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Case Name Doe v. Miami-Dade County CJ-FL-0007
Docket / Court 1:14-cv-23933 ( S.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Attorney Organization ACLU Affiliates (any)
Case Summary
On October 23, 2014, three unhoused individuals filed a complaint against Miami-Dade County and the Florida Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants’ enforcement of the Miami-Dade County Lauren Book Child ... read more >
On October 23, 2014, three unhoused individuals filed a complaint against Miami-Dade County and the Florida Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants’ enforcement of the Miami-Dade County Lauren Book Child Safety Ordinance violated the Fourteenth Amendment. They brought the claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, who were registered sex offenders, claimed that the Ordinance—which prohibited registered sex offenders from residing within 2,500 feet of a school—forced hundreds of individuals into homelessness.

The plaintiffs alleged that the retroactive application of the housing restriction held a punitive intent, violating the Ex Post Facto Clause of the U.S. and Florida Constitutions. This clause prohibits the government from punishing actions retroactively. The plaintiffs, represented by ACLU of Florida, sought declarative and monetary relief as well as a permanent injunction against the future enforcement of the ordinance.

Back in 2013, officials from Miami–Dade Public Schools and the Homeless Trust requested the County Police Department re-classify the Miami Bridge, an emergency youth shelter, as a “school” subject to the Book Ordinance's residency restriction. The complaint alleged that through this effort, the officials had directly intended to evict the former sexual offenders. Their lobbying succeeded, and the plaintiffs, along with many others, were forced to leave their homes. They were unable to find new housing.

The plaintiffs alleged that the ordinance’s failure to define “school” created vagueness and that removing plaintiffs from their homes without notice and an opportunity to be heard violated their fundamental right to housing and safety. Lastly, the plaintiffs alleged that the retroactive application of the Ordinance violated the federal and state Ex Post Facto clause because its debilitating effects were punitive.

The complaint was amended on December 20, 2014, removing the claim that the Ordinance violated the plaintiff’s procedural due process rights to meaningful notice and opportunity to be heard. The defendants each filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint. Judge Paul Huck granted these motions and dismissed the complaint with prejudice on April 3, 2015. 2015 WL 13389882.

The plaintiffs sought relief from the court's dismissal, arguing that they could have amended the complaint to assert a viable vagueness challenge. In this motion for relief, they did not contest the court's dismissal of their ex post facto and substantive due process claims. The motion was denied on June 23, 2015, because the plaintiffs had not previously requested the amendment and the ordinance did not apply to the named plaintiffs. 2015 WL 3886841.

The plaintiffs appealed the dismissal of their ex post facto challenges to the residency restriction for failure to state a claim. Eleventh Circuit Judges Gerald Bard Tjoflat, Charles R. Wilson and Jill A. Pryor reversed the District Court’s dismissal as to the ex post facto challenges in 2017, stating that the plaintiffs alleged plausible ex post facto challenges to the residency restriction. 846 F.3d 1180.

On October 5, 2017, the plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint with the addition of three more plaintiffs. Miami-Dade County moved for for summary judgment on August 8, 2018, arguing that the plaintiffs' claims were barred by the statute of limitations.

The court held a hearing on the motion for summary judgment on September 21, 2018, but did not grant it. Instead, the case proceeded to a bench trial held on October 26, 2018. Judge Paul C. Huck found that, while the statute of limitations had not passed, the plaintiffs had failed to establish that the residency restriction had no rational connection to its goal of protecting children. So, he entered judgment for the defendants on December 19, 2018. 2018 WL 10780510.

Four of the plaintiffs appealed the decision to the Eleventh Circuit on January 18, 2019 (19-10254). The appeal was dismissed as to two of the plaintiffs on April 27, 2020. Oral argument was held on June 9, 2020. On October 8, 2020, the Court of Appeals affirmed the order of the district court. Circuit Judges Beverly Martin and Kevin Newsom alongside District Judge Keith Watkin (sitting by designation) held that county lacked notice of as-applied ex post facto challenge to ordinance and that the county would be substantially prejudiced by addition of the plaintiffs' as-applied ex post facto challenge. 974 F.3d 1333.

