The City of Simi Valley is prohibited from enforcing a requirement that sex offenders post a sign on the front door of their homes on Halloween this year, according to a decision by federal district court judge Percy Anderson. The decision will allow the city to prohibit sex offenders from decorating their homes and answering the door to trick-or-treaters as well as require them to leave off all exterior lighting.
“We are pleased with the judge’s decision to prohibit the City of Simi Valley from requiring registrants to post a sign on the front door of their homes,” stated Janice Bellucci, President, California Reform Sex Offender Laws. “This requirement, if enforced, would have branded registrants and placed them as well as members of their families at significant risk of harm.”
The City of Simi Valley now faces the burden of notifying registrants of the judge’s decision before the ordinance goes into effect on October 31 at 12:01 a.m.
“Uniformed employees of the Simi Valley Police Department delivered in person notices of the requirements of the Halloween ordinance to all registrants in the city, even those who are not required to comply with the ordinance,” stated Bellucci. “We believe that the City is required to deliver notices of the judge’s decision in the same manner.”
In the court’s decision, Judge Anderson ruled that “(p)laintiffs have…made a clear showing that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their facial challenge to the sign posting requirement of the Halloween Ordinance and that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm absent a temporary restraining order.”
The decision also states 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.” The decision further states that “the impact on the public of enjoining this section of the Halloween ordinance is likely to be negligible.”
In addition to the TRO, there are two motions pending in this case. The first of those motions was filed by the plaintiff’s attorney and would, in effect, protect the anonymity of the plaintiffs. A hearing on this motion is scheduled on November 19. The second motion was filed the by the city’s attorney and is a motion to dismiss the entire case. A hearing on this motion is scheduled on November 26.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
California Reform Sex Offender Laws
Janice Bellucci, President
8721 Santa Monica Blvd., #855
Los Angeles, CA 90069
October 29, 2012