Florida Justice Institute (FJI), in partnership with Brevard County attorney Jessica J. Travis of DefendBrevard.com, filed a lawsuit challenging a Brevard County ordinance that prohibits people on the sex offender registry from attending County Commission meetings at the County Government Center in Viera, Florida. The ordinance prohibits the Plaintiffs, and all registered offenders, from being within 1000 feet of a school, daycare center, park, or playground. The County Government building is within 1000 feet of a school, and therefore the Plaintiffs are prohibited from entering the building to attend public meetings. The lawsuit alleges that this prohibition violates the Plaintiffs’ First Amendment right to free speech and to petition for redress of grievances, and also violates Florida’s Government in the Sunshine law by holding a public meeting that is not fully open to the public. Plaintiffs are also seeking an immediate preliminary injunction to end enforcement of the unconstitutional ordinance so they are permitted to attend future meetings.
As a result of our lawsuit, the ordinance has been amended, and now people on the sex offender registry can attend County Commission meetings and access their government representatives.”