A lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court on August 13 challenges a new sex offender (“registrant”) ordinance in the City of Cypress that would force registrant Richard Linington to leave the home of his fiancée where he has been living since 2011. The ordinance, which is scheduled to become effective on August 26, 2015, prohibits registrants from living within 1,000 feet of any school, park, or day care center.
The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order (TRO) that would maintain the status quo by preventing the ordinance from taking effect. A hearing regarding the TRO request is scheduled for August 19 at 1:30 p.m. in Orange County Superior Court. If the restraining order is not granted, Linington will be forced to leave his fiancé’s home, which is located less than 1,000 feet from a school, on August 26. For the engaged couple to live happily together in marriage, his fiancée would be forced to vacate her home of 25 years.
“The residency restrictions in the City of Cypress banish registrants from living in virtually the entire city,” stated CA RSOL president and attorney Janice Bellucci.
According to the lawsuit, the actual area in the City available to Registrants is likely less than 2.9 percent of the City. This amount is significant because of the recent Taylor Supreme Court decision in San Diego which deemed that 2.9 percent of the total is insufficient and therefore unconstitutional. The Court ruled in that case that residency restrictions may not be imposed in a manner that deprives registrants of their liberty interests, including the right to be free from arbitrary, oppressive, and unreasonable laws that bear no rational relationship to the state’s goal of protecting residents. (Taylor, 60 Cal. 4th 1019, 1042)
According to Linington’s fiancé, Michelle Moreno, “Most of the housing in Cypress that is available to registrants is single family homes, many of which are valued at $ 1 million or more. Registered citizens, who often find it difficult to find a job cannot afford to purchase those homes.”
Linington was convicted of a single felony sex-related offense in July 1987. He has no subsequent sex-related offenses of any kind, felony or misdemeanor.
A California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) report issued in April 2014 cites Dr. Karl Hanson, the preeminent researcher of sex offenses, stating that a registered citizen who has not re-offended in 17 years is no more likely to commit a sex offense than someone who has never been convicted of a sex offense.