Ryals v. City of Englewood

Criminal Legal Reform
Case No. No. 12-cv-02178-RBJ, United States District Court, District of Colorado
ACLU Case No. 2010-04


In this case, ACLU attorneys challenge an Englewood ordinance that makes it a crime for registered sex offenders to live within 2000 feet of any school, park, or playground, or 1000 feet of any licensed day care center, recreation center or swimming pool. As a practical matter, the ordinance bans previously-convicted sex offenders from living in the city.

The ACLU’s client, Brett Ryals, was unaware of the ordinance when he bought a home in Englewood in 2012. He had already served a sentence from his 2001 felony conviction. He had participated in state-mandated treatment and rehabilitation. He had been supervised by state authorities for years until he was deemed safe and released from parole. When he complied with his legal obligation to register his new residence with the Englewood police, he was charged with violating the residency restriction, a misdemeanor.

The prosecution of Mr. Ryals has been stayed while the ACLU’s civil lawsuit challenging the ordinance proceeded, first in state court, and then, after removal, to federal court. ACLU attorneys assert that the Englewood ordinance is an unconstitutional ex post facto law, violates due process, and is preempted by the Colorado Constitution.


Daniel D. Williams
Hetal J. Doshi
Jennifer L. Sullivan
Mark Silverstein , ACLU of Colorado Legal Director
Sara J. Rich , ACLU of Colorado Staff Attorney
Shelby L. Myers

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