Megans Law Essay, Research Paper
Megan’s Law has had a profound effect on not only convicted sex offenders and prosecutors, but also on the community including real
estate brokers and apartment owners.
Megan’s Law is a collection of statutes that were passed in 1994 in response to the death of Megan Kanka, who was killed by a convicted sex
offender who lived across the street from her home. Two of the laws are collectively known as the
Registration and Community Notification Law (RCNL) and are composed of the:
1.Registration Law that requires certain sex offenders to register with law enforcement officials, and
2.Community Notification Law, which requires notification of the registrant’s presence in the community by the County Prosecutor.
The purpose of the RCNL is to assist law enforcement officials in apprehending sex offenders and enable communities to protect
themselves from such offenders.
What you should do: The law specifically directs licensees to refrain from making any inquiry as to whether registrants live on or near the
premises, and not to provide information on notifications from county prosecutors. The law also provides that licensees shall inform the
person making the inquiry that information about sex offenders is maintained by the county prosecutor. The insert the following in the
predominant size print in the document in all contracts and leases, prepared by licensees:
Lease Provision: Megan’s Law Statement: Under New Jersey law, the county prosecutor determines whether and how to provide notice of
the presence of convicted sex offenders in an area.
In their professional capacity, real estate licensees are not entitled to notification by the county prosecutor under Megan’s Law and are unable
to obtain such information for you. Upon closing, the county prosecutor may be contacted for such further information as may be
disclosable to you.
Consequently, the Megan’s Law Statement must be included in leases prepared by licensees. Although this same requirement might not be
applicable to property owners who are not licensees, it may be a wise business practice to include the statement in all leases based upon the
courts continued expansion of a landlord’s duty to his or her tenants.
Notification by order of the County Prosecutor only: Apartment owners should also keep in mind that, in most instances, an owner may
not be notified that a registrant (a convicted offender who has complied with the RCNL dual law) resides on or near the premises. Under
Megan’s Law, notification to tenants or to a property owner that a sex offender resides on or near the premises is determined by the
prosecutor’s office on a case by case basis and differs from municipality to municipality.
Simpson ,William F., “Megan’s Law ” Sex Offender and Notification Law”, Quarterly Comments Vol. 15, Issue 2 Summer 1997.
Firth ,Alison, ” Pros and Cons of Megan’s Law” Law: A Selection of Articles from EIPR Vol. 7 Issue 10, 1998.
Hoffman ,Walter E. “Tougher “Megan’s Law” Would Require Notification” San Diego Union-Tribune -September 07,1997.
Garner ,Bryan A (Editor), Blacks Law Dictionary , The West Group, Published 1996.
Freeman-Longo, R. E. .”Prevention or Problem?” Sexual Abuse: A
Journal of Research and Treatment, 1996..
Hansen, J.O. . Sexual Predators: Why Megan’s Law is Not Enough.
Atlanta Journal Constitution. June 10-12 -97.
Prentky, R.A. .Community Notification and Constructive Risk Reduction. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 1996.