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The city rejects Evenstad’s claim that the ordinance will cause homelessness or other irreparable harm, noting that three apartment buildings and dozens of other potential rentals are outside the restricted areas.
Before they are released from prison, Minnesota sex offenders are assessed by a panel of experts to determine how likely they are to re-offend.
Paul police investigator called the landlord and said Evenstad had to go.
She referred questions to Attorney Monte Mills of Greene Espel, the Minneapolis law firm handling the case for the city.
In 2017, 22 cities or counties in Minnesota passed sex-offender ordinances.
Anne Finn, the assistant intergovernmental relations director for the League of Minnesota Cities, said this week in a statement that residency restrictions are an outgrowth of city officials hearing from constituents “who are anxious about the idea of living near registered sex offenders.” “These city officials are clamoring for ways to be responsive to their constituents,” she said.
They have filed similar lawsuits this year in Wisconsin, including one against the city of Milwaukee, on behalf of sex offenders.
“These ordinances are a fairly recent phenomenon in Minnesota,” Nicholas said.
In April, Nicholas and her co-counsel, Mark Weinberg, were successful in a federal lawsuit that challenged a sex offender ordinance in Pleasant Prairie, Wis.
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Mills also declined to comment, instead referring to the city’s court documents filed in the case.
The city argues that the residency restriction is meant to “promote, protect and improve the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the city.” The lawsuit contends there is no sound evidence that residency restrictions improve public safety or prevent recidivism.