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Registrant and Family Request Injunction to Stop Simi Valley Halloween Law

A registrant and his family filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction (PI) in federal court late yesterday in order to stop a Halloween Ordinance in Simi Valley from being enforced. The ordinance requires registrants to post a sign on the front door of their home on Halloween as well as prohibits registrants from participating in Halloween activities including decorating their homes.

“After the lawsuit was filed, city officials have admitted that they have enforced the Halloween Ordinance for the past five years despite a judge’s ruling and a written promise that they would not,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “The City’s unlawful acts must be stopped.”

In addition, the court has transferred the lawsuit to U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson who granted a Temporary Restraining Order in a similar case in 2012. In that TRO, the judge stated that the City’s requirement that registrants place a sign on the front of their home violates the First Amendment because it constitutes compelled speech and “poses a danger to sex offenders, their families and their property….its function and effect is likely to approximate that of Hawthorne’s Scarlet letter — ….potentially subjecting them to dangerous mischief common on Halloween night and to community harassment in the weeks and months following.”

Also in the TRO, the judge ruled that “the public interest is not served — indeed, it is undermined — by enforcement of an unconstitutional law singling out a discrete, outcast group to speak in such a way that their persons, property, and loved ones may be endangered. Because the impact on the public of enjoining this section of the Halloween Ordinance is likely to be negligible, the Court finds that a temporary restraining order is in the public interest.”

Join the discussion

  1. Edie

    Janice, what recourse do registrants have that have been told to stay in their home from 5pm on Halloween to 5am the following morning? Talk about singling out a group of people!

    • AJ

      This would be a restriction on one’s fundamental right to freedom of movement. As such, it’s subject to strict scrutiny.
      —–
      As for the SV ordinance, it does not specifically prohibit one from handing out candy. So what if I:
      1. post the sign using the criteria of the ordinance, but print it in very low contrast,
      2. turn off all lights, or perhaps use a Coleman lantern–which is neither residential, nor decorative, nor ornamental,
      3. sit in a lawn chair on my walk or stoop to avoid answering the door to anyone, let alone “children who are trick or treating.”*

      I would be fully compliant with the ordinance, and using case law, the City cannot say there’s more to it than what is written.

      *Incidentally, how is one to know whether it’s kids at the door, or someone else? Depending on one’s floor plan, it may not be possible to know until opening the door–and thus be in violation of the ordinance.

      • Edie

        He’s on parole and wasn’t told if it is a city or county ordinance. While I’m not new to ASCOL or CARSOL, we’re new to experiencing these restrictions. Thankful for the networking and help we can get on this site.

        • Chris F

          It’s like AJ says, but if it’s probation or parole requiring it then you have to do it until you are off parole or probation and it isn’t worth fighting. I’ve done it, and it’s expensive and time consuming and may annoy your P.O. and make other things more difficult.

          You can fight conditions of probation or parole when “absent a
          showing of a reasonable relationship between a release condition and
          the purposes of release, the abridgement of a fundamental right will
          not be tolerated”

          Read this and all footnotes to get a good idea of rights on probation/parole and how to fight them:

          http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2566&context=dlj

        • AJ

          @Edie:
          With it being while under supervision–especially parole–I would not mess with it one bit. It’s one night a year, and I’m guessing from maybe midnight to 5 AM one would probably be home and indoors anyway. So really, it’s a dispute about 7 hours out of one day.

          The idea is to bore the PO to death with compliance, humility and kindness. If you start pushing back on something “minor” (to the PO) like this, it only draws attention. Remember, the last thing you want to do is give a bureaucrat a reason to act.

    • KM

      Parole or probation? You can’t do anything.

  2. FRegistryTerrorists

    Simply because the Nanny Big Government (NBG) S*x Offender Registries exist, if you are listed on them and are not on probation or parole, you have an American and moral obligation to go out of your way to be around random children as often as possible, completely anonymously. It is trivial to do, of course. And coincidentally that is pretty much how normal people live so it should be exactly what you are doing.

    On Halloween, you should do whatever you want, as long as it is legal. Personally, I like to go driving around random neighborhoods far from where I live and enjoy the decorations and such. If you have younger children, you could take them trick-or-treating. Do it far from where you live if you prefer.

    If some criminal regime tell you that you must do anything, you should tell them to go F themselves. Remind them that they are in America and that Americans are going to end their kind. Control freaks who love NBG need to be neutralized, ostracized, and pushed out of society. No American can care about them. Let them move to a crappy country where they will fit in better. Sue the criminal regimes if you have a case. Take any resources that you can away from them.

  3. Http404

    As a Simi Valley resident subject to compliance of the ordinance I am appalled. Was one of the original plaintiffs who fought against this on behalf of my spouse and my children who were unlawfully subjected to it by familial affiliation. We are a rather religious family, so we don’t really celebrate or decorate for this “pagan” holiday. But the sign outside our property the city required was beyond acceptable and caused great anxiety and fear among my wife and children.

    While the TRO ensured we would not be required to post a sign outside our residence, over the past 5 years since it’s passing I have deliberately left town and vacationed in other locations so that my family would not be subject to the other provisions of this bull crap ordinance. The ordinance can only be applied to me. In my absence my family is free to do what they want on Halloween. But it saddens me that I am compelled under law to spend time away from my family during a holiday, pagan as it may be, so that they may enjoy their lives without restriction, because a law was passed that infringed on their ability to do so based upon the past transgression of someone who lives in their household.

    • Janice Bellucci

      Http404 – Please contact me directly to discuss your situation. Thank you.

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