HAYLEY FOWLER – A group of registered sex offenders in Western North Carolina say the sheriff forced them to check in with local law enforcement or face arrest on Halloween night in 2019.
Now they’re suing.
At least 11 men and the nonprofit group North Carolinians for Rational Sex Offender Laws accused Cherokee County and Sheriff Derrick Palmer of violating their constitutional rights in a lawsuit moved to federal court Wednesday. The case was originally filed in state court in early October but defense attorneys opted to change venues, citing issues related to federal case law.
Attorneys for the offenders, defense attorneys and a representative for Cherokee County and the sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment Thursday.
The lawsuit seeks $5 million in damages and a jury trial, according to court filings.
According to the website of the North Carolinians for Rational Sex Offender Laws, the group was created in 2016 as an affiliate of a national chapter and advocates for “legal reforms that will protect and restore (sex offenders’) fundamental rights to life and liberty.”