Residency Restrictions is the Polite term for Banishment Laws

Residency restrictions is the polite term for banishment laws that are on the books in many states and cities around the country.  The laws target people on the sex offense registry and are usually wreathed in child protection rhetoric.  Are they effective?   Investigative reporter Eric Dexheimer did some serious digging and has a story about Meadows Place, a Texas town that’s fixing to rip a resident right out of her own house.  His article has plenty more about how residency restrictions are used to run people out of town and keep them out while doing nothing to improve public safety.  Texas lawmakers were recently warned, “There’s a growing body of research that shows residency restrictions *increase* sex offender recidivism rates.” Still legislators in Texas and around the country keep passing these laws, apparently not enough of them have the ability to resist stupid, inhumane ideas.  Good luck to KJ and her legal eagle, Richard Gladden, and kudos to Eric Dexheimer and his editors at the Austin American-Statesman for some great journalism—have a look!    -Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire

Austin American-Statesman | Nov. 4, 2017

Woman may be first sex offender evicted as towns adopt exclusion zones

By Eric Dexheimer

Residency restrictions reflect a belief that those convicted of sex offenses are uniquely dangerous and incapable of reform. As the number of registered sex offenders in Texas approaches 90,000, however, studies have found many of those assumptions to be false.

Studies show the vast majority of sex offenses are committed against family members or acquaintances, and that convicted sex offenders appear less likely to repeat their crime than those convicted of other offenses.  That means laws based on offenders grabbing random children off playgrounds have little practical effect on public safety.

“The research does not support that residency restrictions, or exclusion zones, have any beneficial impact on safety, or recidivism, or any other objective you’re trying to achieve here,” Michele Deitch, of the University of Texas’s LBJ School of Public Affairs, told state legislators this spring. “In fact, there’s a growing body of research that shows residency restrictions increase sex offender recidivism rates” by driving offenders away from family and other support systems.

Residency restrictions have been challenged in court in recent years. Massachusetts justices compared them to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Yet the fear of child sex predators persists, and many citizens support residency restrictions — the wider the better.  MORE:

Englewood, Colorado has a plan:  Local residents peaceably going about their lives but who happen to be listed on the sex offense registry have been told to expect an official letter giving them, “30 days to clear out of the City of Englewood or be arrested.”  The city severely restricts where registrants can live and a big crackdown is looming. ‘Residency restrictions’ are cast as a public safety measure but their purest purpose is the legal banishment of despised persons—99% of Englewood is off-limits.   Several of those who will be ripped out of their homes are fighting back;  Boulder civil rights attorney Alison Ruttenberg has just filed a federal lawsuit (Brockhausen v. Englewood 16-CV-2090) on their behalf, the latest chapter in a long-running legal saga.  Two news stories are below.  –Bill Dobbs    


Background on residency restrictions:  Earlier this year Eric Janus, law professor and former law school dean, summed it up for Minnesota Lawyer:

“I don’t think you can find any experts — or a person who actually deals with sex offenders — who thinks residency restrictions are effective,” said Janus. “It’s amazing and quite uniform. That goes from Departments of Corrections to county attorneys and prosecutors to state task forces. Everybody says it’s a bad idea. It inhibits re-entry. It inhibits stability. It inhibits supervision. And most likely it increases recidivism.”

The Denver Channel | Aug. 18, 2016

Sex offenders fearing eviction sue Englewood over residency restrictions

Restrictions leave 99% of the city off limits

By Ryan Luby

Sex offenders say they are facing eviction in Englewood due to the city’s restrictive residency restrictions. The city passed the restrictions 10 years ago but only recently moved to enforce them again.  Three men who are all registered sex offenders filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday claiming they recently were told they can no longer register at their addresses in Englewood, even though they have all registered at those addresses previously without issue.

