Friday, February 12, 2010

Sex Offender Residency Law Rescinded Sex Offender Residency Law Rescinded.

Watkins Glen, NY -- The Schuyler County Legislature met this evening and voted to rescind a major sex offender law, following a State Supreme Court ruling. The law in question is the county's sex offender residency law. But tonight, the law was deemed unenforceable and is effectively wiped off the books.

Legislators first passed the law in December 2008. It prohibited all level 2 and level 3 sex offenders from living within 500 feet of a school, playground or daycare center. However, a Montour Falls couple filed a lawsuit challenging the county, after they say police told them to move because of their proximity to a playground. The husband and wife were both convicted of being sex offenders in Florida, before moving to the Southern Tier.

County Legislators now say their hands are tied. James Coleman, Schuyler County Attorney says, "the combined opinion of four New York state courts thus far is this is an area for exclusive state regulation and not local law passage." Tim O'Hearn, Schuyler County's Administrator says, "the state has deemed that sufficient. The county, while not necessarily agreeing with that is not inclined to pursue it at this time."

The State Supreme Court has overturned similar laws in three other New York counties. Right now, the legislature has no plans to fight the ruling.