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[UPDATE 2 with Hearing Date] Court of Appeals to Review Orange County Ordinance

UPDATE 2: This case is now calendared for Thursday, 9-26-13 at 1:00 p.m.


UPDATE: This case will be heard on Monday, July 22, 2013 at 1:00 pm in the 4th District Court of Appeal, Division 3, Santa Ana, California.

4th District Div 3, 601 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana, California 92701, Clerk’s Office (714) 571-2600

The California Court of Appeals has decided to review the ordinance passed by Orange County which prohibits all registrants from entering county parks, beaches, harbors and other recreational areas.  The opening brief from the Office of the Public Defender is due January 17, 2013.   There is no date yet established for the court’s decision.

The Orange County ordinance was declared void and unenforceable because it is preempted by state law by a three-judge panel of the Superior Court on November 15.  Subsequent to the Superior Court decision, the Orange County Sheriff announced that the Sheriff’s Office would not enforce the county ordinance.

“If justice is to be served, the Court of Appeals will uphold the decision made by the three-judge panel of the Orange County Superior Court because the ordinance on its face violates both the state and federal constitutions,” stated Janice Bellucci, President, California RSOL.  “The ordinance also does not increase public safety because more than 90 percent of the individuals who sexually assault children are family members, teachers, coaches, and clergy, not registered sex offenders.”

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reported in October 2012 that the recidivism rate for registered sex offenders is 1.9 percent.  That is, only 1.9 percent of those on the registry committed a second sex-related offense.

The Orange County ordinance was adopted by the Board of Supervisors in April 2011 after lobbying by District Attorney (DA) Tony Rackauckas.  The DA and county supervisor Supervisor Shawn Nelson have been credited with promoting the ordinance which took effect in May 2011.

After extensive lobbying by the DA and deputy DA Susan Schroeder, 16 cities passed similar ordinances that prohibit registrants from visiting public parks and other recreational areas.  One of those cities, Lake Forest, repealed its ordinance on December 18.

The City of Seal Beach and other cities in the county are reported to be considering whether to repeal the ordinances they have passed.  California RSOL sent letters on December 14, 2012, to mayors in the cities which have adopted similar ordinances.

Hugo Godinez, who is the first registrant arrested for violating the ordinance, is the defendant in the case under review by the Court of Appeals, District 4, Division 3.  Godinez entered a county park on May 5, 2011, in order to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the company for which he worked.




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