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ACSOLCalifornia

CITY OF CARSON SEX OFFENDER ORDINANCE CHALLENGED IN FEDERAL COURT

A sex offender ordinance adopted by Carson, a city located within Los Angeles County, is the subject of a lawsuit filed today in Federal district court. This is the fourth lawsuit to be filed in four weeks challenging a city’s sex offender ordinance that includes restrictions regarding where more than 105,000 individuals can be present.

Specifically, the Carson ordinance prohibits registered citizens from being present in or within 300 feet of a wide range of locations including schools, parks, library, swimming pools, and bus stops. A registered citizen who violates the ordinance is subject to incarceration for a period up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000 for each day of violation.

“The lawsuit filed against the City of Carson is the unfortunate result of two failed attempts to reach a settlement agreement,” stated CA RSOL President Janice Bellucci. “The City offered to stay enforcement of the presence restrictions in the ordinance, however, that offer was made available to some, not all, registered citizens. The lawsuit was filed in order to protect the state and federal constitutions by restoring the civil rights of all registered citizens.”

The sex offender ordinance was adopted by Carson in 2008 and is in violation of both the federal and state constitutions. The provisions of the ordinance directly affect all registered citizens in the state of California as well as indirectly affect an additional 400,000 individuals who are family members.

The Carson ordinance is based upon two myths: (1) that registered citizens have a high rate of re-offense and (2) that strangers commit sexual assaults. The true rates of re-offense*, according to state and federal government reports, are 1.9 percent for registrants on parole and 5.3 percent for registrants overall. More than 90 percent of sexual assaults upon children are committed not by strangers but by family members, teachers, coaches and clergy.**

“The presence restrictions within the Carson ordinance are inconsistent with recent decisions of the California Court of Appeals which invalidated two ordinances – one by the City of Irvine and the other by the County of Orange – as being preempted by existing state law,” stated CA RSOL board member and attorney Chance Oberstein. “The court held that the state statutory scheme imposing restrictions on a sex offender’s daily life fully occupied the field.”***

California RSOL sent a letter to Carson and more than 70 additional cities within California on January 20 notifying them of the recent Court of Appeal decisions and that the sex offender ordinances the cities had adopted were inconsistent with those decisions. California RSOL requested in those letters that the cities repeal their ordinances within 60 days or face a potential legal challenge.

Subsequent to issuance of the California RSOL letter, the cities of Costa Mesa and El Centro repealed their sex offender ordinances. Several additional cities, including Anaheim, Grand Terrace, and South Pasadena have agreed in writing not enforce their sex offender ordinances pending a decision from the California Supreme Court whether to grant review of the California Court of Appeal decisions.

“Future legal challenges by sex offenders can be expected of cities that have failed to either repeal their sex offender ordinances or agree in writing to stay enforcement of those ordinances,” stated Bellucci.

The first in a series of legal challenges to city ordinances was filed on March 24 against the City of Pomona; the second on March 31 against the City of South Lake Tahoe; and the third on April 8 against National City. All lawsuits have been filed in Federal district courts.

# # # # #

*See 2013 Outcome Evaluation Report, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation dated January 2014 at page 26 and Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released from Prison in 1994, U.S. Department of Justice dated November 2003 at page 24.

** See Homelessness Among California’s Registered Sex Offenders, California Sex Offender Management Board dated September 2011 at page 10.

*** See People v. Nguyen, 222 Cal. App. 4th 1168 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. 2014) and People v. Godinez, Case No. G047657, Cal. Court of Appeals, January 10, 2014 (unpublished)].

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Thank you, Janice and all involved.
From every mountainside let freedom ring!

This is getting good!

Thank you ! Janice !

This is lawsuit #4 and more are coming! We gave the cities 60 days notice that they had a problem…..a city law that is unconstiutional…..and we warned them that if they didn’t fix their problem, they could be sued. A few cities took us seriously, many did not. Those who did not are now being sued. The City Attorney for one city already sued acted surprised that they were sued. When I reminded him of the letter he received, his answer was “we get a lot of letters”. I am sure he will read our letters more carefully in the future. Another city official in another city suggested that they were being punished. Really? It’s not punishment, it’s just an administrative requirement. (Sound familiar? If not, please read Smith v. Doe issued by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003). When you pass an law that is unconstitutional, it’s a requirement that you be sued in order to protect the U.S. Constitution.

Janice, I am on probation still but if you need someone for Santee I am willing to jump into the fray. Providing I can while I am on probation.

I lived in Santee for many years and had to go back and live at my mother’s house during trial and probation. Would have gone crazy or killed myself if I couldn’t get out of the house and hike my frustrations trudging up one of the nearby hills. Do they really care if someone harms themselves or others because they have no healthy outlet for their stress. No. All they are interested in is looking like a safe and clean community to attract developers to destroy the last natural open space areas left in city limits. Civil rights doesn’t sell houses.

This is my favorite post from you. Thanks

Great rejoinders, Ms. Janice! It’s good to see the shoe on their foot pinching!

I LOVE The suggestion they are being punished part 🙂 It’s made my day!!!! I couldn’t stop laughing for at least 5 min!!!!

” Another city official in another city suggested that they were being punished.”

Punished!? For being required to follow the state and federal constitutions!?!?!?!
What a narcissist!

His truth is marching on!

To the city attorneys that act all surprised that they’re being sued; when Janice sends out a letter telling you you’ll be sued or else, believe it! If Janice sent you a letter telling you a chicken dips snuff, you’d better start looking for the snuff box.
Janice means business, believe that!
Thank you Janice.

Thank you Janice. We could not do this without you. One step at a time….we are getting there.

Janice, Frank,
Some might have a hard time expressing what is in all of our hearts, and can’t seem to put into words, but you know that you are a hero for so many. Also, let’s not forget to thank all of those who donated to our cause, without their support these law suits could not happen. I guess we will have to start our own “ACLU” for registrants and their families. Perhaps someday Janice will have hundreds of lawyers on her staff.

Thanks, JM, for reminding us to thank the donors who make Janice’s successes possible! And many thanks to Frank who “puts himself out there.”

That dream of having Janice head up a staff of many attorneys is terrific! Can’t wait!~

@Janice,
All I can say is…….. God sent an Angel, when he made you !!! THX !!!!

what I want to know is I found documents and info on certain things and tried to post them on here for all to see which was covered up by the government but I find that it was not posted, it was taken directly out of newspaper but not good enough for this, amazing

This is a good example of why these laws will be overturned! Being a sex offender, I would literally have to search city ordinances if I took a trip! I had no idea Carson instituted these laws!

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