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National

MN: Minnesota Federal District Court Enjoins West St. Paul Sex Offender Ordinance

[floridaactioncommittee.org]

In a decision issued today, the Federal Court for the District of Minnesota granted a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of a West St. Paul sex offender residency restriction.

Calling it a close call in light of 8th Circuit precedent that previously found SORRs constitutional, the Judge found that the West St. Paul Ordinance is significantly more restrictive than those upheld by the Eighth Circuit and was persuaded by the recent persuasive precedent from other federal circuits (including our 11th Circuit) which found otherwise.

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  1. AJ

    This is another promising sign of how things are tipping in our favor–especially when the Chief Judge of the District opts to skip past his Circuit’s rulings and uses another case! Of note, the court addressed the lack of individualized risk assessment and lifetime duration as problematic. (Anyone at all familiar with my musings knows I see lack of individualized assessment as something the gives courts heartburn.) It also pointed out, “the City has pointed to no case – in the Eighth Circuit or anywhere else – where a court held that residency restrictions were rationally connected to so broad a purpose as “promot[ing], protect[ing] and improv[ing] the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the city.” The court also noted that the RC, “submitted some recent evidence that sex offender residency restrictions are ineffective at preventing recidivism.” More chinks in the residency-restriction armor! Here is the Order: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-mnd-0_17-cv-04067/pdf/USCOURTS-mnd-0_17-cv-04067-2.pdf

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