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September 29, 2012

Sex offenders claim First Amendment violated by local Halloween ordinance targeting them

The Ventura County Star has this interesting article, headlined "Lawsuit seeks to block Simi Valley's Halloween sex offender ordinance," reporting on a notable (and groundbreaking?) legal action against a common local law this time of year.  Here are the details:

A federal lawsuit filed Friday seeks to block enforcement of Simi Valley's new Halloween sex offender ordinance, contending it is unconstitutional.  The lawsuit alleges that the ordinance violates the First and 14th Amendments because it "suppresses and unduly chills protected speech and expression."

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by five registered sex offenders, three of their spouses and two of their children, all Simi Valley residents.  They are identified only as John and Jane Does.

It's the first time one of the Halloween sex offender laws passed by a number of California cities, including Ontario and Orange, has been challenged in court, said Santa Maria attorney Janice Bellucci.

Bellucci, president of the board of a group called California Reform Sex Offender Laws, filed the suit, which also seeks unspecified financial damages, on behalf of the plaintiffs.

Simi Valley City Attorney Marjorie Baxter said the lawsuit is groundless.  "We thoroughly researched the ordinance and I don't feel the lawsuit has any merit, and we will defend it vigorously," she said.

The Simi Valley City Council adopted the law — the only one of its kind in Ventura County — to prevent sex offenders from having contact with trick-or-treating children on Halloween. Championed by Mayor Bob Huber, a lawyer who is seeking re-election in November, the measure applies to the several dozen convicted child sex offenders who live in the city and are listed on the Megan's Law website.

The ordinance requires the offenders to post signs on their front doors saying, "No candy or treats at this residence."  It also bars them from opening their doors to children on the holiday, displaying Halloween decorations or having exterior lighting on their property from 5 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 31....

The lawsuit argues that the ordinance prohibits "a discrete and socially outcast minority from expressing any publicly viewable celebration of Halloween" and "forces this group to impose a burden on their own safety and that of any person who resides with them by requiring them to turn off all exterior lighting at their residences on Oct. 31 every year." The ordinance also publicly shames the sex offenders "by mandating that they place a large content-specific sign on their door every year," the lawsuit contends.

But Councilman Mike Judge noted at the council's Aug. 20 meeting that the ordinance was limited to registered sex offenders on the Megan's Law website, which publicly lists their identities.  "We're not branding them," Judge, a Los Angeles police officer, said. "They're already branded."

Bellucci argues that there are no reported instances of a child being molested while trick-or-treating. According to her group's website, the organization is "dedicated to restoring civil rights for those accused and/or convicted of sex crimes."

September 29, 2012 at 11:35 PM | Permalink

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Comments

good for them! the laws are illegal and unconstutional. of course it would be quicker and cheaper to just find the little hatefilled nazi wannabee's who passed it and disappear them.... then take it to the former united states of america's current kanagroo court as far as sex crimes law is concerned!

Posted by: rodsmith | Sep 30, 2012 12:36:18 AM

"Championed by Mayor Bob Huber, a lawyer who is seeking re-election in November . . . ."

Hmm...

Posted by: Ryan | Sep 30, 2012 12:57:34 AM

Has there ever been a case of a child being molested as a result of trick-or-treating at a molester's house? If so, wouldn't the more prudent measure be to outlaw trick-or-treating altogether, because children might go to the house of someone who is a pedophile but not a registered sex offender?

Posted by: C.E. | Sep 30, 2012 3:26:10 AM

Sounds like Rod's been convicted of a sex offense.

Posted by: alpino | Sep 30, 2012 5:18:24 AM

"No candy or treats at this residence"--hmm sounds like forced speech to me. I don't see how anything like that can be imposed ex post facto on sex offenders. No decorations? Really? Keep your lights off. Really?

The restrictions placed on sex offenders have gotten out of hand.

Posted by: federalist | Sep 30, 2012 9:30:00 AM

you were so funny i fogot to laugh alpino.

More like rod is sick of the hate filled treasnous nazi wannabees who now run this country.

i'm sorry but when the United States Supreme Court tells you that what you want to do is BARELY legal becasue your NOT doing x, y, and z and then you walk out of the court room and then pass new laws that SPECFICALLY do x,y and z ...sorry in my book your in violation of a court order and guilty of contempt of court at a minimum ...but in the case of GOVT AGENTS your in VIOLATION of your oath of office...which in my book makes you a TRAITOR and open to immediate execution by any REAL american who wants to get rid of your ass.

