Registered sex offender, fiancee sue to live together in Orange County

CYPRESS, Calif. (KABC) -- A registered sex offender is suing the city of Cypress over a new ordinance that would force him to move out of his fiancee's Orange County home.

Richard Linington and Michelle Moreno have lived together in their Cypress residence for the last four years - Moreno residing there for a total of 26 years - but in a week's time the couple may no longer be able to stay there together.

They are suing the city over an ordinance set to take effect Aug. 26 that would force Linington, who is a registered sex offender, to move.

"My client committed an offense 28 years ago," the couple's lawyer, Janice Bellucci, said. "He's been a law-abiding citizen ever since. Never committed any kind of offense."

The ordinance prohibits registered offenders from living within 1,000 feet of any school, park or day care center. According to the couple, their home is 850 feet from both a school and a park. Bellucci argues the restriction leaves only 3 percent of the city available for offenders.

"Denying them the right to live in a city, and by the way, the right for them to live with a family member, in fact, violates the Constitution," Bellucci said.

A judge on Wednesday denied a temporary restraining order but asked the city to put a hold on asking Linington to move until he can evaluate the ordinance.

In March, the state Supreme Court ruled that putting blanket restrictions on registered offenders violated the Constitution.

The city attorney declined to comment on the matter, and the mayor and city staff did not return ABC7's calls. If the city moves forward, Bellucci promises to fight back.

Lawyers for both Linington and the city are slated to return to court on Oct. 1 to discuss a preliminary injunction.
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