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ACSOL’s Online EPIC Conference: Empowered People Inspiring Change Sept 17-18, 2021

California

CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS BAN ON CITY, COUNTY ORDINANCES

[Updated with media links] The California Supreme Court today denied review of a lower court’s decision that, in effect, bans cities and counties from enforcing ordinances that restrict where a registered citizen may be present or near.  Review by the Court was requested by the Orange County District Attorney.

“Today’s decision is a major victory,” stated CA RSOL President Janice Bellucci.  “Through its denial to review a lower court decision, the California Supreme Court has ruled that ordinances in more than 70 cities and 5 counties are preempted by existing state law.”

The Supreme Court’s decision also strengthens the five lawsuits filed recently in federal district courts against cities that have ordinances which contain presence restrictions.   The lawsuits have been filed against Pomona, South Lake Tahoe, National City, Carson and Lompoc.

“More than 105,000 registered citizens and their families may now lawfully visit public and private locations including libraries, museums, parks, beaches, and movie theaters,” stated CA RSOL board member and attorney Chance Oberstein.

The lower court decision for which review was denied was a challenge by the Orange County Public Defender Office of an ordinance adopted by the City of Irvine.  The challenge involved a registered citizen who was arrested and convicted of violating the ordinance when he played tennis in the city’s public tennis courts.

Related:
Park ban on sex offenders up to state, court agrees (OC Register)
Top Court Declines to Hear Case, Striking Ban on Sex Offenders in OC Parks (patch.com)
High court rejects appeal on sex-offender rules (Sacramento Bee)
Court refuses to review decision tossing out Orange County bans against sex offenders (SCPR)
Sex Offenders Can Roam More Freely Under California High Court Move (LA Weekly)

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Janice I didn’t receive notice where the party is going to be held…a thank you and congrads to you and your team is in order.

It is my prayer that reason and compassion will have our leaders moving to do what is right not just what is popular and repeal the sex offender registry completely.

We still have much work ahead, but this news is extremely encouraging! Blessings to all of you. It is fitting that this news came just after Easter Sunday. The Lord I’m sure also had a hand in this. Blessings to All.

Amen.

Did the O.C. District Attorney office overstep their boundary By chasing this lost cause to the door of the Supreme Court after the ‘County Park Ban’ author and Chairman of the Board of supervisors Shawn Nelson Stated they would not waste anymore Taxpayer money pursuing it? Is it the D.A.’s Job to pass law’s or simply enforce them? I guess the D.A.’s office has a bigger budget and are not worried about wasting taxpayers dollars. Please tell me this was the final chapter of these local presence restrictions and we can move on. If so, any city foolish enough not… Read more »

AWESOME!!!!! Janice, et al: You have stood up and stared down tyranny victoriously! Congratulations! Now, may the dominoes begin to fall.

“Janice Bellucci, president of California Reform Sex Offender Laws, said of the pending appeal. “I think they’re foolish to do it. They’re wasting taxpayer money.” ” Jan 13, 2014

Boooooooooomm!

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/sex-597110-offenders-law.html

Thanks for remembering!

No, thank YOU!

I would like to kind of repeat what I wrote last January in case they ever visit this web site – a big shout of gratitude to the (overworked and underpaid) OC Public Defender’s office for a job well done, Attorney Dennis Riordan for his assistance in this matter, and most of all to the brave plaintiffs in these cases who SHOWED UP, STOOD UP AND SPOKE UP.

Here I am including the players in the 5 lawsuits that are currently pending in Federal Court.

You know who you are. Thank you.

Hi Joe:

I love the comments on this article. After reading some of the comments stating some of the things full of baloney Tony has done I have to wonder why the FBI hasn’t arrested him and sent him to prison for a very long time. This poor excuse for a man is an outright criminal of the worst variety.

Will this decision have any effect on the current suits against Pomona, S. Lake Tahoe, National City, Carson, and Lompoc?

(correct me if I am wrong) I think so because those are “who is obeying the law”. This lawsuit is NOT about who is right or wrong.
It is clear that those cities are NOT obeying the law and enforcing illegal activities.

