Court gives MN registrant settlement in residency restrictions suit

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

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    • #42102 Reply
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      Tim Lawver

      Law made by local government are forbidden under our constitutional outline. The document specifies that only two shall be: State & ,Fed.

      The fact we have deviated so far from that limit with community po!icing implicates, directly how out of control the scope and range of government is.
      It also aptly points to our national debt’s size. Law and order are fine ideals but only if you can afford them AND get the people to believe it works.

      It is not worth celebrating when law it demands the following equation:

      Human need is outweighed by machine need.
      OR
      MN>HN

      No human government will logically survive. That our traditionally poor government has decided in their USE of database(s) is necessary and fruitful, supported by SCOTUS, IS already fact. There is no going back! Prominently, Mr Schumer recently made the announcement that the FEDS FBI FELON DATABASE is open to those willing to utilize them privately, or for business. Face recognition is HERE!

      Behold the people get what they paid for knowingly or not.
      Let us hope individual liberty survives their collusion!

    • #42119 Reply
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      JEV

      Big Win here but we can’t count out the Local Ordinances brought on by Local School Boards and Municipalities whos local laws are Voted on based on untruths and vigilantism. Here in Florida there is a case that Residents of a Local Community wanted to make sure there were no Sex Offenders so they with their own funding and the City’s help built a Children’s Playground so therefore no Sex Offender could live within the 1000 foot Ordinance Law of a Community Park. Talk about unconstitutional? Civil Rights Attorneys need to look closer at Florida as we are becoming the nuance “Salem’s Lot”. The Mayor of Daytona Beach Florida once screamed on TV; “I don’t care where they live as long as its not my City!

      From where I’m from in a small Central California beach town, there was a ordinance that allowed the Police to pick up the homeless and take them to the County Line and make sure they don’t come back.

      This is vigilante Justice in a modern day era. I understand about the Schools to a point, but each case must be examined individually. The whole and entire idea of a Sex Offender lurking around a park waiting to prey on your kids is a huge falsehood. The damage of the Megan’s Law solution is done. Its created a mindset that is now inbred and can’t be easy changed.

      • #42142 Reply
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        WC_TN

        Add to that individual assessment the following:

        (1) Was the victim a family friend, acquaintance, or relative?
        (2) Did physical proximity to any child safety zone have anything to do with the offense(s) for which an offender was convicted?
        If the answer to these 2 questions are “NO” then the residency restrictions shouldn’t apply. Those should only apply to the real “stranger danger” sex offenders.

        No one will ever go for this because it would let nearly all of us off the hook since stranger abduction/rape is the rare and tragic exception and not the rule. Most kids are molested in their own homes regardless of where that home happens to be located. Also, a great many are molested in the home of a trusted family friend or relative with physical location of said home being irrelevant.

      • #42528 Reply
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        Tim L

        JEV,

        Your assessment is correct, victim’s stance is a very dangerous mindset from which most anything can be justified. Ultimately the discussion around whether or not to ratify EX-POST LAW was resolved in the affirmative. Thus we have Article1 sec.10.
        Effective and efficient government is necessary to sustain any viable and long term
        social contract. Ex POST laws are incongruous with that aim precisely because they are generally not only ineffective (,as SOR has proven to be) but also leads directly to inefficiency (wasted resources). Just one of the many ways our national debt has grown into the trillions. 1 trillion = 1000 BILLION.

    • #42126 Reply
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      Maestro

      ” I understand about the Schools to a point, but each case must be examined individually.”

      I don’t understand the schools’ ordinances to any point. Here’s why…

      1) How “easy” do the schools think it is for someone (who even wanted to) approach a child with tons of other kids and faculty around?

      2) So you can’t live within 1000-2000 feet from the school? Ok, so what’s to stop a criminal minded person from snatching the kid up when that kid is WALKING HOME WAY BEYOND the 2000 foot perimeter?

      These laws make no sense and are nothing more than “feel good” laws.

    • #42640 Reply
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      SW

      It was the first instance in which a city acknowledged a difference of the individual (based on the 3 levels) from one another. Also, I’ve heard that other cities in Minnesota are changing their laws out of apparent fear of being sued. This is good news, if a legal precedent is set, for other cases that currently are on the books in Minnesota. The Constitution may be the only thing “protecting” us from the hysteria.

    • #43510 Reply
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      Nicholas Maietta

      That’s not a small chunk of change but I hope this person considers using a small portion of those funds to help further the cause to put an end to the registry. But if he doesn’t, i will also understand. The longer term goal is to end this registry though so as not to ever put people in the position to have to sue for their basic rights to be protected continually.

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