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City of Orange Sued for Failure to Repeal Ordinance [updated with media]

A sex offender ordinance adopted by the City of Orange is the subject of a lawsuit filed today in federal district
court.  The lawsuit was filed after the City Council of Orange considered, but failed, to repeal its ordinance on June 10.

The City of Orange’s ordinance is broad and includes restrictions regarding where more than 105,000 individuals can be present.  Specifically, the ordinance prohibits registered citizens from being present in or within 500 feet of a wide range of locations including the public library, schools, parks, swimming pools, bus stops and playgrounds.  The Ordinance also prohibits registered citizens from staying in most hotels or motels within the city limits.  A registered citizen who violates the ordinance is subject to incarceration for a period of one year and/or a fine of $1,000.

“The City Council members of Orange, with the exception of Mayor Smith, acted without courage or common sense when they failed to repeal an ordinance which violates both the federal and state constitutions,” stated CA RSOL President and attorney Janice Bellucci.  “Those council members are wasting taxpayer dollars by ignoring recent relevant court decisions.”

The City of Orange ordinance is based upon the myth that the recidivism rate of convicted sex offenders is nearly half.  The true rates of re-offense, according to state and federal government reports, are 1.8 percent for registrants on parole and 5.3 percent for registrants overall.

“The presence restrictions within the City of Orange’s  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 Vice  President 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 SOL sent a series of letters to the City of Orange and more than 70 additional ciies in California starting on January 20 notifying them of the recent Court of Apeal decisions and that the sex offender ordinances the cities had adopted
were inconsistent with those decisions.  California RSOL requested that the cities repeal their ordinances or face a potential legal challenge.

Subsequent to issuance of the California RSOL letters, a total of 26 cities have repealed or revised their sex offender ordinances.  The cities include Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Galt, Laguna Hills, Santee and Tustin.

“Future legal challenges by sex offenders can be expected of cities that have fail to repeal or revise their sex offender ordinances,” stated Bellucci.   “The lawsuit filed against Lompoc today is the twelfth in a series of such legal challenges.”

Following is a list of the first 11 lawsuits and the dates on which they were filed.  All lawsuits have been filed in federal district court.

  • Pomona – March 24
  • South Lake Tahoe – March 31
  • National City – April 8
  • Carson – April 11
  • Lompoc – April 21
  • Sacramento County – April 30
  • Santa Ana – May 7
  • Wasco – May 15
  • Ontario – May 21
  • Stockton – May 27
  • Taft – May 29

Related:
City of Orange’s Ban on Registered Sex Offenders in Parks Draws a Federal Lawsuit
Orange sued over sex-offender restrictions

Join the discussion

  1. cool rso guy

    Thank you !!!
    The more laws that are remove the less stress RSO have!!

  2. Q

    I was planning on going to a family function in Orange this Saturday and visiting with my 93 yo mother and family; but now I think I’ll stay away; it’s too uncomfortable and creepy knowing that one misstep in that town can land you in prison, and too many things can happen; like a flat tire close to a bus stop or one of the many other restricted locations, or getting pulled over because of the motorcycle I ride and the way I look next to a public library, school, parks, swimming pool, bus stops or playground. There’s too much at stake and I don’t have the time or desire to go to jail for a year. I don’t have $1,000 dollars either.

    Thanks for your efforts Janice; it must be hard dealing with such ignorance and stupidity.

    • Joe

      93! Very impressive… who knows how many more birthday parties, family get-togethers, etc your mother has left? One would hate to have this be the last one and you missing it because of some absurd ordinance and a handful of delusional city council members.

      Plus, I would argue the exact opposite. Go. Let them arrest you if they must, and then sue the bejeesus out of them, as those laws have already been found to be unconstitutional. Go to the family party and / or get rich! Have your cake and eat it, too. Brilliant!

      • Q

        Joe:

        I’m from OC; borne and raised. My family history there goes back to the 20s and 30s. My mother actually went to Chapman U when it was only one building that was used for the kindergarten, elementary, jr high and high school students. I was born in St Josephs hospital. If anyone has ever noticed how I sound angry at times it is these laws that anger me (I have no respect for lies or liars) and that includes willful ignorance.

        These laws were never based on truth; if you ever get the chance grab the book by Alex Landon “a parallel universe.” It highlights the arguments used to bring these immoral, unconstitutional, and now illegal laws into our lives. Every argument has now been empirically proven to be false. Those men and women got up there and knowingly lied through their teeth to get the registry and allot of other laws passed.

