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Lawsuit filed over sex offender ordinance

Sex offender ordinances have been a topic of discussion for many cities recently.

Just last month, a judge ruled against Pleasant Prairie's ordinance, saying it was too restrictive and therefore unconstitutional.

Sex offender ordinances are now being challenged in four other cities in our area.

The most recent, Milwaukee, where a lawsuit was filed this morning. The lawyers behind these cases spoke only to CBS 58.

Today's lawsuit against the city of Milwaukee is the 5th filed by these attorneys in the last year in Wisconsin. There are also lawsuits against the town of Yorkville, the city of Waukesha, and the city of Kenosha.

The Chicago-based attorneys say they don't seek out their clients, they're referred by the group "Illinois Voice for Reform."

The attorneys said the lawsuit says several of the municipalities are violating the 14th amendment and they say the restrictions on sex offenders lead to homelessness for many of their clients. Each lawsuit is drafted differently but they say the overall focus is the same - fighting for a normal life within society for their clients.

Currently, the state of Wisconsin does not have a uniform sex offender ordinance, leaving it up to municipalities.

"I hope that more people will become open minded to the reality that these laws are not rational and they are not helping to improve public safety. I hope the state of Wisconsin will step in and pass some uniform law."

When it comes to the city of Milwaukee, the attorneys estimate there is less than 5% of available land for offenders to live, based on the current ordinance.

However, there is still some uncertainty as to specific distances a municipality can restrict.

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