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FL: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Sex Offender Residency Restriction Declared Unconstitutional


The Ft Lauderdale Sex Offender Residency Restriction was declared unconstitutional. Wait… what?!?! A Florida SORR was declared unconstitutional?

YES! The municipal ordinance in the City of Ft. Lauderdale that prohibited registered sex offenders from living within 1400 feet of schools, parks, playgrounds, school bus stops, etc. was found to violate the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Constitution! Hold on… what? Are you serious?

YES! We’ve known for a while (since February 16th) but have been waiting to make the official announcement until we had an order back from the Judge. We just wanted to make 1000% sure. But we’re serious and excited! Many registrants in Fort Lauderdale, FIFTY PERCENT OF WHICH ARE HOMELESS because there’s virtually nowhere for them to live, are no longer subject to the City’s draconian and ineffective residency restrictions! But how did this happen?

Two brave registrants who were going to be kicked out of their Ft. Lauderdale homes stood up and said NO! After being charged with violating the City’s ordinance, they fought for their right to remain in their homes and fought the charge. Represented by Patrick Trese and Valerie Jonas (who represents us in our Internet Identifier case and who we retained for our Ex Post Facto challenge) they fought the charge and the Judge dismissed the violation, finding the ordinance unconstitutional on its face. So, what does this mean?

This means that the ordinance cannot be applied retroactively. More specifically, it doesn’t apply to people whose offenses pre-date the ordinance (2007). Anyone who offended after the ordinance was passed is still subject to the ordinance. So, can registrants with offenses before 2007 live anywhere in Ft. Lauderdale?

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Join the discussion

  1. Ron

    WOW! In FLORIDAH, really?

  2. Eric

    Thank goodness! Florida has treated them like discarded trash. They have literal leaper colonies with no toilets, no running water, no sanitation, and probation orders them to live there. These wealthy developers, with some perverse agenda, were behind it by using their money to buy the politicians to enact the harshest, most unreasonable, and cruel and unusual laws in the country. It has gone on way to long and Florida abused these people to long, and now the tables are turning. This is what is going to happen everywhere. Even people who are not particularly sympathetic with SO’s know this is too much. Good job to all the people in the justice system who did what is right.

  3. RC CA cool

    In your faces Ron and Lauren book !!!

    • PJ

      I second this bitch slap towards the Books as well. They are both horrible people to the registrants in South Florida.

  4. New Person


  5. HB 631

    Ironically right after Rick Scott signed a bill to that basically keeps VISITORS out of there state. Good for the Judges who agreed that restrictions like these are unconstitutional!

    Praise God!

  6. Eric Knight

    Do we have any specifics to this case? Case number, opinions, etc. that we can review and cite? Thanks!

    • Alex

      I didn’t even know about this one. Been waiting for the one pending with Miami Dade. A win in that one would feel like 100 wins in 1 shot.

  7. T

    Great news

  8. cool CA RC

    but hold on… Will this be appealed?

    • AJ

      @cool CA RC:
      but hold on… Will this be appealed?
      Of course it will be. As I’ve often said, almost every RC case is appealed, because neither side will give in. The State doesn’t quit, because they just *know* this is needed; the RC doesn’t quit be s/he would like to have constitutional rights returned (and any RC who didn’t appeal a decision was a fool and harmed us all).

  9. Agamemnon

    This victory is a ray of hope in one of the most dreary parts of the country.

    I hope that judge isn’t ousted for doing what was right.

  10. Anonymous

    This is because residency restrictions IS A PUNISHMENT.

  11. Anonymous

    Wow, you guys are putting out fires all over the country!! How do you do it?

  12. David

    Finally, a win for Florida registrants – a win that is so well-deserved and very long overdue!! Congrats to all in Florida! Perhaps there is finally some sunshine in the Sunshine State!

  13. AJ

    “…unconstitutional on its face.”
    This little tidbit seems to have been glossed over: unconstitutional on its face = facially unconstitutional, i.e. in every instance, regardless the person or offense. That’s huge.
    I wonder if there’s not more to be gained by this decision, given it had to have been deemed punitive in order for EPF to apply. So as it stands, punishment–even for those after 2004 or 2007–was applied by legislative action, not by judicial determination. Isn’t there a Due Process challenge waiting in the wings for all those convicted post-2004 and post-2007?

    The tides indeed are turning. Well done, fellow RCs in FL!

  14. AJ

    I searched PACER for the case (using the attorney names) and nothing came up, so I’m guessing it was in the FL State Court system, or even County court. Broward County requires a first and last name to find a case, so without that info, finding the case may prove rather difficult. But, since these things get appealed, its head will pop up in the coming months, I’m sure.
    Here’s a link to the other case (Internet Identifiers) mentioned in the article: Doe #1 v. Marshall ( There’s some good reading in there, including the judge’s finding that the Internet notification laws demand *strict scrutiny*. (I can smell 34 USC 20319, i.e. “social media law,” starting to smolder already!) The judge also finds marked DLs/IDs to warrant further review because, “[w]ithout further fact-finding, it is impossible at this stage to determine whether the State’s modification constitutes the narrow tailoring required to pass constitutional muster.” Narrow tailoring = intermediate or strict scrutiny (which, depends on how speech is affected).

    And remember…this is US District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. Alabama!

    • Anonymous

      Right on AJ. Right on.

    • John


      I think you have the wrong case for Internet Identifiers.
      FAC’s pending case with Internet Identifiers mentioned in this article is not in Alabama.
      It was filed and still pending in Federal District Court for the Northern District of Florida. Same law firm is handling (Weitzner and Jonas)

      • AJ

        Sorry, I should have been clearer. The case I supplied was a “double reference” in that it’s the AL case (Doe #1 v. Miller) that’s being introduced into the FL case regarding Internet identifiers that Alex mentions and links-to below.

    • Alex

      @AJ and @John

      John that is correct. The pending case FAC has with internet identifiers is in Florida’s Northern district Federal court in which the same law firm Weitzner and Jonas is handling. Here is the link to the complaint:

      FAC also has a pending Federal case with residency restrictions against Miami Dade but in the Southern District court of Florida. Here is the link to that complaint:

      Both Federal cases, both would be huge wins. Hopeful…

      • AJ

        Thanks for the info and links. Is FAC pursuing compelled speech via marked DLs/IDs? That AL case sure points to it being a loser for the State.

        • Alex


          You’re welcome. I’m not really sure if FAC and their legal team is pursuing that in their strategies. They don’t give out so much in details and with good reason.
          Just in case the opposition/enemy is monitoring their website/blog section. I think it’s wise, since I too have a feeling they are watching what we write there.

          With the AL case, I sure hope so. I’ll take more wins from all over.

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