Town of Brookhaven, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven 12-20-2005 by L.L. No. 33-2005, effective 12-27-2005. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
The Town Board finds that sex offenders pose a significant threat to the health and safety of the community and especially to children, whose age and inexperience makes them particularly vulnerable to the heinous and reprehensible acts of these offenders; and
B. 
The Board finds that the rate of recidivism is high and programs designed to treat and rehabilitate these types of offenders have been largely ineffective. Limiting the frequency of contact between registered sex offenders and areas where children are likely to congregate reduces the opportunity and temptation and can minimize the risk of repeated acts against minors; and
C. 
It is the intention of the Town Board to exercise its authority pursuant to Article IX, § 2(c)(i) and (ii)(1) and (10) of the New York State Constitution, § 10(1)(ii)(a)(12) and (d)(3) of the Municipal Home Rule Law, § 64(22), § 130(11) and (15) of the Town Law and any other applicable or successor law, presently in existence or hereinafter enacted, to protect and safeguard the lives and well-being of the community, and especially children, from registered sexual predators while children are in close proximity to schools, parks and playgrounds; and
D. 
After careful consideration, the Town Board finds that this legislation is the most narrowly tailored means of limiting, to the fullest extent possible, the opportunity for registered sex offenders to approach or otherwise come in contact with children in places where children would naturally congregate and that the protection of our residents is a compelling governmental interest.
E. 
By the enactment of this or any other legislation, the Town Board understands that it cannot remove the threat posed to or guarantee the safety of minors, or assure the public that registered sex offenders will comply with the mandates of this statute. This legislation is intended to create a civil, nonpunitive regulatory scheme in order to protect minors to the extent possible under the circumstances and not as a punitive measure of any kind.
As used this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CHILD or CHILDREN
Persons under 18 years of age.
DAY-CARE CENTERS
Any establishment where a child or children are cared for on a regular basis and such service is provided away from the child's residence for less than 24 hours per day by someone other than the parent, step-parent, guardian or a relative of the child, whether or not such service is provided for compensation of any kind. Day-care centers shall include but are not limited to after-school programs, school-age day-care programs, facilities defined in § 410-p of the New York State Social Services Law, and as provided in § 390 of the New York State Social Services Law, or other applicable or successor law. For purpose of this article the term "day-care center" shall not apply to services provided in a private dwelling, unless a substantial portion of the lot where the dwelling is located, as determined by the Town, has been converted to such use.
DWELLING, ONE-FAMILY
As defined in § 85-1.
[Added 8-5-2008 by L.L. No. 16-2008, effective 8-11-2008]
MINOR
Persons under 18 years of age.
PARK
Includes active and passive public land designated for recreational or athletic use by the Town of Brookhaven, County of Suffolk, State of New York, the United States of America or other governmental subdivision, and located within the Town of Brookhaven, exclusive of its Incorporated Villages. For the purposes of this chapter, the term "park" shall include beaches.
PLAYGROUND
Public land designated for recreational or athletic purposes by any school district, library district, Town of Brookhaven, County of Suffolk, State of New York, the United States of America or other governmental subdivision and located within the Town of Brookhaven, exclusive of its Incorporated Villages.
REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER
A sex offender who is required to register with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, or other agency having jurisdiction, pursuant to the provisions of Article 6-C of the Correction Law of the State of New York or other applicable or successor law, whether or not the sex offender has actually registered in compliance with the law or order of the court of competent jurisdiction.
RESIDENCE
The place where a person sleeps, which may include more than one location, and may be mobile or transitory.
SCHOOL
Includes any portion of private or public land, buildings or structures utilized primarily for public or private education, as defined by the New York State Department of Education and/or the New York State Education Law, and includes, but is not limited to, pre-schools, kindergartens and nursery schools, elementary, primary, intermediate, junior high, middle and secondary schools, high schools, vocational and special education schools. For the purposes of this chapter, the term "school" shall include "day-care centers."
SEX OFFENDER or SEXUAL PREDATOR
Any person who is a resident of the Town of Brookhaven, exclusive of its Incorporated Villages, and has been convicted of an offense provided in § 168-a(1), (2), (3), (7) and (8) of the New York State Correction Law or any successor or applicable law where the victim was a minor. The use of one term shall be deemed to include the other.
