Vol. 25 No. 18- L. A. Court “Stays” Its “Stay” On Jessica’s Law


September 10, 2010

“Confusion reigns supreme” as Judge Peter Espinoza, who issued an order on August 31, 2010 placing a hold on the enforcement of Penal Code sec. 3003.5(b) in Los Angeles County, issued a new order temporarily rescinding that action.

On September 3, 2010, the court issued an order which states, in part, that “enforcement of the portion of (the) August 31, 2010 order which stayed enforcement of section 3003.5(b) … is stayed pending disposition of the motion to reconsider that order.”  It was anticipated that a hearing on the motion would be held yesterday, Thursday, September 9, 2010, but that did not happen.  At this moment, and to the best of our knowledge, no date has yet been set for the hearing.  However, that does not mean that Jessica’s Law is fully operational in L.A. County.

In the court’s order, it says that “nothing in this order shall be construed as affecting any stay the Court has previously ordered of enforcement of Penal Code section 3003.5(b) as against the petitioners or any other individual.”  (Emphasis added.)  Since that seemed to contradict the issuance of the “stay on the stay,” we attempted to discover what the Court meant.

Apparently, the stay on enforcement of 3003.5(b) will remain in effect as to the named petitioners in this Habeas Corpus proceeding.  In addition, however, there appears to have been stays issued, regarding enforcement of section 3003.5(b), as to other specific individuals as well, and this most recent order, staying the stay, will not apply to them either.  This, obviously, imposes an incredible burden on Parole Officers, as well as other law enforcement officers, who come upon relevant parolees who are in violation of the residency restrictions, since it will be necessary to find out if those persons are covered by the exception set forth in the Court’s order, or not.


In an effort to assist its officers, CDCR issued a new memo to all Region III and IV staff explaining what the Court had now done.  In that memo it was noted that “any individual parolee who had previously been granted a stay on the enforcement of PC Section 3003.5(b)” or pursuant to CDCR’s “Policy Number 07-36” were still exempt from the enforcement of PC section 3003.5(b).   In addition, if a registered sex offender parolee had relied on the Court’s order of 8/31/10, and established residency which is barred by Jessica’s Law, that parolee “shall not be considered in violation of parole,” since he or she had acted in accordance with the Court’s order.

As stated above, “confusion reigns supreme” and, obviously, it is imperative that a hearing be conducted as quickly as possible in order to resolve this issue and re-establish some ability to enforce California’s law.


All of this activity only impacts Los Angeles County, since that’s what the Court said and a Superior Court judge’s order does not have statewide jurisdiction.  In fact, there are some who question whether the Court had the authority to issue an order which is imposed county wide but that is not before us at this moment.  What is confronting L.A. County law enforcement is what to do if a parolee is found to be in violation of Jessica’s Law?

Our advice, to our clients, is to contact the appropriate office of the Division of Adult Parole Operations and inform them of the situation.  Hopefully, the Office of the Attorney General has already provided them with advice and guidance on how to handle these situations.  We are advising our clients to not take the person into custody unless it is determined that the parolee is not among those exempted by the Court from enforcement of the law.

In a case like this the need for each agency to secure advice and guidance from its own legal counsel is imperative.  As always, if you wish to discuss this in greater detail (although I have no idea what additional information we could add to this morass), please don’t hesitate to contact me at (714) 446 – 1400 or via e-mail at mjm@jones-mayer.com.  In the meantime, we will stay on top of this and communicate new information as it arises.

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