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Thread: Campers on Sex Offenders List

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Northwest Michigan

    Default Campers on Sex Offenders List

    I recently became aware that one of my seasonal campers is a registered sex offender and has paid in full . As required by law, he has listed the campground address as his place of domicile during his stay. Being a family oriented campground, my first reaction was to politely return his money and cancel his booking. I have not taken any action yet. This brings up a number of questions. 1) How would you handle this situation. 2) As campground owners and managers, what liability would we have, if, God forbid, an incident were to take place with and/or without our knowledge of the campers status. 3) If there is exposure to liability, do we need to investigate each and every transitional, weekly, monthly or seasonal campers that we book. 4) Would these questions extend to people involved in domestic violence? Maybe I'm being overly paranoid but I feel this situation must be addressed. I'm sure this topic has been discussed somewhere in this forum. If so, please direct me to the discussion.

  2. #2


    That's a good question that I've never considered. As park management, you should have the right to refuse service to anyone. Our park rules specifically state:

    "Management reserves the right to require a guest to vacate the park at any time for any reason without notice."

    While it's not been invoked, one would assume that any management would be able to use that statement to remove a camper. However, there may be some legal liability that you would need to check out before taking action. For example, are you required to disclose to your campers that you may do a background check? While it may be public record to look up, what would the repercussions be if you acted on information you found publicly?

    I would suggest a conference with whatever legal staff you have, as well as perhaps checking with your local law enforcement or county/district attorney's office. They might be able to offer some area-specific guidance.
    Park Administrator
    Deer Creek Valley RV Park
    Topeka, KS

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Northwest Michigan

    Default Campers on Sex Offenders List

    Randy - Thank you for your input. This issue is a little more complicated than it seems on the surface. This may be a lengthy post but please bear with me as I feel it is an important topic and may benefit a number of park owners/managers. As a former Real Estate and Mortgage Broker I think back to the anti-discrimination and stigmatized property laws. We cannot discriminate for any reason however at the same time we must disclose known material facts that may affect the buyer or lessor of a property such as a murder/suicide, on a toxic waste dump, or active volcano or other such hazard. Because a registered sex offender lives next door to a property under consideration by a family with small children - is it our responsibility to disclose or a matter of "caveat emptor" ( let the buyer beware ). Personally, I would encourage them to investigate without actually accusing the neighbor of any wrongdoing. It is a legal liability vs. a moral call. As campground owners/managers, we are in a position similar to a landlord/tenant relationship. We are leasing and/or giving "license" to our guests for the use of our facilities for a specified period of time. Therefore are we subject to the same? This conversation could go on and on. Would you allow a known sex offender entry into a movie theatre showing a kids movie? I have contacted legal counsel on this matter and am awaiting a response. I will report back.

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