Lake Naomi Club, Inc. v. Rosado, ___ A.3d ____ (2022, Penn).
Issue Can a private, planned community adopt a restrictive covenant that prohibits lifetime registered sex offenders from residing within that community?
The Facts At Pocono Pines’ 2013 annual meeting, residents raised concerns about a sex offender who was living in Lake Naomi. Accordingly, on March 30, 2016, Pocono Pines (“Association”) amended its Declaration to provide that no registered Tier III sex offender “shall occupy or reside in any [l]ot, dwelling, or common area within the boundaries of” the [Association] and “[n]o [unit o]wner or agent of an owner shall knowingly allow such a [p]rohibited person to occupy or reside in” the Association. In 2015, a unit owner was convicted of sexual misconduct against a child, received 72 months of incarceration and was required to register as a Tier III sex offender for life. The unit owner was released in the fall of 2018 and shortly thereafter the Association advised him that he needed to vacate his property. When he refused to move out, the Association filed suit seeking to enjoin the unit owner from residing at the Association.
Decision of the Trial Court The Association called “several expert witnesses” who testified on the recidivism rates of sex offenders and the negative impact they have on property values. The manager also testified …
Cute that they listed a handful of repeat registrants all who’s crime resulted in murder. I wonder how many repeat drug offenders who dealt to kids, or DUI convicts who’ve hurt people, or murders are living next door to to someone without that person knowing it because there’s no registry for them? ALL of this is only a problem because people know and hyper-focus. Ignorance is bliss.
Yes, listing only handful of unique cases of repeat offenders out of nearly a million of Registrants does not bolster the argument for pushing stricter laws for anyone that knows statistics or even basic math for that matter.
When the man signed the contract, he wasn’t a convicted sex offender. So they can’t get him for lying on a legally enforceable contract. Notice how the association never came up with a plan to “buy out his unit.” If they were serious about protecting children, then the association would have offered this man double the value of his property.