Court gives MN registrant settlement in residency restrictions suit

image_pdfimage_print

By Nick Ferraro . . . A sex offender who sued West St. Paul over its 2016 ordinance that restricted where he could live will receive $84,000 as part of a settlement agreement approved by a federal judge Monday.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge John Tunheim entered an order that dismissed without prejudice the lawsuit that Level 1 sex offender Thomas Wayne Evenstad filed against the city in August. As part of the settlement, both parties will pay their own costs and attorney fees.

West St. Paul is among at least 84 cities, townships or counties in Minnesota with residency restrictions for sex offenders, according to the Department of Corrections.

But Evenstad, 52, and his attorneys argued that West St. Paul’s ordinance was too broad and unconstitutional because it imposed retroactive punishment by banishing him from almost all of the city.

Tunheim agreed, granting in January Evenstad’s motion for a preliminary injunction that prevented the city from enforcing the ordinance against him. Tunheim concluded that Evenstad likely would prevail with his lawsuit in trial because the ordinance is “significantly more restrictive than those upheld by the 8th Circuit.”

Adele Nicholas, a Chicago civil rights attorney who agreed to take on Evenstad’s lawsuit, said Monday that she and Evenstad are pleased with the result.

“We think Judge Tunheim’s decision is really important because it establishes that municipalities don’t have unlimited discretion to pass law that restricts where people are allowed to live. There are some limitations and the restrictions have to be reasonable,” she said.

Read the full piece at Twin Cities Pioneer Press

image_pdfimage_print
Help us reach more people by Sharing or Liking this post.

Leave a Comment

We welcome a lively discussion with all view points - keeping in mind...

  • Your submission will be reviewed by one of our volunteer moderators. Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  • Please keep the tone and language of your comment civil and courteous. This is a public forum.
  • Please stay on topic - both in terms of the organization in general and this post in particular.
  • Refrain from general political statements in (dis)favor of one of the major parties or their representatives.
  • Refrain from comments containing references to religion unless it clearly relates to the post being commented on.
  • Do not post in all caps.
  • We will generally not allow links; the moderator may consider the value of a link.
  • We will not post lengthy comments.
  • Please don not go into details about your story; post these on our Tales from the Registry.
  • Please choose a user name that does not contain links to other web sites.
  • Please do not solicit funds.
  • If you use any abbreviation such as Failure To Register (FTR), the first time you use it please expand it for new people to better understand.
  • All commenters are required to provide a real email address where we can contact them. It will not be displayed on the site.