        I have court actions that are ongoing; were I to be arrested for anything my efforts and the efforts of my attorneys would be turned into something with much less a chance for success. Perhaps I would be more willing to get myself arrested in the future; but that has the potential to be life threatening.

        I’m thankful my sister brings my mother here several times a year and she is still very healthy. She got a bit tipsy once, fell off of a chair and has never touched alcohol since, has never smoked and has always been very conscious of what she eats. These idiots that haven’t a clue of what they are talking about keep me from the place of my birth and family. I stay away because I know the Orange police to be excessively anal every chance they get. Every time I have had to go to OC I’ve always been very uncomfortable knowing I was placing myself in a position to be harmed by merely existing. I’ve missed so much because of these kinds of laws and restrictions that are based on myth, that are past the point of having turned into lies. Perhaps I’ll go on Saturday. But I never know if something could happen that would make it necessary to pull off of the freeway, thus opening myself up to the many inconsistent laws in various cities in OC. I think it best I just stay safe and stay away from OC until Janice and CO kick a little more butt down there.

  3. td777

    From the time I started parole, I avoided this city like the plague. They have the worst city in the worst county when it comes to how they deal with registrants.

  4. USA

    I’m actually very shocked by this. I mean, a Judge has ruled against this prejudicial ordinance. I think that being the organization RSOL is, I would sue the City of Orange for damages. I would state or request $1,000 dollars for each day this ordinance remains in affect and use the proceeds for future endeavors. Lets send both a fair and respectful message to cities. They clearly believe they are above the court/legal system. We have to respect the laws! Why don’t they?

    • Q

      USA:

      The city counsel of the city of Orange are fools, all you have to do is watch the video of their meeting and it becomes pretty obvious. The only one that seems to have a shred of common sense is the mayor; she wouldn’t recommend gutting their illegal laws if she didn’t have to and would impose even more immoral and unconstitutional restrictions on registrants if she could; so I would not call her an honest person, not by a long shot. There are different kinds of honesty, such as cash register honesty and moral honesty, and nobody on that counsel has one shred of moral honesty; ditto for the other city counsels across this state that have or have had these laws. They talk about being sued and lo$ing before, and now they are willingly placing themselves in a position to harm their city again because of their prejudice. Its amazing; they are indeed fools.

      • Q

        They are fools also because they believe lies to be truth. They and their kind refuse to seek out the truth. They just believe whatever they are told; just like the rest of citizenry fools.

        Lie – noun

        Definition of LIE
        1
        a :  an assertion of something known or believed by the speaker to be untrue with intent to deceive
        b :  an untrue or inaccurate statement that may or may not be believed true by the speaker
        2
        :  something that misleads or deceives

      • Eric Knight

        Sadly, this could be a city council meeting in many US cities, not just Orange. The biggest problem, as it were, is that the instinctive (ergo, “irrational”) actiom of humans are to protect their children at all costs, which means suspending rational behavior. Couple that with knowing that their constituents that hold the levers to their power via the voting box, and they make their decisions. Very evident here in this recording.

        And THIS is why the ONLY recourse we have is Federal Court asserting our constitutional rights.

        To that end, I’ll go one step further: The most RELIEVED parson on the council is the Mayor, as she essentially put her electoral butt on the line. Without the lawsuit and ensuing costs involved to the Orange treasury, you can bet the Mayor would have met up with serious political opposition the next go-around, and may have even had to put up with a recall.

  5. Someone who cares

    And then there are all the non SOs and those who support these ridiculous illegal “laws”, not realizing that their tax dollars are being spent. When they get sued, guess who will be paying. Hopefully, some people will realize that these so called laws do nothing but waste money and time that could be spent more wisely on much more important issues.

  6. j

    What a huge and costly legal blunder Tony orchestrated across virtually every jurisdiction in the county.

    Thank goodness for the will and courage of Janice to take on this status quo network and bring sorely needed oxygen to the thousands of citizens gasping for at least a tinge of the air of freedom and justice.

    Everyone needs to know that following Tony’s lead (and Runner’s) is a journey into the deep south of decades ago (if not centuries…)

    • Q

      J:

      It stands to reason that they will lose because the law is on our side. Their enactment of these laws they want to keep so bad was a slap in the face of truth and law, as well as the constitution and bill of rights, and other laws too. And now they slap the law and truth in the face again with their obstinacy.

