Sunday, June 7, 2009

New Push To Impose Residency Limits : New push to impose sex offender residency limit.

Just weeks after New Jersey's Supreme Court ruled that towns cannot ban sex offenders from living near schools, parks or other places where children gather, some state lawmakers are pushing legislation that would give municipalities that right.

The May 7 court ruling struck down municipal ordinances in the southern Jersey communities of Cherry Hill and Galloway and invalidated similar laws in more than 100 other towns across the state. The cases highlighted Megan's Law, which requires convicted sex offenders to register their whereabouts with law enforcement, and meant local ordinances could only be allowed if lawmakers expanded that law or explicitly authorized towns to craft their own rules.

The proposed bill, A-641, would permit local measures that bar Megan's Law registrants from living up to 2,000 feet from places where children gather. However, supporters say the measure also would ensure that such ordinances could not be manipulated to create a zoning scheme that would effectively block a sex offender from residing anywhere in a given town.

Two other co-sponsors , Assemblywomen Pamela R. Lampitt, D-Camden, and Linda Greenstein, D-Hamilton, said the bill would help ensure that each local ordinance would be consistent and able to stand firmly on its legal merits.

To view legislation, click below and search bill "641":

Update(June 9,2009) : Measure to restrict residency for sexual offenders approved.

More than 100 New Jersey communities, including several in Warren County, may be able to have their local ordinances reinstated that prohibit sexual offenders from living in close proximity to a school, park, playground or day care center. Wayne DeAngelo is a co-sponsor of the bill, which would place restrictions on the location of the residences of sexual offenders.

A measure unanimously approved Monday by the New Jersey Assembly Judiciary Committee would restore ordinances nullified by the New Jersey Supreme Court in May.

It would, however set the radius at 500 feet and exempt those already residing in a community at the time the local law is enacted.