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January 16, 2014

Orange County DA hoping California high court will rescue local sex offender park ban

As reported in this local article, headlined "D.A. will take sex-offenders fight to state Supreme Court," a California prosecutor is planning to seek review in the Supreme Court of a lower state appellate court ruling that struck down local laws banning sex offenders from parks.  Here are the details:

The Orange County District Attorney's Office plans to go to the California Supreme Court to defend local ordinances that ban registered sex offenders from city parks.  A state appeals court on Friday struck down an Irvine law that barred registered sex offenders from city parks without written permission from police, a ruling that will become legal precedent. The court also struck down a similar Orange County law.

About a dozen other Orange County cities passed similar ordinances banning sex offenders from parks at the urging of District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.  Rackauckas helped craft Orange County's law with county Supervisor Shawn Nelson. “Protecting children from dangerous sex offenders is an ongoing war, and we believe that it's one of the most important jobs we have at the D.A.'s (office),” said Susan Kang Schroeder, Rackauckas' chief of staff.

Janice Bellucci, president of California Reform Sex Offender Laws, said of the pending appeal. “I think they're foolish to do it. They're wasting taxpayer money.”  Bellucci said her organization will urge Orange County cities that adopted similar legislation to pull the laws off their books or face a lawsuit.  

Opponents criticize the ordinances as overly broad and an infringement on civil rights.  They are “unenforceable,” Bellucci said.  “These ordinances give a false sense of security to parents. They don't really protect their children from those who are most likely to assault their children,” Bellucci said....

The Orange County ordinance, which became a model for local cities, made it a misdemeanor for any registered sex offender to enter a county park, beach or other recreational area without permission from the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Those convicted would face six months in jail or a $500 fine.

In Friday's ruling, a panel of judges said state laws regulating sex offenders pre-empt any local ordinances.  State law has long overseen sex-offender registration, the opinion said. State law already regulates where sex offenders may live and also identifies certain sex offenders who must be monitored by law-enforcement via GPS.

Offenders whose victims were younger than 14 may only enter parks where children gather with permission from their parole agents. The laws create a comprehensive system regulating sex offenders' daily lives, the court said.  No outright ban on sex offenders in parks is included in state law, an omission that “manifests a legislative determination that such a ban is not warranted,” the court said. Any such local laws undermine the decisions of the Legislature, the court said.

January 16, 2014 at 07:49 AM | Permalink

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Comments

When will people understand that by these ignorant laws, anyone LABELLED an SO:

"Sie tragen die gelben Sterne des jüdischen Volkes?"

That our lawmakers and their apologists (an ignorant judiciary mostly) only think of their imaginary stereotypes when they consider current SO laws, are truly evil people and undermining the essence and spirit of the Constitution.

Who's next?

Posted by: albeed | Jan 16, 2014 8:55:07 AM

These ordinances, if upheld, could also result in some ugly confrontations between law enforcement and RSO's who are no longer in a mood to meekly accept these restrictions a la Uncle Tom. If enough RSO's in the vicinity become radicalized over these laws and decide to resort to civil disobedience (preferably non-violent) the way civil rights activists over fifty years ago did against segregated lunch counters and other public accommodations, we run the risk of violent clashes by either vigilantes or some rogue police officers with RSO's and other activists who oppose these laws.

Such clashes would REALLY cost the tax payers loads of money and tear the community apart!

Posted by: william r. delzell | Jan 16, 2014 10:06:23 AM

These park, etc. bans are just pure theft. Un-Americans who support it should be attacked by any means available that is legal.

What I find hilarious about Tony R and his co-criminals is that they can't even begin to address why such a ban would not apply to any person who has harmed another person. It would not even apply to people who have shot people in parks. It's unreal. These laws are exactly why the Sex Offender Registries and everyone who supports them should never be respected.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Jan 16, 2014 1:05:13 PM

william r. delzell (Jan 16, 2014 10:06:23 AM): I know some people who would almost certainly retaliate violently (but anonymously) if they were arrested for being in a park. I take it as a given.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Jan 16, 2014 1:08:00 PM

personally based on the only real USSC decision about the registry in 2002. Sorry I don't consider refusing to make a decision...a decision. This law is not only illegal but it's treason and any one in the jurisdiction has the legal right to remove this Nazi wannabe from his position and life anyway they wish.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jan 16, 2014 4:13:22 PM

Again, I told the supervisors TO THEIR FACES this law was going to be taken down. Pure and simple. I hope they take it to SCOCA, as this will allow the actual constitutional applications not just to the US Constitution but the even more negative liberty-inclusive California Constitution.

Source regarding my testimony to the OC Board of Supervisors:

http://lagunaniguel-danapoint.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/orange-county-supes-give-early-ok-to-law-banning-sex-a932f5940a

Posted by: Eric Knight | Jan 16, 2014 4:24:53 PM

Eric Knight (Jan 16, 2014 4:24:53 PM):

You did a great job but you were talking to a bunch of criminals. You can't expect them to do the right thing. They must be forced to do the right thing.

Criminal Tony Rackauckas is attacking millions of people. The attack is not huge but since he has committed crimes against so many people, he richly deserves the death penalty. He is an un-American who gets his jollies by harassing people.

