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ACSOLCalifornia

CDCR Agrees to Drop Halloween Sign Requirement

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has agreed to permanently eliminate on a statewide basis its requirement that registrants post a sign on their residences on Halloween. This agreement is the result of a lawsuit filed in 2015 by California RSOL and two individual plaintiffs in San Diego and Los Angeles.

“In the past, CDCR placed registrants they supervised and their loved ones in danger of significant harm, even death, by their requirement that registrants post a sign on their residence on Halloween,” stated ACSOL president Janice Bellucci. “This requirement applied not only to individuals who lived in houses and apartments, but also to individuals who lived in cars, tents and sleeping bags.”

As a result of CDCR’s agreement and two prior lawsuits, there is no requirement in the state of California that registrants post a Halloween sign on their residence. The prior lawsuits were filed against the City of Simi Valley in 2012 and the City of Orange in 2013.

“Past Halloween sign requirements were based upon the myth that registrants pose a danger to children on Halloween,” stated ACSOL vice president Chance Oberstein. “This myth has been debunked by several social scientists, who determined that no child has ever been harmed by a registrant on Halloween while trick-or-treating at a registrant’s residence.”

In the Simi Valley case, U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson granted a Temporary Restraining Order that stopped the city’s enforcement of its Halloween sign requirement. In his decision, Judge Anderson stated, “The public interest is not served — indeed, it is undermined — by enforcement of an unconstitutional law singling out a discrete, outcast group to speak in such a way that their persons, property, and loved ones may be endangered.
Judge Anderson also ruled, “Because the impact on the public of enjoining this section of the Halloween Ordinance (sign requirement) is likely to be negligible, the Court finds that a temporary restraining order is in the public interest.”

Join the discussion

  1. Janice Bellucci

    Although CDCR has agreed to drop its Halloween sign requirement, CDCR will continue other aspects of Operation Boo which prohibit registrants on parole from decorating the exterior of their homes, answering the door or handing out “treats” to trick-or-treaters.

    • Curiouser

      Los Angeles county Probation has a similar program. They require all probationers to stay inside their residences between the hours of 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.,

    • 72FLH

      in this way I guess I am lucky that we don’t have a house because my wife would go nuts not being able to Dec out the yard and house ,the little things like that break my wifes heart , its the simple things in life we miss the most I think , because that’s all we knew I think , grand kids don’t understand why we don’t decorate , I am glad most of my kids went to other states to live , but still very sad that we don’t get to see them as much as we would like ,

      • C

        Look at the money you save. I agree you should be able to decorate if you want to, but apart for the odd neighborhood haunted house, I don’t recall anyone decorating their homes for Halloween beyond a pumpkin and maybe a paper skeleton in the window their kid made in pre-school. This trend of house decorating for what has become the second biggest holiday for retailers was created by retailers. They try to do same with Easter and Valentines Day. While I don’t fault them for trying to make a buck, I ain’t bitin’. I’m under no condition that prevents me from decorating, but if I was it would not bother me a a bit.
        Having to go dark, that would pis me off.
        Now, when it comes to Christmas, on the other hand, we go full Griswald on the house because my kids love it so much and I do, too.

        • Timmr

          Look at the Halloween stores already set up now as big as Walmarts and soon they will be set up closer to the Fourth, when they begin to market that holiday also with the selling of tri corner hats and red, white and blue string lights and blow up Uncle Sam, and all the holidays will follow one another, until the consumer never has time to save for the next after paying for the last, well that is what credit cards are for.

    • G12

      Janice,

      Does that mean if you’re not on parole or probation, you’re allowed to ‘celebrate’ Halloween? In Orange County, specifically Anaheim, am I allowed to pass out candy, decorate my home, keep my exterior lights on, etc on Halloween?

      • Janice Bellucci

        If you are not on parole or probation, you are allowed to celebrate Halloween including decorating your home, answering the door and passing out candy to trick-or-treaters. Operation Boo only applies to those under the supervision of the CA Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). And this year even those on parole are now free from having to put a sign on the front door of their home.

        • New Person

          Thanks for the information, Janice!

          I thought I had to stay hidden indoors after probation had ended like… for life.

        • D

          Janice, are you answering only for Anaheim? I believe that the city of Cypress and others like Orange still have Halloween restrictions right?

