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Dover Post
  • ACLU withdraws litigation against city of Dover

  • The ACLU of Delaware has agreed to withdraw a lawsuit against the city of Dover filed on behalf of a convicted sex offender.
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  • The American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware agreed on Oct. 1 to dismiss its lawsuit challenging the city of Dover ordinance adopted in April 2012 to expand residency restrictions for registered sex offenders.
    "For now, we will have to be satisfied that we won a small victory for our client," said Richard Morse, ACLU-DE legal director. "Since the city amended the original ordinance to include a grandfather clause and our client can stay in his home, he no longer needs a ruling by the court."
    The ordinance restricted registered sex offenders from living or working within 500 feet of a daycare center. The Dover City Council adopted the ordinance despite objections from the ACLU that residency laws actually increase the risk of harm to children.
    Dover's only change to their original ordinance was to eliminate the requirement that people move out of the homes where they were living when it was passed. The ordinance still applies to registered sex offenders who wish to move to a home that is near a daycare center.
    "Even though the city amended the residency ordinance so our client may stay in his home, there are still many other things wrong with this law," Morse said.
    The ACLU is prepared to file a new lawsuit on behalf of anyone who wants to move to a prohibited area or work near a daycare center, he added.
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