Court refuses to review decision tossing out Orange County bans against sex offenders

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The California state Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review an appellate court's ruling, which struck down a ban on registered sex offenders in parks in 15 Orange County cities and similar prohibitions in 30 cities statewide.

In January, a panel of Fourth District Court of Appeal justices struck down ordinances passed by Orange County and 15 of its cities that banned registered sex offenders from parks.

The county ordinance made it a misdemeanor for a registered sex offender to enter a county park without the county sheriff's written permission.

The appellate panel ruled the ordinances conflicted with state law, which takes precedence.

But the Orange County District Attorney's Office petitioned the state's high court to review the decision. 

"We're obviously very disappointed that the Supreme Court did not hear our arguments on this issue and we feel that we did the best we can and it was a battle worth fighting," said Susan Kang Schroeder, the DA's Chief of Staff.

The only way to revive the bans would be to effect a change in state law to authorize local governments to enact their own bans.

"We still believe it was the right thing to do," said Kang Schroeder. "We don't regret the effort, and we're going to continue to do all we can to protect children from sex offenders.''

Since the Irvine ruling was published, it acts as a precedent and makes all of the bans unconstitutional.

Most of the Orange County ordinances banned registered sex offenders, except in Irvine and Fountain Valley, where bans targeted those convicted of crimes against children.

Lake Forest, Lancaster, Palmdale, Costa Mesa and El Dorado County repealed bans after legal challenges were raised.

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