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Homeless Sex Offenders File Suit Against Miami-Dade, Arguing They're Entitled To Stay Put

A screen shot of the state's map of where registered sex offenders say they are living. More than 200 transient offenders (marked by tents) are listed as living in the encampment outside of Hialeah.
A screen shot of the state's map of where registered sex offenders say they are living. More than 200 transient offenders (marked by tents) are listed as living in the encampment outside of Hialeah.

Four homeless sex offenders living in tents outside Hialeah are suing to block Miami-Dade from dismantling their roadside encampment, arguing the county's own rules aimed at sexual predators have left them few options.

"Inhabitants of the encampment are not there by choice or circumstance," reads the request for an emergency injunction from unnamed plaintiffs. "They were forced into involuntary homelessness by Defendant's deliberate, long-standing policy of severely restricting where individuals formerly convicted of certain sexual offenses may reside in Miami-Dade County."

Ron Book, a lobbyist who helped write Miami-Dade's strict rules on sex offenders and now also serves as the volunteer head of the county's homeless program, disputes the idea that the tent-city inhabitants can't find a place to live. He said a county team assisting residents at the encampment Sunday night approved six different potential addresses with vacancies available for the tent dwellers.

"They can claim all they want," Book said of the advocates behind the suit. "It's just wrong and inaccurate."

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald

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