Residency restrictions challenge continues in Miami-Dade County, FL

By Alex Pickett . . . An attorney for two Florida sex offenders asked an 11th Circuit panel Tuesday to reinstate a lawsuit challenging residency restrictions in Miami-Dade County that effectively rendered them homeless.

The unnamed offenders, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a lawsuit in 2014 against Miami-Dade County, claiming an ordinance that prevented certain sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of a school left them without anywhere to live.

“They were forced into homelessness,” Daniel Tilley with the ACLU of Florida told a three-judge panel of the Atlanta-based appeals court Tuesday.

The Lauren Book Child Safety Ordinance bans adults convicted of certain sex crimes against children under the age of 16 from living within 2,500 feet of a Miami-Dade County school. It is named after Florida State Senator Lauren Book, who was sexually abused as a child by her nanny. Florida law only requires a 1,000-foot buffer.

With Miami-Dade County’s high density and lack of affordable housing, the restrictions force sex offenders to live under bridges and along railroad tracks, according to the amended complaint. The ACLU argues this punishes the plaintiffs after their original convictions and violates the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws, which increase punishment for crimes already committed.

The ordinance received national attention in 2007 after the Miami New Times reported a cluster of 100 homeless registered sex offenders were living under a bridge – one of the only places in the county they could live without violating the ordinance.

Since then, the offenders have moved to various encampments around the county, which are routinely broken up by police and county health officials.

A 2018 report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found 447 homeless sex offenders living in Miami-Dade County.

In 2018, U.S. District Judge Paul Huck upheld the ordinance, spurring the appeal to the 11th Circuit.

Read the remainder of the piece here at Courthouse News.

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    • #73371 Reply
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      Maestro

      “ It is named after Florida State Senator Lauren Book, who was sexually abused as a child by her nanny.”

      And who didn’t have any prior criminal convictions so how did the registry help the Books? Oh yeah! It DIDN’T!! And was this nanny anywhere near a school as a means for her to commit her offense? No! She was in the Book’s home!
      Are any of these attorneys making this clear in their arguments? They need to.

    • #73380 Reply
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      Brandon

      The laws that Book put in place didn’t help his daughter and he admitted they wouldn’t of saved her. He was busy with Jack Daniels instead of paying attention

    • #73447 Reply
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      Perry

      Once again, I’m staying out of Florida. All they want to do is KILL OFF, as many Registrants as they can. This is just another means of doing so, and hoping The Vigilantes will do for them what they’re too cowardly to do themselves. As for Sheriff Departments that break up the Encampments? Again, let’s be real. They do it because they know that sooner or later Someone or a Bunch of Them, will Kill Those People, so they don’t have to do it themselves! The Courts WANT ‘Purge’ in Florida and that State is hoping that the rest of the Country starts up a National One…just like The Movies!
      Done.

    • #73485 Reply
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      CJB

      Well, just goes to show you how Corrupt Florida Politicians allow the Books to work and live in Flori-DUH
      Florida’s new governor, DE-SATAN…well that says it all!

      Lauren is a mess…only cares about her ‘Barbie-Doll’ looks and political postures and Ronnie Boy is sucking down whiskey like it is WATA!

      Ronnie Book is awaiting Trial on DUI charges after crashing his High-end Luxury SUV and almost killed someone….All the Judges, Prosecutors, and Corrupt Law Enforcement ‘People’ are on his side…I just hope the civil lawsuit by the young african-american victim gets justice and takes all his monies!

      People who commit DUI’s are 67 times more likely to commit the same Offense….is there a registry for these idiots?…NOPE….just a Registry for those who have less than 5% recidivism rate (actually less than 2.3%)

      Stay Safe and Healthy!

    • #73507 Reply
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      Derek

      Florida is the most corrupt state espicalky at the local level the sheriff’s of the state are dangerous , Im scared of Florida and thats the way they want it

    • #73601 Reply
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      Donna

      We all know these residency restrictions are ridiculous. They have become out of control in Miami Dade especially. Not the whole state is as bad, so hold tight people, its only a matter of time. Change is inevitable, Lauren Book is losing her grip and credibility slowly but surely.

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