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ACSOLCaliforniaGeneral News

Court Grants Partial Temporary Restraining Order In Challenge to Halloween Ordinance

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.

#   #   #

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

California Reform Sex Offender Laws
Janice Bellucci, President
8721 Santa Monica Blvd., #855
Los Angeles, CA   90069
(805) 896-7854

 

 


October 29, 2012

Join the discussion

  1. JM

    Janice, Congratulations! We will keep on moving forward. This ruling encourages us with that of hope.

  2. http404

    While the restraining order does not block all provisions of the ordinance, this is a big sigh of relief for registrants and their family members in Simi Valley who believed they were at risk of harm because of the sign, which made them potential targets for vandalism or vigilantism. Perhaps with patience and perseverance, our families may be able to enjoy a “normal” Halloween next year.

  3. Get your Rights

    congrats to all. this is a agreat news. thanks to members of RSOL. we will keep donating and you do the job. your good job is backed by 100000 RSOs who are strugling to have a normal life. thanks again!

  4. VSPSV(S?)

    Great job Janice!!!!! I can see some light overhead now but only a break in the storm. Thank you very much.

  5. Get your Rights

    what if city does not inform registrants about judges decision, can it be a possible law suit against City also?

  6. Janice Bellucci

    Thank you for your kind words! We are so very pleased with the judge’s decision as the sign requirement was the biggest obstacle facing registrants (as described very well above). We have reminded the city that they now bear the burden of notifying registrants of the judge’s decision. If they don’t meet this obligation and someone or some thing is harmed, the city could be found liable.

  7. steve

    I am happy for those families that don’t have to further humiliate themselves with the public display of a sign however I am still saddened that innocent kids can’t decorate a pumpkin and put it on their porch.

  8. USA

    I would truly have to agree with the prior comments. I believe the Judge certainly made the correct decision. Requiring someone to place a sign on their doors and requiring them to not answer their door on their property is very disturbing. Gang members, murderers and a multitude of other offenders have more rights then some of those they are targeting. Furthermore, the most disturbing issue with regards to this is the fact that this ordinance could very well endanger those family (women/children) members affected by this truly disturbing and unconstitutional law that I feel will eventually be overturned. I again can truly not understand how anyone in their right mind could even think of a law like this. I truly want to commend this Judge who made this ruling and I have no doubt that this law will eventually be overturned and the City of Simi Valley will be made an example as such. Keep up the great work Janice.

  9. Margrit

    Janice, great victory.

  10. G4Change

    BRAVO, Janice, et al. May the entire ordinance fall when the lawsuit progresses!!!

  11. Janice Bellucci

    Thank you everyone for your enthusiasm and support! It was a great day when Judge Anderson blocked the city’s enforcement of the law that would require registrants to post a sign on their door for 24 hours on Halloween. Based upon input I have received, it appears that the city has not notified every registrant of the judge’s decision. Their failure to provide this notice could result in harm to a registrant, family member or anyone else living in the same residence. Please know that I will be in Simi Valley on Halloween and will be available to assist anyone in need.

  12. Pedro

    This is great news. Janis, God Bless you and your team, we pray and support you in our family. I live in OC and it is important that when Simi Valley rulings become dismantled getting rid of these crazy ordinances all over the USA and every part; Re: parks, beaches, and this abomination use of the internet, basically Megan’s Law and lifelong registration giving us back our constitutional rights. I’m all for the protection of children but these laws will not protect them. Here’s a thought what about by proper education with honest statistics, not dishonest political panic. Keep up the great work! I see this moving much faster with great Impetus. I would like to see them fight 100,000 law suits, including the legitimacy of Megan’s Law, removing the constitutional rights of all RSO brothers and sisters.

  13. steve

    With the immense amount of burdens now in place is it possible to challenge the lifetime registration?

    • Janice Bellucci

      I met with legislative staff in Sacramento on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 to discuss introduction of a tiered registry bill in 2013. There appears to be interest from both Democrats and Republicans on this topic albeit for different reasons. California RSOL is advocating a tiered registry that is based upon current risk rather than original offense. We are also advocating that anyone who has been on the registry for 20 years and not re-offended should automatically be removed from the registry. There is much work to be done in order to get a bill passed, but this was an important first step.

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