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Federal judge certifies class in lawsuit against Georgia sex-offender law

[JURIST] A federal judge in Georgia has certified a class of more than 10,000 registered sex offenders living in Georgia that would be subject to a new state law [legislative materials] barring them from living or working within 1,000 feet of a child care facility, church, school or "area where minors congregate," including school bus stops. US District Judge Clarence Cooper [official profile] of the Northern District of Georgia [official website] certified the class in a case challenging the new law in an effort to prevent a flood of new complaints, motions to add plaintiffs to the case, and requests for temporary restraining orders. In June, Cooper granted a temporary restraining order preventing the state from fully enforcing the new law, which was scheduled to take effect on July 1, against eight plaintiffs, and then later extended the restraining order to all registered sex offenders in the state [JURIST reports].

The Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) [advocacy website], which is representing the plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit [complaint, PDF; SCHR materials], says that the law violates several constitutional provisions and at least one federal statute, and that it would require all but a few of the state's offenders to move out of their current homes. Wednesday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution has more [registration required].

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