? Of the various States’ RC laws I’ve read, the residency and presence laws apply to those registered with the State. Sometimes it will say it’s illegal for a person subject to whatever registration statute to reside or be present, or whatever. Well, if I have not been present long enough to have to register, do they apply? Can they apply? I suppose if the law is written in a way to include me as someone registered, though in another State, the laws will apply. But is that legal? Wouldn’t that violate the Privileges and Immunities Clause? I know that, for the most part, the Constitution has been voided when it comes to RCs, but….

            I by no means have the answers to these questions, and look forward to anyone’s and everyone’s thoughts and opinions.

  6. Nicholas Maietta

    Everything is big in Texas, including the lawsuit about to be shoved up their big arse.

  7. mk

    This is just wrong. Wrong on many many levels. I dont understand how its legal.

    • American Detained in America

      It’s not, the US Constitution prohibits ex post facto laws. Unfortunately, until SCOTUS finally acknowledges that registration and all the collateral damage resulting from it is indeed punishment, they get away with these things by calling them “administrative.”

  8. The Unforgiven

    Curious, but has there been any verbiage at city meetings and so forth (anywhere that this happens) that declare that the only reason that these parks are being created is so that the children have new places to play? I wonder if officials lie saying it’s for the children (as a place to play) or do they outright say they are strictly for keeping offenders away. Either way, it’s interesting watching grown people act like children by grabbing and taking away things.

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