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September 23, 2013

Litigation prompting California city to give up Halloween sex offender posting law

As reported in this Los Angeles Times piece, headlined "O.C. city likely to drop Halloween law aimed at sex offenders: A lawsuit challenges a city of Orange law requiring sex offenders to post signs to discourage trick-or-treaters," it appears that just the filing of a constitutional lawsuit is prompting reform of a local ordinance. Here are the basics:

An Orange County city will probably toss out a law requiring registered sex offenders to post a sign in front of their homes on Halloween to discourage trick-or-treaters after it was hit with a federal lawsuit alleging the practice is unconstitutional.

Registered sex offenders in the city of Orange are legally required to post a sign on Halloween, no smaller than 12 by 24 inches, that reads, "No candy or treats at this residence." Violators face a $1,000 fine or up to a year in jail. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday on behalf of an individual identified only as "John Doe," alleges the law violates the 1st Amendment rights of registered sex offenders and puts them, and anyone living with them, at risk of physical and emotional harm.

"If you think about it, a lot of older kids go out to trick rather than treat," said Janice Bellucci, an attorney and president of the California Reform Sex Offender Laws group. "All you have to do is look for the house with the sign."...

Bellucci filed a similar lawsuit last year to strike down a Simi Valley ordinance that also required people convicted of sex crimes to post a sign. That law also banned them from putting up Halloween displays and outside lighting on Oct. 31. But the day before the Simi Valley law went into effect, federal court Judge Perry Anderson issued a temporary restraining order barring the city from enforcing the sign provision.

The judge let stand provisions of the ordinance that keep sex offenders from turning on outside lights, decorating their homes and answering their doors to trick-or-treaters....

In Orange, no registered sex offenders have been cited since the ordinance was adopted, said City Atty. Wayne Winthers. When the city passed the law in February 2010 officials counted 81 registered sex offenders, with 81% of them having convictions involving minors, according to city records.

There was no need for the group to file the lawsuit, he said, since the city had been in contact with Bellucci and the City Council was expected to discuss the issue next week in closed session. "I read the district court's [Simi Valley] ruling and I don't see any reason why the court would look at ours any differently," said Winthers, who said he intended to ask the council to remove the sign requirement from the Halloween ordinance. "Our intent wasn't to bring any unnecessary harm or scrutiny to any particular individual," Winthers said. "We just wanted to protect children."

September 23, 2013 at 11:12 AM | Permalink


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"our intent wasn't to bring any harm or personal scrutiny to any particular individual" "we just wanted to protect children."
What did the city think would happen to an SO or their family and their house if they had been forced to post a sign warding off trick or treaters? Don't you think they might have become victims of some vandalism or worse?
Many parents send their kids out trick or treating, alone, to houses that they don't know. Maybe it's not the SO they need to be wary of, maybe it's just the weirdo next door. Stop stirring up the witch-hunt.

Posted by: kat | Sep 23, 2013 1:04:21 PM

LOL lucky buch of nazi govt fucktards. Only place i'd have put the pointy end of the sign would be the top of the empty head of the govt fucktard who ordered me to use it!

as for the teenages who like to give out tricks..... i have a nice one i would use on the little shits on my property. a baseball bat to the throat!

Then have the gov to bring their asses over and clean up the trash THEY caused!

Posted by: rodsmith | Sep 23, 2013 5:59:14 PM

Perhaps what we really need is legislation that says politicians must post a sign in their yard stating their government position and their party affiliation.

Posted by: athought | Sep 23, 2013 6:33:50 PM

I am a registered sex offender that is not a felon nor have any victim yet I am on the registry and my rights are severely abused. I don't have the finances to take on my state or the federal government. My issues should be presented to our Supreme Court, except they too hide behind the law.

So Orange City feels it to be okay to break Constitutional law because they just want to protect children. Nice work considering there has never been a sexual assault recorded on a child ever on Halloween. Clearly the city council isn't protecting children. The city council simply (like children) desire to target the post registered sex offender to satisfy their need to falsely show their community how tough they are on crime by playing into the emotions of their constituents. What a sham!

Regarding Federal Civil Rights Statutes, which of these federal statutes apply to Orange City Councilmen?

