Megan's Law is named for seven-year-old Megan Kanka of Hamilton Township, New Jersey. A convicted sex offender who lived across the street from Megan's family killed the girl. Her family was unaware of his past. In May 1996, a federal law was passed requiring that public law enforcement agencies register and disclose the addresses of convicted sex offenders. On July 1, 1996, Chapter 97.299, F.S., required that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) maintain an updated list of registered sexual predators in this state.
The law does not require that licensees disclose the addresses of convicted sex offenders. While the licensee could possibly be sued for failure to reveal such information, providing outdated or wrong information could also result in substantial liability. The FDLE cautions that positive identification of a person believed to be a sexual predator or sex offender cannot be established unless a fingerprint comparison is made.
Some licensees may wish to use a disclosure statement that recommends that buyers contact local law enforcement agencies for the information. Sample text may include the following:
Megan's Law Disclosure
Megan's Law is legislation designed to protect the public by notifying communities when a convicted sex offender moves into an area. Information including photos, identities, and addresses is available from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) at (850) 410-7000, or on the Internet at the site shown in the Web link below.
The buyer is encouraged to contact the FDLE for further information.
FDLE's List of Registered Sexual Predators: