A federal judge issued a Preliminary Injunction (PI) on Monday that stops enforcement of residency restrictions in the City of Murrieta. The judge’s decision, in effect, continues a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) she issued about three weeks ago. Although the PI applies only to the plaintiff in this case now, its effect is expected to be extended to all registrants at a later time.
“This is a significant victory for registrants and families living in the City of Murrietta,” stated attorney Janice Bellucci. “It is unfortunate that the City did not repeal its ordinance after the California Supreme Court ruled that similar restrictions violated the Constitution.”
In her decision, the judge concluded that sufficient evidence was presented to establish, for the purpose of injunctive relief, that the City’s residency restrictions violate the due process provisions of the 14th Amendment. The decision includes references to a report issued by the California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) that concluded “residence restrictions are likely to have the unintended effect of increasing the likelihood of sexual re-offense.”
Based in part upon the CASOMB report, the court decision stated that issuance of the PI may promote the public’s interest in public safety as it would provide stability to Plaintiff’s life.
Despite issuance of the PI, this case will continue unless the City of Murrieta provides a meaningful settlement offer.