In all likelihood, they will be dismissed as moot. A court will not rule on an issue that has been resolved in some manner.

Janice, Chance, and the rest of the people that worked towards making this miracle possible; Congratulations and thank you.

I think I’ll hit the hiking trails tomorrow in the county nature preserve that is right next to my residence.

Enjoy your hike! Take picture!!

Not dominos, but stubborn, ignorant, greedy apathetic, frightened people stand in the path towards freedom. Believe me, they do not like being knocked down and they are very powerful. Let’s use this as inspiration to give a little more to the cause. We have been the lifeless dominos that have fell to their laws. Those that have stood firm, protect the others. Thank you to all those who stood firm in the courtroom and kept the restrictions from burying us alive. Time we all stood a little more firm.

Excellent news!

I’d like to have a party at one of national city’s park!
why? Their Mayor is so stubborn on fighting this!!

Ill go and will even pick people up on the way down there.

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/NationalCity619)

I vote for having a piñata that looks like Tony Baloney Rackauckas at the party.

Hi G4change:

I say we have the Tony Rackauckas piñata and a Susan Kang Schroeder dart board and let all the children that were screwed by these presence restrictions go to town! It would also be nice to see a couple of Tony Rackauckas and Susan Kang Schroeder pin the tail on the jack asses. I’ll bet the kids would have hours of fun with those!

Sounds like a plan!!! 🙂

Hi G4Change:

Towards the end of the day we could burn their likenesses in effigy as a show of support for all the people they and their kind have burned! 🙂

I’ll bring the lighter fluid!

After having a terrible week (in more ways than words can express .. and nothing to do with being a RSO) … this FANTASTIC NEWS!

Sometime ago I wrote that Janice drew a line in the sand daring them to cross it. They did. Now look what they got for crossing the line.

Time to fight back!!

What’s next ?

Removing the Megan’s law website?

What a great accomplishment!! Janice, thank you for never giving up and fighting for what is right. Unfortunately, we will still be on probation for 3 years, and the PO clearly stated that he can NOT enter ANY park. He even had him repeat it….not sure if this victory will help us for now (I hope so), but I am sooo happy for everyone else. Thank You!!!

yes after 3 years is up or you can file a probation change.

WOOOO!! VICTORY! Time to go to the park with my toddlers without looking over my shoulder!!

In all the celebration, there should be some sober reminders to put out. Technically, the Supreme Court did NOT uphold the lower court’s decision, but rather punted it back. This means that the only jurisdiction that the ban to ordinances can be enforced is in the court that rendered the original decision. In that regard, by no means is this decision “settled” in this regard. Granted, this gives more weight to our position, as it could signal to municipalities that to fight the law would be potentially more expensive, but technically, they aren’t breaking any court decisions if the municipality… Read more »

Exactly and there is nothing stopping the state legislature from passing even more onerous laws in the future. This is a battle that must continue to be fought until Registry supporters are permanently disabled.

Congrats and thank you Janice! You kicked butt. This helps to stop unconscionable expansion of disabilities to registrants. I am presuming the court also left the appellate decision published. However, I also thank Eric Knight — I was about to post the same point about this NOT being an upholding of the appellate ruling, and that the Supreme Court did not RULE anything, but Eric already did. Although, and correct me if I’m wrong, I think this does apply the appellate district ruling statewide, at least until the court should take other action. Just FYI for readers, when the high… Read more »

Well, with Janice taking it to cities in three of the four federal circuit courts in California, obtaining favorable rulings in those courts would most probably overcome much of the ambiguity that the SCOCA decided to punt on. Only the Northern Circuit Court is left without a case, although that can change shortly as, ironically, Grover Beach is in the Northern District. One of the biggest turndown cases has been the SCOTUS denial of cert in the 8th Circuits original Iowa decision allowing for residency restrictions, which essentially opened the floodgates for other jurisdictions around the country to enact the… Read more »

