A San Luis Obispo County sex offender who sued Santa Ana in May 2014–and has sued several other California cities in attempts to overturn local laws targeting perverts–now has his legal team trained on Long Beach. Janice Bellucci, president of CA Reform Sex Offender Laws and Frank Lindsay's attorney, tells the Weekly she has filed suit in federal court in Los Angeles to challenge Long Beach's sex offender residency restrictions. Specifically, it's an ordinance adopted by the City Council that prohibits most registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a park, school or child day care center–something the suit contends impedes Lindsay's ability to conduct business, visit attractions or settle in Long Beach.
"Long Beach's residency restrictions effectively banish most registrants from residing in that city," Bellucci says. "The restrictions prohibit registrants from living in at least 90 percent of the city. In addition, more than half of the land available to registrants is zoned for commercial use, office space, open space or other non-residential use."
Edward Kamlan, Long Beach's public information officer, said Tuesday he was checking into whether the city would respond to the suit on the record. He has yet to get back to the Weekly.
In addition to "significantly" limiting where a sex offender may lawfully reside, the Long Beach ordinance requires them to live in areas where there is a lack of affordable housing, according to Bellucci. "That is, most of the housing where a registrant may live is made up of single family homes, which are unaffordable for virtually all registrants," she says.
The suit claims Long Beach's "banishment" of registrants violates the fifth and 14th amendments as well as the Ex Post Facto Clause of the U.S. Constitution. And Bellucci claims she has case law on her side, citing the California Supreme Court in March striking down similar residency restrictions in San Diego County.
Lindsay's complaint claims the residency restrictions make it difficult to come to the city and do business in the commercial plumping and water treatment industries because he can't legally stay in many inns, hotels and motels in Long Beach. He claims he can't visit famous attractions such as the Queen Mary nor can he locate a second home in the city.
He is seeking to be enjoined in perpetuity from enforcement of the Long Beach ordinance, that the law be declared null and void and unconstitutional and that the city pay his attorney's fees, costs and expenses (for this particular litigation) as well as any relief the court deems proper.