Former Minnesota sex offender challenges residency restrictions

From the minnlawyer.com website, a case to watch in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Nebraska. A man is challenging residence restrictions in West St. Paul, Minnesota.

On Oct. 2, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari in Snyder v Doe, a decision from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that said that Michigan’s sex offender registration law violated the Ex Post Facto Clause’s ban on retroactive punishment. The law restricted where former sex offenders could live. 

The 6th Circuit is at odds with many other opinions that have rejected constitutional challenges to sex offender laws, but that didn’t convince the Supreme Court to take the case. The court invited the Solicitor General to file a brief, but he declined, saying the case was correctly decided. 

Some observers say that Snyder could persuade other courts to take a hard look at sex offender restrictions, particularly since the court expressly recognized scientific studies showing that sex offenders as a group do not pose a significant recidivism risk. 

Thomas Evenstad, now a resident of West St. Paul, is asking the Minnesota District Court to do that very thing. He is suing the city of West St. Paul over its ordinance that prevents him from living within 1,200 feet of a school, child care facility or group home. 

 Read more on the case here.

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