Town of Mansfield, MA
Bristol County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Mansfield 5-19-2015 ATM by Art. 21. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
The purpose and intent of this bylaw is in keeping with the understanding that sex offenders classified as Level 2 or 3 pose a moderate to high risk of reoffense. By imposing guidelines to potential residents and sex offenders, it promotes transparency throughout the community and acknowledges that those who are at highest risk are children, the elderly, and the disabled.
B. 
The goal is to mitigate any potential risk of harm to those who may be the most likely to be victimized by deterring the movement of those who present the greatest risk to the locations of potential victims.
C. 
The Massachusetts sex offender registry law was first enacted in 1996. After a series of five cases at the Supreme Judicial Court level [Doe v. Attorney General(s), 1997, 1997, 1997, 1998, 1999], it was determined by the State Legislature that the law should be amended to reflect the rulings. In 1999, the Massachusetts State Legislature amended the state's sex offender registry to reflect the due process issues presented in the preceding five cases and create the process that we find today being utilized. This process has emerged unchanged over the preceding decade despite numerous legal challenges due to the changes made in 1999.
D. 
This bylaw is presented with the careful consideration given to the important and difficult process of classification of sex offenders. The process is found under MGL c. 6, § 178, as well as 803 CMR 1.00. The procedural system that is currently in place is the result of numerous legal challenges and legislative amendments. It includes a five-step process to satisfy due process checks and balances. The process of registration is one that begins with a written preregistration, then includes a board-recommended classification which the offender may accept or on which the offender may request a full administrative hearing, and ultimately a right to appeal said hearing result to the Superior Court for judicial review. It is with these numerous safeguards and due process opportunities in place that this bylaw is presented for consideration.
E. 
Attached for consideration is a map of the community which is subject to change per the regulations recommended herein over time.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The referenced map is on file in the Town offices.
This bylaw shall incorporate by reference the definitions set forth in MGL c. 6, § 178, as well as 803 CMR 1.03 where applicable.
CAMP BUS STOP
Any area designated by a private/public youth camp as a camp bus stop which has been designated in a list maintained by the Town and available to the public.
DAY-CARE CENTER
An establishment, whether public or private, which provides care for children and is registered with and licensed pursuant to the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by the Department of Early Education and Care.
ELDER or ELDERLY
A person or persons over 60 years of age. "Elderly housing facility" or "senior citizens center" or "over 55 community" means any building or buildings which provide a group residence for the elderly or a location where the elderly gather and/or reside that is located within the Town of Mansfield.
ESTABLISHING A RESIDENCE
To set up or bring into being a dwelling place or an abode where a person sleeps, which may include more than one location, and may be mobile or transitory, or by means of purchasing real property or entering into a lease or rental agreement for real property.
LOITERING
To remain for more than 15 minutes within a five-hundred-foot distance of the location in question.
PARK
Active and passive public land designated for recreational or athletic use by the Town of Mansfield and located within the Town of Mansfield.
PERMANENT RESIDENCE
A place where a person lives, abides, lodges, or resides for five or more consecutive days or 14 or more days in the aggregate during any calendar year.
RECREATIONAL FACILITY
A playground, a forest preserve, conservation area, jogging trail or running track, hiking or biking trail, beach, water park, swimming pool, wading pool, soccer field, baseball field, football field, basketball court or hockey rink, whether publicly or privately owned, to which the public has a right of access as an invitee and which is located within the Town of Mansfield.
SCHOOL
Any public or private educational facility that provides services to children, including but not limited to, preschools, grades kindergarten through 12, or any one or more of such grades.
SCHOOL BUS STOP
Any area designated by the public school district or by a private or parochial school within the Town of Mansfield as a school bus stop, which school bus stop has been designated in a list maintained by the Town and available to the public.
SEX OFFENDER and SEX OFFENSE
Shall have the same meaning for purposes of this bylaw as provided for in MGL c. 6, § 178C.
SEX OFFENSE INVOLVING A CHILD
Shall have the same meaning for purposes of this bylaw as provided for in MGL c. 6, § 178C.
TEMPORARY RESIDENCE
A place where a person lives, abides, lodges or resides for a period of less than five consecutive days or 14 days in the aggregate during any calendar year.
It is unlawful for any sex offender who has been finally classified as a Level 2 or 3 offender pursuant to the guidelines of the Sex Offender Registry Board, for as long as so classified, to establish a permanent residence or temporary residence in the Town of Mansfield within 1,000 feet of the property on which any public or private school, park, playground, beach, biking/hiking trail, other recreational facility, elderly housing facility, over 55 community, senior citizens center, or licensed day-care center is located.
