Doe v. City of Lynn, 36 N.E.3d 18 (Mass. 2015)
Nature of Case: Plaintiffs were persons required to register as sex offenders in Massachusetts, and were subject to residence restrictions imposed by a city. Filed suit in state court, alleging that the ordinance was unconstitutional on principles of state preemption. Lower court held that the ordinance was preempted and unconstitutional. City appealed.
Holding: Ordinance was preempted on the grounds that state law effectively foreclosed the ability of cities to enact residence restrictions, and therefore unconstitutional.
[Ed. Note: Opinion is noteworthy for some extremely strong language regarding such restrictions: “As a final observation on the legislative choice to define the sex offender residency restriction narrowly, we note the grave societal and constitutional implications of the de jure residential segregation of sex offenders. Except for the incarceration of persons under the criminal law and the civil commitment of mentally ill or dangerous persons, the days are long since past when whole communities of persons, such as Native Americans and Japanese-Americans, may be lawfully banished from our midst.”]
- Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Opinion | view via Google Scholar
- Appellee’s Brief
- Jacob Wetterling Resource Center Amicus Brief
News and Related Materials