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CA: Lawsuit Challenges Halloween Restrictions in Rialto


A lawsuit has been filed in San Bernardino County Superior Court challenging the Halloween restrictions of the City of Rialto.  Specifically, there is an ordinance adopted and enforced by the City of Rialto that prohibits all registrants on Halloween from decorating their front yards and exteriors with “typical Halloween decorations”, from opening the doors of their residence to trick-or-treaters and from leaving on any exterior residential, decorative and ornamental lights.  If this ordinance is violated, registrants may be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to up to six months in jail.

The City of Rialto passed this ordinance in 2013 and continues to enforce by conducting compliance operations that include contacting registrants at their residence on Halloween.  In addition, the City has invited the public to report any violations of the ordinance to the city’s police department.

According to the lawsuit, the Halloween restrictions at issue are preempted by state law which has “established a comprehensive and standardized system for regulation sex offenders to the exclusion of all local regulation.”

“The City’s Halloween restrictions also do not increase public safety because threats to children from registrants on Halloween are virtually non-existent according to a nine-year study conducted by Ph.D. Jill Levenson,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci.  “Dr. Levenson’s findings in fact suggest that Halloween restrictions may in fact be targeting a new urban myth similar to past myths warning parents of tainted treats.”

According to the lawsuit, the ordinance is an arbitrary, politically motivated act imposed by a local government in response to popular sentiments that are based upon misinformation, and which seeks retribution against registrants who constitute a socially outcast minority.  The lawsuit requests that the Halloween restrictions adopted and enforced by the City of Rialto be stricken permanently.


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I can’t believe cities still have to be sued into submission over this. Get them, Janice!


I was surprised that West Covina recently rescinded their presence/residency restrictions. I had thought all the cities agreed to comply long ago because presence/residency restrictions were unconstitutional in CA. So this Rialto dilemma doesn’t surprise me. There are probably other cities that we don’t know about either.

I’m not surprised at all. Our ELECTED officials are going to pander to the whims of the public EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. PERIOD. As long as the public has such hatred and vitriol for us, NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE. PERIOD. They’ll keep piling on the disabilities and restraints and will only stop when the courts force them to.
When you take a case to court, you BETTER HAVE AN AIR-TIGHT CASE PERFECTLY CRAFTED that will give the judge ZERO WIGGLE ROOM to rule against you.

Our elected officials are going to take whatever measures keep them in office and in good graces with their constituency. As long as the voters foam at the mouth whenever “sex offenders” are mentioned, they’re going to keep piling on as many debilitating DISABILITIES AND RESTRAINTS as they can until they are stopped in a court of law. I reject the label sex offender because until such time (WHICH WILL BE NEVER) as I or any other PFR (Person Forced to Register) commits another sexually-based felony, I/WE ARE LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE. LEGAL STRATEGY SUGGESTION: STOP ARGUING RECIDIVISM… Read more »

People are SDL (stupid, dumb, lazy). They hear something that sounds good, and they believe it. Here is an unrelated example of a completely off topic subject showing how people are SDL. We encounter trails we used to ride or hike and now are blocked off with tape saying: Nature Habitat. All around this Nature Habitat, they are building new homes, even villages. Still, people believe that nature is being preserved when they see the signs. Really? Nature is being destroyed because money talks, but they still believe that these signs really mean there is a Nature Habitat. People are… Read more »

No more “operation boo.”

Life is bad enough without having to deal with all this garbage.

One thing Covid has taught me is how society is easily manipulated with deception, fear and hate.

nice job janice, im sure they will remove once pressed in court good job

Man !! (Some of you can write for ever ) but it not a bad thing. Just time consuming to read lol. But i Thank you all for all your hard work and input to fight this Demon. The hit list don’t work cause i have been in too many states. In the past no one that i have stopped and talked too had NO clue i was a sex offender. 99% of the time it so called friend’s who. Drop the info.

I wish us in Missouri had someone like Janice that was doing all the stuff I hear her doing!!

Thank you so much Janice this means a lot to me and a lot of people here in Rialto you definitely take care of Business

Thank you, Janice and ACSOL for continuing to defend the rights of registrants and their families. Hopefully Rialto does the right thing and settles this lawsuit and repeals this ridiculous ordinance.

Keep up the good fight Janice and Chance! 🙂

The city of Cypress still has pretty much the same ordinance. They previously stopped enforcement and later repealed their residency restrictions, but they still have the Halloween restrictions. Last year at my annual registration, I asked if it enforced or if it was stayed like the residency restrictions were. The lady doing the forms didn’t even know about it, but said if its still on the books they will enforce it.

Can you please forward them the lawsuit too 😉

I smell a wich hunt brewing law enforcement shore knows how to get the attention off them and put it back on sex offenders. All these politicians keep using sex offenders as a sale pitch even the Young Turks podcasts was talking about sex offenders today and how Americans never wanna talk about high profile cases For Instance why aren’t they trying pass laws to protect women from coaches and doctors like James Mason no they rather track and post articles about sex offenders who are in compliance living by a park or being on school campus for a parent… Read more »

It was a great pleasure to be able to work on this case with ACSOL. (Thank you to Janice and Carlton for this awesome opportunity). The work done by this organization is priceless to all of us that are registrants. I look forward to the next city that we challenge.

