The City of Cypress, located in Orange County, has agreed not to enforce most of its residency restrictions and all of its presence restrictions as terms of two settlement agreements reached on January 31. The City of Cypress also agreed to pay attorney’s fees and costs for the lawsuits filed against them in federal and state courts. In exchange, the plaintiffs in those cases have agreed to dismiss with prejudice the pending lawsuits.
“This is a significant victory for the registered citizens and the family members of registered citizens in Cypress,” stated Janice Bellucci, the attorney who represented the plaintiffs. “Families who were once threatened to be torn apart will now be able to live together in that city.”
The Cypress ordinance severely restricted the locations where a registered citizen could live to only two small segments of that city: in the city’s cemetery and in an industrial park area. The ordinance also prohibited visits by a registered citizen to public areas such as the public library, city parks, and restaurants with recreational areas for children.
The city’s stay of enforcement for residency restrictions will last until the California Supreme Court renders a decision regarding whether or not residency restrictions are constitutional. The city’s stay of enforcement for presence restrictions will last until the same court decides whether to grant review of the Godinez case which deemed the Orange County ordinance to be unenforceable.
The City will continue to enforce a few provisions in its sex offender ordinance — Halloween restrictions and restrictions regarding how many registered citizens can stay in the same hotel or in the same hotel room. A total of three lawsuits were filed last year challenging the Cypress ordinance — two in federal court and one in state court.