The Court of Appeal will hear oral argument in the Hugo Godinez case on July 22 in Santa Ana. At issue in that case is whether the Orange County ordinance which prohibited all sex offenders from entering public places such as parks, beaches and hiking trails is preempted by the state constitution. The court’s decision is expected within 30 days.
The Orange County ordinance, which was passed in April 2011, is currently not in effect due to a decision by a three-judge panel of the Orange County Superior Court.
If the Orange County ordinance is declared to be preempted, it will share the same fate as ordinances in three cities in that county — Fullerton, Irvine and Tustin. In addition, the sex offender ordinances in Lake Forest, Lancaster and Palmdale have been repealed by those cities. Further, ordinances in cities such as Huntington Beach are currently not being enforced as they await the pending court decision.
“The repeal of sex offender ordinances in Orange County and elsewhere are important steps toward restoring the civil rights of sex offenders,” stated CA RSOL President Janice Bellucci “We will continue to work toward restoring civil rights through education, legislation and litigation regardless of the decision by the Court of Appeal.”
There are currently more than 300 ordinances passed by cities and counties that restrict where a registrant may reside or be present in California. A positive decision by the Court of Appeal could affect some or all of those ordinances.