On April 1, 2014, The City of Redlands, California, repealed a 2011 ordinance prohibiting persons required to register pursuant to Penal Code section 290 from entering city parks without prior written permission by the City of Redlands Police Department.
The City rescinded Chapter 9.14 of the Redlands Municipal Code in its entirety by way of 4-1 vote of its five-member city council.
The ordinance was repealed as a result of a California Court of Appeals decision on January 10, 2014 in People v. Nguyen 222 Cal. App. 4th 1168 (2014). The court held that an ordinance enacted by the City of Irvine making it a misdemeanor for a Penal Code section 290 registrant to enter a city park without prior written authorization by the Sheriff of Orange County is preempted by state law.
“[W]e conclude the state statutory scheme imposing restrictions on a sex offender’s daily life fully occupies the field and therefore preempts the city’s efforts to restrict sex offenders from visiting city parks and recreational facilities” the court had said in its decision.
On April 8, 2014, California Reform Sex Offender Laws sent a letter to Mayor Pete Aguilar of Redlands, reminding him of cities currently facing litigation which had failed to respond to the organization’s requests to repeal or stop enforcement in letters sent to 71 municipalities across the state.
“Cities that have not agreed to repeal or stop enforcement of their sex offender [laws] have been sued in federal district court,” the letter explains. “Additional lawsuits can be expected.”
To date, the Law Offices of Janice M. Bellucci has filed suit against Pomona (U.S. Central District), South Lake Tahoe (U.S. Eastern District), National City (U.S. Southern District), and the City of Carson (U.S. Central District).
However, by the time Mayor Aguilar had received the most recent warning from Attorney Bellucci, the city had already taken the necessary action to avoid a lawsuit.
As a result of Redlands decision to repeal its ordinance, registered citizens may now lawfully enter and enjoy Redland’s city parks free from fear of arrest and conviction, provided that they are not otherwise restricted as a condition of probation or parole.
For the full text of the repeal of Redland’s ordinance, please see below:
ORDINANCE NO. 2806
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF REDLANDS REPEALING CHAPTER 9.14 OF THE REDLANDS MUNICIPAL CODE RELATING TO CITY PARKS AND CHILD SAFETY ZONES
WHEREAS, on December 20, 2011, the City Council of the City of Redlands adopted Ordinance No. 2766 to add Chapter 9.14 (City Parks and Child Safety Zones) to the Redlands Municipal Code to prohibit registered sex offenders, pursuant to Section 290 of the California Penal Code, from entering certain designated City parks; and
WHEREAS, on January 10, 2014, the Fourth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal, in People v. Nguyen, 222 Cal. App. 4th 1168 (2014), held that a local ordinance making it a misdemeanor for registered sex offenders to enter a park where children regularly gather without permission from law enforcement is preempted by state law; and
WHEREAS, Chapter 9.14 of the Redlands Municipal Code, which prohibits registered sex offenders from entering parks within the City of Redlands without permission from the City’s Police Department, is now most likely preempted by state law;
THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF REDLANDS DOES ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Chapter 9.14 of the Redlands Municipal Code, entitled “CityParks and Child Safety Zones,” is hereby deleted in its entirety.
Section 2. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase or word of this ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of any court of competent jurisdiction or preempted by state legislation, such decision or legislation shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance. The City Council of the City of Redlands hereby declares that it would have passed this ordinance and each and every section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase or word not declared invalid or unconstitutional without regard to any such decision or preemptive legislation.
Section 3. The Mayor shall sign this ordinance and the City Clerk shall certify to the adoption of this ordinance and cause it, or a summary of it, to be published once in the Redlands Daily Facts, a newspaper of general circulation within the City, and thereafter, this ordinance shall take effect in accordance with law.
Pete Aguilar, Mayor
Sam Irwin, City Clerk
I, Sam Irwin, City Clerk of the City of Redlands, hereby certify that the foregoing ordinance was duly adopted by the City Council at a regular meeting thereof held on the 1st day of April, 2014 by the following vote:
AYES: Councilmembers Harrison, Foster, Gardner, Gilbreath; Mayor Aguilar
Sam Irwin, City Clerk