California judge’s ruling a partial victory for registered child sex offenders
Rafael Núñez | October 30, 2012 at 07:27 am
Los Angeles (CNN) — Registered child sex offenders in Simi Valley, California, will not have to post a sign outside their home this Halloween reading in part “no candy,” but they still are prohibited from decorating their houses and handing out candy, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.
This is a partial and temporary victory for a group of the city’s sex offenders and their wives who sued the city claiming that a recently passed law was unconstitutional and sought a temporary injunction of the law before a full hearing next month.
The Simi Valley law placed the following Halloween restrictions on child sex offenders within the city who appear on a statewide database:
– Post a sign stating “No candy or treats at this residence”
– Leave all outdoor lighting off during the evening
– No exterior Halloween decorations and refrain from answering the door for trick-or-treaters.
U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson ruled that all but the sign provision could still be enforced.
“Plaintiffs have, however, made a clear showing that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their facial challenge to the sign posting requirement of the Halloween Ordinance and that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm absent a temporary restraining order,” Anderson wrote.
Attorney told CNN before the ruling that she believed the signs would attract more attention to her clients’ homes and could incite vandalism or violence.
“We are pleased with the judge’s decision,” said Janice Bellucci, who is representing the 10 plaintiffs, in a statement to CNN. “This requirement, if enforced, would have branded registrants and placed them as well as member of their families at significant risk of harm.”
“I make no apologies for introducing this to our City Council,” Simi Valley Mayor Bob Huber told CNN earlier this month. “The number one goal and priority of government is to protect its citizens, particularly its most vulnerable — the innocent children.”
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