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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.


Richard Linington and Fiancée Sue Cypress for Strengthening Sex Offender Ordinance

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  1. Joe

    Bravo to the brave plaintiffs. However, one is confused as it looks like there was a (3?) Federal Law Suit filed and settled. Wouldn’t that supersede any action in State Court?

    • Eric Knight

      In particular, with regard to their earlier settlement, how can they go ahead and actively create a new law that precisely breaks the details of the settlement?

    • Janice Bellucci

      The plaintiffs in the case filed on Aug. 13 are the same plaintiffs who filed the federal case in 2014. The first case was settled with an agreement to remove all “presence” restrictions in the city and to place on hold all “residency” restrictions until the CA Supreme Court issued its decision in the In re Taylor case. After that decision, the city passed a new ordinance which it says complies with the Taylor decision. The plaintiffs disagree and therefore the new decision is being challenged.

      • Joe

        Thank you for the clarification… hard to believe the City thinks they can just swap out 2,000 for 1,000 and expect to prevail. Good luck and rich fortunes to all involved!

      • Eric Knight

        Thanks for the clarification. Although it doesn’t make it any less unconstitutional, it should be noted that even in states where they have strict laws residency laws, most of them have grandfather clauses that prevent them from evicting those already living in such zones of which even the plaintiff is not accorded in Cypress, which makes it double onerous for him.

  2. Joe

    Speaking of the City of Cypress, they still have a Proximity Restriction in their Municipal Code. Including not only schools, parks and day cares, but also a 500′ buffer zone around them, in which to “be” is a crime. I would imagine that makes simply driving down many streets in Cypress a criminal offense.

    Is this a matter of not updating the online muni code, or is this truly still on the books?

    • MM

      @Joe … The online ordinance of the 2,000 ft residency restriction is also still showing. My thinking is they won’t update until the law goes into effect, which is technically August 26, until then it is still listed as before.

  3. G4Change

    Not that anyone deserves to be subject to residency restrictions, but this guy’s case is from 1987!!! 1987!!!!! Are you $%#@&*! kidding me?!?!?!?!? That’s almost 30 years ago!!!!

  4. Steve

    This is exactly why lifetime registration is cruel and unusual punishment. No longer a threat but but still treated as if he was just paroled.

    • MM

      @Steve … IF he was just paroled, based on the opinion issued by the California Supreme Court regarding the In re Taylor case, it would seem he would have a better shot since the parole agent could decide, all by him/herself that he could stay. End of story.

  5. USA

    Well, this is certainly a very disturbing article. The city is going to enact a law that has been ruled unconstitutional? The most disturbing issue I see is that the City of Cypress isn’t known for registered citizens breaking the laws, but allowing illegal massage parlors/brothels. Cypress is a haven for massage parlors that allow sexual activities to take place. Many of them have been in business for years!
    -Young Health Care – 6336 Lincoln Avenue – Nuru fully nude massages offered
    -Queen Spa – 5919 Cerritos – handjobs/oral sex/topless massages
    -Melody Spa – 5117 Ball Rd (LOCATED NEAR A SCHOOL)!!!!
    -Bonzai Healing – 6316 Lincoln

    The list just goes on and on! Many of these brothels pretending to be massage parlors offer oral sex/handjobs/nude massages/nude masseuses/topless masseuses and the list goes on and on. Melody Spa (just changed their name again is located very close to a daycare or school. So, who is the real threat here? A guy who made a mistake 28 years ago or the brothels or massage parlors that continue to operate year after year and who knows what type of people they are attracting?

    • MM

      @USA …. Very disturbing, indeed.

      However, if I understand the in re: Taylor opinion correctly, residency restrictions were only declared unconstitutional for those on parole. From there each parole case is decided on a case-by-case basis. So, you could have someone on parole living across the street of a school, in Cypress, and if their parole agent states it’s OK for them to stay, they can. Yet, if you haven’t had a parole agent for more than 25 years and haven’t been in trouble … for anything … You can’t stay.

      What is WRONG with this picture? EVERYTHING!!!!!!

    • Q

      Interesting; kinda highlights how screwed up peoples thinking is when it comes to what is and isn’t socially acceptable when it comes to sex. Here we have these businesses/whore houses in plain view (and I’m sure every kid around there is aware of these establishments) and that’s OK to these people, but when someone is trying to put their past behind them and get on with their life; trying to live normally, these people will pull up their past and come up with any number of ways to re sentence/punish that individual.

      Residency restrictions are just one more way these cities and towns get their pound of flesh after the fact. They also use these residency restrictions to show how moral and upright they are as civic leaders. But as we have seen with several mayors and other city officials many of these people are precisely the type that pose the real threat to society, whereas we have the lowest re offense rate of any class of citizen convicted of a crime. Everyone that has paroled from prison is a “ex felon. or an “ex offender,” but we are simply “offenders” to these people.

  6. MM

    Thought I’d stay in this thread to comment further since it deals with the same issue.

    I must be confused. I posted the below comment on the FOLSOM story about SO’s living across from elementary schools. After my post someone stated she was correct, that it didn’t apply retroactively. If that is the case then why are soooo many having the residency restriction issue? If it doesn’t apply retroactively like she states …. I don’t understand.

    August 14, 2015 at 7:01 pm
    Wouldn’t it be nice if this were actually TRUE? This attorney should get her head back in the books and understand nothing of what she said is true …. “Grandfathered in … ” … Yeah, right. If it were only that easy for those convicted before 2006!

    “Jessica’s Law prohibits registered sex offenders from being 2,000 feet within a school or playground, but if the crime happened before 2006, the law doesn’t apply to those offenders.

    Sex offenses attorney Kresta Daly explained it’s like being grandfathered in.

    “The way that penal code section with the 2,000-foot rule was written, it’s been held by the California Supreme Court not to apply retroactively” said Daly.

    Earlier this year the California Supreme Court eased restrictions for some sex offenders, but not those involving children unless, as Daly explained, the crime was committed before the original law was enacted.”

    Hhhmmmm … Wonder how many cases she has won?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down 0

    August 14, 2015 at 11:10 pm
    she is actually correct, There is no language in Jessica s law stating that it is retroactive, A federal judge said in 2007 that “in order for it to be a retroactive law, that they would have had to put in the bill. (which they didn’t).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +1

  7. Joshua Hinders

    A registered sex offender is set to go before an Orange County Superior Court judge this afternoon, but the 47-year-old is not a criminal defendant. Richard Milen Linington is suing the city of Cypress over a new ordinance that he says will force him to move out of the home of his fiancée.

  8. curiouser

    Was there ever any resolution to this issue?

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