California Supreme Court Essentially Strikes Down Orange County's Pervs-in-Parks Ban

Categories: Court, Crime-iny

tony-rackauckas_joshua-sudok_oc-register-pool-photo.jpg
Photo by Joshua Sudok/OC Register pool photo
District Attorney Tony Rackauckas co-authored Orange County's ordinance banning sex offenders from parks.

The California Supreme Court on Wednesday essentially struck down Orange County's law banning registered sex offenders from public parks and recreation areas unless they first get permission from the sheriff's department.

The high court declined a request by the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) to review a lower court's ruling striking down what were among the strictest sex offender restrictions in the state. District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and county Supervisor Shawn Nelson co-authored the county ordinance that was adopted in April 2011.

"We're obviously disappointed," Susan Kang Schroeder, OCDA chief of staff, told City News Service. "We put our heart and soul in every brief and every argument to protect the children of Orange County from dangerous sex offenders. ... We still believe it was the right thing to do."

Schroeder, Rackauckas and Sheriff Sandra Hutchens were among the county law enforcement officials who went from city council meeting to city council meeting in Orange County urging local leaders to adopt ordinances modeled after the county's own. Skeptical council members were reassured these laws would stand up to constitutional challenges. Thirty cities enacted similar laws, half of them in Orange County.

"Today's decision is a major victory," said Janice Bellucci, the Santa Maria attorney who leads California Reform Sex Offender Laws (RSOL), of the high court's snub. "Through its denial to review a lower court decision, the California Supreme Court has ruled that ordinances in more than 70 cities and five counties are preempted by existing state law."

The 4th District Court of Appeal found in January that state law regulating the actions of sex offenders trumps the law enacted by the Orange County Board of Supervisors. This stemmed from the misdemeanor conviction of Hugo Godinez, who was registered as a sex offender in Costa Mesa and arrested for going to a company picnic at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley.

The public defender for Godinez appealed the conviction to a Superior Court panel, which overturned the conviction but asked the state appeals court for a ruling, setting in motion the chain of events that led to the OCDA appeal and state Supreme Court snub.

In the meantime, the city of Irvine's similar law, which applied only to sex offenders with convictions for preying on children, was also struck down on appeal, the city of Lake Forest repealed its ordinance for fear of having to burn taxpayer dollars defending it, and the final indignity: Hutchens decided to stop enforcing the law she lobbied for.

Actually, the rejection of pervs-in-parks laws is sweeping the state, to hear attorney and RSOL board member Chance Oberstein tell it.

"More than 105,000 registered citizens and their families may now lawfully visit public and private locations including libraries, museums, parks, beaches and movie theaters," he said.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!



Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
12 comments
fixithair
fixithair

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 the US. Constitution 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? It remiss of their position to do such a thing! 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

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

Department Of Justice:
DEPRIVATION OF RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW

Summary:

Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

For the purpose of Section 242, acts under "color of law" include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official's lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials. It is not necessary that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of the victim.

The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.

TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 242

Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, ... shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

"The citizens have a right to defend themselves from the police". - DA Tony Rackaukas - after Kelly Thomas police murder. = T.Rack LOST.



"We're obviously disappointed," Susan Kang Schroeder, OCDA chief of staff, told City News Service.


As you should be for violating citizens rights.

hootsnthangs
hootsnthangs

Even the worst sex offender shouldn't be banned from a park. Cause a park is a place of solice. You can ban them from a preschool or an elemtary school or whatever, But they are still human and they are forced to live on this earth with their iniquities. They are not perfect and neither is any one else. I'm not an advocate but I also don't judge and/or persecute. So C'mon, what are they gonna be banned from next?? Supermarkets?? Department Stores, Malls, hospitals, 7-11's, sidewalks, etc etc, lilol, WTFE.

hootsnthangs
hootsnthangs

Even the worst sex offender shouldn't be banned from a park. Cause a park is a place of solice. You can ban them from a preschool or an elemtary school or whatever, But they are still human and they are forced to live on this earth with their iniquities. They are not perfect and neither is any one else. I'm not an advocate but I also don't judge and/or persecute. So C'mon, what are they gonna be banned from next?? Supermarkets?? Department Stores, Malls, hospitals, 7-11's, sidewalks, etc etc, lol, WTFE.

fixithair
fixithair

The Sex offender registry is a form of LIVING DEATH and because of that fact it's existence is a slap in the face of God. No Patriot, Christian and Constitutionalist can be for the sex offender registry in any form. That is if they really looked close at what it is and represents. Proverbs 16:25 states, "There is a way to a man that seems Right but the end thereof is the ways of death." The sex offender registry is such a form of death (a Living Death). It by it's very nature is punitive with no ending added measures against a person that otherwise has paid their debt to society. It offers no redemption. It is evil and it is wrong! I would debate any preacher or politician on it's violation of spiritual law (the gospel) and Constitutional law. The debate would be quite non-challenging for me because of truth. That is why most preachers and politicians refrain from such a debate.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

Is it possible that part of the problem lies in the fact they were trying to make people register as sex offenders for ridiculous reasons like urinating in public or "mooning"?

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

This is the natural consequence of behaving like criminals who can't be trusted to administer these laws in an ethical, oath honoring and Constitution consistent manner.

Tony has a great tan though. Hey did you fix my false conviction yet?

Edda
Edda

Who could have possibly seen this coming??? Any first year law student? Shocking!


How much did this ill advised adventure cost the OC tax payers?

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

@fixithair God doesn't have anything to do with it because he's invisible. God is not in the courtrooms or the city hall chambers.

The courts are corrupt. It's a money game to them.

Lawyers lie for e living.

fixithair
fixithair

@fishwithoutbicycle

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.There is a time for all good men to step aside and let another attorney that has shown himself capable to take over.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.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 Jordan to whom many hated to see leave the basketball COURT.I'm sure that can also be true of the OCDA.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 and beaches.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 daily?Probably not.Again we need a DA that exercises good judgment.TRUTH

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

@18usc241


Department Of Justice:
DEPRIVATION OF RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW

Summary:

Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

For the purpose of Section 242, acts under "color of law" include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official's lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials. It is not necessary that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of the victim.

The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.

TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 242

Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, ... shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnaping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Fashion

General

Loading...