Posted by: FRegistryTerrorists | Jan 16, 2014 6:00:53 PM

When will the cowardice of our judiciary in not finding the majority of our sex-offender laws unconsitutional end? Before a government/legislative apologist comments, I would just like to point out the Tony Rackaucas' Chief Assistant's husband was arrested for Driving Under the Influence on HALLOWEEN NIGHT!

Now who is the greater threat to "our children"? Bow your heads please for that last trivial, meaningless platitude.

Posted by: albeed | Jan 17, 2014 8:52:52 AM

i'm with you albeed. Sorry but when a judge tells you that what your doing is legal. BARELY because your NOT doing x y and z and then you go out and pass laws that REQUIRE you to do x y and z. Sorry your now the criminal and anyone your messing with now has the legal right to KILL your ass just like any gangbanker caught in the act by the local cops!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jan 17, 2014 11:37:50 AM

Can convicted drug dealers enter public parks,what about people who loiter, or gang members? Can defined "sex offenders" have children and contact with their own children, if so what's the issue, if all defined California sex offenders (which are near 100,000) or so were a threat to children,then wouldn't we have supervision of their own children?

Posted by: Kris | Jan 18, 2014 1:52:56 PM

There's more beyond the surface here. Most people don't know how easy it is to get put on the Sex Offender Registry. There has been children on the sex offender registry as young as 9 years old. Punitive measures are added Ex-post facto at the whim of any politician looking to get elected (like that of the DA). Making the registrant their new whipping boy for votes. What about the rights of the registrant's child? Don't they have a right to be with their parent? These laws break more than constitutional law and the God given right (spiritual law) of a parent to be with their child but it also breaks natural law. Even a mother bear is allowed to be with her cubs, but for a registrant and their child these laws dare to break those fundamental God given rights. Really? Where are we in pre-1945 Germany? Oh, about the sheriff giving out passes for registrants to go to parks. Why would a law enforcement agency give out passes for people to break the law? Sometimes Kids get hurt in parks and beaches. Whether by falling from a tree, drowning or choking on a hot-dog. It seems okay to violate the registrant child's safety by disallowing their first line of defense (their parents) to be there. Ladies and gentlemen these kind of laws are not for freedom but tyranny. The numbers and facts don't justify these fear based draconian laws. TRUTH

Posted by: Robert Curtis | Feb 10, 2014 5:40:39 PM

TRUTH. The whole truth and nothing but the truth is what we need to look closely at when considering re-electing Mr. Tony Rackauckas. He has a history of good and not so good (as do we all), but lately I suggest his competency for good judgment is in question. Perhaps for the sake of Mr. Rackauckas we should NOT re-elect him.

There is a time for all good men to step aside and let another attorney that has shown himself capable to take over. I think that time has come. I have a fondness for sports but even I would consider it cruel to put an old horse that was once a grand champion on a race track. I’m not calling Mr. Rackauckas an old hag just that there are better choices to be had (ie. Mr. Greg Diamond).

I submit a possible reason Tony had no opponents in the past is because of the respect his colleagues have for the man (not a bad thing). In sports time demands retirement like that of Michael Jorden to whom many hated to see leave the basketball COURT. I’m sure that can also be true of the OCDA that has held his position for so long. Think about it…even our county supervisors have to leave their seats after a couple of terms. Tony’s had a good long run.

Now about competency and sound judgment. Tony went after violating the constitutional rights of citizens that have been through the grinder of probation and parole from going into parks, beaches and harbors. This was a massive waist of both staff time and money. He could make a better impact by supporting educational measures than punitive ones. Either his knowledge of the law is lacking or the understanding of it’s real purpose and function. Either way as a DA he should know better.

Another example: Why would the DA. take a murder case recently to which he flopped? Although he is an attorney and can do such but as DA isn’t his position more that of a leader and administrator? It would be like having our sheriff standing on the corner giving out parking tickets. Can she do it? Yes, would she be as proficient as her staff that does it every day? Probably not. Again we need a DA that exercises good judgment. TRUTH

Posted by: Robert Curtis | May 2, 2014 3:06:10 AM

There is an unintended consequence to having an extremely punitive sex offender registry and that is most offenses are committed by family members and those know to the victim. By the registry being punitive against families and not just to individuals doesn't it seem logical that victims will not report abuses in order to protect their family as a whole? So, the punitive nature of the registry by default becomes it's own worst enemy.

Posted by: Robert Curtis | May 16, 2014 11:46:35 PM

Who’s children were put at risk? The registrant’s child was by not allowing their first line of protection (their parents) to be there for them. Kids often get hurt in parks. Thank God those children by chance didn’t get hurt during the time these horrible, evil punitive measures were in place! Tony Rackauckas used the registrants as his whipping boy for votes to get re-elected. That is not an uncommon thing for politicians but to do so by putting children at risk is beyond belief and itself should be criminal. I think it is vitally important to define to these leaders what harm is more likely to take place in a park. Has there been any history of registrants harming children in parks? No? But there has been history of children sometimes being hurt in parks whether that be by falling from a tree or choking on a hot dog. A registrant’s child isn’t good enough to be protected by their parent because of their parent’s status. That ladies and gentlemen is wrong at the most basic level. About the sheriff’s waiver program…what about the term Law ENFORCEMENT agency allows them to give registered sex offenders a pass to break the law? It’s remiss of their position to do such a thing. TRUTH

Posted by: Robert Curtis | Aug 15, 2014 2:27:56 AM

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