In restricting freedom of movement, posting signs that target the Post Offender's(PO’s) and family members who, by the way, are already targeted on the internet, and by not allowing their family to participate in the holiday is showing exceptionally incompetent due process of law and extraordinary lack of judgement, fairness and any sort of compassion for these American citizens and their families.

The post offender (PO) is denied his/her and families their FREEDOM guaranteed by our Constitution; and all rights to “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness declared in our US Constitution, our Declaration of Independence, International Human Rights Law and some Federal Civil Rights Statutes.

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 249 - Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act
Title 18, U.S.C., Section 241 - Conspiracy Against Rights
Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242 - Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law
Title 18, U.S.C., Section 245 - Federally Protected Activities
Title 18, U.S.C., Section 247 - Church Arson Prevention Act of 1996
Title 18, U.S.C., Section 248 - Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act
Title 18, U.S.C., Section 844(h) - Federal Explosives Control Statute
Title 42, U.S.C., Section 3631 - Criminal Interference with Right to Fair Housing
Title 42, U.S.C., Section 14141 - Pattern and Practice

What Constitution Laws are broken? How about starting with our Fifth Amendment.
Then we have laws that say sex offenders cannot post on social sites. Does our Fist Amendment rights apply here? Try to write to a congressmen or comments to newspapers. Often you can only use Facebook to register your communication.

What other Constitutional rights might you consider applicable?

Then we have International Human Rights Law. WOW!


1. We are all born free and equal.
2. We are not subject to discrimination.
3. We all have the right to life.
4. We all have the right not to be slaves.
5. We all have the right not to be tortured.
6. We all have rights no matter where we live.
7. We are all equal before the law.
8. We all have the right not to be unfairly detained.
9. We all have the right not to be detained unfairly.
10. We all have the right to a fair trial.
11. We are always innocent until proven guilty.
12. We all have the right to privacy.
13. We all have the freedom to move.
14. We all have the right to seek out a safe and secure a safe place to live.
15. We all have the right to nationality (people sharing common descent, history, language, etc.; a nation).
16. We all have the right to marry and to have a family.
17. We all have the right to own things.
18. We all have the right to freedom of thought.
19. We all have the right to freedom of expression.
20. We all have the right to public assembly.
21. We all have the right to democracy.
22. We all have the right to social security (is what supports you when you cannot support yourself).
23. We all have the right to work along with workers rights.
24. We all have the right to play.
25. We all have the right to food and shelter (this includes everyone).
26. We all have a right to education.
27. We all have the right to copyright.
28. We all have the right to a fair and free world.
29. We all have the right to responsibility.
30. No one can take away your human rights.

It is my contention that our governing bodies Federal and State, county and city, as well as, news reporting, purposely and illegally discriminate, target, break constitutional law, human rights law, federal and state law, as though they themselves are above the law.

It won't be long, actually it is already happening, that the ordinary citizen will have their freedoms and rights diminished until one day no citizen will have any rights. Think about it!

Posted by: Lance Martinez | Sep 24, 2013 9:34:31 AM

These Halloween sex offender posting laws, instead of protecting the general public, endanger it as well as endangering any police officers who attempt to enforce it.

One day, one of these sex offenders might decide to "stand their ground" against any SWAT team that attempts to enforce this ordinance. Our police have to take enough risks fighting "real-time" violent crimes without increasing the risk to their own safety by enforcing petty laws that merely rub salt into old wounds. These laws could even endanger neighborhood vigilantes if the sex offender inside his or her house decides to respond to them by firing back with an illegal weapon.

The children themselves who trick or treat are far more likely to be run over by a careless motorist than be molested. Even a careful motorists can accidentally hit a child and their parents if they are not vigilant behind the wheel, or, in my case, if the neighborhood power went off due to a storm. It was a good thing that I was driving very slowly through a neighborhood to get back home from work on Halloween night. A storm that night downed all the power lines making it very hard to see. Many children and their parents were also very careless about crossing the street, especially without adequate lighting.

