The East Valley Tribune reported that a Chandler, AZ man is threatening a $200,000 defamation suit against the City of Chandler and the Chandler Police Department for erroneously notifying his neighbors that a registered sex offender was living in his home.
Apparently Kurtis Hamady, an acquaintance and convicted sex offender, listed Chad Tow’s address as his own.
Naturally, Mr. Tow is a wee bit miffed.
Most people seem to appreciate the sex offender registries. (Though if you read the comments in this post I made last August, clearly not everyone is enamored with sex offender registries.)
Mr. Tow’s situation however, certainly demonstrates one of the problems that these types of “public disclosure systems” can create.
All I know is what is printed in the Tribune piece. From that, it seems fairly easy to draw a conclusion that a better address verification system needs to be in place.
Many people are under the impression that home sellers in Arizona have to disclose the fact that a registered sex offender lives near them.
This is not the case.
Please note: By law, sellers are not obligated to disclose that the property is or has been: (1) the site of a natural death, suicide, homicide, or any other crime classified as a felony; (2) owned or occupied by a person exposed to HIV, or diagnosed as having AIDS or any other disease not known to be transmitted through common occupancy of real estate; or (3) located in the vicinity of a sex offender. However, the law does not protect a seller who makes an intentional misrepresentation. For example, if you are asked whether there has been a death on the property and you know that there was such a death, you should not answer “no” or “I don’t know”; instead you should either answer truthfully or respond that you are not legally required to answer the question.
So, if it concerns you that a registered sex offender may be living near a home you are purchasing, do not rely on the seller to tell you! As with anything, you should perform your “due diligence” and check this out yourself.
You can search for registered sex offenders in Arizona at this site: State of Arizona Sex Offender InfoCenter (note, the site I mentioned in last August’s post linked above appears to be off-line).
If you are not in Arizona, you can probably find your states sex offender registry by Googling “Statename sex offender registry”. Or find your state’s link on this site (I have not confirmed that all 50 links work..)