If this lawsuit is decided using all the current research, it will be a definite win. According to the Boston Review in “Halloween and Stranger Danger”, October 31, 2019, “Almost all sex crimes committed by strangers on Halloween are committed by first time offenders”, not by people on the registry. “Children are far more likely to be struck by a car on Halloween than be assaulted. In fact, children are ten times likelier to be struck by a car on Halloween than on any other day.” Additionally, research shows that in 93% of the cases of sexual abuse, the victims… Read more »

I think it is hilarious that these incompetent criminal regimes are so pathetic and clueless that they ever created Halloween “restrictions”. I mean, how dumb does a person have to be to think those do ANY good? The vast majority of people in America are dumb, but “leaders” ought to be better. Hopefully they are just pandering and don’t really believe such “restrictions” are useful or moral. I mean, who are the “laws” supposed to help? Irresponsible parents who can’t be bothered to supervise their children? I guess. Perhaps they should have a law against those parents instead. They are… Read more »

I wonder if all these wins ACSOL is collecting can be used as evidence that laws are being passed due to malice and retribution as they have nothing to do with scientific support. Halloween restrictions, presence restrictions, residency restriction, and a lifetime term for all offenders have all been changed. It appears that ACSOL is proving there exists systematic judicial discrimination that is not built upon scientific support. Eventually, ACSOL can dump all the years of CASCOMB information revealing that registrants have recidivate under 1% when failure to register is removed from the recidivism stats. Why was the legislative branch… Read more »

Well, while I am fully in favor of this lawsuit action to get the ordinance repealed, at least they don’t make them put up a sign on the door or lawn. Many people “go dark” on Halloween so as not to invite children up to the door because they don’t want to be bothered. So at least in that way the city is not requiring the registrants to do something unique that says, in other words, “sex offender lives here”. Still, I fully agree with the premise of the lawsuit. But here is a point about the whole Halloween thing.… Read more »

@MichaelRS wrote: “The point is, why should somebody who is considered little to no risk and their specific address is not listed on the Megan’s Law site, or they’re not even on the Megan’s Law site, have to follow such an ordinance?” Simple answer is the public does not know about low recidivism rates. The policy makers and law enforcement want to push that all offenders are only monsters and there’s no redeeming value. This is why you do not see low recidivism rates being shared to the whole public or utilized in court cases because the policy makers do… Read more »

New Person ~ Great point. The majority of people only hear and believe what they are being told. Another factor they don’t know is that certain “sex offenses” are “crimes” like Romeo and Juliet or peeing in public, yet nobody educates these people. To them, hearing the word sex offender immediately means child rapist. In their defense, they listen to the stories without feeling the need to explore further. It is laziness, and it is much easier to just believe what they are being told rather than educating themselves to get to the real story.

This is why policy makers want the label “Sex Offender” to remain. They expect the public to be duped that anyone labeled “SO” is the worst of the worst – all of them, which is far from the truth. And this is why I’m pushing to the idea to have government “enforce” all of 1203.4’s immunities that state: … i) your case “shall” be set aside … ii) the court “shall” dismiss your accusation/information The registry cannot use “court ordered dismissed information/accusation”. “Shall” is a very binding word that implements an agreement. Law impairing the obligation of contracts may not… Read more »

I’m not surprised at all. Our ELECTED officials are going to pander to the whims of the public EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. PERIOD. As long as the public has such hatred and vitriol for us, NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE. PERIOD. They’ll keep piling on the disabilities and restraints and will only stop when the courts force them to.
When you take a case to court, you BETTER HAVE AN AIR-TIGHT CASE PERFECTLY CRAFTED that will give the judge ZERO WIGGLE ROOM to rule against you.

We are NEVER going to get anywhere basing our legal challenges on recidivism statistics. Remember, these laws are passed based on the following sentiment: IF IT SAVES JUST ONE CHILD, IT’S WORTH IT.

We MUST focus on DISABILITIES AND RESTRAINTS IMPOSED BY THE BYZANTINE CODE OF RESTRICTIONS that are par for course for every registry law out there.

Easier solution – the Sex Offense Registries (Hit Lists) shouldn’t exist. They are useless and not needed. That is trivial to prove. But they are a lot worse than just worthless. With regard to Halloween, they are also a dangerous distraction. It should NEVER be reinforced that big government is telling you where the “dangerous” people are. Big government has no clue. It should NEVER be reinforced that children should not be supervised and parents are not responsible for that. Never. Related, there is no reason to know where the PFRs who are “high risk” live and avoid their homes.… Read more »

@Will Allen wrote: “Easier solution – the Sex Offense Registries (Hit Lists) shouldn’t exist. They are useless and not needed. That is trivial to prove. But they are a lot worse than just worthless.” That’s what the 20-year NJ study reflected that cited above. Along with the rest of the sources. Yet, the registry still exists. Why? We don’t have PR campaign. Remember the war on drugs and smoking weed got you a felony? Welp, all that is being reversed. I remember sitting in court and the new CA law reduced charges from a felony to a misdemeanor and a… Read more »

Great comments. The new law has a lot of positive outcomes, but there is still a lot to do. 1. Why hasn’t the DOJ did there job in the last 3 years and assigned everyone to their tiers? 2. Why hasn’t 17b been addressed? 3. Many of us have never been on the Megan’s Law website, worked hard to clean up our records, have jobs and may now be posted on the site because the DOJ hasn’t done their job! 4. Are all tiers 1,2 and 3 going to be online?

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