Recent Supreme Court Decision Regarding Sex Offenders
The California Supreme Court recently issued an important decision regarding sex offenders. In In re E.J., et al (2010) 47 Cal.4th 1258, the court considered two main questions related to Proposition 83 residency restriction that became effective on November 8, 2006. The first question was whether the residency restrictions preventing registered offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park could be applied retroactively to people convicted of a registerable offense prior to November 8, 2006 but that were released on probation or parole after November 8, 2006. The second question the court considered was whether the residency restrictions are unconstitutionally unreasonable, vague and overbroad.
As to the first question, the court determined that the residency restriction could be applied retroactively to people convicted prior to November 8, 2006 but who were released on parole after November 8, 2006. The Court reasoned that the paroled offenders in the case had ample notice of the necessity to obtain housing in compliance with the residency restriction prior to being released. The Court clarified however that the residency restriction could not be applied to those offenders who were convicted and released on parole prior to November 8, 2006.
As to the second question, the Court left that decision for another day. The Court reasoned they did not have sufficient facts before them to decide the constitutional claims and thus sent the cases back to the local superior courts for further evidentiary hearings. The Court stayed enforcement of the residency restriction for the 4 people in the case but denied a request to stay enforcement to all parolees affected by the residency restriction.
So what does this recent decision mean for you? First, it means that if you were convicted prior to November 8, 2006 of a sex offense requiring registration but were paroled on or after November 8, 2006, you must abide by the residency restrictions and therefore must not reside within 2,000 yards of a school or park frequented by children.
It also means that you must wait for the Court to decide whether the residency restriction is unconstitutional. In the meantime, you can petition for relief from the residency restriction in the local superior court like the Court did for the 4 people in In re E.J.. I can help you file a petition and request for stay of the residency restriction if you are being severely burdened by the restriction and wish to seek relief.
You can access a link to the full case here.
Contact me if you have further questions!
~ Dan Koukol, Criminal Defense Attorney