The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has upheld a judge's decision to invalidate a local law that severely restricts where sex offenders can live in the city of Lynn. The ruling makes similar laws unenforceable around the state.

The Lynn ordinance said Level 2 and 3 sex offenders couldn’t live within 1,000 feet of a school or park. That shut them out of almost all of the city's residential properties.

Matthew Segal, legal director for the ACLU of Massachusetts, which represented the class action group of sex offenders who were the plaintiffs in the case, says the high court’s ruling, that the local ordinance is inconsistent with state law, actually makes the public more safe.

“State law seeks to protect public safety by monitoring offenders and making certain information available about them," Segal said. "Local residency restrictions undermine that state system by forcing sex offenders into homelessness, which makes them harder to find, and also undermines their rehabilitation."

At least forty cities and towns around the state have similar sex offender residency restrictions, which are no longer enforceable. An attorney for the city of Lynn says it’s now up to the state legislature to make it clear if their intent in the state law was to allow municipalities to enforce their own rules for sex offenders.