CA State Assembly Bill Would Overturn Court Decision, Limit Eligibility to Apply for Certificate of Rehabilitation

A bill has been introduced in the California State Assembly that would, if passed overturn a recent court decision and further limit the number of registered citizens who are eligible to apply for a certificate of rehabilitation.  That bill is AB 1438, which was introduced by Assembly Members Eric Linder (Republican, Riverside) on January 6.
The California Court of Appeals decided in the case, People v. Tirey, on November 15, 2013, that registered citizens convicted of Penal Code Section 288(a) are eligible to apply for a certificate of rehabilitation.  The court’s decision is based upon the equal protection clause of the California constitution.  In its decision, the court noted a disparity in current law that allows those convicted of a more serious offense to apply for a certificate of rehabilitation.
“This bill must be stopped,” stated CA RSOL President Janice Bellucci.  “If passed, it would further erode the opportunity of registered citizens who have paid their debt to society and do not pose a current danger to be removed from the sex offender registry.”
California RSOL is opposed to AB 1438 and will lobby in opposition to that bill in Sacramento on January 27 and 28.   

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Thank u so much for posting this, I am against this bill also. Have u heard any update on AB 702, I know it has been suspended until this year but are there any progress or indication that bill will pass. Also, how can become a member of RSOL and are there meetings in San Bernardino county I have a misdemeanor sex offense on , my record and I have got it dismissed with 1203.4 and I have gotten approve for exclusion from the Megan’s law website back in 2006, no convictions on my record whatsoever, orally want this bill to pass. I’m taking care of myself. I’m in school, will finish my B.S. in Social Science in Dec and then Grad School in Public Administration. I seriously encourage all registrants not to give up on yourself and just take it one day at a time, and move importantly, more years of doing positive and productive things will help you in the long run both financially,and legally. Good luck and God bless.

If I’m reading the bill correctly:

The old law said is that upon obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation, releif from registration is obtained except for the named offenses. Under this bill, such relief is explicitly denied.

Janice, or anyone else, how is this different from the interpretation the court held to be unconstitutional?

Again it seems that certain legislators are behaving as though the law were a game of wack-a-mole… The court struck one law down so pass a new statute that too seems to be the same old law.

What am I missing?

I am in the process of trying to obtain a certificate of rehabilitation, and I am confused about what this bill is actually trying to do.

In the wording of the bill, they make it sound like the new restriction only impacts cases where a victim is <10, is that the case ? If so I will still be OK but I am still furious about this continual erosion of ANY possible relief in the state of CA.

As it is CA is one of the few states that doesn't have a tiered system. We also have the highest age of consent (many other states and the rest of the industrialized world have an age of consent at 16).

The ONLY possible relief in THIS state is this certificate, and now they want to start incrementally getting rid of this option.

Has any of these "legislatures" articulated why they want the state if California to be the only state in the U.S. And really the only place on earth that I know of (outside of perhaps Shiria Law governed nations) where even minor sex offenses have no legal way to be relieved of registration for LIFE!?

I thought CA was a reasonably progressive state, however on this issue we seem more in-line with nonsensical banana republics that want to pass broad sweeping things like the Uganda law that wants to imprison not just gay people but those who "don't turn in" suspected gay people.

I bet it's only a matter of time before some lunatic in the state legislature starts making people who "didn't turn in suspected sex offenders" to have to themselves register as sex offenders.

Finally, I want to point out probably the most disturbing part of this garbage bill: if I read it correctly, people who have been previously relieved of the duty to register by obtaining a certificate who fall within the scope of these changes will now be forced to once again go back to registering!?!?

If this is indeed the case, and this does manage to pass, I hope CA RSOL and the ACLU will step in and sue as this would be clearly and blatantly double jeopardy!!

I think it’s saying you can still apply for a COR, and get it, but you still have to register if you obtain a COR.
This sucks I just started the process.

This is ridiculous. Anytime their is a glimmer of hope to move on in life some politician wants to pound us back into the ground. It is ever so clear that this state and the corrections systems goal IS NOT about rehabilitation but further punishment.

Janice, if you desire, you can use me as an example to those attempting to obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation. I was arrested for (3) 261, (2) Counts of (211) and all charges where dismissed. I eventually plead to (1) 243 Battery (wobbler). I received my bail back and was allowed to turn my self into County Jail or pay and stay at a police station. I chose County (it was cheaper). I received Summary Probation (5) years. The charge was reduced to a misdemeanor and eventually expunged (I did this on my own). No arrests prior or after. I went back to school and obtained a Graduate Degree as well! Well, I attempted a Certificate in OC about 4-5 years ago. THE DA investigators questions my neighbors and came to my home at around 7pm at night (he was rather rude and I eventually asked him to kindly leave/I later found out he recorded our entire conversation without my permission). When I went to court, the DA eventually subpeoned (sorry for the typo) my wife (why/harassment), the woman involved in the case was directing comments to use while we walked down the court hallway and its was a circus. I was in utter shock. THE DA was out of control. I even looked at her once and she accused me of giving her dirty looks? I was in shock. ANyways, the DA eventually wanted to put the alleged victim on the stand and cross examine her? My attorney wasn’t bright, but he objected. Furthermore, the Judge became angry and asked if she was being serious? He went on to state that he didn;t have time for this and he doubted anyone else would listen to this as well. He then went through my paper work one by one and eventually stated that he could not find one reason to deny my motion, but it wasnt enough! I left and the alleged victim proceeded to make rude remarks to my wife as we walked out. I wasn’t aware this could happen!