[Amended 6-3-2008 by L.L. No. 14-2008, effective 6-9-2008]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for a registered sex offender to establish a residence or domicile within the limits set forth below:
(1) 
One thousand three hundred twenty feet (one-quarter mile) of the property line of any land utilized, in whole or in part, as a school;
(2) 
One thousand three hundred twenty feet (one-quarter mile) of the property line of any land utilized, in whole or in part, as a park or playground.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for a property owner or person in charge of the property to knowingly lease or sublease the property to a registered sex offender, or to otherwise cause, permit, or allow such offender to establish a residence or be domiciled at the premises, if the property is located within an area prohibited by this chapter.
C. 
It shall be unlawful for more than two registered sex offenders to reside in and/or occupy the same one-family dwelling.
[Added 8-5-2008 by L.L. No. 16-2008, effective 8-11-2008]
D. 
It shall be unlawful for a property owner or person in charge of the property to knowingly cause, permit or allow more than two registered sex offenders to reside in and/or occupy a one-family dwelling.
[Added 8-5-2008 by L.L. No. 16-2008, effective 8-11-2008]
[Amended 6-3-2008 by L.L. No. 14-2008, effective 6-9-2008]
In any prosecution of a violation of this article, the following may be raised by the defendant:
A. 
The registered sex offender or registered sexual predator has established a residence or domicile within 1,000 feet of a school, park or playground before December 27, 2005; or
B. 
A school, park or playground is newly located on or after December 27, 2005, and the registered sex offender or registered sexual predator has already established a residence or domicile within 1,000 feet from the new building which is prohibited by this legislation.
C. 
The registered sex offender is required to reside or be domiciled at a location fixed by order of a court of competent jurisdiction, or by any federal, state or county agency having jurisdiction thereof.
D. 
The registered sex offender or registered sexual predator is the owner of record of a residence or domicile within a distance greater than 1,000 feet and up to 1,320 feet of a school, park or playground before June 3, 2008; or
E. 
A school, park or playground is newly located on or after June 3, 2008, and the registered sex offender or registered sexual predator is the owner of record of a residence or domicile within a distance greater than 1,000 feet and up to 1,320 feet from the newly located school, park or playground.
F. 
More than two registered sex offenders resided in and/or occupied the same one-family dwelling before August 5, 2008.
[Added 8-5-2008 by L.L. No. 16-2008, effective 8-11-2008]
[Amended 6-3-2008 by L.L. No. 14-2008, effective 6-9-2008]
A. 
A registered sex offender who resides or is domiciled within an area prohibited by this article shall, upon written notice from the Director of Public Safety, permanently discontinue said residence or domicile within 45 days of receipt of such notice. The notice may be in the form acceptable to the Director of Public Safety, and shall be mailed by the Department of Public Safety by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, and by regular mail. Proof that the registered sex offender has permanently relocated shall be provided by the offender to the Director of Public Safety within 30 days of such relocation.
B. 
In the event the registered sex offender fails, refuses and/or neglects to relocate or otherwise does not cease using the location as his/her place of residence or domicile, or resides in and/or occupies a one-family dwelling with more than one other registered sex offender, then he/she shall be deemed to have committed an offense against the provisions of this article, and shall be liable for such violation and the penalty thereof, and shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not less than $250 and not more than $2,500 per offense. Each week, or part thereof, such violation continues following notification by the Town, or service of a notice of violation or summons, shall constitute a separate offense, punishable in like manner.
[Amended 8-5-2008 by L.L. No. 16-2008, effective 8-11-2008]
C. 
A property owner or person in charge of the property who violates § 55-3B and/or § 55-3D of this chapter shall be deemed to have committed an offense against the provisions of this article, and shall be liable for such violation and the penalty thereof, and shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not less than $250 and not more than $2,500 per offense. Each week, or part thereof, such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense, punishable in like manner.
[Amended 8-5-2008 by L.L. No. 16-2008, effective 8-11-2008]
[Added 8-5-2008 by L.L. No. 16-2008, effective 8-11-2008]
Should any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence or phrase of this Town Code be declared unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this Town Code.
A. 
The Board's findings on the threat posed by sex offenders to the health, safety and welfare of the community and particularly to children and the compelling governmental interest in protecting, to the fullest extent possible, minors from the actions of these offenders are more fully set forth in Article I of this chapter, and such findings are, for all purposes, equally applicable and incorporated into the provisions of this article.
B. 
The Town Board finds that employees providing services to the Town in capacities which would bring them in close proximity to children in the performance of their assigned duties are in sensitive positions. Accordingly, the health, safety and welfare of children using Town beaches, parks and playgrounds, as well as those attending camps and other Town-sponsored recreational and athletic programs would be best served by avoiding situations where registered sex offenders, if any, in the performance of their duties for the Town are placed in regular and/or repeated contact with such minors.
C. 