Hi Anonymous Nobody: I agree that compliance checks need to be challenged in a court of law, as they are a phenomenal waste of resources that is a needless cost on the taxpayer and places the public at risk every time they are out there chasing down registrants. However; I’ve been told by a reputable source; a criminal defense attorney specializing in working with registrants, that every time I go into the sheriff’s station to update my yearly registration I have met ALL legal requirements relating to registration. What does that mean for me as a 290 registrant? It means… Read more »

Q, you said “however,” but actually we are in full agreement, saying the same thing. However :), I would extend it to mean that they cannot go to your home for a compliance check at all, without probable cause. They cannot just wily nilly come to your door any old time they want, speaking loud so the neighbors in an apartment building or next door can hear about your being a sex offender. Coming to your door to confirm something the law says they are not allowed to demand from you is illegal, and it is illegal harassment. If the… Read more »

Hi Anonymous Nobody : I think THEY think the mere fact of being on the registry is probable cause in their eyes. That’s why the DO come to my home for a “compliance check” without probable cause; they seemingly do this whenever they want. They rely and count on the registrants ignorance of their rights and the law. Every time they have shown up where I live the only thing they were trying to do was to get me to forfeit my rights. It is obvious their only intent is to get me to allow them to search the premises… Read more »

Actually, I believe they KNOW it is not probable cause. I believe they feel they simply have a right to go to your door and ask anything they want. The walkway to your door is considered to be “implied public access.” Still, if 290 actually bars them from seeking more proof from you, then it is illegal for them to go to your door for a compliance check. That prohibition in 290 of seeking more from you directly overrides the implied public access for them to go to your door. It also makes it clear that you already have legally… Read more »

What about using the money and go to the HEART of this (do not collect $200) but collect the money on “free parking” ) and get rid of the Megan’s law website and get it down to only police “need to know” ?

Nice but that is now a FEDERAL matter, as the federal government has jumped on the band wagon and now requires it of states, although not for all the offenses for which California requires registration nor for lifetime. This is one reason I advocate that instead of the inadequate tiers that were proposed last year, we simply conform to federal. Then we could redirect our efforts at the federal level to do as you are advocating here. We are so bogged down at the state level that we can’t even get to federal, and federal is now imposing more and… Read more »

I have compliance checks in my county. They can’t get through my fence to knock on my door. I am not on probation or parole for over 10 yrs now. But they do follow me around town and corner me to prove my residency even when I just shortly have provided my annual reg. verification documents. Once (5 yrs ago, long off probation) I had over 10 uniformed officers from the US Marshal’s Office, State Police and Sheriff Deputies were all surrounding my house for a compliance check. They were rude and not allowed inside my fence. Since then 2… Read more »

If we go to court against some other city with a similar ordinance (and the differences are minor), the judge will follow the lead from the Irvine case or risk being overturned. Then the court will award court costs and the city will lose and will have to pay money (to RSOL). The better alternative will be to repeal their ordinance now. I think that within 3 months, all the presence restrictions will be gone.

Eric’s analysis is both correct and incorrect. He is correct that the California Supreme Court did not uphold anything on Wednesday. The justices declined to hear D.A. Rackaukaus’s last-ditched attempt to save his signature agenda item. However, the Appeal’s Court decision in People v. Nguyen regarding preemption by state law over Irvine’s ordinance is published case law, and thus sets state precedence. This decision, which the California Supreme Court tacitly endorses by refusing to review, is the law of the state. Nguyen is not a jurisdictionally-specific decision, as Eric erroneously suggests. It controls. Whether municipalities repeal to avoid constitutionality headaches… Read more »

I appreciate your correction with regard to state precedence, and in fact I actually would normally have the same pragmatic conclusion. This is especially true, based upon SCOTUS denying cert to a challenge to the 8th Circuit’s decision that allowed 2000 foot residency restrictions. The effect of that non-action essentially opened the floodgates of such ordinances to be implemented in states and municipalities across the country. However, you have clarified it with case law, which makes it more tenable. My only concern is the Barny Fife/Buford T. Justice clones in the rural California counties ignoring such case law, and still… Read more »

Hi Jeffrey McBride: I was under the impression that the California Supreme Court decision to not hear Rackaukaus’s legal equivalent of a temper tantrum meant they were upholding their original decision; the end. And that their decision to not hear the cries of poor little Tony meant that all park, video arcade, etc presence restrictions were now illegal, and if anyone was arrested for violating one that hasn’t been repealed yet would easily win in court. I’m no legal expert, not by any stretch of the imagination, so could you please tell us what it means to the registrant ignorant… Read more »

The high court neither upheld the appellate decision nor did it nix the appellate decision. It did not even tacitly endorse the appellate decision. All the high court did was choose not to deal with it in any manner, for reasons of its own that it did not state — maybe it agrees with the appellate decision, maybe it doesn’t, but it left it intact.

