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Sex offender argues ban restricting residences in Texas city

You may appreciate this story if you've ever been convicted of a sex offense and have been struggling to find a home in your area. Because of restrictions on how close sex offenders can be to children, it can be hard to find homes in certain parts of Texas This Texan found that he's able to sue a Dallas-area suburb, because there is ban in place that makes it illegal for sex offenders to live within 1,500 feet of children's gathering places.

That would be fine, except the man has no options when it comes to homes in the city. According to his claims, he tried to follow the ordinance that demanded that he lived a certain distance from children's gathering places, but that has led to him and his family living in a motel; that motel was the only place that complied with the ordinance.

The man, a registered child sex offender for the crime of Internet solicitation, has sued Lewisville, Texas, over the ban. Initially, the court dismissed the man's claims, but that ruling was overturned when it was found that the family had concrete plans to live in the area, not just indefinite plans. Because of the ban, the man's family had to move, his children had to switch schools and his wife has been moved farther from her job.

There were allegedly three possible residences available, but the family does not need to prove that they were unable to purchase those homes to argue the constitutionality of the ban. They are able to argue that it makes it difficult to find a new place to live and argue that they are being treated differently than other would-be renters.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Sex Offender Has Case Over Residency Ban" David Lee, Jul. 23, 2014

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Law Offices of Frank Jackson
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