Never mind this whole thing was based on LIES and out and out FRAUD!

AND the last time i looked federal law says a CRIMINAL is not allowed to profit from their CRIME!

In this case the govt comited the crime of FRAUD their profit was the illegal sex crimes registry and all it's little off shoots...which means under that doctrime...they are GONE!


of course you also reaize alpino that the last restort for someone who has NO real response or argument...is just what you did!

Posted by: rodsmith | Sep 30, 2012 11:43:12 AM

this is a very very good question C.E

"Has there ever been a case of a child being molested as a result of trick-or-treating at a molester's house? If so, wouldn't the more prudent measure be to outlaw trick-or-treating altogether, because children might go to the house of someone who is a pedophile but not a registered sex offender?"

The answer would of course be NO!

the few reports i've seen have in every case been done by one or other of the parents in cases of the usual messy divorce.

There has NEVER been a child attacked during halloween by a registered sex offender or anyone NOT on the registry either!


Like i said another fine law brought to us by the FRAUDS in washington!

Posted by: rodsmith | Sep 30, 2012 11:47:11 AM

nice fed!

""No candy or treats at this residence"--hmm sounds like forced speech to me. I don't see how anything like that can be imposed ex post facto on sex offenders. No decorations? Really? Keep your lights off. Really?

The restrictions placed on sex offenders have gotten out of hand."

but you are wrong about your conclusion. They hit "out of hand" about a decade ago. Now they are just treason!

I'm sorry but that's what i call it when a fucktard of a politican passes a law and admits in the press conference that it's probably UNCONSTUTIONAL but what the hell the courts can toss it if they want!"

Posted by: rodsmith | Sep 30, 2012 11:50:07 AM

rodsmith is right

Sex offenders: Halloween’s boogeyman
Registered abusers are being rounded up tonight to protect trick-or-treaters. How real is the threat, though?

http://www.salon.com/2011/10/31/sex_offenders_halloweens_boogeyman/

And Justice Scalia recently commented that passed laws were presumed constitutional but now that presumption may no longer hold.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 30, 2012 1:29:48 PM

Ordinances like these are much ado about nothing, and the only children being victimized by sex offenders are those that live in the fevered imaginations of politicians seeking re-election by further ostracizing an already ostracized group. The fact that it protects no one is of no moment, because it's not really about protection, only politics. Of course, the longer that the powers that be spend inventing imaginary bad guys to worry about, the longer we won't actually be addressing ways to maybe possible reduce rates of sexual violence.

Posted by: Guy | Sep 30, 2012 2:43:53 PM

how true guy just think of the treatment and awarness programs that could be put in place with the 10-15 BILLION we spend a year watching and tracking where people work, live, sleep and walk with 20-30 YEAR OLD sex convictions.

Since pretty much EVERY study done in the last 15 years or so show 5-15% reoffence rates for those ON the registry. Only a fucktard politician would not realize the BIG PROBLEM and the major area of sex crimes is THAT FIRST OFFENSE! that we need to be STOPPING!

Posted by: rodsmith | Sep 30, 2012 10:52:02 PM

i agree anon!

"rodsmith is right

Sex offenders: Halloween’s boogeyman
Registered abusers are being rounded up tonight to protect trick-or-treaters. How real is the threat, though?

http://www.salon.com/2011/10/31/sex_offenders_halloweens_boogeyman/

And Justice Scalia recently commented that passed laws were presumed constitutional but now that presumption may no longer hold."


Considering the history of our country for the last 30 years or so. I think we should go the other way.

All laws passed should be presumed UNconstitutional UNTIL the group passing it can show in DETAIL how and why it works WITH said constitution! failure to do so and the law is considered null and void! Or in normal english...just more useless BULLSHIT out of the govt!

Posted by: rodsmith | Sep 30, 2012 10:55:42 PM

Rod, with all of your CAPS, poor or non-existent punctuation, profanity, angry exclamation points, misspellings and lousy grammar, I can barely follow what you're saying. Anyway, I reckon you're so goshdarn irate because you're not allowed to go within 500 feet of an elementary school.

