A sex offender ordinance adopted by the City of South Pasadena has been challenged in a lawsuit filed today in federal district court on behalf of a registered citizen.
“The lawsuit was filed today because the City of South Pasadena Police Department recently arrested a registered citizen who did not live in that city, but who chose to visit a park in that city,” stated California RSOL president Janice Bellucci. “The City did so despite the fact that the City Council instructed city staff on February 19 not to enforce the city’s sex offender ordinance. Either the City Council has decided to defy recent court decisions or the police department has chosen to disregard the city council’s instructions.”
This is the 18th such lawsuit to be filed since March 24. All 18 lawsuits challenge city and/or county ordinances that prohibit registered citizens from being present in public and/or private locations.
The South Pasadena ordinance includes restrictions regarding where registered citizens can be present or reside. Specifically, the ordinance prohibits registered citizens from being present or residing within 300 feet of public libraries, parks, bus stops, schools and commercial establishments that provide a children’s playground. An individual who violates the ordinance is subject to incarceration for up to six months and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
“The sex offender ordinance adopted by the City of South Pasadena violates both the federal and state constitutions,” stated California RSOL Vice President and attorney Chance Oberstein. “The city’s ordinance is also inconsistent with a recent appellate court decision which determined in January 2014 that a similar ordinance, in the City of Irvine, was preempted by state law. The California Supreme Court denied review of that decision more than four months ago — in April 2014.”