Court block Barre from enforcing sex offender ordinance

Print More

(Host) A judge has blocked the city of Barre from enforcing an ordinance that would have required a convicted sex offender to move.

Twenty-nine-year-old Chris Hagan had been ordered by city officials to move under an ordinance passed last year.

That law blocks convicted sex offenders from living within one-thousand feet of schools or other places that children gather.

The Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union represents Hagan. ACLU executive director Allen Gilbert says there’s a legal theory known as "Dillon’s rule" that prohibits a ban like the one Barre adopted.

(Gilbert) "The state is the one that gives the authority to municipalities of what they can and can’t do in terms of passing ordinances, and unless a city or town has been granted authority, to, in this case regulate where sex offenders live, by the nature of how Dillon’s rule works, Barre is not allowed to pass an ordinance like this and enforce it."

(Host) The preliminary injunction issued by Washington Superior Court Judge Helen Toor blocks the city from forcing Hagan to move – at least until the full case is heard in court.

Hagan was convicted of lewd and lascivious conduct over contact with a 15-year-old girl that occurred when he was 18.

Comments are closed.