Oh, I filed this motion 12 years after my arrest and about 10 years or more after my release from county jail. Its now been 18 years or more after my initial arrest.

I know the State Supreme Court ruled years back that people with misdemeanor offenses had to be given a way off the registry? I don’t know how the legislature can over rule a Supreme Court decision that has already been made. That’s how the certificate came about to begin with. However, having said that, it does say that after receiving the COR a judge “MAY” relieve you of your duty to register. So…that “MAY” gives the judge discretion. Actually under the law probation is supposed to advise you of that right and to even assist you. I never was told anything as I had only 3 years summery probation and was told I’d only have to register for 1 year past probation. But of course the law changed once again. I did talk to an attorney and he told me I was caught up in a “Grey area” but would take the case for 5k. I already got off the web site on my own…thank God. Mine is over 20 years ago and to the point I don’t care anymore because I just figure we are all outcasts no matter what the crime as Ca has this one size fits all attitude and other States don’t. Just saying!!

Another blatant attempt to circumvent existing laws and decisions, to further made these dipsheets appear tough on crime, dehumanize registered citizens. Time to expose these taxpayer funded crooks for what they are; hate mongers, liars, thieves who will do anything to get reelected. So tired of all of this, ready to move to Mexico.

Bill stated it well! California needs to get with the program! I believe we are the only state without tiers and everyone is required to register for life! That basically says California doesn’t believe in rehabilitation! We do have different levels (high risk/serious and other/non disclosable). Here is the one that really gets me (provide some input). Misdemeanor sexual battery and misdemeanor indecent exposure are deemed low risk offenses (others/non disclosable). Although, if I’m correct, sexual battery is considered one of the most serious offenses in the Adam Walsh Law?

I note, this is by a Republican legislator from a particularly conservative district. That doesn’t mean it can’t be passed, just because more than 2/3 of the Legislature is Democratic — but it certainly doesn’t help its chances. You should be diligent on this, but don’t get too worried until there really is a reason to worry.

This is one of the most poorly written bills I’ve ever seen, including that is fails to use the italics and strikes to show the difference between the current law and the new law properly. It is difficult to really figure what it is saying in some key parts, and the writer doesn’t even seem to know what law he/she is changing, or what that law really says now — I get the impression they looked at a much older version of the law. That certainly is not a sign that the lawmaker is paying much attention to this.

It also seems to be double-edged, shortening the time to a certificate for some offenses while denying it for others. It appears they are shortening the time without realizing it — a mistake! It looks like they copied the time frames from a much older version of the law, when 5 years was the time to apply for a certificate. Well, actually, this is talking of showing “five years residence in this state” prior to filing. It is stating that under this bill, 5 years will be the time both felony and misdemeanant registrants need to wait to apply for a certificate. The writer does not seem to realize that 7 years is the shortest now, for certain misdemeanors (such as indecent exposure), and 10 years is the general minimum otherwise.

Of course, while it is good to reduce the time frame to apply, the reality is that the mere application can be worse than the registration it seeks to end, especially for misdemeanants, who are not posted on the Web. The application will serve to inform all your neighbors, who will be questioned, your employers, etc. And your home will be searched with a fine toothed comb. And after doing so, the reality is that it is rare for a registrant to be granted the certificate.

There is no standard you can meet to entitle you to the certificate — it is a completely capricious decision of the judge. Until we at least have specific REASONABLE standards we can meet that will entitle us to a certificate, the law allowing application for a certificate isn’t worth the paper its written on, especially for misdemeanants, for whom it is just a suicide application.

Mind you, any change in the law about who would be able to stop registering after obtaining a certificate would apply to everyone who already earned that certificate and through,it were relieved of the duty to register, They would have to start registering again! That is what has happened before, when obtaining 1203.4 relief at the end of probation was all that was needed to stop registering. All the people who earned that and no longer had to register lost that relief when the law was changed. This is one thing that seems so monstrously wrong, that after meeting the standard and being granted the relief, the relief can be taken away from you in later years! What is the point of getting the certificate if they simply take away the benefits after you go to all that trouble, as they did to those who met the standard for registration relief by earning the 1203.4 relief!? Our State Supreme court earlier in 2013 just ruled it is perfectly fine to take away such relief just by subsequently changing the law.

We gotta get down to Capitol and do our utmost. Game time.

