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Name: In re Taylor
Case #: S206143
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 03/02/2015

As applied in San Diego County, portion of Jessica’s Law (Prop. 83) that prohibits paroled registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools or parks is unconstitutional. Jessica’s Law enacted Penal Code section 3003.5, subdivision (b) which prohibits all registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools or parks. CDCR began enforcing the residency restrictions as a mandatory parole condition for all registered sex offenders on parole in San Diego County. Paroled sex offenders in San Diego County sought habeas relief from Jessica’s Law claiming that it was unconstitutional as applied to them. The superior court agreed and enjoined enforcement of the residency restrictions. The Court of Appeal affirmed. The California Supreme Court granted review. Held: Affirmed. The court here concluded that blanket application of the residency restriction to all paroled sex offenders in San Diego County “bears no rational relationship to advancing the state’s legitimate goal of protecting children from sexual predators, and has infringed the affected parolees’ basic constitutional right to be free of official action that is unreasonable, arbitrary, and oppressive.” The purpose of Jessica’s Law is to protect children from sexual predators, but it was uncontested that the residency restriction was having the opposite effect. It prohibits paroled sex offenders from residing in over 97 percent of San Diego County, which quadrupled their homelessness rate and made it more difficult to monitor and supervise them. Furthermore, the blanket residency restriction prevented many offenders from seeking in-patient psychological, medical, alcohol, or drug treatment because those facilities are mostly located within 2,000 feet of any school or park. Thus, the residency restriction also hampered efforts to rehabilitate offenders. However, parole authorities may impose residency restrictions on a case-by-case basis.