“All three plaintiffs were informed by the Englewood Police Department that they will not be allowed to register in the City of Englewood again, and that they will be sent a certified letter instructing them that they have 30 days to clear out of the City of Englewood or be arrested,” the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit claims those restrictions leave only 55 options out of 11,314 parcels in the entire city where sex offenders can live legally, and even in those areas the offenders may be uprooted if someone chooses to open a day care center, recreation center or swimming pool nearby.   MORE:


Denver Post | Aug. 18, 2016

Sex offenders sue Englewood claiming city ordinance effectively bans them from city

Sex offenders allowed in only 1 percent of Englewood parcels

By Kirk Mitchell

Three convicted sex offenders have sued the city of Englewood in federal court claiming that its zoning ordinances effectively banish them from living in the city. They are asking the federal court to declare the Englewood Sex Offender Residency Restriction, which was created in 2006, violates federal and state constitutions as a “new, after-the-fact” punishment.

Englewood enacted its residency restrictions “based on public hysteria against sex offenders,” the lawsuit says. The city limits how close sex offenders can live to schools, day-care centers and other locations where children congregate, such as public pools. MORE:


7 comments for “Residency Restrictions is the Polite term for Banishment Laws

  1. Tim Lawver
    November 6, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    In reality this issue is all about the DATABASE! THE sexual deviant was but a means to an end. You see the powers that be wanted unfettered use of the DATABASE. Why? The advantages to great, especially if you want to stay on top in the power structure.

    Surely the two parties want very much to stay on top. They spend billions to do so. The American tax pie is a huge pie. Who wouldn’t spend a million to return a billion? Who wouldn’t spend a billion to return a trillion?

    If you want to stay on top a DATABASE is a MUST HAVE! IF you are in charge and want to stay there you must watch the threats to your position, from inside and outside (Machiavelli, The Prince). Therefore having a DATABASE is not enough, one must have the ability and authorities to USE IT!

    THAT WAS THE REAL PURPOSE OF SORNA set forth in law by the 1994(OMNIBUS) signed by WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON. The portion of which is our concern here The Whetterling Act was challenged and Upheld by SCOTUS.6-3.

    One of the upholders was Anton Scalia, a self professed “constructionalist”. Who was reported to say, “I would think the FEDERAL government can use a computer database however they darn well please.” In other words, Mr. Scalia was just fine with indentured servitude and slavery including electronic varieties As written under the original constitution. So while many Americans live on believing America abolished slavery, we did not. This is common distortion of the truth. Consider the13th amendment’s wording:

    “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted shall exist in the United states, nor any place subject its jurisdiction.”

    The SORS are state properties. They are too similar to cotton fields in the old south. SOR agents merely collect the commodity (data) and take it to market. Their motives are essentially the same namely profit. The profit presumably to be used for the well being of the community via trickle down.

    It strikes me as very ODD that no such argument was forwarded to the supreme court in the ALASKA V DOE CASE(2003) & DOE V CONNECTICT(2003). THE DEFENSE volleyed MANY AN ARROW during that fight BUT NONE AT THE TARGET! This is how you know both parties were invested in the failure of that fight! In short it makes good for future attorneys job security and granted authority for the unhindered uses of databases.

    While some Americans complain about these questionable uses (see they are maintained as constitutionally congruent by the FED because the political advantages are too beneficial for maintaining AUTHORITY, whether or not they ACTUALLY offer protection to the individual citizen. That they appear to meet that end wifh is sufficient for an uninformed mass.

