March 23, 2015

Board to Rescind Residency Restrictions for Sex Offenders

3-23-15 California:

Earlier this month, the state Supreme Court ruled that the anti- residency provisions were “unreasonable, arbitrary and oppressive.”

Riverside County supervisors are expected Tuesday to begin the process of nullifying an ordinance prohibiting where convicted sex offenders can reside.

The Office of County Counsel is requesting that the Board of Supervisors completely invalidate Ordinance 902 in order for the county to comply with a California Supreme Court finding that residency restrictions are no longer enforceable, except in narrowly defined circumstances.

Ordinance 902 was implemented in July 2010 as a protective measure to ensure individuals convicted of various sex crimes were barred from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park. Similar laws were already on the books in neighboring Orange and San Diego counties.

Earlier this month, the state Supreme Court ruled that the anti- residency provisions, made possible by Proposition 83 -- better known as Jessica’s Law -- were “unreasonable, arbitrary and oppressive.”

Associate Justice Marvin Baxter penned the court’s decision and agreed with four convicted sex offenders from San Diego County who filed suit and argued for dismantling residency requirements based on the fact they were unable to find suitable living arrangements.

One of the petitioners stated that he had resorted to living in a dry riverbed after being blocked by his parole agent from renting space in the vicinity of schools.

Some lawmakers, including Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, denounced the court’s decision as “judicial activism” that would inevitably endanger children. ..Continued.. by Renee Schiavone

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