Posted by: alpino | Oct 1, 2012 7:54:32 AM

LOL in this day and age any man crazy enough to get wihin 20 miles of a school elementary or not is a candidate for a rubber room.

As for the CAPS that is the web translation of wanting to smack you upside the head to see if i can knock those loose screws back into the right holes.

As for the grammar and spelling. Funny i did not realize this was english class. Or that you were the spelling police.

I notice you have still not managed to refute my original statement.


"i'm sorry but when the United States Supreme Court tells you that what you want to do is BARELY legal becasue your NOT doing x, y, and z and then you walk out of the court room and then pass new laws that SPECFICALLY do x,y and z ...sorry in my book your in violation of a court order and guilty of contempt of court at a minimum ...but in the case of GOVT AGENTS your in VIOLATION of your oath of office...which in my book makes you a TRAITOR and open to immediate execution by any REAL american who wants to get rid of your ass.

Never mind this whole thing was based on LIES and out and out FRAUD!

AND the last time i looked federal law says a CRIMINAL is not allowed to profit from their CRIME!

In this case the govt comited the crime of FRAUD their profit was the illegal sex crimes registry and all it's little off shoots...which means under that doctrime...they are GONE!"

Posted by: rodsmith | Oct 1, 2012 12:15:46 PM

This kind of nonsense is exactly what killed what tiny shred of credibility the people who support the Registries ever had. If the Registries had just been used so people were "informed" and that is all, then they might not have ended up being such immoral, un-American BS that has started a war that is doing no good for the U.S. Oh well. Other countries have good, interesting jobs/industries and we have the sex offender and prison industries. Lot of great jobs there. Not.

Here is a criminal government that obviously does not have enough real problems and has way, way too much money. It is a nanny big government that is run by a bunch of wormy, thieving criminals. rodsmith thinks it's okay to kill those people but that seems a bit extreme. However, they are immoral people who do probably continually commit crimes against other people. So maybe not. I certainly would do everything I legally could to make life miserable for them and their families. I would attempt to cause them problems in every aspect of their lives. They would never find it comfortable to be around me. And I'm not afraid of scum like them.

What this criminal regime should have done is passed a law that required all trick-or-treating children to be supervised by a responsible, non-Registry-using, adult. No more than 4 kids per adult. That would be the responsible thing to do that would actually protect children. And of course, we have to ask why the criminal regime did not make this law apply to all people who have been convicted of harming other people. We all know why.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Oct 1, 2012 12:32:16 PM

Rod, I'm still not sure what your original statement was since I find it so hard to wade through your rants. All those CAPS and exclamation points provoke a Bill-the-Cat-like reaction. Perhaps you should take pride in yourself and your language and strive not to write like a foaming-at-the-mouth, semi-literate sex offender.

Posted by: alpino | Oct 1, 2012 12:49:45 PM

alpino--

Accusing rodsmith of committing a serious sex crime (I'm assuming you're not suggesting he urinated in public...) simply because he is virulently against sex offender registries is pretty fucking low, even by the ad hom standards set in this forum.

And yes, the f-bomb is fully deserved in this instance. At least Bill and Kent are only accused of having evil thoughts, not having done evil deeds.

Rod annoys me too sometimes with his erratic language, but anyone who has read his posts knows that he's simply calling it as he sees it. You may not like the message, but that's no reason to groundlessly attack the messenger.

Posted by: Res ipsa | Oct 1, 2012 1:33:35 PM

It is standard procedure to accuse someone arguing against unconstitutional laws of being a "pedo" as if that closes the debate once and for all. That ad hom most often works and that is why we have so many unconstituional laws.

We can test this theory by how often someone must qualify their argument aginst unconstutional laws with "I don't support pedos but...." That that qualification is even necessary proves my point.

I suspect alpino is a registered Nazi.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 1, 2012 2:03:04 PM

Anon --

I suspect it may not be entirely advisable to end a comment criticizing alpino for rhetorical excess with the sentence, "I suspect alpino is a registered Nazi."

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 1, 2012 2:56:32 PM

Res ipsa --

In addition to my evil thoughts, I was once accused here of being a necrophiliac. But I think you're right about Kent. He has been accused only of being a heartless, bloodlusting Nazi.