  2. mike r

    these are the kind of wins that makes janice and team true heroes in the eyes of many..and despite the fact that I criticize her incremental tactics and question why her and her team will not file suit on the real issues doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate everything she and her team have done in this state….way to go janice and I still believe you and your team are intelligent enough and articulate enough to bring down the registry or at the least make the legislators completely overhaul the current scheme….that being said I want to know what your desired goals are and why you and your team will not file suit challenging validity of the smith v doe case in which the decision was based on lies and myths…right to reputation,right to travel and association, right to be free from unreasonable arbitrary oppressive official actions, right to equal protection, ex post facto as well as cruel and unusual punishment, these are all fundamental rights that almost all if not all the legal scholars claim are the real issues and which any reasonable mind would conclude….there’s no way that the government can justify keeping someone especially someone like Frank Lindsey on a registry so he would make the perfect plaintiff….so im still asking????????????????why??????

    • Janice Bellucci

      We have attempted and will continue to attempt to overturn the Smith v. Doe decision. The path to the U.S. Supreme Court, however, is not direct. For example, we include a claim of “ex post facto” in every lawsuit that we file in a federal district court. As for a direct challenge to the CA registry, it is our understanding that such a challenge will be filed later this year by others. More details will be provided as they become available.

      • Charles Schultz

        Thank you Janice and Chance! I’m so grateful to you who have taken a voice against these laws. So many lawyers after listening to what so many SO’s have to say turn them away after only very few minutes. Maybe it’s too taboo to represent an SO, or its too much work. I’ve been here many years, been in the presence of too much Law Enforcement and had my rights violated probably more than I can count. The worst thing about these laws is now I have a family directly affected by a past no one will let rest and no one will let me forget. Even alcoholics, after all their jail, fines and restitution, are allowed to return to and remain anonymous. Figuratively speaking, they get to put everything neatly away in the closet. Everything in my closet has been violently ripped from the hanging rod and thrown onto the sidewalk for all those walking by to stare and gawk at. So, once again, thank you Janice and Chance. Thank you for helping us pick up the pieces of our broken lives, and trying to get our closets in order.

      • Renate hall

        You and your team are true heroes! Thank you so very much!

      • 72FLH

        why others? I don’t understand is all . need dershawits or how ever spell that lawyers name , I could have looked it up but I am really lazy today , he was part of the dream team , thank you for your hard work

      • nomore

        How is it that you’ve gone after smith vs doe? This incremental approach you’ve adopted?

        • Chris F

          She said how. Smith V Doe was all about Ex-Post Facto.

          By putting Ex-Post Facto on every one of her cases, if any of them make it to SCOTUS she is ready to argue Ex-Post Facto.

          There is no way to bypass going through every level of court before getting to SCOTUS, and getting to SCOTUS is tough when they have 7000 requests and only grant 100 of those to be heard. Well, there is one way, but I think that would have to be with a state challenging another state or challenging the federal government. Perhaps if a state drops out of the registry system it could sue other states for violating the rights of its citizens when they travel.

        • nomore

          Can you give me a list of her cases so I can read them since you’re answering for her? I’m asking her for a specific reason. I want to know how ex post facto being used on cases not directly attacking the core registry going to help a smith versus doe challenge. Because once you wittle down all of the regulations that make the registry troublesome, at some point, what you have left is an “unobtrusive” registry in the courts eyes. Thereby making the registry “constitutional” but truthfully just palatable to the courts. I think that’s the aim of many of these groups… they’re in this to facilitate a “balanced” registry, something not too restrictive but still active.

      • steve

        I wonder if this will coincide with the WAR civil lawsuit that was supposed to be filed in the 8th circuit a few months ago,

  3. mike r

    thank you so much for your answer Janice I really truly appreciate it and everything you do for us….

  4. wonderin

    Beware of the clowns!

  5. mike r

    I hope these others that janice is talking about are effective intelligent and as articulate as Janice’s team is or the attorney’s that won the residency restrictions case in Taylor here in cali and I hope they bring up the real issues and don’t screwww us for any future arguments..
    at least I finally got some kind of answer from janice it’s a start in the right direction…

  6. lisa

    Operation Boo is just a huge joke IMO. My boyfriend, up until 3 yrs ago, was a subject of CDCR’S Operation Boo clown circus. On one occasion during my BF’S parole, CDCR actually had the nerve to bring a news camera crew to our home. They interviewed me and I had some not so nice things to say about the scam CDCR was playing. Of course the news media did not air my interview, as it did not fit the pro law enforcement narrative of the segment. Moral of story: don’t trust the media.

