CITY OF COMMERCE ORDINANCE CHALLENGED IN FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT

A sex offender ordinance adopted by the City of Commerce has been challenged in a lawsuit filed today in federal district court on behalf of a registered sex offender (“registered citizen”).

“This lawsuit was filed because the City of Commerce prohibits registered citizens from visiting the public library, parks, bus stops and commercial establishments that provide a children’s playground,” stated California RSOL president Janice Bellucci.  “The City has failed to revise or repeal its ordinance despite recent court decisions that determined such ordinances are preempted by state law.”

This is the 20th such lawsuit to be filed since March 24.  All 20 lawsuits challenge city and/or county ordinances that prohibit registered citizens from being present in public and/or private locations.  Below is a list of the local governments that have been sued prior to the City of Commerce as well as the date the suit was filed and whether the case has been settled.

Jurisdiction Date Filed Status
Pomona 3/24 settled
South Lake Tahoe 3/31 settled
National City 4/8 no settlement
Carson 4/11 no settlement
Lompoc 4/21 settled
Sacramento County 4/30 settled
Santa Ana 5/7 settled
Wasco 5/15 settled
Ontario 5/21 settled
Stockton 5/27 settled
Taft 5/29 settled
 Orange  6/17 settled
 Beaumont  6/24 settled
 Adelanto  7/21 settled
 Hesperia  7/24 settled
 Victorville  8/14 no settlement
 Westminster  8/29 settled
 South Pasadena  9/9 settlement pending
 Canyon Lake  9/24 no settlement yet
 Commerce  10/2

The City of Commerce 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 Commerce 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 five months ago — on April 23, 2014.”

Related posts

Subscribe
Notify of
We welcome a lively discussion with all view points - keeping in mind...  
  1. Your submission will be reviewed by one of our volunteer moderators. Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  2. Please keep the tone of your comment civil and courteous. This is a public forum.
  3. Swear words should be starred out such as f*k and s*t
  4. Please stay on topic - both in terms of the organization in general and this post in particular.
  5. Please refrain from general political statements in (dis)favor of one of the major parties or their representatives.
  6. Please take personal conversations off this forum.
  7. We will not publish any comments advocating for violent or any illegal action.
  8. We cannot connect participants privately - feel free to leave your contact info here. You may want to create a new / free, readily available email address.
  9. Please refrain from copying and pasting repetitive and lengthy amounts of text.
  10. Please do not post in all Caps.
  11. If you wish to link to a serious and relevant media article, legitimate advocacy group or other pertinent web site / document, please provide the full link. No abbreviated / obfuscated links.
  12. We suggest to compose lengthy comments in a desktop text editor and copy and paste them into the comment form
  13. We will not publish any posts containing any names not mentioned in the original article.
  14. Please choose a short user name that does not contain links to other web sites or identify real people
  15. Please do not solicit funds
  16. If you use any abbreviation such as Failure To Register (FTR), or any others, the first time you use it please expand it for new people to better understand.
  17. All commenters are required to provide a real email address where we can contact them.  It will not be displayed on the site.
  18. Please send any input regarding moderation or other website issues via email to moderator [at] all4consolaws [dot] org
ACSOL, including but not limited to its board members and agents, does not provide legal advice on this website.  In addition, ACSOL warns that those who provide comments on this website may or may not be legal professionals on whose advice one can reasonably rely.  
 

5 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

In addition to the cities that have been sued, there are almost 40 cities that have voluntarily repealed their ordinances which restrict the presence of registered citizens. There are another 21 cities that are considering what to do and 5 cities that refuse to communicate despite a series of letters and phone calls. The cities in the latter category are currently under review for future lawsuits.