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Following the letter, Bellucci said, Costa Mesa and El Centro repealed their ordinances.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 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 that they have to be registered as a warning to the world that they did commit a crime. I believe this to be true even if they so called “did their time”! As the old saying goes, don’t commit the crime if you cant do the time!

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 was evidence to support the requirement. This is a “Fair” way to serve and protect the innocent and label for a lifetime the perpetrator. My name is not on the registry because the public needs not fear that I am an eminent threat to society as I have not inflicted myself upon anther! Yet everyday, I hear about these devastating cases and do not understand why the punishments are not harsher! If you have never been a victim of a sexual “Attack” you should probably refrain from throwing around the phrase of ” And the statement we always hear how victims never recover or suffer for the rest of their life is absolute B.S.” I do not know your story, and you do not know mine. I will continue to speak out on this issue and continue to fight to insure that “Convicted Perpetrators” have a registry requirement for “LIFE”!!!

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!