So the appellate decision stands and now has statewide application — which is pretty much similar impact as if the high court had upheld it.

Thank you Janice and our brave Frank. You both did a great job. There is hope after all.

A happy result, but some caution is in order. A likely consequence is that the forces of reaction and political opportunism will sponsor a ballot initiative to put these presence restrictions in place in all of California. Crap law is all too easy to implement in California through the initiative process, Jessica’s law being the outstanding example.

At SOME POINT the registration process becomes overwhelmingly punitive. Passing something like that could be the tipping point.

Yes, you are right. That is the problem of it being based on 290 preemption rather than based on an overriding Constitutional matter.

At which point Janice or Frank will be waiting on the doorstep of the Federal Court building the morning after the election with an immediate challenge, along with a stay which will most CERTAINLY be granted.

I’m hoping there will be more there than just Janice and Frank, although they a definitely a winning team. I just feel the need to get out of the stands or the commentor’s box and join the ball game.

A general parks ban for all was part of the initial language for Chelsea’s Law in 2010. It was replaced by the provision about those with offenses against children under 14 being prohibited from entering those areas while on parole (current state law and the basis for this recent ruling). This section does not authorize cities and counties from enacting their own presence restrictions (like Jessica’s Law (2006) does for residency restrictions). This was addressed by OCDA Chief of Staff Schroeder during the first hearing on the Parks Ban in Laguna Hills end of September 2011 (video is on the… Read more »

The self-righteous John & Ken at KFI are about to talk about to talk about this if anyone cares to listen in http://www.iheart.com/live/KFI-177/?autoplay=true

So, I do have to ask a point of clarification. Does this law also affect where someone may reside?

This case was based on the state law preempting local ordinances registering where people can go. But the state law already restricts where registrants can live. This case does not reach that state law.

No, the CA Supreme Court and Court of Appeal decisions mentioned above do not address residency restrictions. They only address presence restrictions, that is, where a registered citizen may or may not visit (parks, libraries, museums, swimming pools, etc.). There are two cases pending before the CA Supreme Court regarding residency restrictions, People v. Moseley which has been there for more than 3 years and In re Taylor which has been there for more than 1 year. I don’t expect a decision from the court on those cases this year.

What about dropping a friend off at a daycare job? Or visiting your sister for lunch where she works at a High School?

But how do we overcome most people’s ignorance and closed mindlessness? People always want someone to hate. They still have the old books that lists the witches killed that were going to steal (or had stolen) children’s soul’s.

What about schools? Can I take my 8 year old to school? My sister is a teacher. Can I meet her for lunch? No one is talking about this. Only Parks, Libraries, Amusement Parks, ETC….. Janice?

This is fantastic news! What, if anything … does this mean with residency restrictions … like in Cypress (Orange County, of course!) … do we smell victory there too???

Monumentous HomeRun …..whewwwwwwewwww….like a much needed 3run HomeRun to win…….its benchmark Homer …..wow …..and over that oc shop office in your face wrong….whewwwwwwwww.!!HomeRun

Could it be that the logical progression would be to go after certain LE agencies that post their own web information? This field is also occupied by state law and the state’s website should be the only authority on this matter. Again the state law issues the ultimate guidelines on dissemination of this information and should prevent other (local) jurisdictions from pursuing their own published information which is more sensationalist than practical in many cases. This section of law needs to be rewritten to prevent ANY commercial exploitation of this information, especially since much of what we have seen in… Read more »

HI j:

I’m in total agreement. The private ones also need to be addressed; nationwide.

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