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CaliforniaGeneral News

Sex offender residential requirements unconstitutional, court rules [updated with Court Decision]

A blanket restriction prohibiting sex offenders from living near places where children congregate is unconstitutional, a state appellate court ruled Wednesday, throwing a surprising wrench into a popular law. The decision by Division 1 of the 4th District Court of Appeal concerns the 2006 ballot measure known as Jessica’s Law, which barred registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park.

The court said the across-the-board enforcement of that restriction as a condition of parole violates offenders’ constitutional rights. While the decision applies specifically to San Diego County, it could have sweeping ramifications across the state. Full Article

By Emily Green – Daily Journal Staff Writer

Details about the case

The actual Court Decision

Join the discussion

  1. USA

    This is truly great news. I can only hope now that Cities take notice of this. I do have to say. If Jessica’s law was ruled unconstitutional, I can only imagine how requiring someone to post signs in front of their homes on Halloween can be deemed? Its a sign of the times. Truly. We presently have High Risk offenders wearing ankle braclets and both their faces, names and addresses are online? I think enough is enough.

  2. Kathy G.

    This is great news! I hope it is just step one to stop the hysterical passage of unconstitutional, ineffective, and often unenforcable laws.

  3. Mad Mom

    This is so encouraging. I hope this is the start of good things to come for ALL of California’s registrants!

  4. Jeff

    This is probably not the place to post this but it needs to be posted. In 1989 I was wrongfully convicted of molestation in a case that stemmed from a child custody battle. I can go on and on about the case and the ramifications it has had on my life but that is not why I am posting this. After all I have been through I find it unbearable to think that it is now effecting my children’s lives. In North Korea there are children and grand children that have been born in prison and stay in prison for crimes that their grand parents are alleged to have committed against the state. When my son came home from 3rd grade and was ridiculed by classmates because of me that was the last straw. They should not be punished for something they have no control over. They are being denied the chance to have a normal childhood and I’m positive it will effect their mental outlook in the future. That is why I am posting this. There needs to be a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of the children. They need to stop being punished for crimes they had nothing to do with!

  5. John M

    I for one, am completely confused as to how this law has stayed on the books for as long as it did! I am confused as to whether it was “retroactive” (to those who had to register BEFORE 11/2006!). Since it is only a “State Appellate Court” that has positively ruled on this law, does this mean the law can now NOT be enforced in the “4th Appellate Court” District, or can an injunction from further enforcement of it be further granted?

  6. Anthony Jones

    A LAWSUIT IS DESPERTLY NEEDED TO BE FILED AGAINST THE HOMELESS SHELTERS IN SAN DIEGO CA.!

    San Diego CA. is the only city on the entire west coast that will not alloow RSO entry into homelsss shelters under jessicaa law!

    Is there any one with any kind of legal knowledge, A San Diego Sex offender reform group “Americans Against Megans Law insanity” http://www.aami.tk is seeking legal help in filing a lawsuit againsts the homeless shelters in San Diego
    TONY

  7. Janice Bellucci

    Thank you ALL for your comments. According to what I have been told, there are homeless shelters throughout the state of California that deny assistance to all registrants. I do not understand why this is happening and would appreciate input from others on this topic. Litigation is a last resort on this and other topics as well.

  8. Proud wife of a Sex Offender

    The link to the story in the news is broken.

  9. Stephen Cheung

    FSO’s also can not get a small business loan. I have not seen any tax credit for this on my tax return forms.

  10. Ted Bargas

    So you all think that a child molester on parole should be allowed to live next to a school or a park where the temptation is increased. Most child molesters have a disease and should not be anywhere near a park or school PERIOD! Heaven forbid the government look out for your children. Lets see if you all feel the same way about it if your child is molested!

    • J

      Ted, you are exactly the ignorant, emotional angry victim of fear mongering politicians who have driven exaggerated and inaccurate statistics into your soft brain. Having no apparent sense of self, you have obviously not done the research to unearth the unpleasant truth that would set your mind at ease. The penalty phase of any crime is in the sentencing and guidelines established by the courts as framed by the legislature. Each case stands on its own merit and offenders are sentenced according to the parameters of the crime(s) they commit. The law you envision is a chaotic, frenzy driven application that has apparently not noticed that the offender has served his sentence and the unconstitutionality of ex post fact and tyranny of the majority protections. Lucky for you ignorance and chaos are the majority so you should at least feel at home among the mob. If you believe the rhetoric these fear mongering politicians spew, that is your business. But at least have the courage to admit that you are a victim of this propaganda. In the meantime, go out and buy a hard hat and a steel umbrella as the sky is apparently falling in your world and leave the constitution and due process to others more capable and willing to stand up to fear mongers and liars. The school is the constitution and you are the class dunce.

  11. VSPSV(S?)

    Ted, many of us are registrants because yes our child was molested. For me I was molested by 10 individuals and abused physically by law enforcement and my friend sexually. I have already reaped what I sowed and for me no one will ever have to reap what they sowed against me; as well as for my friend. Do you really think I should sit in silence and be expected to reap what you and others have sown? No way because this is only abuse and trust me I know. I have been there and back in this life, a thing that you can only imagine; except your imagination is elsewhere, misguided and misinformed. There may come a day that we meet after I save your child from harm’s way, what would you say them?