The Town Board further finds that while a person who has been convicted of a crime is not, by virtue of such conviction, unsuitable for employment, or unfit or unable to perform governmental functions and duties, one who is convicted of a sexual offense against a minor as provided in § 168-a(1), (2), (3), (7) and (8) of the New York State Correction Law, and any successor or applicable law, should not be assigned to places where children are expected to congregate because it exposes those children to an unreasonable risk of harm, and there is a direct relationship between the previous criminal offense and the nature of the employment sought. Further, in the opinion of the Board, the likelihood that a sex offender will repeat the offense may be increased if he or she is placed in a position where there is regular and repeated daily contact with children or children are in close proximity; and therefore, after due deliberation, the Town Board determines that the issuance of a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities cannot, under the circumstances, exempt such offenders from the provisions of this chapter.
D. 
For the foregoing reasons, the Town Board intends to exercise its authority pursuant to Article IX, § 2(c)(i) and (ii)(1) and (10) of the New York State Constitution, § 10(1)(ii)(a)(1) and (12) and (d)(3) of the Municipal Home Rule Law, § 64(22) and § 130(11) and (15) of the Town Law, Labor Law § 201-a, and any other applicable or successor law, presently in existence or hereinafter enacted, to protect and safeguard the lives and well-being of the community, and especially children from registered sexual predators while children are participating in Town-sponsored camps and other Town recreational or athletic programs, as well as while they are using our beaches, parks and playgrounds.
E. 
After careful consideration, the Town Board finds that this legislation is the most narrowly tailored means of limiting, to the fullest extent possible, the opportunity for registered sex offenders to approach or otherwise come in contact with children in places where children naturally congregate, and that the protection of our residents is a compelling and overriding governmental interest.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
EMPLOYEE
All persons who are compensated in whole or in part by the Town of Brookhaven for the service they perform, whether such compensation involves the payment of money or other non-monetary benefit or thing of value. For the purpose of this chapter, the term "employee" shall include "independent contractors" contracted to run programs or camps for the Department of Parks and Recreation.
SENSITIVE POSITION
Services rendered or duties performed for the Town of Brookhaven which would, in the regular course of performing such duties, require or place a person in close proximity to children on a regular or repeated basis while the children are attending camps or other Town-sponsored recreational and athletic programs, or while the beaches, parks and playgrounds where children congregate are open to the public.
A registered sex offender shall not be hired as an employee of the Town of Brookhaven to perform services in a sensitive position.
A. 
All applications for employment with the Town of Brookhaven which would, if accepted, involve placement in a sensitive position shall be forwarded by the Director of Personnel to the Director of Public Safety for screening to determine if such applicant is a registered sex offender.
B. 
The Director of Public Safety shall screen such persons by contacting the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, or other agency maintaining a database of individuals required to register pursuant to the provisions Article 6-C of the New York State Correction Law, or other applicable law, either telephonically or through the Division's website, to determine whether such person is listed as a sex offender. Any information collected by the Director of Public Safety shall be forwarded to the Director of Personnel, and upon a finding that said applicant is on the database as a sex offender, the Director of Personnel shall notify the applicant for employment that the application has been denied in writing and the reason for such denial.
The provisions of this article shall apply to new applications for employment filed on or after December 27, 2005, the effective date of this legislation. This legislation shall also apply to current employees who request or apply for new or different positions with the Town on or after the effective date of this legislation.
No person securing information from the Division of Criminal Justice Services, or other agency maintaining a database, shall use the information obtained to commit a crime against any person listed, or to engage in illegal discrimination or harassment against such person, and no information collected shall be disseminated for any purpose other than to notify the appropriate Town officials of the person's placement on the registry as a basis for the denial, unless required otherwise required by law.
A. 
Pursuant to § 168-r of the Correction Law, no official, employee or agency of the Town shall be subject to any civil or criminal liability for damage for any discretionary decision to release relevant and necessary information to other employees or officials pursuant to this chapter, or to the general public if required by law, unless it is shown that such official, employee or agency acted with gross negligence or in bad faith.
B. 
The Town of Brookhaven, its officers and employees shall not be subject to any liability for damages resulting from or suffered in connection with its failure to identify the placement of a prospective employee on the register of sex offenders. The Town's approval of a prospective employee for placement in a sensitive position is not a guarantee of the person's fitness to be in regular and repeated contact with children, or a guarantee that the person has, in fact, not been convicted of a criminal act involving a minor in this or any other state.
C. 
The Town of Brookhaven, its officers and employees shall not be subject to any liability for damages resulting from or suffered in connection with the failure of a registered sex offender to comply with the mandates of this chapter.