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TRO Application Filed to Halt Enforcement of Lancaster Sex Offender Ordinance

An application for a  temporary restraining order (TRO) was filed today in federal district court requesting that enforcement of a sex offender ordinance in the City of Lancaster be halted.

“The Lancaster ordinance denies the civil rights of more than 100,000 individuals and families in California,” stated Janice Bellucci, President of California Reform Sex Offender Laws (RSOL).  “It prohibits people who made a mistake, but who have paid their debt to society from entering public places such as parks, schools and the library as well as private places such as movie theaters, arcades and the bowling alley.  This prohibition adversely affects registrants’ family members as well.”

The City of Lancaster unanimously passed an ordinance on September 11, 2012, that prohibits all registered sex offenders (“registrants”) from entering some public and private places as well as from residing in the same home, apartment and hotel with limited exceptions.  The ordinance also prohibits registrants from entering public shelters even in the case of an emergency such as an earthquake.

“The California Reform Sex Offender Laws organization testified before the City Council of Lancaster during the two meetings at which this ordinance was discussed,” stated Bellucci.  “We told the City Council members at those meetings that the ordinance violates both the state and federal constitutions, however, they chose not to heed our warnings.”

California RSOL filed a lawsuit in federal district court on December 18, 2012, challenging the Lancaster ordinance.  A similar ordinance adopted by Orange County was declared to violate the state constitution because it is preempted by state law according to a three-judge panel in Superior Court.   That decision is currently on appeal, however, the Orange County Sheriff has publicly announced that it will not enforce the county ordinance.

Jan 10: post corrected – “application” added. Admin

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. G4Change says:

    As always, God Speed, Janice and everyone involved at CA-RSOL!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +4

    • Joe says:

      Ditto! Thank you, Janice, for continuing to be an advocate for the voiceless and downtrodden. I believe in Karma… you got some coming your way!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +5

  2. Patsy Hug says:

    Thank you Janice and RSOL…..I cannot applaud you enough for what you do. One step at a time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +5

  3. Anonymous Nobody says:

    Sorry, I don’t mean to be nitpicking, but just to seek clarification. The way you wrote this is a bit unclear, I can’t tell if the TRO has been issued by the court or if you are merely saying you are asking for a TRO.

    “A temporary restraining order (TRO) was filed today in federal district court requesting…”

    To me, that an order “was filed in court” means it was issued by the court. There is no order until the court issues an order. (And of course, all the action the court takes is filed in the record. Oh, you can present proposed text of one, but that is not an order being filed.) But then you say “requesting.” An order doesn’t request, it commands. So, maybe you are actually saying you were requesting a TRO, not filing one.

    So, has the court sided with you even this much yet? Or has there been no action by the court so far? That is, has an order been issued by the court or not?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down -1

  4. Janice Bellucci says:

    It’s important to keep the dominoes falling! We sued the City of Simi Valley and stopped enforcement of their Halloween ordinance. Then the City of Lake Forest repealed their ordinance. Now we are suing the City of Lancaster for passage of their ordinance which is the worst of the worse. The clear and important message we are sending to elected officials through these legal actions is that passing a sex offender ordinance will not help them to get elected.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +7

    • Tired of hiding says:

      I think a secondary message is that passing laws that violate the constitutional rights of American citizens (even those labeled as sex offenders) will be challenged and lost so they are better off not going down that road to begin with!

      Now is a great time to keep the momentum by going after the other illegal laws currently on the books and being used against American citizens such as life time registration which is clearly cruel and certainly unusual punishment.

      Yes, keep the momentum going!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +2

      • DZ says:

        It certainly is cruel & unusual punishment when ‘registration’ is open to change and reinterpretation and then applied retroactively.

        They use the legal concept of protecting society from present danger, but the statistics do not bear it out. RSO’s as currently defined overwhelmingly are not a persistent threat to society, so our rights are not justified in being taken away.

        It is an excuse whose real motivation is wining accolades from a duped voter base by creating bogeymen and then oppressing those bogeymen.

        I remember in the 1980’s all of the public energy focused on drunk driving, with organizations like MADD & SADD. Now imagine if they’d made laws that anyone with a previous drunk driving conviction couldn’t live near a bar or store that sold alcohol and there was an online database to look up to make sure you are ‘protected’ from your neighbor, believing they might run into you, driving drunk. Statistics would likely hold that weight more, yet I imagine there would be public outcry against it.

        But anything with ‘sex’ involved strikes the puritanical roots of American culture, and society is reluctant to care.

        Nice to see some progress on forcing them to care.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +8

    • A Friend says:

      ….and all costs awarded from that city , county, or state…. causing them to really check their position before action against citizens ………big big money lawsuits would do that.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +1

      • Jeff says:

        “The California Reform Sex Offender Laws organization testified before the City Council of Lancaster during the two meetings at which this ordinance was discussed,” stated Bellucci. “We told the City Council members at those meetings that the ordinance violates both the state and federal constitutions, however, THEY CHOSE not to heed our warnings.”

        It is obvious that huge money settlements are needed in these cases.
        The Cities are willfully violating the rights of citizens. Knowing that what they are doing is against the constitution. The city attorneys of these cities need to be sued along with each and every city council member who voted yes on these laws.
        Then they need to be ousted from office.
        Whats to stop these same city council members from targeting any group of people they do not see eye to eye with.
        This is America not Nazi Germany.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +4

  5. Eric Knight says:

    So many different challenges going on! I love the aggressive, systematic process for suing the state on several different fronts in Federal court.

    Would it be possible to consolidate all the CARSOL cases in one area, including court docket information? I would LOVE to attend some of the court sessions involving CARSOL. I realize one can’t predict when the court may issue a ruling, but I’m talking more when initial arguments are made. Thanks!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +4

  6. none! says:

    GREAT WAY TO GO !!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +1

  7. CA says:

    These are some very good news. Someone needs to pay attention to what is going on in Florida as well. There is similar legislation which was enacted quickly and unopposed, without taking into consideration the rights of innocent family members. In Florida a SO has to go as far as having a “special code” within the driver’s license. Our government is creating a sub-class and not that different than when a certain regime ordered a certain class of people to post a certain symbol by their places of business/homes, and ultimately their items of clothing and their skin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +2

  8. nobody says:

    Why is nobody talking about palmdale they already have Lancaster rules ineffect!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down +1

  9. jus Dre says:

    Where are the jobs, Every job dose sceening and their focus is on sex offenders

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up Thumb down 0

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