Registered sex offender Frank Lindsay today challenged an ordinance adopted by the City of Hesperia which prohibits him and all other registered citizens from visiting public and private locations as well as residing within that city. The lawsuit was filed after the City Council of Hesperia considered, but failed, to repeal or revise its ordinance on July 15.
The scope of the City’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,bus stops, restaurants and movie theaters. 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 for each violation.
“The lawsuit filed today against the City of Hesperia is unique because it personally names City Council members who acted outside the scope of their authority by ignoring recent appellate court decisions which determined that similar ordinances were preempted by state law,” stated CA RSOL President and attorney Janice Bellucci. “In addition, one of the Council members threatened physical violence upon all registered citizens and issued a call to arms during the recent Council meeting.”
Hesperia City Manager Mike Podegracz and City Attorney Eric Dunn recommended that the City Council revise the city’s sex offender ordinance in a report dated July 15, 2014. Their recommendation was based, in part, upon recent appellate court decisions and a threat of litigation from California RSOL.
The first lawsuit filed by Lindsay challenging a sex offender was against the City of Pomona and was filed in federal court on March 24. Subsequent lawsuits were filed in federal court against 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), Orange (June 17), Beaumont (June 24), and Adelanto (July 21). Of that total, lawsuits against the City of Pomona, South Lake Tahoe and Lompoc have reached final settlement. Settlements are pending in four additional cities.
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