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Sex offenders and residency restrictions

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2019 | Criminal Defense

Minnesota, like all other states in the nation, has a program that requires some people convicted of sex crimes to register as sex offenders. These registry programs come in many forms and each has its own unique set of requirements and processes but the general purpose and use are to be able to track the whereabouts of defendants. Some states place restrictions on where a person who must participate in the sex offender registry program may work or live. 

The Minnesota Predatory Offender Registry explains that there is no unilateral ban on registrants living in any particular locations, such as near schools, daycare centers or other facilities where children are likely to be present. Some people may have select restrictions put in place as part of their probation or parole conditions but this does not always happen.

The lack of a statewide system to limit where a participant in the sex offender registry can live has led to some municipalities enacting their own bans. The most recent one occurred in Dayton, Minnesota. The Star Tribune reported that the city actually passed a law that prevented any registrant from living anywhere in the city limits of Dayton. In December of 2018, a judge in Hennepin County ruled that the ordinance was unlawful.

In the ruling, the judge noted that such bans by local cities interfered with the state’s ability to effectively reintegrate people into society by limiting where they could live. The incident in Dayton was apparently the second such event in that calendar year.