Posted by: william delzell | Sep 24, 2013 10:04:39 AM

I kind of like these "Halloween" laws because it shows just what a bunch of idiots the true Registry Terrorists are. I mean, there is something wrong with those people. I think it must be some combination of stupidity and mental illness. These laws also expose the terrorists/criminals for the true scum that they are in that it shows just how low and un-American they will go to harass people they "hate" (I think they must hate themselves). These laws show just how ridiculous their Witch Hunt is and they show why we should not trust or respect them.

So let the stupid laws keep coming. It reminds us that the true Registry Terrorists have undermined the legitimacy of the Registries every day since they were created.

But this particular criminal regime still needs to pay compensatory and punitive damages for their attempted law and the ones that are still standing.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Sep 24, 2013 2:36:49 PM

I have been involved with this organization and others like it for years, and I also grew up in Orange. I can say quite equivocally that Janice Bellucci, along with California RSOL, has had a phenomenal record in US District Courts that they are at a point where all they have to do is THREATEN to file suit, and the politicos back off.

Incidentally, keep in mind that registrants in Orange are STILL prohibited from decorations, turning on lights, or answering doors. It is only the sign ordinance that is being challenged, so I don't see how the citizens are getting in a twist over this challenge...other than the fact that someone says "SEX OFFENDER!!!" and the collective hysteria shoots up three notches.

Posted by: Eric Knight | Sep 25, 2013 12:03:17 AM

Eric Knight (Sep 25, 2013 12:03:17 AM):

Are citizens really "getting in a twist over this challenge"? Who are these people? I really do believe that the average intelligence of people in the U.S. is continually declining, but really? Is there any sane person who believes this is necessary or helpful? And the people who support this are surely not Americans. I expect most of them are immigrants?

I leave my home every Halloween and go out and about. It would be completely trivial for me to take some kind of public transportation somewhere far from my home and then go out walking around neighborhoods amongst all the trick-or-treaters. I wouldn't get a second glance. The Registered families in this city should do exactly that. Do the people who support these signs have any sense?

All this does is show people that these criminal regimes deserve the disrespect that they get. If the Registered families in this city "cooperate" with their criminal regime or allow them to interact with them in any way, they are fools. These people should put walls around their homes.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Sep 25, 2013 10:49:15 AM


People in Oklahoma believe everything they hear about sex offenders on the tv news and from their politicians.
Recently a SO was working at the state fair in Oklahoma, operating a ride away from the "kiddie" section. His girlfriend, seeking revenge over an argument, turned him in to OKCPD. Subsequently, there was a feeding frenzy. Parents were outraged. The local TV station reported that he was an SO, but not his level or his offense.

All's dark and quiet here around Halloween. Pass out candy? No way!

Posted by: Oswaldo | Sep 25, 2013 2:30:17 PM

Oswaldo (Sep 25, 2013 2:30:17 PM):

I know. You can find stories like you related every day. It's just all a bunch of idiocy. But somehow the dim people who freak out about "sex offenders" walking amongst them, they don't really seem to care about other crimes that gravely harm or kill people. That is the best sign that we have that it's all a bunch of bunk.

So look at the "state fair" problem. Do those dim people that freaked out about the Registered person working there think that environment is just fine and safe if the Registered person was not around? Maybe they do. But when you take your children to a fair, you make a choice about whether or not to stay with them and supervise or trust them to remember everything you've taught them and go with their friends. The fact about a Registered person being there or not doesn't change that risk equation in the slightest. Even an idiot can realize that if he wasn't busy working there, he could have very easily just be walking around there looking for victims. Even an IDIOT.

I've passed out candy at my home before. F them. I had a lot of trick-or-treaters come by and there were absolutely no issues of any type. Anyone who thinks that is a big deal is stupid. Period. If the criminal regimes' employees would have come around, I would have told them to F off.

But I like to go out and about now days. That is SO much more dangerous to children than a person remaining at their home handing out candy. Do the idiots who support these "Halloween" laws even have a brain? Especially the politicians. What is their excuse? There should be a minimum IQ for politicians. They just shouldn't be allowed to be at the same level as the brainless mob.

Remember, negate the Registries. Never give any indication that they are acceptable. The criminal regimes blew any legitimacy they could have had.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Sep 25, 2013 6:16:31 PM

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