Still, I must confess. While for the most part I have not been accused of evil deeds, I have more than a few pass through my head. Just the other day, I was looking at this picture of Kate Upton, and I thought..............oh, well, never mind. This is a family forum.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Oct 1, 2012 3:01:59 PM

Well Alpino since you seem to have a reading comprehension problem if it's not put in a format you can read. Here is the Alpino translation of the following statement!

""i'm sorry but when the United States Supreme Court tells you that what you want to do is BARELY legal becasue your NOT doing x, y, and z and then you walk out of the court room and then pass new laws that SPECFICALLY do x,y and z ...sorry in my book your in violation of a court order and guilty of contempt of court at a minimum ...but in the case of GOVT AGENTS your in VIOLATION of your oath of office...which in my book makes you a TRAITOR and open to immediate execution by any REAL american who wants to get rid of your ass.

Never mind this whole thing was based on LIES and out and out FRAUD!

AND the last time i looked federal law says a CRIMINAL is not allowed to profit from their CRIME!

In this case the govt comited the crime of FRAUD their profit was the illegal sex crimes registry and all it's little off shoots...which means under that doctrime...they are GONE!"


Alpino translation:

"I'm sorry but when the United States Supreme Court tells you that what you want to do is barely legal becasue your not doing x,y and z then you walk out of the court and immediately pass laws requiring x, y and x your guilty of at a minimum of contempt of court and violation of a court order. In the case of an agent for the government you are also guilty of violating your oath of office and a case could be made that you have comitted treason. Since treason in wartime can bring the death penalty legally any real american can remove you at any time.

Never mind this whole thing was based on lies and out and out fraud. The last time i looked most state and federal law prohibit criminals from profiting from their crimes.

In this case the government comited the crime of fraud; their profit was the illegal sex crimes registry and all it's little off shoots which means under that doctrine they are the profit from the government crime of fraud and lies. Therefore they are gone."

end translation.


This is right up there with the courts criminal creative interpetation of "expost". I'm still trying to figure out how they managed to creatively interpet "no" to mean "no" except in civil or sex crimes.

Maybe you in your wisdom can point me to the page of the United States Constitution they managed to find that?

Is that better. Were the words small enough for you?

Posted by: rodsmith | Oct 1, 2012 3:30:19 PM

Nice anon but it's not techically possible to be a "registered Nazi" since the nazi party was declared illegal and disbanded after the second world war. But is is very possible to be a "nazi wannabee" To live up to and exceed the criminal stupdity of that cult.

Sadly we have far too many in our govt and society today that is shooting to the moon as it were in their efforts to outdo adolf hitler and his cult of criminals.

I'm with you Bill!

"I was looking at this picture of Kate Upton, and I thought..............oh, well, never mind. This is a family forum."

Got to love those bikini photos

Posted by: rodsmith | Oct 1, 2012 3:33:45 PM

You're getting better, Rod. Your writing is much less jarring reading without all the CAPS and exclamation points. However, you still need to brush up on your punctuation. For instance, "American" should not be written "american." Adjectives having to do with nationality are always capitalized in the English language.

Now, let's move on to spelling: "you're" is the correct contraction of "you are," whereas "your" is merely a possessive adjective. You made this mistake twice. So, clearly, it's something you were hitherto unaware of and I do hope I've enlightened you.

And keep away from school zones!

Posted by: alpino | Oct 1, 2012 3:54:34 PM

Alpino --

I'll bite. I have been convicted of a sex crime. That fact, or the fact of whether or not rod has been convicted of one, doesn't make ordinances such as these any less idiotic (or unconstitutional).

Cheers.

Posted by: Guy | Oct 1, 2012 4:46:03 PM

As I've argued often, the sad part is that the nursing program for at risk mothers could actually prevent abuse and lower the crime rate. Instead we spend all the time, effort and money on a non-problem that is nothing more than fear mongering and vote pandering. So I don't think it is really "for the children."

Meanwhile, Small Upswing in Child Abuse Despite Reports

By Crystal Phend, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Published: October 01, 2012

A national study found that serious injuries from child abuse appear to have risen modestly over the past decade or so, and suggested that downward trends in other studies of abuse may reflect reporting changes rather than real improvement.
Note that children were increasingly likely to die from these abuse-related injuries before discharge.