  2. Wisdom of Solomon
    November 14, 2017 at 8:17 am

    If you will, please study the “Nuremberg Laws” of Nazi Germany passed by the “Reichstag” (German legislature) in September 1935. These were laws that excluded the Jewish people from German life, as well as took away some of their natural rights. Also, these laws took away Jewish citizenship and limited their rights as members of society and laid the ground work for the persecution (concentration camps then genocide) of the Jewish people. Now, compare America’s sex offender (SO) laws to that of Nazi Germany’s Nuremberg laws. I submit to you that America’s (SO) laws are modeled after Nazi Germany’s Nuremberg laws in that America’s SO laws: 1) Banish (residency restrictions), 2) Disenfranchise (limit work/career/educational opportunities), 3) Separation of family in certain circumstances, 4) Place registrant and family in harm’s way (threats of violence, vigilantism), 5) Destabilization of life (can’t live here, can’t live there, constant threat of eviction from home), 6) Psychological terrorism (constant police or parole officer interference in life matters). 7) Emasculation or ‘psychological castration’ of male registrants (can’t be head of your own house, must seek approval of police or parole officer on major decisions concerning your own home). And these are just a few examples. The Jewish people under Nazi domination/terrorism experienced the same and their end was death (genocide) at the hands of their oppressors. Is America’s FEAR of people who have committed sex crimes leading it down the same path as Nazi Germany, i.e., first oppressive/restrictive laws for disfavored groups, next, concentrations camps (understand you already have civil commitment prisons) for disfavored groups, and finally, DEATH or genocide, for these same disfavored groups??? I submit to you that the American public is in the grip of a mass psychotic hysteria. Much like the people of Salem Massachusetts in the 1600s. Their fear was of ‘Witches’ and anyone suspected of witchcraft was burned at the stake. Today people who have committed sex crimes are the new ‘Witches’. Will they too be burned at the stake??? Think about it.

    • Will Bassler
      November 14, 2017 at 11:01 am

      we’ll just put the record straight, the Nuremberg laws were incrementally put out. The first group that they went after where the sexual deviants, gays, lesbians etc. At the same time they went after disabled people that they considered unproductive members of society and other people that they considered to be mentally ill. Remember only half of the people that died in the concentration camps or the work camps were of Jewish decent, the other half was made up of other specific religious groups and political opponents. Once they had laid the groundwork to de-franchise people in Nazi Germany it was an easy step to add other groups such as the Gypsies to the list and eradicate them as well.

      But remember, first they came for the handicapped and the sex offenders. Does that sound familiar?

      • Wisdom of Solomon
        November 16, 2017 at 8:04 am

        Yes Will, you are correct with your analysis. The Nazi did start with Gypsies, Poles, Gays, etc.,However, I am talking about the same thing, just in today’s “American style”. Remember, America has, in the past, derided Gays & Lesbians and in a lots of ways still does to this day, but, I think Gays & Lesbians, going on the offensive in the early ’80s, has made major strides in obtaining their right to be the way they choose to be in their life style. Other disfavored groups, e.g., the disabled, the mentally challenged, have major institutions that look out for their interest/protection. And to my knowledge, religious organizations have always enjoyed their freedom and liberty in this country. For while, drug dealers (remember the war on drugs) then drunk drivers suffered the wraith of the American public; however, I think that has some what come to an end. Now the American public, the justice system, and politicians especially, have a new global enemy to combat: The Sexual Deviant, or Sex Offend(er). Note the “er” suffix. Remember your 7th grade English on parts of speech? The suffix ‘er’ is “Present Future Tense” and when attached to the “action verb” ‘Offend’ means that that is what a person so designated IS and what he/she does on a CONTINUING basis like an occupation, e.g., Police Offic(er) or Fire Fight(er)—get it? Therefore, when a soccer mom in the suburb with 5 year old Timmy and 3 year old Meagan hears the TITLE Sex Offend(er), to her it signifies danger because to her there is someone around who is a threat to her children because this is what the person so designated is and what he/she does on a continuing basis. Not that this may be what this person did ‘ed’ past tense; and in a lot of cases decades earlier. Myself for example. My case is 35 years old. I have been offense free/clean for 35 years!!! Yet I am mandated to wear the ‘Yellow Star of David’ which falsely and maliciously designates me as threat to society and at 61 years old I am about as much a threat to anyone as a roasted marshmallow. But I digress. Yes Will, today, American’s sex offend(er) laws are akin to the Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany circa 1930s.

