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ACSOLCalifornia

Two Victories for California RSOL

California RSOL has scored two victories in the cities of Simi Valley and Lancaster where city councils have agreed to relieve registrants from the burdens of sex offender ordinances passed in September 2012. The city of Simi Valley ordinance required registrants to post signs on the front door of their homes on Halloween while the city of Lancaster ordinance severely limited where registrants could live and visit.

“These are two significant wins for CA RSOL,” stated Janice Bellucci, President of California RSOL. “In both cities, the civil rights of registrants have been restored.”

The City Council of Lancaster unanimously approved the repeal of most of its sex offender ordinance — including all residency and presence restrictions — on March 12. The only provisions to remain in that ordinance relate to the celebration of Halloween. The City Council of Lancaster must give final approval to its decision on March 26.

The City of Simi Valley approved revisions to its ordinance in a private settlement agreement after a federal district court blocked the city’s requirement to post signs on Halloween last year. The revised ordinance in that city is similar to the revisions adopted in Lancaster on March 12. For example, registrants are prohibited from answering the door to trick-or-treaters, however, others living in the same home may do so.

“Despite the victories in these two cities, there are more than 200 city and county ordinances remaining in the state of California,” Bellucci stated. “California RSOL will continue its efforts to remove all ordinances that violate the state and federal constitutions by infringing upon the civil rights of registrants.”

Join the discussion

  1. G4Change

    Thank you, Janice, for everything you are working for and accomplishing!

  2. Capt. Jack

    This is good news indeed, now when does the punitive action start? I’m sure we all appreciate the work that Janice is doing on our behalf, but I for one think she should start making this pay off not only for her, but us registrants too.

  3. Kathy G.

    Kudos!!! Brilliant as usual!

  4. Lynne Presley

    Yea Janice-you are the best-thank you for your hard work.

  5. C

    Three cheers for Janice, Jeffrey and the gang at RSOL!

  6. Brenda Jones

    Captain Jack,
    If you want to seek punitive damages, you need a paper trail showing exactly what monetary harm has occurred such as lost jobs, hospital bills due to vigilantism, etc. that show “gross negligence” on the councils’ part. Lawmakers are usually immune to prosecution except in those circumstances.

    • Capt. Jack

      Brenda,
      Yes, I am aware of the difficulty such lawsuits entail, but I wasn’t aware that lawmakers have immunity for knowingly passing unconstitutional laws.

      Not only have many of us registrants suffered mental and monetary damage due to the registry, but so have many of our friends and family members. I personally know of over 10 registrants that have lost jobs, been evicted from their homes, and have been victims of vigilantism due to being on the registry. A fellow I knew from therapy was beaten and hospitalized after he answered a knock at his door. The police arrested the assailant, and his reason for the attack was because he saw the victim on the registry.

      Last year I was denied a rental in Oregon because I was a registered sex offender. In denying my rental request, the homeowner stated that fact directly to me.

      I don’t think that documenting these atrocities will be difficult!

  7. Capt. Jack

    Federal Law 42 USC 1983
    The statute (law) under which most civil rights actions are brought is 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
    Read the Law: 42 U.S.C. § 1983

    This is a “plain English” version of the section of the federal law under which most civil rights actions are brought. Because it does not describe the precise legal meanings of some of the terms used in the law itself, this definition is not complete. However, it will give you a general idea of what the law provides:

    This law applies to situations where a person, who has been given authority by the law, deprives another person in the United States of rights or privileges that the second person has been given by the US Constitution or by federal or state law. The person who believes that s/he has been harmed in this way may sue in court.

    This law limits the way in which a person (who believes that s/he has been harmed) can sue a judge who has been acting in his or her official capacity.

    This law applies equally to Acts of Congress that affect only the District of Columbia.

    Section 1983 can only be used to sue:

    for intentional violations;
    regarding federally protected rights; and
    someone acting as a state or local official.
    Section 1983 does not allow for you to sue federal officials or private persons. You may only sue people who are acting as agents of a state or local government. It also does not apply to accidental or negligent violations of rights. One common type of 1983 case is a suit for damages resulting from the use of excessive force by a police officer.

