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Sacramento County Ordinance Challenged in Federal Court

A lawsuit challenging a sex offender ordinance adopted by Sacramento County was filed today in federal district court. This lawsuit is the sixth in a series of lawsuits challenging sex offender ordinances adopted by local governments that prohibit the presence of registered citizens within their jurisdictions.

“Sacramento County adopted an ordinance that violates both the state and federal constitutions,” stated attorney Janice Bellucci. “The ordinance is also preempted by state law as determined by the California Court of Appeal in the Nguyen and Godinez cases. The California Supreme Court denied review of those cases and therefore they serve as precedent within the state of California.”

Prior lawsuits were filed against the City of Pomona (March 24), the City of South Lake Tahoe (March 31), National City (April 8), the City of Carson (April 11) and the City of Lompoc (April 21).

“The ordinance adopted by Sacramento County is based upon two myths: (1) that registered citizens have a high rate of re-offense and (2) that strangers commit most sexual assaults,” stated attorney Chance Oberstein. “The facts are that registered citizens on parole commit a second sex offense at the low rate of only 1.8 percent and that more than 90 percent of sexual assaults upon children are committed not by strangers, but instead by family members, teachers, coaches, and the clergy.”

Prior to today’s filing, several cities and one county have repealed their sex offender ordinances. The cities include Lancaster, Palmdale, Lake Forest, and El Centro. The county is El Dorado County.

“Future legal challenges to sex offender ordinances adopted by cities and counties that restrict the presence of registered citizens within their jurisdictions can be expected,” stated Bellucci.

Join the discussion

  1. Eric Knight

    Looks like the media is finally on notice. The Sac Bee has already posted their own article.

    http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/30/6367467/sacramento-county-sued-over-sex.html

  2. Dr

    They seem to forget there is a big differance in people on parole or probation and people that are not. You have guidelines to fallow while on parole, but when you do your time it should be done. People need to respect that and just leave us alone.

  3. Q

    I never ceases to amaze me how government officials; especially district attorneys can be so irresponsible that they pass laws without checking out facts, or knowing anything about the subject as they peruse favorite cause; registered citizens. With all the empirical evidence out there that counters their claims there is absolutely no excuse for them to keep these laws and ordinances or to propose new ones.

    These people; district attorneys, law enforcement and those that seek public approval for office or appointment are the ones that have the public up in arms and living in fear of anyone they don’t know. These are the ones that by all rights should demonstrate they actually do have integrity by acknowledging the facts and setting the record straight.

    Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully is blaming Jessica’s Law for their illegal ordinances, claiming it to be unclear. How slimy of her and every other supposedly responsible official throughout the state. If the state thought such drastic restrictions of movement were necessary I’m sure they would have made that known. These people must stop taking the law into their own hands and show a little respect for the state and laws already in place; weather they agree with them or not.

  4. Robert Curtis

    Way to go Janice and Chance!

    It’s a bit bold to file against the county of our State Capital. Perhaps those in the Capital will get the hint that violating the rights of any citizen even their new whipping boy that’s on the sex offender registry is Evil and Wrong!

    It’s an election year we all should stand on the doorsteps of those being re-elected and those seeking election. We have a Registered sex offender running for Governor(Glenn Champ 3rd in the poles and closing!) for Pete’s sake! Show up, Stand up and Speak up! (as Janice would say)

  5. Brubaker

    Saccounty just isn’t getting it…they’re too selfish to see this isn’t an exoffender issue, but a human rights / civil rights issue ….this is bigger than them….this effects everyone ….shut it down sac-county…time to eat all your words swallow your pride…Open your eyes.

    • A

      I don’t think it really matters about what laws they want to make up and enforce. The only idea here, for the local policy makers, is incumbency. They wanna stay in office. The longer in office, the more value and clout are accrued. Repealing anything makes no difference. The voting public has a very short memory. It’s not about keeping people safe at all. It’s about using a vulnerable citizen for their own gain, resulting in a breach of the state and federal constitution. “Never mind the person behind the Green Curtain!”
      Smoke n Mirrors.

      Isn’t their activity harmful to youngsters? Witnessing this manipulation is harmful to youngsters as well. Anyone that wants to see need only to look at what is being done. Teach by example. Hitler did.

  6. cool rso guy!

    Thank you Janice! The light is getting BRIGHTER because of YOU !!!
    (I just hope it not the train)

  7. j

    One of the biggest components of idiocy of this law is that it does not delineate registrants that have not been on probation or parole for decades.

    Everyone groups all registrants into their own zany definition to satisfy whatever explicit (or implicit) punishment society can levy against this group.

    The web site needs to denote status and threat level but as usual the DOJ is dragging it feet because any cleanup of the statute will further underscore how remiss the legislators were when putting in this Rube Goldberg body of law.

    The damage to families of registrants who have completed their sentences is far greater than the safety that is being provided. No one in the legislature seems to have the stones to admit to that in public. It is amazing that there are virtually no exposes of the cases of children of registrants whose lives were needlessly shattered in school and social circles. The only thing the legislators did in that regard was to insulate themselves from any downrange consequences. Business as usual.

    Thanks to Janice and co. for the chance families to be re-humanized in the wake
    of the dehumanization this wreaked upon the innocent children of registrants.

    • Q

      Hi j:

      These laws, ordinances, act’s, etc were bad from the git-go because they have never done what their proponents claimed, were never based on empirical evidence, cost allot of $ with no discernible effect on the perceived problem, created collateral damage/harm to innocent’s numbering in the millions, facilitate vigilantism, have been directly related/the reason for, far too many murders, so it can be undeniably said these laws, ordinances, act’s also cause crime.

      In my eyes nothing will suffice to satisfy me that the right thing has been done until things are taken back to where they were in the day’s before less than honorable people started capitalizing on tragedies to make themselves look good and further their careers; this includes grieving parents who have in effect lashed out at the world for the tragedy they experienced with the aid and encouragement of the above mentioned less than honorable men & women, negatively impacting millions. These people need, and have a moral obligation to set the record straight and at least make an effort to undo all of the damage they have done to America and the other countries their unfounded beliefs have caused.

      Sadly I think it unlikely this will ever happen because our rulers are like children themselves. What’s happening in this state is none the less a good thing. We need more people like Janice, Chance, and others because there are allot more of “them” out there.

  8. Jason Wilson

    I’m reading today 1 person dead, 6 others wounded during a shooting at a playground in Sacramento. http://mashable.com/2014/05/11/dead-wounded-birthday-party-sacramento/

    Those politicians should get a raise, since they know exactly how to keep them kids safe!

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