Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Court: City Misused Sex Offender Law : Court: Jeff misused sex-offender law.

A Jeffersonville ordinance banning sex offenders from city parks was used unconstitutionally when a man who was no longer required to register with the state was blocked from watching his son play baseball, an Indiana Court of Appeals panel ruled yesterday.

The 2-1 ruling by the panel said the 2006 ordinance excessively punished Eric Dowdell, a Clarksville resident who wanted to watch his son play in Jeffersonville's Little League Ballpark. Dowdell asked for permission to go to the park more than 10 years after his sexual battery conviction and after his requirement to be listed on the Indiana sex-offender registry expired in 2006.

The panel's ruling applies only to Dowdell, who could not be reached yesterday for comment. But Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana and Dowdell's lawyer, said the City Council should repeal the ordinance.
The city has 30 days to ask the full Court of Appeals to reconsider the ruling or to ask the Indiana Supreme Court to consider the case.