There are 3 significant events expected during the next 30 days:
- introduction of a tiered registry bill in Sacramento,
- two California Supreme Court decisions regarding residency restrictions and
- an attempt to make peace with the City of Carson.
What occurs during this 30-day period will significantly impact every person required to register as a sex offender in California.
First, there currently is a draft tiered registry bill supported by the California Sex Offender Management Board for which an author is being sought. The draft bill is reported to be consistent with the Board’s report issued in April 2014 and includes three tiers for registered citizens with automatic termination of registration requirements after 10 or 20 years provided that the citizen has not committed a new sex offense. The bill must be introduced by February 27 or there will be no tiered registry bill until 2017. In the absence of a tiered registry bill, California will continue to be 1 of only 4 states in the nation that does not have a tiered registry.
Second, the California Supreme Court has a March 2 deadline to render decisions in two cases focused upon residency restrictions including whether such restrictions are constitutional and if so to whom they apply. If the Court accepts the argument of the Attorney General, the Court will decide that residency restrictions are constitutional but can only be applied to registered citizens while on parole (not on probation or after parole). Because of the Court’s recent heavy handed decision to overturn the Hofsheier case, many are concerned that the Court will decide that residency restrictions apply to every person on the sex offender registry. Regardless of their decision, we can expect confusion if not chaos as registered citizens look for new housing.
Finally, California RSOL will reach out an olive branch to the City of Carson on March 7. The City Council of Carson recently declared war on registered citizens and refused to honor a settlement agreement, which would have made Carson’s sex offender ordinance consistent with state law, despite the fact that the agreement was signed by the City Manager and City Attorney. Registered citizens, family members and supporters are invited to join California RSOL on March 7 at 10 a.m. at Carson City Hall for this event. Additional details will be available soon.
Keep your seatbelts buckled. The next 30 days could be a rough ride.
By Janice Bellucci
Related: Janice’s Journal