    • 72FLH

      lisa don’t trust anyone ,

    • Tobin's Tools 2.0

      I think the “moral of the story” is to distrust CDCR. Remember, it’s California Department of Corrections and REHABILITATION. I don’t know how ‘rehabilitation’ is served when CDCR, a very corrupt organization, sees fit to invite news crews to shame registrants who have paid with incarceration.

      The only purpose that is fulfilled by inviting news crews on Operation Boo ride-alongs is to build propaganda and make it *seem* like these gang-like thugs are doing something about the sex offender hysteria.

      But bad cases make for bad laws. CDCR and their Operation Boo ignore all the good, rather focusing on all the bad,

  7. jo

    As always, as usual, Janice et al are behind this further restoration of our rights as human beings. Much love Janice and Team.

  8. DavidH

    I believe the judge’s conclusion compares to our IML very well! it brings forth many of the conclusions we seek in IML.

    1. We’ve been assigned a class: the outcast group (also referred to in the recent 6th circuit decision as marginal and fringe).

    2. compelled speech: the entire argument around the unique identifier on passports

    3. As in the 6th decision there is no public interest served, alternatively it is undermined, as in the 6th re: the reversed effects to recidivism by exclusion zones.

    4. Loved ones, innocent bystanders, citizens and family members of registrants being placed in harms way as well. Now that’s people never convicted of a crime having their rights stripped away just by virtue of being related or married to a registrant!

    Says Judge:
    “The public interest is not served — indeed, it is undermined — by enforcement of an unconstitutional law singling out a discrete, outcast group to speak in such a way that their persons, property, and loved ones may be endangered.”

  9. DPH

    Thank YOU Janice & Team and The Board.

    That Judge Andersen had stated so coverall, that we hope Janice can use in future cases why or how
    the Court may see us not as destitute but Human and ALWAYS singled out. They wonder why we are
    always paranoid. May be to long term RC’s this will never be the case again in Cali PERIOD now with the TRO in place.
    Thanks for the updates!

  10. O.A.R.

    My new P.O. has banned me from Craigslist because , in his words ” there is the possibility of picking up underage girls advertising in the personals”. Is this the biggest crock of shot ever. I was convicted of c.p. and I have been on probation for 1.5 yrs. with two previous P.O..s not having a single issue. This wasn’t even on my probation orders. Can they do this. It affects my ability to look for work and put my resume out. Maybe this is a way to catch me in a violation? Anyone got opinions I would appreciate.

    • Chris F

      I’m under a similar ban of craigslist here in Texas, but mine is part of my original conditions, so I’m stuck with it unless I pay for a hearing to have conditions modified.

      In your case, the PO can usually add any restriction they want to, and you will still need to have a lawyer file a motion to modify, or you can try to do a writ of habeas corpus yourself or with a lawyer.

      The condition he has added is not related to your original crime or needed to keep the public safe, so you can challenge it in court. You could also ask nicely from the PO, and suggest that he can add questions during your next polygraph to make sure you aren’t abusing it, due to needing it to provide income to meet conditions of probation.

      See this article on avoiding bad conditions for Sex Offenders:

      https://www.fd.org/pdf_lib/WS2011_06/fine_print.pdf

  11. Dr

    Rialto still has there Ordinance that all sex offenders on or off parole must not open the door and pass out candy and can not have decorations out. I told them last year they could not in force this because I was not on any parole and they say yes its it for everyone.

    • The Unforgiven

      So if the cops come do a ‘compliance check’ and you must not open your door, but they’re at your door..are you in trouble? Can you offer them candy to diffuse the situation? Who doesn’t love getting a King Size candy bar..cmon.

  12. Rich

    What i want to know is. Living in Santa Clara. The task force told my girlfriend that she can’t hand out candy. Even though i personally stay in bedroom watching TV. Can they so this. Conviction occured in the early 80’s

  13. Alice

    CDCR = California Department of Corruption and Retribution

  14. G12

    I was under the impression we aren’t able to decorate or pass out candy. Is that no longer the case and we’re free to do so? I live in Anaheim Hills and my probation ended in 2001.

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