      I was surprised to see an article in the OC Register about this, and that’s good, because everyone will see what is happening with their money by these fools. I hope it’s extra expensive for them; Janice should double her fees for this one. 🙂 I hope all those creeps get voted out in the next election. They should have listened to their city attorney on June 10th when proposed repealing most of their illegal ordinances. Their city attorney says he want’s to defend the city council; he would probably be better off if he jumped ship and went somewhere where the people he works with at least have a brain.

      http://www.ocregister.com/articles/law-622565-sex-council.html

      • Eric Knight

        Helps to have a few reporters’ contact information on the ol’ Android 😛

  7. Eric Knight

    One of the city councilmembers, Mike Alvarez, commented in the comments section (Facebook). I responded to him. I’m not sure if my own response was shown or has propagated yet.

    Mike Alvarez

    “As one of the Councilman that did not support this change, I could not support this action that removes the safe zones for children…Judges are not perfect nor are any of us…so we make laws in this case to protect the vulnerable….when a 61 year man performs lewd acts before a child, he should lose some his rights….I believe that the people who voted me into office will agree with me and support my action…”

    My response:

    Eric Knight

    “What “safe zones” are you talking about, Mike? There is no…I will repeat… NO proof, no statistics, no police reports, no cases where residency proximity of registrants have anything to do with the safety of children. In fact, I was the first person who pointed this very fact out in March 2011 at the OC Supervisor’s meeting. (source: http://www.ocregister.com/totalbuzz/sex-468556-offenders-county.html) They didn’t heed the warning, and are now being heavily penalized in federal court, as well as their own pocketbook.

    But back to you. YOU have stated that “judges are not perfect” and that some people “should lose some of (his) rights.” The fact you would absolutely trash the state and federal constitution (in particular, the 1st, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th, and 14th amendments, along with the ex post facto clause and the interstate commerce clause) speaks volumes of your own denouncement of the very document you swore to serve and protect when you accepted our position on the council.

    The real reason, though, came out: You claim that your constituents want you to pursue this very blatant violation of the law INSTEAD of recommending real solutions. This speaks of your cowardice, or at best, your ignorance… perhaps both. The bottom line is that instead of kowtowing to the crowd you can be researching, and implementing other options that work. Such options can be found at http://www.sosen.org.

    Very well. Get out your checkbook, for there is no federal judge so far who will rule against the constitution. If indeed your voters support your action, so be it, as it’s their money that will be paying for your nonsense. Incidentally, Orange is becoming more inundated with gangs, which is by far a MUCH greater threat to the children of Orange. Check with your police chief on that. But try to put a residency restriction on them. Not gonna happen.

    Seeya in court, or in settlement. Have a nice day!”

    Just a bit miffed at his cavalier attitude, I was.

    *** link edited to full URL. No cloaked URLs, please. *** Moderator

    • Q

      Eric Knight:

      That was a really good response. Apparently Mike Alvarez doesn’t know much about registrants, and how most of what people; like him, think they know is is usually the exact opposite of the reality/truth.
      I have to wonder what county counsel Nicholas Chrisos is thinking right about now. You said in no uncertain terms “I guarantee you this law will be taken down.” I wonder if he, and all the other anti America people like Tony Rackauckas and Shawn Nelson remember what you said on that day in 2011.
      I sincerely hope your words are ringing in their ears every time they find out about another city repealing their ordinances or a city get’s sued for violating the state constitution. Those people created a huge mess and no one is calling them to account for their monumental blunder, and it’s highly unlikely anyone ever will. I hope I’m wrong on that, because they need to be held accountable, like we are.

      • j

        Alvarez doesn’t know much about anything but mob rule and reaction based on fear mongering and exaggerated statistics – and votes!

        He drank the OC Kool Aid – and everything just happened – in his fact starved mind – according to plan…

      • Eric Knight

        For some reason, my reply did not show up, EXCEPT when I am logged into Facebook. If you don’t know what I mean, Facebook has an annoying habit of suppressing certain comments from public viewing, although the author can see the response if the author is logged in.

        Note with regard to “cloaked” url: I’m sorry, when I copied the facebook post, I forgot to revert the cloaked link to the full link that this site requires. I’ll make sure to remember in the future.

        • Q

          Eric Knight; that’s just more censorship by Face Book, along with their ban on registrants. How is it you can have an account? If I wanted one; would I use an alias?

        • Eric Knight

          I’m not a registrant so Facebook TOS doesn’t apply.

