The ACLU and Legal Services of Greater Miami, who represent the John Doe plaintiffs living homeless in Miami-Dade County because the Sex Offender Residency Restrictions (SORRs) restrict their housing options so drastically, have filed their Appellate Brief in the Appeal yesterday.
Miami-Dade SORRs have been notorious for creating colonies of transient persons required to register. Most recognized was the encampment of more than 100 persons living under the Julia Tuttle Causeway between Miami Beach and Miami. Because of a County-Wide 2500 foot exclusion zone and a concentrated population, very few areas of unrestricted residential real estate is compliant. Within those small pockets of availability there are even fewer affordable residences and that number is further reduced by landlords that are actually willing to rent to someone on the registry and the strong competition for available housing.
The lawsuit began in 2014. The registrants lost at the trial court and appealed to the 11th Circuit, where they won! The case was remanded back to the same Federal District Court, where they lost again and now it’s back on appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, where it will hopefully win again. The process is long and frustrating, but it’s important to all who are reading this to keep in mind that nothing that we are going through is as tough as the 100+ people who are STILL living homeless in Miami-Dade because of this SORR.
As we head into the broiling summer months, with the rainy and hurricane season approaching. It’s important to remember why this case is so important.
Thanks to the ACLU, Legal Services and their teams who have been working so hard on this case.
To read the Appellate Brief, CLICK HERE