  3. mike r
    November 16, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Update, My motion is now scheduled for Dec. 20th at 10am in the federal court in Sacramento. I talked to the representative for the AG of Ca today and agreed to up the date from March 14 to the Dec. 20th date. This is just for the state AG, and not the US AG. If Will or Derek or anyone of you highly intelligent and very articulate individuals would like to know more let me know. This is truly important, at least I am assuming it is, I might be wrong since no one seems to be concerned that I am a laymen going it alone against the most powerful apparatus the world has to offer on an issue that can have national consequences for years to come. This may even be a true turning point in the evolution of the US and rather if the Constitution will have any weight for the average Joe, or just the elite. This is kind of a tricky situation since I am not claiming any CA constitutional issues but only US constitutional issues, I severed all references to the state constitution on purpose so as to leave those arguments available if some how I don’t prevail on the fed issues. I will bring a lot of the issues pertaining to the CA constitution in the state courts, if need be, which is even more likely to succeed then the feds. State const. usually have greater protections then the US const. so I want to keep that ave. open….I guess it’s just all speculation on what they are going to try to come up with, I will know more as soon as I am served their brief. I do find it semi comforting that she stated that she was going to be filing a motion to dismiss some of the claims, most important I think is the statement “some” and “not all”. That apparently means that they are having a problem with at least some of the claims I raised which they cannot just dismiss on technicalities, or other obvious reasons….I will keep you posted, What happened to Chris? I am going to need all the brilliant minds I can get once I get their brief. I will not have much time to prepare since the date is set for the 20th Dec. That is coming up very fast and I am almost at the end of my semester which is going to be hectic until about the tenth. really I have at least ten days I can just focus on rebuttals. >>>>>>>>>> Janice, ACLU, NARSOL, W.A.R., any orgs. or civil rights advocates, Derek, Will, SOSEN, someone feel free to jump in any time now….It’s getting real now and this is extremely important to many Americans, not just me…………I really cannot believe that these civil rights leaders or orgs. are going to let me go this alone, but I am ready, if that’s how it’s going to be then so be it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If no one wants to join in at least say some prayers and maybe some sacrificial offerings to the gods, or whatever….LOL

    • RestoreArticleVIII
      November 16, 2017 at 2:40 pm

      First, thank you so much for thinking of everyone on the registry! My husband had to register in April of this year and I have already found it to be hell. Little things from not being able to pick up/drop off our child at school to not being able to help me when I had a dead battery last week–because I work at a school (not to mention he was kicked out of our home because of residency restrictions).
      Second, I have been stunned at how unconstitutional all of these laws are! I have been even more stunned by the fact that the public accepts it. This isn’t a registered citizen issue–this is an American issue. Registered citizens today, those with blonde hair tomorrow. People really need to be concerned.
      Third, I plan to go public about this injustice in the future, but (like a lot of people) I can’t right now for several reasons. I have, however, sent a couple of letters anonymously. One was sent to Shon Hopwood, who is fighting for rights for ex-prisoners; however, he never address those on the registry–what about our rights? A different letter was sent to our local news station after they spent all of Halloween sharing links to where those on the registry live. Our city was recently named by MSN as one of the most dangerous cities and that behavior was completely irresponsible.
      Fourth, I have found that everyone on sites like this are extremely intelligent! I have learned so much and am continuing to dig into the Constitution myself as I want this wrong to be righted. I don’t know your situation, but if I can type anything up or research anything for you, I will be happy to.
      Last, I will be praying every second every day for success with your/the nation’s case. Words can’t describe how thankful I am to you (and others like you fighting this) as well as to sites like NARSOL. These things help to keep my hope alive.

  4. Kayt
    November 17, 2017 at 8:39 am

    This article about residency restrictions brought to mind many banishments throughout history.

    Banishments are always brought on by those with the most power and never follow common sense; in fact the hallmark of abusive power in the name of safety is about lack of common Sense, thus proving that intelligence and higher functional reasoning is somehow lost in man made power. Now, that is an interesting subject to explore.

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