  12. JM

    My oh My Ted, how uneducated you are. Most people on our registry are not “child molesters” Where in the world did you get that information? The media? The politicians? Most of us felt the same way you do, until the nightmare happens to someone you know or love. Remember, all it takes is an accusation or being caught in the back seat with a girlfriend under 18. Many, many of our men, fathers, grandfathers, would be on the registry today, if we had these laws on the books years ago.
    Yes, unfortunately there are a small amount of people who have harmed a “child” most are mentally ill, and most are incarcerated for a long time, if not for life.
    Let’s not confuse those who committed a minor offense, with those accused of a murder. Most that are released, are not a danger to society. Offenses range from peeing in a public place, to having sex with their girlfriends. Some are innocent. Many committed an offense 30, 40, years ago, and have lived crime free. Most (95%) of new offenses are committed by those not on the registry. For those being released, most have children, families, and homes. And they need a stable place to live with a support system. Stability and support make us all safer. We need to educate the public and our children, not find ways to incarcerate 100,000 people in our state!

    They can’t find housing, can’t get jobs, have hundreds of restrictions, are monitored, and have served their punishment. More than 400 have been murdered.
    95% of offenses against children happen in the child’s home, not near a park or school. Learn the facts, not the myths.

  13. Derek

    I’m so glad I found this website. I was wondering if anyone can help me and my wife and daughter. I’ve been on parole for 3 years now as a low risk offender but I can’t seem to get approval to live with my wife and my daughter. Is there anyone that can help me in my situation? If someone can direct me in the right direction I would really appreciated

  14. mr b

    in response to Ted
    The following are just some of the offenses in California which will get a person on the Sex Offender Registry for life, and cause them to be a “sex offender”, unable to go to a park, school, or place where children congregate, or to give out trick-or-treats on Halloween, and which may ban them from attending school functions, will require them to register with the police yearly, will require they register with the college police if they attend a college class, may ban them from entering a library, fishing off some piers, attending theme parks with grandchildren, which may require they not live in a home they own, require them to register with the police yearly and always carry the registration card on their person, necessitate them notifying the police if the go on a vacation to another city or state:

    A 19 year old who has consenting sex with his 16 year old girl friend
    A 50 year old married man, who, when he was 19 was seen and arrested for having his hand on his 16 year old girl friends butt as they walk around town, and is now married to that girl, and has children and grandchildren
    A woman who flashed truck drivers by lifting her top as she drove by them
    A man who is drunk in public and urinates in public
    A man who has sex with his wife on the beach at night, and is seen by someone.
    A man who pulls off the side of the road to urinate and is seen by others
    A man or woman who goes skinny dipping at night at the beach and is seen
    A 19 year old man who receives a nude picture of his 16 year old fiancé.

  15. mr b

    And more for Ted because it did not all fit above

    An adult who moons another adult
    An adult who “streaks”

    Please notice that NONE of the offenses involve molesting children.

  16. upset wife

    I too was once someone who thought all sex offenders must have done something terrible to be labeled like some kind of animal. my husband was charged with rape in the 3rd degree, because the state he grew up in didn’t have a statutory rape. either way, he was convinced by his girlfriend of 2 yrs that she was pregnant. despite what her parents had asked of him and her not to continue to see each other becuz he turned 18 the previous winter. he stayed to do the right thing by the child he and her made. come to find out after her parents caught them again she wasn’t pregnant, and now my husband is paying for the rest of his life for a misdomeaner charge of contributing sex and deliguency of a minor. 2 yrs later the states attorney came after him for rape in the 3rd degree cuz he plead quilty to the first charge only reason he plead guilty was because his lawyer told him he wouldn’t have to register as a sex offender and only 2 yrs unsupervised probation come to find out he had to obviously had to register and was on max supervised probation. now that begin said i met him didn’t know his history. he is a kind, gentle hard working family man. who will get smacked down by everyone he comes in contact with in a professional matter. he can’t go to college because he cant go on campus, he cant go to our kids school if he as to pick them up from being sick or go to their plays. all because he was love struck over a girl he met a church youth camp? seriously our world is already judgemental because of the way we look or choose to live on the other side of the tracks cuz it’s cheaper and we can do more things as a family and not tryin to keep up with the jones. if anyone has some advice for us please we will gladly take anything that might change how “we” as a family are treated.

  17. Michael

    I’m still unclear: Does Jessica’s law apply to people who must currently register, though were not on parole, but only on county probation for more minor offenses? Even if that probation was over before it was enacted?

  18. Painted Bird

    Basically, I do not think it should matter what you did. You should be sentenced once and only once for a crime. Anything else is a diminishing of the authority of the US constitution. To be punished for a mistake is justice. To be be punished repeatedly for the same mistake is injustice. Anyway, it feels good to comment on things that have been on my mind. Now it is time to give to the soldiers fighting for us. I am submitting my donation.I suggested others who have not , give something.

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