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LOS ANGELES COUNTY SEX OFFENDER ORDINANCE CHALLENGED IN FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT

A sex offender ordinance adopted by Los Angeles County is the subject of a lawsuit filed today in federal district court on behalf of a registered sex offender (“registered citizen”). This is the 25th in a series of lawsuits challenging sex offender ordinances adopted by local governments.
“The California Court of Appeal ruled in January 2014 that city and county ordinances that restrict the presence of registered citizens are unlawful,” stated attorney Janice Bellucci. “Despite notice of more than eight months, Los Angeles County has failed to repeal or revise its unlawful ordinance.”

The Los Angeles County ordinance significantly restricts where registered citizens may be present. Specifically, the ordinance prohibits registered citizens from being present or within 300 feet of a wide range of public and private locations including parks, swimming pools, libraries, bus stops and commercial establishments that provide a child’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 for each day of violation.

“The presence restrictions within the Los Angeles County ordinance are inconsistent with recent decisions of the California Court of Appeal which invalidated two ordinances – one in the City of Irvine and the other in Orange County – as being preempted by state law,” stated CA RSOL board member and attorney Chance Oberstein. “The California Supreme Court denied review of these cases on April 23 and therefore it is established that the state statutory scheme imposing restrictions on a sex offender’s daily life fully occupies the field.”

In addition to the lawsuit filed today against Los Angeles County, similar lawsuits have been filed against

  1. the City of Pomona (March 24),
  2. the City of South Lake Tahoe (March 31),
  3. National City (April 8),
  4. the City of Carson (April 11),
  5. the City of Lompoc (April 21),
  6. Sacramento County (April 30),
  7. Santa Ana (May 7),
  8. Wasco (May 15),
  9. Ontario (May 21),
  10. Stockton (May 27),
  11. Taft (May 29),
  12. Orange (June 17),
  13. Beaumont (June 24),
  14. Adelanto (July 21),
  15. Hesperia (July 24),
  16. Victorville (August 14),
  17. Westminster (August 29),
  18. South Pasadena (September 9),
  19. Canyon Lake (September 24),
  20. Commerce (October 2),
  21. Murrieta (October 9),
  22. San Bernardino County (October 15),
  23. Pico Rivera (October 22) and
  24. El Monte (October 24).

Of those lawsuits, 15 have been settled after the local government organization repealed or significantly revised its ordinance.

In addition to the cities listed above, 48 cities have repealed or revised their sex offender ordinances without being sued. The cities include Anaheim, Claremont, Elk Grove, Menifee and Twenty-nine Palms.

“Future legal challenges by sex offenders can be expected of local governments that have failed to repeal their sex offender ordinances which are unlawful,” stated Bellucci.

Join the discussion

  1. G4Change

    Bravo, Janice, Chance, et al. Thank you for all of your continued work at fixing these injustices!

  2. steve

    Are you serious? After all this time being on this site I honestly had no idea LA County had this law. I thought LA passed on all these ridiculous ordinances. I’ve been to the park may times and I’m sure all the other places mentioned.

    • Tired of hiding

      Exactly, good for you! So Have I and I couldn’t care less about there laws. I enjoy breaking them whenever possible. They are just words on paper made some some men for political gain and nothing more…tomorrow they can be gone with the stoke of a pen. They are meaningless to me.

    • C

      I too, had no idea such a law existed in LA and take my kids to local parks on a regular basis, not to mentions malls which usually have a little germ-infested playground (which we avoid like the plague because of, well, the plague).
      My reduced income, thanks to the RSO site, necessitates the use the library to keep a steady supply of books for my kids.
      Jesus H Christ, you can’t make enough money to buy kids books and they lock you out of the place they keep the free books which they bought with your tax dollars: the library!

      What next, will they refuse us fire department and emergency room services, too?

      Honestly I am not sure this law applies to me – I finished parole in ’97. Anyone?

      • Janice Bellucci

        The law only applies to those who committed an offense after 2009.

        • td777

          Unfortunately for some of us prosecuted in 2009, this was used to force me and my family to live apart and for me to miss 3 years of my child’s life while I was on parole. These laws need to be stopped, pure and simple. Thank you Janice for fighting the good fight so hopefully others won’t have to go through what my family has.

        • Janice Bellucci

          Please contact me directly to provide me with additional details regarding your experience. I can be reached at jmbellucci@aol.com.

        • td777

          Janice, last year, you asked for these details and I did email you. I was forced into taking a deal(it was a take a deal and get out that day or stay in jail longer than the conviction would require trying to fight a case against so-called “evidence” which was falsified by the investigator) with time served in May 2009 and began my time on parole. I completed 3 years of parole with no added time for violations in May 2012. During the entire time I was on parole, I was not only forced to be transient, but was paroled to the wrong county(paroled to Orange County rather than Los Angeles) and denied even having contact with my child.

          I’ve been off parole for over two years now, but have chosen to even now continue to live as a transient rather than place the registry sized target on the back of my wife and child, especially since there are three schools within a 5 block radius of their home. Moving is simply not an option for us at this time.

        • David

          Thank you for clarifying this, Janice. Your clear legal voice is – as always – very appreciated.

  3. JB

    Go, Janice, go!!!!!

  4. USA

    I had no idea this law existed!

  5. Eric Knight

    My associate at SOSEN has started The Ordinance Project, where he and some volunteers are going to research every jurisidiction in the country – state, county, and city/municipality – to consolidate and categorize every law that has sprung since Smith v. Doe. It will take months, but hopefully it will help such efforts at turning back the laws nationwide.

    • Timmr

      Hey, do you need any small change for this project? Where would I send it? I think this will be a tool to attack the root of the problem, rather than hacking at all the little laws that sprout from this tree of evil, that is the registry is not punishment argument, that one that feeds all the violations of or rights.

  6. JM

    C,
    I just had to comment on your comment, “which we avoid like the plague, because of, well,the plague” It made me laugh (out loud), which is sometimes hard to do when reading comments on this site. Thanks 🙂

    When our son came down for a visit, we took our granddaughter to the park. She just stood there, and acted like she had never seen a park before. When we came home I told my son, “c—- acted as if she had never seen a park before”. And his reply was, “Mom she hasn’t. We don’t go to parks because I never know for sure what the law might be at any given place”. Sad, sad, sad.

    • steve

      I refuse to live that way. I do whatever I want with my kids. If they want to punish me for being a good dad that’s on their head.

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