For purposes of determining the minimum distance requirement, the separation shall be measured by following a straight line from the outer property line of the permanent residence to the nearest outer property line of any public or private school, park, playground, beach, biking/hiking trail, other recreational facility, elderly housing facility, over 55 community, senior citizens center, or licensed day-care center.
Any sex offender who has been finally classified as a Level 2 or 3 offender pursuant to the guidelines of the Sex Offender Registry Board, for as long as so classified, who establishes a permanent residence or temporary residence in the Town of Mansfield within 1,000 feet of any public or private school, park, playground, beach, biking/hiking trail, other recreational facility, elderly housing facility, over 55 community, senior citizens center, or licensed day-care center shall be in violation of this bylaw and shall, within 30 days of receipt of written notice of the sex offender's noncompliance with this bylaw, move from said location to a new location, but said location may not be within 1,000 feet of any public or private school, park, playground, beach, biking/hiking trail, other recreational facility, elderly housing facility, over 55 community, senior citizens center, or licensed day-care center within the Town of Mansfield. Furthermore, it shall be a separate violation each day that a sex offender does not move after the expiration of the time given or if the sex offender should move from one location in the Town of Mansfield to another that is within 1,000 feet of any public or private school, park, playground, beach, biking/hiking trail, other recreational facility, elderly housing facility, over 55 community, senior citizens center, or licensed day-care center.
A person residing within 1,000 feet of any public or private school, park, playground, beach, biking/hiking trail, other recreational facility, elderly housing facility, over 55 community, senior citizens center, or licensed day-care center does not commit a violation of this bylaw if any of the following apply:
A. 
The person established the permanent residence and reported and registered the residence, as required by the Sex Offender Registry Law and any applicable regulations of the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board, prior to the effective date of this bylaw, and:
(1) 
Permanent residence was established by purchasing the real property where the residence is established, as long as the registered sex offender continues to reside in and does not move to another restricted location in Mansfield different from the permanent residence established prior to the effective date of this bylaw;
(2) 
Permanent residence was established through a valid, fixed-term, written and/or oral lease or rental agreement, executed prior to the effective date of this bylaw, as long as the registered sex offender continues to reside within and does not move to another restricted location in Mansfield different from the permanent residence established prior to the effective date of this bylaw; or
(3) 
Permanent residence was established through a written and/or oral lease or rental agreement at the will of the landlord, as long as the registered sex offender continues to reside within and does not move to another restricted location in Mansfield different from the permanent residence established prior to the effective date of this bylaw.
B. 
The person was a minor when the relevant crime was committed and was not convicted as an adult.
C. 
The person is a minor.
D. 
The public or private school, park, playground, beach, biking/hiking trail, other recreational facility, elderly housing facility, over 55 community, senior citizens center, or licensed day-care center was established after such person established the permanent residence and reported and registered the residence pursuant to the Sex Offender Registry Law and any applicable regulations of the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board.
E. 
The person is required to serve a sentence at a jail, prison, juvenile facility, or other correctional institution or facility located within the aforementioned one-thousand-foot area.
F. 
The person is admitted to and/or subject to an order of commitment at a public or private facility for the care and treatment of mentally ill persons pursuant to MGL c. 123 located within the aforementioned one-thousand-foot area.
G. 
The person is a mentally ill person subject to guardianship pursuant to order or supervision of the Probate and Family Court or a mentally retarded person subject to guardianship pursuant to state law, residing with their guardian or residing within a group residence that is professionally staffed and supervised 24 hours a day and located within the aforementioned one-thousand-foot area.
If, either after the effective date of this bylaw or after a new public or private school, park, playground, beach, biking/hiking trail, other recreational facility, elderly housing facility, over 55 community, senior citizens center, or licensed day-care center opens, an indictment or conviction of another sex offense is issued by a court against a Level 2 or 3 sex offender otherwise enjoying an exception under this bylaw, they shall immediately forfeit that exception and be required to comply with this bylaw.
A. 
Criminal complaint. Violation of the residency provisions of this bylaw may be enforced by criminal complaint filed by any police officer of the Town of Mansfield. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate violation. The fine for each violation, upon conviction, shall be $300.
B. 
Noncriminal disposition. In addition to enforcement by criminal complaint, violation of the residency provisions of this bylaw may be enforced through any lawful means in law or in equity by any police officer of the Town of Mansfield, including, but not limited to, enforcement by noncriminal disposition pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 21D. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate violation. The penalties for noncriminal disposition shall be as follows:
(1) 
First offense: notification to offender that they have 30 days to move.