          But the TOS is currently toothless. As Facebook can technically bar ANYONE from its site, there is no pragmatic penalty for a registrant to be on Facebook. (Sex offenders are usually outed out on Facebook by “antis” who recognize Facebook members, then submit the form to Facebook they provide for such a purpose.)

          Only states with laws on the books against registrant ownership or management of social network accounts (or with laws modifying terms like full disclosure of registration status) can do anything about it.

          That said, I don’t recommend one way or the other for you to get an account. Suffice to say that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of registrants with Facebook accounts, many with aliases. Do what you will.

        • Tim

          The TOS says “convicted sex offender” vague enough that someone with a COR or never having to register can be excluded with a background check.

        • Q

          Thank you. That’s interesting. I’ve thought of trying Facebook a number of times, but never did because I’ve always heard they didn’t wan’t registrant’s on their site, and the risk of being exposed, which would really put a damper on things, is too great for me; it’s too risky for me. Around here it’s a number of small cities and towns, unless you go down to the Palm Springs area; I’ve already been outed by a busy body neighbor in the community of 3,500 people where I live, so any kind of a life is now out if the question in this town. I would hate for that to happen in the town I go to for my needs and activities. I do believe I’ll continue to forego a face Book account. Thanks for the info 🙂

        • Jason Wilson

          It is important to note, they are a PUBLIC company now, since they offered their IPO. A private company may have some leeway in banning groups of people, but a publicly traded company cannot.

        • Tim

          Is there any action we can take in this regard? The reality is Facebook is so prevalent, that I am loosing business not using it. It is become like not being able to put an ad in the newspaper used to be. I’m sorry about the mothers of teenage girls who are afraid of loved ones falling prey to someone, but you know it is the teenagers themselves, that are posting the illegal pictures and you have to some real parenting and not rely on a false sense of security. . I’m not thrilled about using it myself, but I would like to use it for legal purposes as is my right.

        • Q

          Jason Wilson:

          I wonder if Face Book is aware of this; I’m sure they are. Perhaps that’s why there are so many registrants on their site.

    • Q

      Eric Knight:

      I posted this on the article page. I couldn’t resist, since the city’s decision to not repeal their illegal ordinance has a direct and negative affect on me and my family. I plagiarized a small portion of your response to city councilman Mike Alvarez. I apologize if this offends you, but you wrote it so well I felt it would detract from it’s impact if I changed it.

      “Jean Short; your assessment of the issue is very accurate. Each time someone gives an approving nod to these preemptive measures another piece of America dies. What you say is true about there not being one single documented instance of a registrant committing an offense in one of these places covered by the cities ordinance. The same can be said of the sex offender registry too. I have looked for hours and was unable to find one single documented instance of the registry saving “just one child,” or adult for that matter from a crime, or deterring a crime; and that’s nationwide.

      In fact the re-offense rate for registrants is 5.3% overall and in the 70% range for the majority of other crimes, such as gang violence, drug crimes and assaults. So I have to wonder if the public will ever wake up and realize that public officials are destroying our way of life in order to look good, or “tough on crime.” And that’s not to mention the monetary and manpower cost that diverts law enforcement and other resources away from the crimes in the 70% category.

      The truth be known these laws not only go against the state and federal Constitution and the Bill of Rights; in particular the 1st, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th and 14th amendments, but also violate the ex post facto clause and the interstate commerce clause. Another truth is these laws harm entire families and especially children. I challenge anyone to go to You Tube an search for “Kat Truth” and listen to what this innocent child was forced to endure. And now Ohio is seeking a gun offender registry that will have a controversial negative impact on legal gun owners. If this catches on it won’t take long for the residents of California to have a gun registry too. If this gun registry comes into being it’s a sure bet criminals will continue to commit crimes with guns. Another truth is that the vast majority of sex crimes against children are committed by someone the child knows and has a trust relationship with, such as a family member, coach, teacher, neighbor or pastor; and invariably these trusted people are not sex offender registrants.”

  8. Janice Bellucci

    We highly recommend that you listen to the Orange City Council discuss whether or not to repeal its ordinance. The discussion took only 10 minutes and included a statement by the City Attorney that the city was “legally bound to do so”. The council noted that they had already been threatened with a lawsuit if they didn’t change the ordinance. Most shocking was the council’s disregard for an appellate court decision in the same jurisdiction which determined that similar city ordinances are preempted by state law. Perhaps the council members didn’t learn in school about the separation of powers.

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