An application for a temporary restraining order (TRO) was filed today in federal district court requesting that enforcement of a sex offender ordinance in the City of Lancaster be halted.
“The Lancaster ordinance denies the civil rights of more than 100,000 individuals and families in California,” stated Janice Bellucci, President of California Reform Sex Offender Laws (RSOL). “It prohibits people who made a mistake, but who have paid their debt to society from entering public places such as parks, schools and the library as well as private places such as movie theaters, arcades and the bowling alley. This prohibition adversely affects registrants’ family members as well.”
The City of Lancaster unanimously passed an ordinance on September 11, 2012, that prohibits all registered sex offenders (“registrants”) from entering some public and private places as well as from residing in the same home, apartment and hotel with limited exceptions. The ordinance also prohibits registrants from entering public shelters even in the case of an emergency such as an earthquake.
“The California Reform Sex Offender Laws organization testified before the City Council of Lancaster during the two meetings at which this ordinance was discussed,” stated Bellucci. “We told the City Council members at those meetings that the ordinance violates both the state and federal constitutions, however, they chose not to heed our warnings.”
California RSOL filed a lawsuit in federal district court on December 18, 2012, challenging the Lancaster ordinance. A similar ordinance adopted by Orange County was declared to violate the state constitution because it is preempted by state law according to a three-judge panel in Superior Court. That decision is currently on appeal, however, the Orange County Sheriff has publicly announced that it will not enforce the county ordinance.
Jan 10: post corrected – “application” added. Admin
As always, God Speed, Janice and everyone involved at CA-RSOL!!!
Thank you Janice and RSOL…..I cannot applaud you enough for what you do. One step at a time.
Sorry, I don’t mean to be nitpicking, but just to seek clarification. The way you wrote this is a bit unclear, I can’t tell if the TRO has been issued by the court or if you are merely saying you are asking for a TRO.
“A temporary restraining order (TRO) was filed today in federal district court requesting…”
To me, that an order “was filed in court” means it was issued by the court. There is no order until the court issues an order. (And of course, all the action the court takes is filed in the record. Oh, you can present proposed text of one, but that is not an order being filed.) But then you say “requesting.” An order doesn’t request, it commands. So, maybe you are actually saying you were requesting a TRO, not filing one.
So, has the court sided with you even this much yet? Or has there been no action by the court so far? That is, has an order been issued by the court or not?
It’s important to keep the dominoes falling! We sued the City of Simi Valley and stopped enforcement of their Halloween ordinance. Then the City of Lake Forest repealed their ordinance. Now we are suing the City of Lancaster for passage of their ordinance which is the worst of the worse. The clear and important message we are sending to elected officials through these legal actions is that passing a sex offender ordinance will not help them to get elected.
So many different challenges going on! I love the aggressive, systematic process for suing the state on several different fronts in Federal court.
Would it be possible to consolidate all the CARSOL cases in one area, including court docket information? I would LOVE to attend some of the court sessions involving CARSOL. I realize one can’t predict when the court may issue a ruling, but I’m talking more when initial arguments are made. Thanks!
GREAT WAY TO GO !!
These are some very good news. Someone needs to pay attention to what is going on in Florida as well. There is similar legislation which was enacted quickly and unopposed, without taking into consideration the rights of innocent family members. In Florida a SO has to go as far as having a “special code” within the driver’s license. Our government is creating a sub-class and not that different than when a certain regime ordered a certain class of people to post a certain symbol by their places of business/homes, and ultimately their items of clothing and their skin.
Why is nobody talking about palmdale they already have Lancaster rules ineffect!!!!
Where are the jobs, Every job dose sceening and their focus is on sex offenders