Local sex offender residency law struck down by state’s high court


ALBANY – The State Appeals Court reversed an Appellate Division decision that upheld a local Nassau County law that prohibited registered sex offenders from living near schools.
While it is understandable that localities want to protect their children from sex offenders, “a local government’s police power is not absolute,” the judges wrote in a decision dated February 17.
“When the state has created a comprehensive and detailed regulatory scheme with regard to the subject matter that the local law attempts to regulate, the local interest must yield to that of the state in regulating that field,” the Appeals Court judges wrote. “We hold that the state’s comprehensive and detailed statutory and regulatory framework for the identification, regulation and monitoring of registered sex offenders prohibits the enactment of a residence restriction law such as [Nassau County’s].”
Wallkill Town Supervisor Daniel Depew, who has been pushing a registry for second homes for sex offenders, was incensed by the court’s decision.
“I think it is just outrageous,” Depew said. “Another sad part about this whole thing is that in New York State we still lack the requirement for the sex offenders to register secondary addresses, which means, it’s like holidays are vacations for sex offenders.” 

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