  8. Capt. Jack

    Some government officials have immunity from law suits arising out of their official activities. This means that you cannot sue them as long as they were acting in their official capacity. Government officials are not immune if they are acting as private citizens.

    For example, judges who are sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 are completely immune from individual liability for monetary damages resulting from their “judicial acts.” Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349 (1978). Judges are not immune from 1983 suits seeking some kinds of injunctions. See Pulliam v. Allen, 466 U.S. 522 (1984). Whether something a judge does should be considered a “judicial act” depends on “whether it is a function normally performed by a judge.” Stump, 435 U.S. at 362.

    Officials who act only to enforce court orders may also be immune from liability for damages.

    Other officials who may be immune to damage suits in certain circumstances include legislators, prosecutors, and parole and probation officers. This immunity depends on whether the person was acting in his or her official capacity and whether s/he had any reason to know that his or her action would violate an individual’s federally protect rights.

  9. Capt. Jack

    Thanks Brenda for pushing me to learn something today. And now that I know, I thought I would share this information with the rest of you.

    • Janice Bellucci

      Stay tuned. A lawsuit is coming using different statutes — state and federal — which include the possibility of punitive damages as well as profits received.

  10. Capt. Jack

    It’s sad to say that most Americans choose to disregard the most important function of the U.S. Constitution; to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.

    Samuel Adams, of Boston Tea Party fame once said, “It does not take a majority to prevail. But rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brush fires of freedom in the minds of men.”

    Go Get em Janice!

  11. Capt. Jack

    Janice,
    Can you comment on Japanese internment during WWII and if the case of Korematsu v. United States can be of any use to us today.

    Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case concerning the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066, which ordered Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II regardless of citizenship.

    In a 6-3 decision, the Court sided with the government, ruling that the exclusion order was constitutional. The opinion, written by Supreme Court justice Hugo Black, held that the need to protect against espionage outweighed Fred Korematsu’s individual rights, and the rights of Americans of Japanese descent. (The Court limited its decision to the validity of the exclusion orders, adding, “The provisions of other orders requiring persons of Japanese ancestry to report to assembly centers and providing for the detention of such persons in assembly and relocation centers were separate, and their validity is not in issue in this proceeding.”) During the case, Solicitor General Charles Fahy is alleged to have suppressed evidence by keeping from the Court a report from the Office of Naval Intelligence indicating that there was no evidence that Japanese Americans were acting as spies or sending signals to enemy submarines.

    The decision in Korematsu v. United States has been very controversial. Korematsu’s conviction for evading internment was overturned on November 10, 1983, after Korematsu challenged the earlier decision by filing for a writ of coram nobis. In a ruling by Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted the writ (that is, it voided Korematsu’s original conviction) because in Korematsu’s original case, the government had knowingly submitted false information to the Supreme Court that had a material effect on the Supreme Court’s decision.

    The Korematsu decision has not been explicitly overturned, although in 2011 the Department of Justice filed official notice, conceding that it was in error, thus erasing the case’s value as precedent for interning citizens. However, the Court’s opinion remains significant both for being the first instance of the Supreme Court applying the strict scrutiny standard to racial discrimination by the government and for being one of only a handful of cases in which the Court held that the government met that standard.

    • Janice Bellucci

      I have often used the example of our government sending its citizens of Japanese descent to interment camps as an example of our government turning its back to the U.S. constitution. I am not sure yet how we can use this decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to help us restore the rights of registrants and would welcome other’s thoughts on the subject.

  12. MCH

    I am curious if a city attorney advised a city council to pass a law that was known to be unconstitutional to both the city attorney and the city council, if that city could be sued for monetary damages? Any thoughts? There is generally a paper trail, council minutes, etc, that could be referenced to show blatant disregard for the constitution and civil rights.

  13. MCH

    Capt. Jack,

    Suppression of evidence in Amerika? Why, I’m stunned such a thing has ever happened!

  14. Rudy ytuarte

    thank you janice for all the help you are going to give us in Torrance California .the city’s in some places have not been fair with us a they want our money and tax us but dont want us in there city its not fair

  15. Dave

    Congrats on your Human Rights win. The city of Orange has a very similar law to the Simi Valley ordinance listed here. Any chance of you sending the City of Orange a letter?

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