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Is it an unconstitutional taking of property without just compensation to require sex offenders to move away from their home if a school, etc is established near their home after their initial occupation?

In Mann v. Georgia Department of Corrections,653 S.E.2d 740 (Ga. 2007), the Georgia Supreme Court held that a state statute prohibiting registered sex offenders from living or working within 1,000 feet of any facility where minors congregate, see Ga. Code Åò42-1-15, constituted a taking of property as applied to a sex offender who was forced to move after a child care center opened a facility within 1,000 feet of his home. …

The Seventh Circuit just came to the opposite conclusion in an opinion written by Judge Diane S. Sykes. Vasquez v. Foxx, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 18839 (7th Cir. 2018), partly because they did not exhaust their state law remedies and partly because the statute had been enacted before the two sex offenders had acquired their home and thus put them on notice that they would have no right to stay in an apartment or house if a school, playground, or child-care center were later established nearby. Full Article

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  1. AO

    If I understand this correctly, every RC convicted in the 7th circuit since 2008 and going forward for the foreseeable future, has zero expectations of ever being able to have a stable home because someone could open a daycare center for a month, for no other reason than to maybe expel an RC? If that’s the case, I don’t see how this wouldn’t be appealed, and SCOTUS not take this up. This ruling basically says you could never, ever have permanent home within these states.

    • David

      Unfortunately, if it did get to SCOTUS, they may rule as they did in “Kelo v. City of New London”.

      • David

        On a somewhat twisted positive note, the Seventh’s decision will add to the growing compendium of restrictions, requirements, and laws supporting the argument that Registries have become Ex Post Facto punishment. Courts should demanded proof that this requirement does – or would – have any impact on public safety. Just as with terrorism, the Courts give too much deference to lawmakers when they even mutter the phrases “terrorism” or “sex offenders”.
        I hope the decision of the Seventh gets appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court.

  2. FinallyOffRegistry

    I can’t help but weigh in on this.

    This case/situation is absurd. In both Plaintiff challenges (as detailed in the Federal case) it’s a difference of distance from the 500 foot mark of 20 and 25 feet! So the person(s) challenging this fell under the 500 foot rule by 20 feet and 25 feet respectively.

    Really? Could then 20-25 feet throw the need to “protect” into such a tizzy that a RC is forced to lose his/her entire foundation of life, their home, their assets in terms of property and a stable living environment? That’s simply without merit. I don’t feel its a matter of a “takings clause” argument. It’s a matter of “is the objective of the Rule wholly satisfied by the distance, and would 20-25 feet jeopardize public safety”. That is really the argument (IMHO).

    Obviously, according to the ruling it would and did invoke a Brightline Interpretation. This is deeply troubling. So if the rule says 500 feet, and a person in this District is living within 499 feet, then the City and so on could enforce the 500 foot rule without any further discussion. 499 3/4 feet, and the RC is totally screwed? 499.999999999 feet? 1/100000000 of an inch? Where is relief granted?

    I know I am arguing from a point of “reasonableness”. In other words, is “The spirit of the Restriction met and is there a gross transgression of public safety by having the RC at 475/480 feet.” I know that sounds perhaps a bit simple, but isn’t that really the argument? Yes, “THEY” will argue the law is the law and I doubt highly “they” would have been able to provide ANY data that says 20-25 feet somehow places the Tenants of the Group Home into not one schooch, not one iota of even a billionth of a percentage point higher in terms of “Risk” by 20-25 feet difference.

    This one deserves SCOTUS Review. (Wishful)

  3. David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

    I disagree with this writer’s suggestion that “These cases are interesting because they pit the property rights of the sex offenders against the property rights of the neighbors.” The issue is not “property rights” in opposition to one another, the issue is whether or not property rights still exist in this country. The “neighbor’s property rights” are limited to their own property and not impinged upon by the property rights of those nearby. This has absolutely nothing to do with the neighbor’s property rights which, after all, do not lie in opposition to the property rights of others. Clearly, the assertions being made by these laws are that individuals have a new “right” to strip others of their rights. Also, in response to one of the commenters here, this is very much a “takings” issue and “takings” should be central to the legal challenge along with every other obvious argument against laws and limitations imposed upon those on the Registry.

    • James

      This is so good and so true and so important….I have to post Mr. Kennerly’s words again.

      Pause, let them sink in:

      “This has absolutely nothing to do with the neighbor’s property rights which, after all, do not lie in opposition to the property rights of others. Clearly, the assertions being made by these laws are that individuals have a new “right” to strip others of their rights.”

      This is unbelievably correct…what the court decided is breathtaking in it’s wrongness.

      Yet there it is.

      Best Wishes, James

  4. Tim Moore

    What offender nabs a kid from a crowded day care center in front of staff? People watch too much tv. How rarely does that happen, except maybe when the perpetrator was a disgruntled spouse? And what about those lonely children who don’t congregate, at risk outside that imaginary safety line, where is their protection? I guess they have to be contained in a child safety zone until they are adults or — their parents will be charged with neglect.

  5. Will Allen

    Not one single American supports forcing people to move. Not one. Scumbags who do need to be physically forced out of the U.S. Let the scum live in some country where their kind fits in.

  6. Tired of this

    If there was ever a time for civil disobedience, this is it. I can say with absolute certainty that I would refuse to move.

  7. Tim Moore

    They are taking away the highest and best use of the property you own — a place to live.

  8. J

    I guess you took my comment literally. All well, YOU can’t win em all.

  9. totally against public registry

    Unfortunately, this is happening and it can because neighborhood watch groups recruit police power to keep unwanted people out of their neighborhoods.

    One of my neighbors, who has some mental health issues, was self-medicating and walked into the front door of one of our neighbors while the kids were home by themselves. The older of the three children started taking pictures of him and posting on Facebook. Someone saw the pictures and called the police and to make the story short, he has been in jail for the past 8 months and the neighborhood has filed some kind of restriction against him that he can not come back to his home, ever. This is not even a sex related case. Go figure! People hate and hate begets hate! I refused to sign something so dehumanizing as taking someone’s living away from them. I think he now has to live in some halfway housing away from his home 🙁

  10. TiredofThis

    Pitiful decision. But this is Georgia. Sorry to say, but most of the south would still limit where blacks, Hispanics etc could live if they had the chance. Hopefully this goes to a federal review and will be reversed.

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