January 28, 2012

State to appeal ruling that allows sex offenders at shelters near schools

1-28-2012 Michigan:

GRAND RAPIDS – The state has filed notice it plans to appeal a federal judge's ruling that allows homeless sex offenders to stay at overnight shelters near schools.

Sex offenders are prohibited by state law from residing within 1,000 feet of a school. The city's homeless shelters are within that student-safety zone.

U.S. District Judge Gordon Quist ruled that homeless people do not “reside” in emergency shelters that are designed for overnight stays with no guarantee of a place to stay.

State Attorney General Bill Schuette's Office filed the notice to appeal. An attorney for Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth also intends to appeal.

Meanwhile, Miriam Aukerman, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney, has filed a motion asking that the defendants pay $120,862 in attorney fees. She represented five sex offenders identified only by pseudonyms.

Mel Trotter Ministries and Degage Ministries also were plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit followed the January 2009 freezing death of a Thomas Pauli, 51, who was denied admission to an overnight shelter.

He was convicted in 1991 of sexually assaulting a pre-teen girl. ..Source.. by John Agar | The Grand Rapids Press

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