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Suits challenge sex offender laws

Lawyer and her reform group were prompted by recent appellate court ruling

A civil rights lawyer aiming to reform sex offender laws has started suing municipalities across California to force the removal of ordinances that bar sex offenders from many public facilities, including parks, swimming pools and bus stops.
Janice Bellucci, who practices in Santa Maria and is president of the group California Reform Sex Offender Laws, said the ordinances violate the state and federal constitutions.

On Friday, Bellucci sued Pomona in the Central District federal court in Los Angeles, and on Monday she sued South Lake Tahoe in the Eastern District. Bellucci said she also expects to bring lawsuits in California’s Northern and Southern federal districts.
The city attorney in South Lake Tahoe did not return a call for comment. The city attorney for Pomona could not be reached.
Bellucci’s actions through California Reform Sex Offender Laws were prompted by recent 4th District Court of Appeal decisions that struck down ordinances in the city of Irvine and in Orange County.

Justices from Division 3 of the panel said state law preempted the separate ordinances. Irvine’s law banned registered sex offenders whose crime involved a minor from visiting any city park or recreational facility where children are present unless the police chief permitted it. State law, the panel said, already imposes restrictions on a sex offender’s daily life and “fully occupies the field.”

Under state law, a sex offender on parole for an offense against a child under the age of 14 cannot enter a park that children regularly attend without the permission of his or her parole agent. Sex offenders also cannot go to schools “without lawful business” and written permission from the school. Only the decision involving Irvine’s ordinance was published.
After the appellate court decisions, Bellucci’s group sent a letter to 71 cities with similar ordinances to notify them of the appellate court decisions. The group requested that the cities repeal the ordinances within 60 days or they would face a legal challenge.
Following the letter, Bellucci said, Costa Mesa and El Centro repealed their ordinances. Other cities, including Anaheim, agreed to halt enforcement pending a decision by the state Supreme Court on whether it will review the appellate court decisions.
Representatives for Costa Mesa and El Centro could not be reached. A representative for Anaheim confirmed the city has suspended enforcement of the oridinance pending the high court’s ruling.

“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,” Bellucci said in a statement.

By Hamed Aleaziz
Daily Journal Staff Writer
hamed_aleaziz@dailyjournal.com

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Your voice (Janice ) at table is being hear !
Doing something to change the situation.Being persistent and forceful .

Excellent exposure. .getting the word out. .creating for some the opportunity to help and file lawsuits on behalf of us on registry challenging injustice……the work here by Janice Bellucci and staff can inspire others to help…we appreciate it. . this registry is the example on how Not to treat people.

You speak of “Injustice” as if it pertains to a Convicted Criminal? Injustice is what happens when a crime is committed and an appropriate sentence is NOT handed down to the “perpetrator”. This is the definition of “injustice”!! The least a Convicted Sex Offender can do is register as a SEX OFFENDER for the rest of their existence if they are NOT spending the rest of their life in a prison where they belong! Again I state, do not do the “Crime” if you can not do the “Time”

You all are fortunate to have this impassioned Ms. Bellucci working for you. There is so much that needs to be changed with the medieval laws.

I think the laws applied to the sex offenders need to be more sever! Relaxing them is a asking for more danger to our children and our society. Why should it be okay for a convicted, yes “CONVICTED” felon to commit a Federal Crime and be able to move on as if nothing ever happened? I really don’t care if it harms their life, a victim lives with the hurt, memories, fears, etc. for the rest of their life as so should the perpetrator! From a victims standpoint (who also has civil rights) it is a great privilege to know… Read more »

Obviously you see the registry as continued punishment and you are happy with that.
You are not alone.

You seem to think that sex crimes are the only crime ever committed in this country. What the young person who gets killed by a gang gun shot, or a drunk driver, I am sure that those victims and families will suffer for the rest of their lives. But the person who committed the crime do their time and then released to continue their lives without being on any list. The same with drug dealers, bank robbery, or like the group that committed the armed home invasion at my home. No list or registry for them. No threat of a… Read more »

It looks as if you “interpreted” my comment as only to pertain to “Sex Crimes” which is not the message. What was meant was, this is an active registry and I would like to see it stay that way. There are many “victims” of an array of “Crimes” however, this page is associated to CONVICTED SEX OFFENDERS. Therefore this specific comment was based on that and that alone! If I were on a site for drunk drivers, or in your case a very different traumatic event and I sincerely pray that your get closure. I would probably have a relative… Read more »

You state in your original post ” Why should it be okay for a convicted, yes “CONVICTED” felon to commit a Federal Crime and be able to move on as if nothing ever happened?” That tells me that you are only talking about all felons. What if the person was not charged of a felony? Dd you know a person can be put on the registry for taking a piss in an alley. Or mooning someone, there is one person that is fporce to register and he did not even commit a sex crime. Knowledge is power and it seem… Read more »

@Karma What makes you say a registrant moves on as if nothing ever happened? I guess you’ve never done something you regret. Something that when you think about it, it makes you cringe. A certain amount of self loathing. You make it sound like people who’ve done something bad should to walk around with their worst moment in time tattooed on their forehead. How long does it take to commit sexual abuse? Less than a second? A lapse in judgement. And the statement we always hear how victims never recover or suffer for the rest of their life is absolute… Read more »

Very well said, Mike, and respectful in nature.

First of all, you may be a little confused. I am not sure if you are aware you are on a “SEX OFFENDER LAW” topic, which I believe was your original complaint on my statement, which you argued, was about other groups who committed a crime. Secondly your answer is in your 2nd issue is in your own question “What if the person was not charged of a felony?” to my response of “CONVICTED” as a felon, so yes knowledge is power. I stand firm on my original statement.

@Mike, Let me start by saying that I am very angry in regards to this issue. There may be people on the “Registry” who truly do not belong there. However, there is an absolute need for this registry. Not all cases are a one time occurrence, or even a unfortunate event that someone feels bad about. This is a major problem that never seems to stop. I will not change my mind or continue to speak my opinion wherever and whenever possible regardless of the personal feeling of a “Registrant”! Obviously if you are on the list, chances are there… Read more »

Oh, give it a break and get over yourself. Grow up and realize that the world is not all about you. People are not perfect and neither are you. we move on or we stagnate in our own hate and discourse. Jeez!

Thank you for commenting. I understand your anger, because I was a victim of abuse, although, I am not assuming you were. At the time I harboured a secret hate for him, which defined our relationship. Avoiding speaking to him was my revenge at the time, and I think it did a lot of damage to him and me. But I can’t imaging how labeling the man “perpetrator” and having him suffer for the rest of his life would have made anything better. Like most abuses it occurred in the family circle and didn’t involve overt violence. He died a… Read more »

Just because I state my opinion does not mean I need to get over myself. The world in not perfect, if it was there would be no need for “Sex Offender Registration” Choke on that!

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