Hospitalization for abuse-related injury rose 4.9% overall among children 18 and under over the 12-year span from 1997 through 2009, wrote John Leventhal, MD, and Julie Gaither, RN, MPH, MPhil, both of Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

Posted by: George | Oct 1, 2012 5:50:43 PM

Well considering by the time i was 13 i had lived in 33 different states and been in thier assorted school sytems i think i am doing pretty good.

i once had an english teacher who was determined to have me learn her way of spelling. Kept demanding i "sound it out!"

Well old bitch pissed me off and my response was pretty simple "well you olf bat i've lived in 33 different states which damn way you want it sounded out!"

There has been any number of studies that show english is the hardest language in the world to learn. Since the words change meaning not only based on what your saying, but who your saying it to and where your saying it.

The written version is just as bad.


As for the "American" as apposed to "american" guess that means once the government falls and all hell breaks out and i'm hunting down former fucktard politicans to get them out of the gene pool....i should make sure the big "A" in "American Made" on the bat lands on their forehead?

Posted by: rodsmith | Oct 1, 2012 6:38:34 PM

I also note that even now that you can read it well enough to correct my spelling. You still can't refute my statment about our criminal government!

If anyone else was to walk into a court and be given a decison and then imediatly walked out and basically ignored it. They would be under arrest and in handcuffs and back in that court facing that judge so fast they would lose their shoes!

Posted by: rodsmith | Oct 1, 2012 6:41:43 PM

So, what on earth does living in 33 states have to do with writing English so poorly? Is the English spoken in, say, Delaware much different from what's spoken in Maryland? Plenty of military brats who regularly changed schools, states and countries have somehow, miraculously, managed to speak and write English well.

Anyway, it's a typical loser move to blame the school system for your shortcomings rather than yourself. One would think that some of the fine writing on this website and in the legal decisions you've read would've inspired you to improve. Instead, you just rail against a poor old teacher who was actually trying to help you. Moreover, you go so far as to call her a "bitch." She could've easily ignored you rather than waste her time and energy on an obvious ingrate like you.

Plus, your remark at the end, which seemingly has to do with bludgeoning politicians, is almost entirely incoherent--not to mention needlessly vulgar. Do strive to better yourself, Rod.

Posted by: alpino | Oct 2, 2012 2:59:28 AM

I would like to address the topic briefly.

The people who are affected by this illegal "law" should do what the criminal regime is forcing them to do and then on Halloween and every night around then, they should leave their homes and go roam neighborhoods far from where they live.

I am listed on the harassment Registry. When my children were young, that is exactly what I did. We would go to neighborhoods far from where we lived and trick-or-treat like normal people with a bunch of other random people. That worked out well because I didn't really care to have people coming around my home and I didn't want to take my children around my scumbag neighbors either. I didn't have to worry about visiting the homes of child molesters because I was an actual parent supervising my children.

I don't take my children trick-or-treating any longer but my wife and I almost always go out Halloween night and drive around random neighborhoods far from where we live. It is pretty entertaining to drive around a bunch of people, check out the costumes, and see what everyone is doing. And of course, I do what I almost always do when I am out and about - I look at all the children and imagine how they could be attacked. I always try to figure out exactly how people who support the Registries fantasize that they are protecting people. It is a productive, educational endeavor. And it helps motivate me to invigorate my attacks against Registry supporters.

People who are listed on the harassment Registries: One of your goals should always be to ensure that not only are the Registries worthless but that they are counterproductive. That is naturally the case but don't accept that as good enough. It's a war, after all.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Oct 2, 2012 11:50:22 AM

Isn't there also a requirement for this type of suit to require legal translation? I know that there are sex offenders in this country that don't speak English and might need an alternative form of notification. It is just something to ponder. Thanks for the interesting case.

Posted by: Mike Cornelia | Oct 5, 2012 12:01:29 PM

I dont think sex offenders should be able to even breathe! The face that they even let them out of jail to get another child is beyond me. There giving life to people who sell drugs but given probation to child rapist. I dont think that they should be able to partipate in a child holiday involving the kids. Just like they shouldnt be allowed to coach sports or be in church functions involving children. They really dont need any temptation. Should a recovering acholic go work at a bar or go hang with party all the time? Not a good idea. I dont think that they should be able to have decorations up because we all know that is a kiddie attraction! No need to draw anybody to there yard!!!

Posted by: Brandi | Nov 4, 2012 2:27:25 PM

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