Janice’s Journal: Are California Judges Getting Smarter?

There are two recent court decisions, one from an appellate court and the other from a trial court, that may be evidence that California judges are getting smarter on issues of importance to the registrant community.

In the appellate court decision, three judges decided that the District Attorney must prove that a person required to register poses a current risk before a court can require continued registration beyond the minimum amount of time required under the Tiered Registry Law. In doing so, the appellate court overturned a trial court decision which denied a registrant’s petition based upon the facts of the conviction offense which took place more than 20 years ago.

The appellate court described those facts as “egregious” and yet criticized the trial court for its failure to fully consider the fact that the person required to register had been a law-abiding citizen for more than 20 years after his release from custody.

This appellate court is to be commended on its clear thinking and wise decision.

This appellate court decision, People v. Thai, is even more surprising in that it was issued in a county known to be judicially conservative. It is also a decision that will be used widely by attorneys and petitioners in both pending and future petition cases in which a District Attorney has objected to a petition. I predict great success in those petitions.

In the trial court decision, a judge in San Mateo County ruled that the California Department of Corrections (CDC) cannot require persons required to register to continue treatment the entire time they are on parole. She made this decision after two representatives of CDC testified that the state agency always requires every registrant while on parole to continue treatment.

During the hearing in this case, the judge asked CDC’s attorney a series of questions regarding the requirement to continue treatment. The attorney truthfully confirmed the testimony of her client, that is, CDC does not make treatment decisions on a case-by-case basis but instead requires all persons on parole to be treated during their entire parole period.

In her decision, the judge noted that state law provides courts with discretion to end treatment after one year. The judge further noted that the parolee in question had already completed a three-year treatment program before he was told he had to start a new treatment program provided by a new treatment provider. The judge exercised her discretion in this case and immediately terminated the petitioner’s treatment requirement. This judge is to be commended on her courage and wise decision.

These two court decisions give me hope. They should give you hope as well.

California judges appear to be getting smarter in that they are increasingly willing to look beyond the myths associated with persons required to register and are now more fairly applying the law to persons required to register.


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Well myths tend to get old. I remember one from a long time ago. It was something outlandish like “the average sex offender has over 400 victims”. It really took a lot of wind out of their sails.

Then the judges and legislature should be getting smart on the fact that those in Tier 3 don’t need to be on for life. Life for a murder charge with a chance of parole is typically 20-25 years but varies upon the system and place. Those on Tier 3 should have an off-ramp as well and it should not be as long as a murder charge with a chance of parole.

Those who want to whine about the victim’s continual pain, etc, is justification for lifetime registry for Tier 3 should be told to go seek counseling to move on. While the incident may never be completely forgotten, those who have suffered egregious events have moved on with fulfilling lives. The victim lobby should scolded in court and the person given the means to recover completely. If the person who committed the crime is so heinous then they should be assessed as such and then dealt with appropriately.

Dear God, let us hope and pray they are getting not only smarter, but also more conscientious in the conduct of the official duties. 🙏🏻

I submitted a petition recently in the same county (Orange) and was just waiting for the DA to object and have to go to court. Now with this ruling, maybe the DAs will not waste their time when they don’t have a valid reason other than continued punishment.

Society is slow to understand it’s the guns and not the “groomers” that are destroying children’s lives.Hate keeps the animosity and ignorance alive though.

Recognize the cross cultural implications here. Thai…
Thailand’s culture and child sexuality have a long history which western culture finds abhorrent. What you don’t find there is school shooters.

Stuck in Tier 3, have 1203.4. A Certificate of Rehabilitation (for those who don’t know, this is a DA deep dive/investigation and interview aliog with many letters of community support and full judge review), been on the registry for 25 years. Does anyone know if there has been an effort in CA to push for a new law which maybe keeps us on the Price Club for Law Enforcement only, but removes us from the Internet after say 10 or 15 years? I would prefer having the opportunity to be reviewed for full removal after 25 years or less, but I’ll take this over the continued ramped up punishment every 5 years.

I’m pleased to announce that I have filed a constitutional challenge mimicking Janice’s complaint against the USA and now including that the 21 day advance notice requirements are a violation of the prior restraint doctrine which affects all forms of Journalism ( written, photographic and running and collecting data for services website for travel and food reviews)
Petitioner’s 2241 complaint exposes that having to request permission to travel is a violation of our rights to freedom of expression through traveling. Our mental health is improved drastically when we are educated about other cultures. It’s in our national interests to become educated about other races, cultures in the world so we remain tolerant of other cultures and people such as the South Americans that Biden allowed into the USA.
When we’re allowed to travel without being returned to the USA like a fugitive slave, we’re treated as human beings which respects the “innocent until proven guilty” doctrine.

A 21 day notice is essentially having to ask permission to travel. This constitutes a prior restraint on speech because before you can speak on a topic internationally you must first ask permission travel to the country to be able to engage in travel journalism.
Having such a prior restraint of speech is a violation of the First Amendment. I seek to keep it out of Texas judges hands.

Janice, Agreed! And it is due in large measure to your work and the work of ACSOL. Steady, continuous and consistent work is what will bring down the whole house of cards. As MLK said: “I may not get there with you, but we, as a people, will get to the promised land.” Using the system to fight the system is a beautiful, and deeply satisfying, thing.

Another State-Run Website Made the Wrong Info Available to the Public @Lehtoslaw.
(JEFS) Judiciary electronic filing system.
This story is out of Hawaii and involves a lawyers paid subscription and what vulnerabilities he discovered after logging in on the JEFS database. Watch authorities pass the buck and blame others for their ignorance as to how the DDI works, and doesn’t necessarily denote intelligent consent.
Judges are getting smarter Janice, but they ( most judges) still are clueless with respect to the database driven infrastructure and the inherent vulnerabilities. Even judges adore the easy button.

Do I contact the ca doj for similar situated as the winner in appeal ?