Posts tagged "1014715"

Doe, et al. v. City of Lynn (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-147-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   SJC-11822   JOHN DOE[1] & others[2]  vs.  CITY OF LYNN.       Essex.     April 9, 2015. – August 28, 2015.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Sex Offender.  Municipal Corporations, By-laws and ordinances, Home rule.  Constitutional Law, Home Rule Amendment.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on April 12, 2012.   The case was heard by Timothy Q. Feeley, J., on a motion for partial summary judgment, and entry of final judgment was ordered by him.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     John A. Kiernan (Robert E. Koosa with him) for the defendant. John Reinstein (Benjamin H. Keehn, Committee for Public Counsel Services, & Jessie J. Rossman with him) for the plaintiffs. Amy M. Belger, Andrew S. Crouch, & Jennifer J. Cox, for Jacob Wetterling Resource Center & others, amici curiae, submitted a brief.     HINES, J.  In this appeal, we determine whether an ordinance imposing restrictions on the right of sex offenders to reside in the city of Lynn (city) is prohibited by the Home Rule Amendment, art. 89, § 6, of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution, and the Home Rule Procedures Act, G. L. c. 43B, § 13.  The plaintiffs, who represent a certified class of sex offenders subject to the ordinance, challenged the constitutionality of the ordinance on various grounds.[3]  A judge in the Superior Court invalidated the ordinance under the Home Rule Amendment.  The city appealed and we granted the plaintiffs’ application for direct appellate review.  We affirm the Superior Court judgment based on our conclusion that the ordinance is inconsistent with the comprehensive statutory scheme governing the oversight of convicted sex offenders, and therefore, it fails to pass muster under the Home Rule Amendment and the Home Rule Procedures Act.[4] Background.  We summarize the undisputed facts as drawn from the summary judgment record. 1.  The ordinance.  The city adopted an “Ordinance Pertaining to Sex Offender Residency Restrictions in the [city]” (ordinance) on January 12, 2011.  The stated purpose of the ordinance is to “reduce the potential risk of harm to children of the community by impacting the ability of registered sex offenders to be in contact with unsuspecting children in locations that are primarily designed for use by, or are primarily used by children.”  Observing that […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 28, 2015 at 2:47 pm

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