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MN: Judge strikes down city ordinance restricting sex offender housing

[startribune.com – 12/18/18]

A Hennepin County judge has struck down an ordinance in Dayton, Minn. that restricts where sex offenders can live in the community, saying the measure is trumped by state law.

The far-reaching ordinance barred convicted sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of any school, day care provider, park, playground or public bus stop — even a pumpkin patch or apple orchard — within the city of Dayton, a rural community of about 5,000 residents northwest of the Twin Cities.

The measure was hastily passed by the Dayton City Council in late 2016, after local residents raised alarm over plans by the state to move three convicted rapists from the state sex offender program to a group home in the city.

In a recent decision, Hennepin County District Judge Susan Robiner declared the Dayton ordinance “void and invalid” because it was expressly designed to conflict with a state law that establishes a legal process for releasing civilly committed sex offenders from the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) and reintegrating them back into society. Such local ordinances, the judge added, would have a “devastating effect” on the MSOP’s ability to discharge offenders from the program.

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  1. Eric

    Awesome, Thank You district judge Susan Robiner for doing what is right, having the courage to stand up in the face of the political hysteria. Every victory is important. We are having victories all across the country. When courageous judges like Susan Robiner rule against these discriminatory laws then it makes it easier for the next judge. The more rulings on the books, the easier to strike down similar laws. Thank you. Good things are happening. I was recently offered a very good job as I have been watched by the company for 5 years. They trust me and know I’m a good worker. I will continue to be a shinning example of one of the 950,000 people discriminated against by the registry until it falls.

  2. Josh

    “Of 224 sexual reoffenses in the study, he found that not a single one would have been prevented by a residency law.”

    If so, is it rational to conclude residency restrictions are ineffective at reducing sex crimes?

  3. Dustin

    You know, this ruling only applied to the city ordinance, saying it was trumped by state law. It’s almost a shame that the state residency laws weren’t address, since the same logic regarding effectiveness and constitutionality would apply to them as well. Of course, the state law wasn’t challenged in this proceeding. In theory, someone could and use this case as argument in part.

    Separately, I’d like to see someone propose a law that excludes registrants from paying taxes, at least the ones that pay for the schools, parks, and other places they are precluded from. As a moral issue, I don’t think it’s fair for someone to have to pay toward anything he is specifically excluded from. Just saying…

    • R M

      “Separately, I’d like to see someone propose a law that excludes registrants from paying taxes, at least the ones that pay for the schools, parks, and other places they are precluded from.” I would too.. half my taxes go to schools.

  4. John

    Anyone know how I can find this lawyer that handled this case? I haven’t had any luck on Google I am off the registry but want to take a shot at the town that said I was banned from the whole town after living there most my life. I had to live in state park campsite for 2 years lol. Love camping though so that was peaceful:)

    • AJ

      @John:
      According to the judge’s Order (http://stmedia.startribune.com/documents/Ruling_on_Dayton_Sex_Offender_Ordinance.pdf, which I lifted from an embedded URL in the story), the attorneys representing the RCs were “Andrew J. Holly, Esq. and Erik D. Ruda, Esq.” A search of their names shows they work at/for Dorsey & Whitney, LLC (https://www.dorsey.com/).

      If you’re truly banished from town, and have it in writing or can get it via being ticketed, you should have a solid case pretty much any civil litigation attorney can handle.

      • John

        Thanks for the info AJ, been working on a way to get out of the country forgot I posted this been posting alot. I have nothing in writing but they called my detective and tried to get me arrested for living there, my 2nd address was listed there but I told him they said I wasn’t allowed to live there, so he said he was just going to call them back and say I wasn’t and woulnt tell them that. I’m sure if I go down there and try to get a place I could get it in writing that I can’t be there, somehow they keep other felons out too.I will reach out to the them thanks for the info again.

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