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CA: City of San Diego Asserts that SB 145 Will Allow Cities to Adopt Residency Restrictions for All Registrants

[ACSOL – 7/2/19]

In a motion filed today in federal district court, the City of San Diego asserted that the current language of SB 145 would allow cities to adopt new residency restrictions that apply to all registrants, not just registrants currently on parole. The City’s motion was filed in response to a motion filed last week by the plaintiffs for partial summary judgement.

The plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment was based upon a state appellate court ruling that limits the application of residency restrictions to registrants while they are on parole. If the Court grant’s plaintiffs’ motion, most of the City’s residency restrictions would be eliminated.

“The City of San Diego has already demonstrated one of the significant dangers of the current language of SB 145,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “If the current language of SB 145 becomes law, we can expect dozens of cities to pass residency restrictions that would prohibit registrants from living in most, if not all, of those cities.”

A lawsuit was filed in federal court challenging residency restrictions in the City of San Diego in August 2017. The City filed a Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit in October 2017, however, the Court denied the City’s motion in January 2019.

In its decision denying the City’s Motion to Dismiss, the Court ruled that Plaintiffs adequately pled violations of substantive rights in all three of their claims — violations of the U.S. Constitution (14th Amendment and ex post facto clause) as well as the California Constitution (Article XI, Section 7). The Court’s ruling in Plaintiffs’ favor is not a final ruling in the case, but it does allow the legal challenge to continue.

According to the complaint, registrants are prohibited from living in virtually all of the City of San Diego. This prohibition is even greater than residency restrictions adopted by the County of San Diego which were successfully challenged in the case, In re Taylor, decided by the California Supreme Court in 2015.

The complaint includes quotations from San Diego City Council members about the residency restrictions made during a council meeting on April 1, 2017. One Council member stated that “I don’t have a lot of sympathy in my heart for sex offenders” and justified the City’s banishment of Registrants referring to unnamed studies that allegedly demonstrated that registrants cannot be rehabilitated. However, another Council member at the same meeting predicted that the City’s refusal to repeal residency restrictions was futile because “we will wind up….being told by a court to repeal our ordinance anyway.”

Click  here to download the motion:

City of San Diego Motion to Vacate – re Residency Restrictions, SB 145 – July 2019

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