Monday, January 09, 2023

People v. Cheek (Cal. Ct. App. - Jan. 6, 2023)

A sex offender is about to be released from prison. They're proposing to let him live someplace near you. You and your neighbors -- perhaps not surprisingly -- are not psyched about that. At all.

One rule about sex offenders is that they're not allowed to live within a quarter mile of a school.

Does this strategy work: Once you find out where he's planning to live, have you or one of your neighbors -- someone who lives within a quarter mile of his proposed residence -- start "homeschooling" their child in their residence. Thereby transforming the home into a "school" and stopping the sex offender from the ability to live in your neighborhood.

What do you think?

Justice Grover says: "Yep, that strategy works. It's now a school, so he can't live there."

Justice Lie says: "Nope, that doesn't work. That's not what we mean by a school."

Justice Greenwood agrees with Justice Grover, so that's now the law.

Which provides a fairly healthy -- and successful -- way to NIMBY your way out of a sex offender living in your neighborhood, eh?

Now, in turn, that means it'll probably be even more difficult, if not impossible, for the state to find a place for those convicted of sex offenses to actually live. Especially once people start realizing how easy it is to employ this artifice.

But Justice Grover says that's the Legislature's problem, not the judiciary's.

I'll add only one other thing, which neither opinion mentions, but nonetheless seems obvious to me. This trick works even with the most minimal of efforts. It doesn't have to be a "school" for anyone other than a single kid (e.g., your own). And once you've created that "school" and the sex offender is then placed in a different neighborhood -- one where the parents aren't nearly as creative as you are -- then, boom, you can stop homeschooling your kid and put them back into a "regular" school. You just gotta have that "school" for the brief moment when they're actively trying to place someone there.

Seems like a fairly effective machination, eh?