Thank you Janice! I appreciate your sincerity. I’m honestly very open to attempting this again! I hope your Certificate is Granted. If I was to try this again, I would certainly be more prepared and make sure I dotted my i’s and crossed my t’s. Please contact me anytime if you would like to sit down and discuss your representing me. I would have the belief that your stature and background would be of benefit! I also believe in picking the right Judge as well. Thank you again. I’m in no hurry to file this, but send me your contact information and I’m excited to hear the results of your application. Thank you

Going down and filling out some paperwork giving my photo and thumb print once a year may be a pain in the butt (homeless every thirty days even a bigger pain in the butt ) But, what is really the pain (as we all know) is being on that Meganslaw website. Being a Veteran I can’t go to any veteran Stand downs I cant get the Veteran Housing or HUD I can’t get a good and decent job being most work I do requires a background check (not even for the VA hospital and medical center and I’m a certified medical tech. if the state of California requires us to register OK so be it, we will do that but, can’t we somehow vote in that if we were still allowed to get a COR and that is not a simple deal in itself. Then that would only allow for a RSO to at least be able get off the meganslaw website. The local police know who we all are and where we live and is that what a COR stands for Certified as Rehabilitated according to the law of the state.
What must be done to get this passed should we again have to register.

I was granted a COR by the Los Angeles Superior Court in August, 2011. Even though it converts into a pardon application, and even though Jerry Brown PARDONED some 290 registrants when he was governor in 1979, I have not heard a word out of the Governor’s office in the 2.5 years since my “COR/Pardon Application” went to him.
I doubt I will. Not to mention also, since neither a COR, NOR a pardon takes the conviction OFF the DOJ record, it doesn’t really make an improvement in any “background check”. It might get you off the registry, but not much else!

Probably redundant, but what kind of insanity are we in the middle of when a law determines the progress and rehabilitation of any individual despite what actual clinical findings indicate?

From where I stand, and correct me if I’m wrong, every ex post facto punitive measure against registered citizens is a violation of equal protection under the law, unless they apply to all persons convicted of a violent crime including murder, kidnapping, mayhem for starters. How is it that a gang member who kills a two year old child with stray bullets does not pose an imminent threat to society?

The excuse that the legislature used when posting the information is that it is informative, not punitive. What is their excuse for every action taken against and prohibitions imposed on people whose sentences were done?

The entire law has to be gutted of dangling participles and each phase of new punishment has to be given a date stamp so they can know which of these actions apply to EXACTLY which individuals. Once again, they are making it easy for themselves at the expense of the families off registered citizens and protections granted all (equally) under the constitution.

Any lobbying news??

If you check California history you will see that the allowing of the petition for a Certificate of rehabilitation for the low end low level and low threat crime of the 288.(a) which is in laymen’s terms a sexually motivated touching and feeling groping and fondling of a person under 14 years of age without the use of force fear or violence and is without any sexual intercourse, sodomy , oral copulation or use of any foreign object (including one’s finger) was on the California Penal code books for almost 40 years before it was removed in the year of 1997 and why? Was it removed for true public safety issues ? not at all.
Due to some previous high profile cases and the media’s overzealous and exploitation of those cases along with a great deal of wrong, false and incorrect information and facts that made almost everything relating sex offenders and sex crimes appear much worse than it ever was (such as the so called 100,000 missing ,unaccounted for and out of compliance sexual violent predators that was to have been running amuck across America molesting, raping and killing our children that was proven to be 100 percent false along with just about everything else being made public like the stranger danger myth and the 1930s statement by the LA police chief who was lobbing to get support for his new police departments sex crime bureau of behind every minor sex offender is a potential major sex criminal. The list goes on and on. And all this caused the government and the general public to become angry, afraid , upset mad, scared, hatful and paranoid and caused for the making of new laws and removing of old laws and both were very bad, unjust, and very unreasonable.

But, if one was really and truly concerned with California’s public safety issues is the states inability to watch over close to 88,000 sex offenders and with lifetime registration that number is only going to get bigger. and bigger.
Being the 288.(a) is one of the most if not the most common sex act committed (in the world) it would seem to be quite reasonable to want to weed out these lower end, low level, low dangerous, and low threat offenders off the lifetime registration list leaving the truly dangerous to society sex offenders the true pedophiles and sexual violent predators on the list and being the predator is only 3 percent of all sex offenders the number would be lowered to a number that truly could be watched by the states law enforcement agencies in charge of such duties and at the same time would save the state’s taxpayers millions of dollars per year that could be used for much better public safety issues such as guns gangs and drugs. but this is just my opinion.

Neil B Fisher

I come on this site everyday hoping for some positive news. I pray at night for things like the tier system, expungement, and travel ability to see loved ones. But all I read is about more restrictions. It is so depressing. Why do they hate us so much. I am a good person who made a mistake. I wish I had never bought that used computer last year. I’m so tired of worrying about my future. I want to be happy for one day. I want to hold the most important person in my life and tell her I am sorry. I want to stop crying.