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COA to hear arguments in parks ban case

May 4, 2009

The Indiana Court of Appeals will hear arguments Tuesday in a sex-offender park ban case out of southern Indiana. Chief Judge John Baker and Judges Michael Barnes and Melissa May will hear Eric Dowdell v. City of Jeffersonville, No. 10A04-0811-CV-676 at 1:30 p.m. in the Court of Appeals courtroom in the Statehouse.
The issue is whether Jeffersonville can enforce an ordinance prohibiting anyone defined as a sex offender from ever having unrestricted access to their parks. The arguments will be webcast on the court's Web site.

This case is just one of several challenges around the state from sex offenders who object to being banned from public parks. In September 2008, the Court of Appeals upheld Plainfield's town ordinance banning sex offenders from parks. The appellate court in John Doe v. Town of Plainfield, No. 32A01-0803-CV-133, ruled the Indiana Constitution doesn't ensure a person's right to enter a public park, so local laws restricting sex offenders from entering a park aren't unconstitutional.

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