Thursday, December 4, 2014

Virginia Bill HB1366 Patroned by Delegate Jeff Campbell: RSO Parents Who Are Petitioning the Court to Drop-Off & Pick-up Their Own Children From Daycare /School Must Post Their Petition in the Local Newspaper for 2 Weeks So That Readers Can Show Up to Court and Testify Against the Petition

I am not only shaking my head at this one but I am irate about this bill (see below). 

I’ve already asked the patron to call me about this proposal as I want to know what the genesis for it is and I also want to hear why the patron thinks it is needed. 

It’s already a time consuming and expensive process for a parent or guardian who is an RSO to request permission to drop-off and pick-up their children from daycare or school or to attend their band concert, basketball game or graduation. Every time their children move to a new school or district they have to reapply and they could be denied. 

With HB1366 Delegate Campbell wants the RSO parent to pay for a newspaper/internet advertisement (for 2 weeks) about their personal court hearing and invites the public into the hearing to object to the parent’s request. Someone they don’t even know can have a say in a court proceeding because they are a publicly Registered Sex Offender…… they are already openly hated…… of course strangers are going to show up in droves to object and then the judge has been pressured by complete strangers to deny the parents request.

This proposal does one thing; it creates a public spectacle of each and every petitioner’s rights as allowed by law.  

This bill would allow for a state sponsored “angry mob” the petitioner will be harangued by every person who saw the post in the newspaper, had no where to be that day and who hates “Sex Offenders”. The more people who show up to demand the judge stop the request, the more likely the judge will cave to pressure no matter what the facts of the parent’s rehabilitation and parenting needs are. They could be a single parent! 

The end result; either intended or otherwise, by the sponsor of this bill is to allow for harassment and intimidation tactics to rule our courts decision making ability.  

This is a recipe for disaster; Delegate Campbell might as well hand out free rocks at the courthouse doors so the meddling citizens that show up can stone the RSO too! 

This proposal serves no positive goal and it certainly hinders any RSO parent from attempting to participate in their children’s lives and dumps all daycare and school trips onto their spouse. 

Family involvement and support is critical to a successful re-entry for Virginia’s former offenders and this bill poses a significant and unnecessary barrier for these ex-offenders! 

Mary Devoy

HB1366:         Sex offenses prohibiting entry onto school or other property; hearing 

Sponsor/ Patron:         Jeffrey L. Campbell 

Bill Text as Introduced:
Provides that a sex offender who is prohibited from entering upon school or child day center property who petitions the circuit court for permission to enter such property must cause notice of the time and place of the hearing on his petition to be published once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation. The bill provides that the court may permit any person who attends the hearing to testify regarding the petition. The bill also requires that for a public school the petitioner must provide notice of his petition to the chairman of the school board in addition to the superintendent of public instruction. 

Read Full Text or Track Bill Status on Virginia General Assembly Website:

Track Bill Status, Cast Your Vote or Read/Leave Public Comment on Richmond Sunlight Website: