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General News

Santa Ana, Mission Viejo, Galt Repeal Sex Offender Ordinances

Three more cities took action this week toward the repeal of their sex offender ordinances. Mission Viejo led the group during its City Council meeting on June 2 while Santa Ana and Galt followed that lead on June 3.

“California RSOL commends these three cities for beginning the repeal of ordinances which prohibited registered citizens from visiting public and private places such as parks, libraries and restaurants,” stated California RSOL president Janice Bellucci. “They join a growing number of cities that have eliminated similar laws that violate the state and federal constitutions.”

A total of 28 cities have repealed sex offender ordinances during the past six months, including Anaheim, Costs Mesa, Lake Forest, Santee, Tustin and El Centro. Several of the cities repealed their ordinances after they were challenged in state or federal court.

There are 11 lawsuits currently pending in federal court against ten cities and one county. The cities are Pomona, South Lake Tahoe, National City, Carson, Lompoc, Santa Ana, Wasco, Ontario, Stockton and Taft. The county is Sacramento County. The lawsuits were filed during the period March 24 through May 29.

In addition to the cities that have repealed their ordinances, seven cities have agreed not to enforce their ordinances. It is expected that those cities will soon repeal their ordinances as well.

“Before the end of calendar year 2014, there will be no sex offender ordinances remaining in California which prohibit where a registered sex offender may visit,” stated California RSOL board member Chance Oberstein. “When that occurs, more than 105,000 registered citizens will be able to join family members and friends in a park or at a beach.”

Join the discussion

  1. B

    First, this is really great news and congratulations go to many people–Janice Bellucci in particular. Second, we have a long way to travel although this is an important step. While it is true that there will soon be no ordinances that prohibit where a registrant may be, there is still a state statute that prohibits registrants from being on school grounds.

  2. Joe

    As always, thanks to all involved.

    Question – where does that leave the pending law suit against the City of Santa Ana? One can only hope that the plaintiff will be financially compensated for his risks and efforts and the attorneys for their time. The council discussion makes reference to the threat of litigation. Was that lawsuit not already filed?

    Also, looking at the staff report, the ordinance to be repealed starts out with the following: “Sex Offenders pose a clear threat to the children residing in, or visiting our community”. That statement is crossed out / repealed. So does that now mean that the opposite has been established? Are they still? Or are they no longer? According to the ordinance they were, expressly.

    http://santaana.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=76&meta_id=8778

    All these city officials have navigated themselves into quite an unfortunate position, in my opinion. With the ordinance being enacted RSOs have been declared dangerous. That is what the ordinance, the law states. That makes it so. Now they are being declared not dangerous? Taking back a definitive statement like that is different from it never having been expressed and considered understood.

    As a parent – what is one to make of this?

    Fortunately people are too busy watching American Idol and becoming obese on junk food, otherwise those city officials would have some explaining to do.

    • Janice Bellucci

      The Santa Ana City Council took the first of two steps this week to repeal its sex offender ordinance. The second and final step will take place at the next City Council meeting.

  3. Joe

    Another thought…. these ordinances were approved with much publicity and shoulder padding by those responsible (more like cutting and pasting from the OCDA pied piper but whatever). Now they are being repealed and not one peep about it.

    As a parent, do I not have a right to know that, once again, my children are being put at grave risk by roving bands of registered sex offenders in my neighborhood park? That these ordinances, which were supposed to be the last and only defense between my precious child having a joyful childhood and being sexually assaulted in a park, are no longer?

  4. Q

    I’m really surprised Santa Ana is willingly (grudgingly?) doing this. I thought for sure that city would fight the hardest. When I watched the video where they passed the ordinance, it was pretty obvious they were under the influence of Tony and seemed to not care if anyone noticed they hadn’t wiped the brown from their faces. It was so weak, and what’s happening right now proves it.

    During that meeting Janice, Frank and his daughter and Robert were the only ones that made any sense. At this point I’m wondering the same thing as Joe; why isn’t this on the front page of the OC register or the LA Times? This is BIG news. All cities in this state should be ashamed of themselves for ever passing these ordinances in the first place, but you know they aren’t. I”m pretty sure they are embarrassed, but they’ll never admit that truth.

    Thank you Janice, Chance, Frank & daughter, and Robert Curtis, and anyone else I don’t know about that played a part in this victory for freedom and truth. They should have listened. I can’t wait to see how this plays out with the cities that are refusing to repeal their ordinances. I think they’ll just lose and have to pay court costs and attorney fees. I hope residence restrictions or compliance checks are next, and I pray for a tiered registry. Hooray for our side!!!

  5. Brubaker

    Wrong again orange county……wrong again….Whewwwwwwwwwwwwww..!!

  6. G4Change

    Way to go, Janice et al!

  7. someone who cares

    Thank you Janice and everyone who made this happen. It had to happen, and you never gave up. What an accomplishment.

  8. Family Of Sex Offender

    In the City of Tustin, there are many ill defined laws that deal with where a sex offender can live – I’m not talking about the footage restrictions of the State of CA. I mean definitions regarding “multiple dwellings,” like apartments. Many families are strapped for cash, but if I read the local codes right they say you can’t have more then one sex offender per apartment complex. Then again, they talk about people living in the same dwelling like “group homes,” are we to interpret this to mean sex offenders can’t be in the same “apartment complex” or the same unit in the complex?

    It matters because they brag that they can enforce this code in Article 12, and if they mean the same “apartment complex” this means that if it has reasonable rent, that out of 100 plus units (as example), one cannot reside in an apartment unit if another sex offender is living in some other apartment. Can anyone clarify this?

    “…Tustin Police Department may continue to enforce the registered sex offender residency restrictions set forth in Chapter 12 of the Tustin City Code.” http://tustin.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=5&event_id=219&meta_id=70753 dated June 3rd 2014 Any comments?

    • Q

      I think residency restrictions are still en force. This thread is about presence restrictions.

  9. Family Of Sex Offender

    Clarification, they are quoting (In Tustin) California Penal Code Section 3003.5:

    3003.5. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, when a
    person is released on parole after having served a term of
    imprisonment in state prison for any offense for which registration
    is required pursuant to Section 290, that person may not, during the
    period of parole, reside in any single family dwelling with any other
    person also required to register pursuant to Section 290, unless
    those persons are legally related by blood, marriage, or adoption.
    For purposes of this section, “single family dwelling” shall not
    include a residential facility which serves six or fewer persons.
    (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it is unlawful for
    any person for whom registration is required pursuant to Section 290
    to reside within 2000 feet of any public or private school, or park
    where children regularly gather.
    (c) Nothing in this section shall prohibit municipal jurisdictions
    from enacting local ordinances that further restrict the residency
    of any person for whom registration is required pursuant to Section
    290.

    I may be over stressing in regard to “single family dwelling,” that may mean just a single apartment unit (as an example), and not the entire apartment complex, but I am not sure…

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