Nearly 1,000 registered sex offenders in Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County are violating state law by living too close to a school, says the Cleveland Plain Dealer. They range from child-molesting ex-convicts to overaggressive date gropers who are on probation. Local officials have begun trying to force them to move. The law has been on the books for more than two years. It gives any neighbor the right to sue to evict a registered offender. Few evictions have occurred because the process is cumbersome, slow, and costly.
A new amendment prosecutors and municipal and township law directors the ability to sue on the government’s behalf to force the felons to move. Cleveland is taking aggressive advantage. The city had 756 violators as of July 8; Police Chief Michael McGrath has sent letters to nearly 100 of them, warning them to find somewhere else to live by Monday or face an eviction lawsuit. Richard McMonagle, the county’s presiding and administrative judge, worries that the litigation landslide could overwhelm dockets. He has been scrambling to find a temporary visiting judge to assume the whole lot so that the 33 trial judges aren’t stuck handling dozens more lawsuits each.