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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… Read more »

Stay on the path you are on and you will be eligible to apply for a certificate of rehabilitation. Please know however that eligibility to apply does not guarantee you will be granted the certificate. It is also important to avoid a felony conviction during the 10 years after your conviction for a misdemeanor sex offense.

What do you intend to do with a graduate degree in Public Admin? I can’t make a decent living anymore in my field of choice thanks to Megan’s Law web site so I am researching practical alternatives that pay well.

Hello C, I dont know if you will see my response or not, i havent been on here in over a year and a half now. Sorry it took so long to response. To answer your question about what I am going to be doing with my graduate degree in Public Adminstration. Well, to give you an update, I just graduate with my undergraduate degree and will instead go to Grad school for Organizational Leadership. As far as career moves for me, even though I have only a misdemeanor charge or 647.6 on my rap sheet, I was able to… Read more »

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?

You are correct the old law did say that but some one or two word and sometimes one sentence authors come in and with that big changes were made about mid 90’s. My case was reduced, dismissed and expunged in 94, not on the site and a C of R was in my site until the worst kind of abusers stepped with impunity. I have to jury duty next month, darn seems that they get almost every year, third time since being on this job. This time will put me well over 1k lost so far. Legally we stand convicted… Read more »

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… Read more »

Once I calmed down I remembered that this bill would still have to get past the Committee of Public Safety which, in the past, has stifled these types of legislation. Hopefully, the 6 democrats on the committee follow the courts direction.

Who is on this committee? I want to write them a letter. All of us potentially affected should respond to this.

Complete contact list.

This page has phone & snail mail info. No email addresses, but contact forms for each individual member can be accessed by clicking their name.

Tom Ammiano (Chair) Dem – 17
Melissa A. Melendez (Vice Chair) Rep – 67
Reginald B. Jones-Sawyer, Sr. Dem – 59
Bill Quirk Dem – 20
Sebastian Ridley-Thomas Dem – 54
Nancy Skinner Dem – 15
Marie Waldron Rep – 75

I tried to send to members’ emails, but they wouldn’t take them, saying I wasn’t in their district. Couldn’t find any info on the PS commitee meeting today either.

That is intolerable. You are not trying to influence their decision based upon their voting constituency, but to their position on the board that is ostensibly “researching” this issue to see if it passes the smell test constitutionally. In fact, I believe that there are even contacting rules that reflect this difference, or at least I’ve heard of it before.

In any case, I would bet if you were a victim of a sex offense who were submitting reasons why the bill SHOULD go forward, though, they would probably welcome your information with open arms.

I’ve never had any trouble submitting comments to US representatives, US senators or even the white house by email. I didn’t have to have a specific issue or have to be in the district. In fact most seemed to encourage input and send a thank you afterwards. I think non-disclosure of the meeting is a violation of the Brown Act. If a government body is having a meeting to discuss public issues, it must be disclosed in way easily accessible to the public, newspaper, email, etc. Really, the only way we, scattered around the State, can find out what is… Read more »

Thank you so much!

Does Tom Ammiano know about this bill yet???
I hope he has enough support for his recent bills that he has tried to pass to sack this piece of garbage before it comes anywhere near the endzone!!!

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.

Well, it is very poorly written. However, I don’t see it saying that you still have to register after getting the certificate. I see it saying in one spot that for a certain offense, or few offenses it is talking about in that section, the judge “may” relieve you of registration. I’m not sure if that is getting tougher or getting lighter; that is, I can’t tell if the law now flat out denies the relief of registration for that/those offenses or not. Many, and I think most offenses are not relieved of registration by the certificate now, must go… Read more »

I would find it VERY hard to believe if none of them don’t know my status with how this information is shoved down everyone’s throat. I am very lucky with the neighbors who have known me for 16 years, nobody treats me poorly. I know one for sure knows as we have talked about it. My daughter and her daughter are best friends. So I am not worried even if they find out and didn’t know. I will let you all know the details of 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… Read more »

Thank you for sharing information about this terrible experience. I may have a story to tell later this month when I appear in Orange County with a registered citizen who has applied for a certificate of rehabilitation. From your story I gather the judge did not grant your certificate. If that is the case, I hope you will try again.

Look forward to hearing how that turned out. But, Can you tell me who in Orange County can help me for free (I am unemployed) file for my COR? Under their New Leaf program I requested the assistance of the OC public defender’s office for it in 2012, but it was denied because they didn’t understand the 10 year, as opposed to 7, time constraint and filed too early. Now that the 10 years is coming up this summer i am afraid if I go back to then they might mess something else up, since they didn’t know that basic… Read more »

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… Read more »

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.

I agree with your sentiments but hope you will reconsider staying here in California. We will try again this year to get a tiered registry bill passed in Sacramento. Our efforts begin on Jan. 27 and 28 and all are welcome to join us!

What “efforts” have been made regarding getting ANOTHER “tiered-registry” bill introduced? AB 702 is now DEAD, and Assemblyman Ammiano proved to be beyond worthless at getting it moved out of the Assembly! WHO ELSE is there to go to?

Harsh words for Tom Ammiano… harsh words indeed.

Just on the off-chance that either he or his staff read this site I would like them to see something to the effect of “Dear Assemblymember Ammiano, thank you for your support of justice and sanity over the past few years. Your courage and convictions are much appreciated. With gratitude and respect. Joe” or something like that.

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… Read more »

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… Read more »

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… Read more »

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… Read more »

Oh dear… “It might get you off the registry, but not much else!” Not much else? What else is there? I dare say 99% of 100,000 people in this state and their families would leap on that and praise the Lord, haleluja. I am unclear of whether the COR stopped your registration. To me that is the only reason to go to this trouble and expense. My husband’s situation is similar, with a COR after decades of this nightmare (recent), and I count my blessings every. single. day. I have also given up on hearing about a pardon, did hope… Read more »

The “Certificate of Rehabilitation” does NOT stop the registration. There is something that DOES allow for it in PC 290.5, but you have to HAVE an actual victim (I did not!)! Seriously, a person WITHOUT a victim is considered more “necessary” to keep on the Megan’s Law registry, then one that did NOT have one! Go figure. As for the other “unforgiving” parts of CA law, getting off the 290 registry would be nice, but if an employer can still access a DOJ record, and still see a person’s “DISMISSED, REHABILITATED”, 15 year old felony conviction, and STILL DISCRIMINATE AGAINST… Read more »

“Getting the damned felony erased would be even better!” – yes, and rainbows and unicorns would also be great, 🙂 But this is reality. A COR WILL terminate 290 registration UNLESS the offense was for one of the ones listed in PC 290.5. Which is mostly felonies. It notably excludes Child Porn, Internet Sting and Indecent Exposure (victimless?) convictions. It should be noted that SOME felonies MAY be reduced to misdemeanors if they are wobblers and no prison sentence resulted. Just looking at it again, it would seem that the offenses that do not allow for registration to end with… Read more »

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?… Read more »

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… Read more »

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… Read more »

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