The case is ongoing back in the district court.

Averyn Lee - 06/25/2020
Rachel Kreager - 04/07/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Ex Post Facto
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Poverty/homelessness
Sex offender regulation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) Florida Department of Corrections
Miami-Dade County
Plaintiff Description Individuals on the sex offense registry forced into homelessness after an ordinance barred them from residing within 2500 feet of a school.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Affiliates (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 10/23/2014
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Banished
The Marshall Project; Longreads
Date: 10/3/2018
By: Beth Schwartzapfel and Emily Kassie (The Marshall Project; Longreads)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Internal Exile Former Offenders MDC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCdbJKImdcU&feature=youtu.be
Date: Aug. 29, 2018
By: ACLU Florida
[ Detail ]

  DOE, ET AL. V. MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, ET AL.
https://www.aclu.org/cases/doe-et-al-v-miami-dade-county-et-al
Date: Oct. 23, 2014
By: ACLU
[ Detail ]

Court Docket(s)
S.D. Fla.
02/01/2019
1:14-cv-23933
CJ-FL-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
S.D. Fla.
10/23/2014
Complaint [ECF# 1]
CJ-FL-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Fla.
04/03/2015
Order Granting Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 60] (2015 WL 13389882)
CJ-FL-0007-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Fla.
06/23/2015
Order Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Relief from Judgment [ECF# 67] (2015 WL 3886841)
CJ-FL-0007-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
01/25/2017
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida [Ct. of App. ECF# 56] (846 F.3d 1180)
CJ-FL-0007-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Fla.
12/18/2018
Opinion in Favor of Defendant [ECF# 184] (2018 WL 10780510)
CJ-FL-0007-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
09/09/2020
Opinion (974 F.3d 1333)
CJ-FL-0007-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: Google Scholar
show all people docs
Judges Huck, Paul C. (S.D. Fla.) show/hide docs
CJ-FL-0007-0002 | CJ-FL-0007-0003 | CJ-FL-0007-0004 | CJ-FL-0007-9000
Martin, Beverly Baldwin (N.D. Ga., Eleventh Circuit) show/hide docs
CJ-FL-0007-0006
McAliley, Chris M. (S.D. Fla.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
CJ-FL-0007-9000
Newsom, Kevin Christopher (Eleventh Circuit) show/hide docs
CJ-FL-0007-0006
Watkins, William Keith (M.D. Ala.) show/hide docs
CJ-FL-0007-0006
Wilson, Charles R. (M.D. Fla., Eleventh Circuit) show/hide docs
CJ-FL-0007-0005
Plaintiff's Lawyers Abudu, Nancy G (Florida) show/hide docs
CJ-FL-0007-0006 | CJ-FL-0007-9000
Buskey, Brandon (New York) show/hide docs
CJ-FL-0007-0006 | CJ-FL-0007-9000
Edwards, Ezekiel (New York) show/hide docs
CJ-FL-0007-0006 | CJ-FL-0007-9000
Hearne, Jeffrey Martin (Florida) show/hide docs
CJ-FL-0007-0006 | CJ-FL-0007-9000
Jonas, Valerie (Florida) show/hide docs
CJ-FL-0007-0006 | CJ-FL-0007-9000
Quintian, Daniel Rowinsky (Florida) show/hide docs
CJ-FL-0007-9000
Tilley, Daniel Boaz (Florida) show/hide docs
CJ-FL-0007-0006 | CJ-FL-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bajger, John (Florida) show/hide docs
CJ-FL-0007-9000
Pastor, Bernard (Florida) show/hide docs
CJ-FL-0007-0006 | CJ-FL-0007-9000
Valdes, Michael Beny (Florida) show/hide docs
CJ-FL-0007-0006 | CJ-FL-0007-9000

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