For the second time in five years, a federal lawsuit is challenging the constitutionality of a Simi Valley law that bars registered sex offenders listed on the Megan’s Law website from opening their doors to trick-or-treating children on Halloween.
The law, enacted by the City Council in September 2012, also forbids the registered sex offenders from decorating the outside of their homes or front lawns with Halloween ornaments and mandates that they turn off outdoor lighting on their properties from 5 p.m. to midnight on Halloween.
The law initially required the sex offenders to post a sign on their front door on Halloween that stated, “No candy or treats at this residence.” But in a settlement stemming from a 2012 federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law, the city agreed not to enforce the sign requirement.
The latest lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by a Simi Valley registered sex offender and his mother, brother and daughter, all of whom live in the same home. The mother, brother and daughter are not registered sex offenders. All are identified in the suit as John Does.
The suit, brought on behalf of the defendants by a group called the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws, names as defendants the city and Simi Valley Police Chief Dave Livingstone.
It seeks a permanent injunction barring the city from enforcing all provisions of the law. It also asks the court to declare the law unconstitutional, under both the U.S. and the California constitutions.