Julian Ku, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Faculty Development, was quoted in a Newsday article about a judge’s decision to overturn a Rockland County law restricting where sex offenders live.
Rockland ruling on sex offenders could affect LI
By Erik German
January 27, 2009
A judge’s decision overturning a Rockland County law restricting where sex offenders live could affect dozens of similar laws statewide – including many on Long Island, where municipalities have rushed to enact tough residency legislation over the last few years.
In a decision Friday, State Supreme Court Justice William Kelly said local residency rules are superseded by New York State law, which specifically empowers local probation officers to decide where to place sex offenders in communities.
“‘Not in my backyard’ residency restrictions are spreading unchecked through county, town and village ordinance books from Suffolk County to Niagara Falls,” Kelly wrote.
While the Rockland court holds no sway over other counties, legal experts said the ruling’s impact could spread if the matter is upheld in higher court, or if judges in other jurisdictions adopt Kelly’s reasoning.
“It would be a highly persuasive precedent,” said Hofstra University law professor Julian Ku. “Attorneys for Nassau and Suffolk County should probably be reviewing this decision.”