(2) 
Subsequent offense: noncriminal fine of $300, enforceable by a police officer, and written notification to the property owner, if other than the offender, the offender's landlord, parole officer and/or probation officer, and the Commonwealth's Sex Offender Registry Board that the sex offender has violated a Town bylaw. Additionally, any other penalties may apply as the law permits.
A. 
Prohibitions.
(1) 
A sex offender who has been finally classified as a Level 2 or 3 offender pursuant to the guidelines of the Sex Offender Registry Board, and for as long as so classified, is prohibited from entering upon the premises of a school or day-care center unless previously authorized specifically in writing by the school administration or day-care center owner.
(2) 
A sex offender who has been finally classified as a Level 2 or 3 offender pursuant to the guidelines of the Sex Offender Registry Board, and for as long as so classified, is prohibited from entering upon the premises of an elderly housing facility, over 55 community or senior citizens center, unless previously authorized in writing by the on-site manager of the elderly housing facility, over 55 community or senior citizens center.
(3) 
A sex offender who has been finally classified as a Level 2 or 3 offender pursuant to the guidelines of the Sex Offender Registry Board, and for as long as so classified, is prohibited from entering upon the premises of a park or any recreational facility.
(4) 
A sex offender who has been finally classified as a Level 2 or 3 offender pursuant to the guidelines of the Sex Offender Registry Board, and for as long as so classified, after having received notice from the Mansfield Police Department that they are loitering by having remained for more than 15 minutes within 500 feet of a public or private school, park, playground, beach, biking/hiking trail, other recreational facility, elderly housing facility, over 55 community, senior citizens center, or licensed day-care center, is prohibited from continuing to so loiter. For purposes of determining the minimum distance separation under this section, the distance shall be measured by following a straight line from the registered sex offender to the outer property line of the public or private school, park, playground, beach, biking/hiking trail, other recreational facility, elderly housing facility, over 55 community, senior citizens center, or licensed day-care center.
(5) 
A sex offender who has been finally classified as a Level 2 or 3 offender pursuant to the guidelines of the Sex Offender Registry Board, and for as long as so classified, after having received notice from the Mansfield Police Department that they are loitering by having remained for more than 15 minutes within 500 feet of a school and/or camp bus stop which has been designated in a list maintained by the Town and available to the public, is prohibited from continuing to so loiter; provided, however, that this prohibition shall not apply on days when the schools and/or camps within the Town of Mansfield are not in session.
B. 
Exceptions.
(1) 
The prohibitions defined in this bylaw shall not be construed or enforced so as to prohibit a sex offender from exercising their right to vote in any federal, state or municipal election, conducting Town and/or police business or from attending any religious service.
(2) 
The prohibitions defined in this bylaw do not apply to a sex offender's place of residence when such residence is exempted under this bylaw.
C. 
Penalties.
(1) 
Criminal complaint. Violation of the safety zone provisions of this bylaw may be enforced by criminal complaint filed by any police officer of the Town of Mansfield. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate violation. The fine for each violation, upon conviction, shall be $300.
(2) 
Noncriminal disposition. In addition to enforcement by criminal complaint, violation of the safety zone provisions of this bylaw may be enforced through any lawful means in law or in equity by any police officer of the Town of Mansfield, including, but not limited to, enforcement by noncriminal disposition pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 21D. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate violation. The penalties for noncriminal disposition shall be as follows:
(a) 
First offense: noncriminal fine of $150, enforceable by an Mansfield police officer.
(b) 
Subsequent offense: noncriminal fine of $300, enforceable by a Mansfield police officer, and written notification to the offender's parole officer and/or probation officer, and the Commonwealth's Sex Offender Registry Board that the sex offender has violated a Town bylaw.
One or more maps depicting the prohibited residency restriction areas defined by this bylaw and depicting the safety zone areas defined by this bylaw shall be created by the Town and maintained by the Mansfield Police Department. A written list describing the prohibited areas defined by this bylaw, including school and/or camp bus stops, shall be created by the Town and maintained by the Mansfield Police Department. As to school and/or camps bus stops, the list shall govern over the maps. The list, maps and a copy of this bylaw shall be available to the public at the Mansfield Police Department, the Mansfield Town Clerk's office and on the Town of Mansfield website. The Town shall review the list and maps annually for changes.
If any portion of this bylaw is deemed by a court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional or otherwise invalid or unenforceable, such judgment shall not impair or invalidate or render unenforceable the remaining portions of this bylaw.