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Seal Beach Considers Reversal of Sex Offender Ban

The Lake Forest City Council voted to reverse its ban on sex offenders in city parks last week, and Seal Beach might do the same. The Seal Beach City Council will meet in closed sessions Monday to discuss the possibility of ending a city law that prohibits sex offenders from Seal Beach recreation areas: parks, the pier, the jetties, the beach and beach parking lots.

In March, the Council created the ordinance, which made the act a misdemeanor, on the urging of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Full Article

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I’m actually very disturbed by all of this. I actually live very close to Seal Beach. I participate in a sport that takes me to Seal Beach regularly and along the coast to Huntington Beach as well. In essence, I’m breaking the law? I find it highly disturbing to think that due to this terrible and thoughtless law that I’m prohibited from visiting the beach? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Furthermore, the DA of Orange County has created a hysteria and hate among the public focused upon Sex Offenders. I was convicted (plead non contest) to a crime 17 years ago and received SUMMARY PROBATION? The charges have since been dismissed and I continue to be treated like America’s Most Wanted? I’ve never broke the law since that time or prior. The City of Seal Beach should be ashamed of themselves. I personally feel that I hope any lawsuits filed prevail. Furthermore, the Judges who really made the right decision. I mean, I truly couldn’t or wouldn’t know if I were breaking the law if I was to visit another city in OC/each city is different. This was quoted via the Judges as well! The backpedalling is simply another example of a poorly ran city.

Should a lawsuit be filed agaisnt Los Alimitos?

VSPSV, I think you should file a lawsuit. Yes, most definitely. I actually live 0.5 miles from Los Alamitos. I regularly drive through the city and as a parent, I’m no longer capable or able to sign my children up for sports in the area since they have instituted a park ban! Now, I could go and request to obtain a waiver, but that in a sense is conforming to the law and saying its ok! Yes, please do. Lets meet for coffee and do this. Please feel free to contact Janice and obtain my email. Please feel free to provide VSPSV with my email Janice. We can do coffee. DO IT!

Who dictates the type of meeting the City Council has about anything, if not the City Council? In other words, who is to allow or not allow a closed door meeting? Can they not meet on whatever topic in whatever manner they chose?

I would imagine that any city that does not, as fast as humanly possible, initiate repeal proceedings of the parks ban just opens themselves up to litigation as they knowingly have an unlawful ordinance in their municipal code.

Given that the City of Seal Beach had time to put this item on the agenda but met behind closed doors and is delaying the start of a repeal, I would think this makes them very vulnerable to a further law suit.

Well, I was always under the impression City Council Members are only allowed to meet in public forums. This meeting is clearly an opportunity for them to meet with council and COVER THEIR ASSES as best as they can. Its amazing how a city can operate when the shoe is on the other foot. Shame on you Seal Beach!

Government Code Sections 54956.9(a) and 54954.5(c) allow the City Council to meet in closed session and not be in violation of the Brown Act (public’s right to attend and participate) whenever existing or pending litigation is involved. In such cases they are entitled to attorney/client privilege.

You have hit the nail on the head, 404. This is actually a good development for us, as it shows they are taking the lawsuit seriously, and will most probably vote to repeal the ordinance and negotiate a token payment to litigant Dennis Riordan and his client that will be substantially smaller than the amount liable by the other three cities. By declaring she’s not going to enforce the law, OC Sheriff Hutchens has pragmatically made the same decision.

Look at it this way: they can more freely speak out against the parks ban w/out fear of being label pro-sex offender.

On behalf of California RSOL, I prepared and sent a letter to the City of Seal Beach prior to the December 10 meeting of the City Council. In that letter, we requested the immediate repeal of the city’s sex offender ordinance and stated that the city would be sued by California RSOL if the ordinance is not repealed in a timely manner. We believe that this letter, combined with the lawsuit already filed by another party, will give them incentive to do the “right thing”, that is, repeal the ordinance because it violates both the state and federal constitutions.

USA, Looks like Janice is on top it so lets stand down on this one and provide support. When Janice makes the call for others requiring a lawsuit lets you and I do it, I need some internal satifaction.

I concur. Im very proud of what Janice is doing! I think its a sign of the times. In one aspect, the DA or OC has done us a favor. He has created hysteria and I believe the beginning of the end of cities passing these outlandish laws. I mean, who has ever heard of anyone being banned from visiting beaches? Simi Valley better wake up as well. Presently, I mean no offense by this, the only thing missing now is for California to pass an ordinance or a new law that will allow those people convicted of sex offenses to be eventually allowed off the registry. Its getting really old! Thank you Janice for all you do

Thank you Janice and RSOL!!!!

Now that things in California are moving in the right direction, Janice continues to need financial support from our community. Please donate to RSOL or whatever fund Janice needs to help keep the fight alive. I am from Washington and donate monthly directly to the national RSOL. Give what you can, no matter how small it is. Collectively this could add up to a significant amount and will make a difference.

I would have to say that Janice has been the fundamental legal force so far with her decisions to file only in federal court. There needs to be an agreement across the state RSOL spectrum to file only in federal courts to ensure each decision relates to each other from the standpoint that individual states do not “wordsmith” new legislation around decisions from state courts, essentially negating the actual court process. In addition, federal decisions will have a greater chance of seeing Mr. Roberts and company at SCOTUS than any state action. This is especially true of state supreme courts.

Thank you, Eric, for your kind words. Please know that California RSOL is a team comprised of many individuals who contribute their talents and skills to the best of their abilities. It takes a village to free registrants from the punishment of having to register.

Thank you, Matthew. What you have written about donations is true. So far, the organization has been able to do its good work because of donations from individuals like you. Thank you so very much! Every little bit helps.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x