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Ordinance No. 701







The Board of Supervisors of the County of Riverside Ordains as Follows:


Section 1. PURPOSE. It is the purpose of this ordinance to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of Riverside County and to protect minors in this county from viewing publicly displayed harmful matter. This ordinance is adopted pursuant to the authority granted by Penal Code Section 313.1(d) which authorizes counties to adopt ordinances which restrict the public display of harmful matter to minors by the use of blinder racks.


Section 2. DEFINITIONS. Unless otherwise stated, words and terms are defined as follows:


A.       Blinder Rack: shall mean an opaque device, which serves to completely obscure harmful matter, placed in such fashion so that the lower two-thirds (2/3) of the harmful matter is not exposed to view.


B.       Exhibit: shall mean to show or display.


C.       Harmful Matter: shall mean matter, taken as a whole, which to the average person, applying contemporary statewide standards, appeals to the prurient interest, and when, taken as a whole, depicts or describes in a patently offensive way sexual conduct and when, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.


D.       Knowingly: shall mean being aware of the character of the matter.


E.       Matter: shall mean any book, magazine, newspaper, video, recording, or other printed or written material or any picture, drawing, photograph, motion picture, or other pictorial representation or any statue or other figure, or any recording, transcription, or mechanical, chemical or electrical reproduction or any other articles, equipment, machines, or materials. Matter shall also include live or recorded telephone messages when transmitted, disseminated, or distributed as part of a commercial transaction.


F.       Minor: shall mean any natural person under 18 years of age.


G.      Person: shall mean any individual, partnership, firm, association, corporation, or other legal entity.


H.       Public Display: shall mean the display of harmful material in a place open to the public, including any display on business premises. Display shall not include display in a place from which minors are excluded.


Section 3. REQUIREMENT OF BLINDER RACKS. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly exhibit matter which is harmful to minors in any public place, other than a public place from which minors are excluded, unless "blinder racks" are placed in front of the exhibited matter.



A.       Any person violating this ordinance shall be deemed guilty of an infraction or misdemeanor as hereinafter specified. Such person shall be deemed guilty of a separate offense for each and every day or portion thereof during which any violation of this ordinance is committed, continued, or permitted.

B.       Any person so convicted shall be: (1) guilty of an infraction offense and punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.00) for a first violation; (2) guilty of an infraction offense and punished by a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars ($200.00) for a second violation. The third and any additional violations shall constitute a misdemeanor offense and shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or six (6) months in jail, or both. Notwithstanding the above, a first offense may be charged and prosecuted as a misdemeanor. Payment of any penalty herein shall not relieve any person from the responsibility for correcting the violation.


Section 5. SEVERABILITY. If any phrase, clause, sentence, section or provision of this ordinance or application thereof to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect any other phrase, clause, sentence, section, provision, or application of this ordinance, which can be given effect without the invalid phrase, clause, sentence, section, provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this ordinance are declared to be severable.


Section 6. This ordinance shall take effect thirty (30) days after the date of adoption.






ADOPTED:     2-19-91         (Eff.: 3-21-91)