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First Amendment

     Monthly Law Journal Article: Second Circuit Panel Allows Stun Mode to Gain Compliance of Chained Protestors, 2011 (5) AELE Mo. L. J. 501.
Monthly Law Journal Article: Funeral Protests and the First Amendment, 2011 (6) AELE Mo. L. J. 101.
     Monthly Law Journal Article: Contempt of Cop: Verbal Challenges, Disrespect, Arrests, and the First Amendment, 2011 (10) AELE Mo. L. J. 101.
     Monthly Law Journal Article: Crowd Management and Protecting Civil Rights, 2012 (8) AELE Mo. L. J. 501.

     A federal appeals court ruled that Nebraska's Funeral Picketing Law (NFPL), which prohibits picketing within 500 feet of a cemetery, mortuary, or church from one hour prior through two hours following the commencement of a funeral, was not unconstitutional on its face because it is content neutral; narrowly tailored to serve a significant governmental interest of protecting the privacy of grieving families, and to preserve the peaceful character of cemeteries, mortuaries, churches, and other places of worship during a funeral. Further, ample alternate channels existed for communication of the controversial plaintiff Westboro Baptist Church's (WBC) message which expresses purportedly religiously inspired messages against the funerals of gay people and sometimes U.S. soldiers (“Thank God for Dead Soldiers.”).
The appeals court considered the amended NFPL with the 500-foot buffer zone in its as-applied review, and held that the trial court did not clearly err in finding that there was no evidence to suggest that the NFPL was applied to plaintiff and not others similarly situated. It also concluded that the evidence was insufficient to show that law enforcement unconstitutionally restricted the plaintiff's picketing to areas well beyond the 500 foot buffer zone. The court also determined that the police department did not unconstitutionally disfavor the plaintiff's viewpoint or allow others to unlawfully block the WBC's picket by preferentially allowing them to break Nebraska laws. Phelps-Roper v. Ricketts, #16-1902, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 14877 (8th Cir.).

     A Maine state statute prohibits any person from making noise that “can be heard within a building” when such noise is made intentionally, following an order from law enforcement to cease making it, and with the additional intent either to jeopardize the health of persons receiving health services within the building or to interfere with the safe and effective delivery of those services. A federal appeals court overturned a trial court ruling holding that the law facially violated First Amendment free speech rights. The trial court viewed the law as a content-based speech restriction which did not satisfy strict scrutiny. The appeals court rejected this analysis, holding that the noise provision was properly treated as a content-neutral time, place, or manner restriction that survived the plaintiff’s facial challenge under intermediate scrutiny. March v. Mills, #16-1771, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 14580 (1st Cir.).

      Members of the “Occupy Chicago” protest group were arrested and charged with violating a city park district code that closes all public parks between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., and makes it illegal to stay in the parks during those hours. A state trial court dismissed the charges, finding the ordinance unconstitutional on its face and as applied, reasoning that it violated free speech assembly rights. An intermediate state appeals court reversed, finding that the ordinance did not violate either the First Amendment or the free speech provisions of the Illinois state Constitution. The Illinois Supreme Court agreed, holding that the Illinois Constitution of 1970 is to be interpreted and applied in “lockstep” with the federal precedents interpreting and applying the assembly clause of the First Amendment. In arguing that the state constitution provided greater protection (“strict scrutiny”), the defendants forfeited any claim that the appeals court failed to properly conduct intermediate review under the First Amendment. People v. Alexander, 2017 IL 120350, 2017 Ill. Lexis 120350.

     A street performer and her friend were arrested on the Las Vegas strip and charged with conducting business without a license because they were dressed in “sexy cop” outfits and posed for photos with the officers in exchange for a tip. It was the plaintiff’s friend who asked the officers for the tip. After the charges were dropped, the plaintiff sued the officers, arguing that the arrest violated her First Amendment rights. Overturning summary judgment for the officers, a federal appeals court found that the record indicated the officers had no evidence before them when they decided to arrest the plaintiff that suggested that the "sexy cops" costumes had any purpose that could have fallen outside the protection of the First Amendment. To infer from the plaintiff and her friend's shared costumes and joint performance alone an agreement to engage in a transaction subject to regulation impermissibly burdens the right to engage in purely expressive activity and association. The court held that something more than that constitutionally protected activity was required to justify the plaintiff's arrest. Viewing the plaintiff's activities separately from her friend's, the court held that summary judgment for the officers was improper because her actions were entirely protected speech. Santopietro v. Howell, #14-16324, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 9028 (9th Cir.).

     A tattoo artist sued a California city, arguing that its zoning ordinances violated his First Amendment rights by unreasonably restricting his plan to open and operate a tattoo shop there. A federal appeals court held that the plaintiff raised a viable claim that the city's zoning ordinances constituted an unlawful prior restraint on speech, and constituted unlawful time, place, or manner restrictions on speech. The plaintiff challenged the location restrictions on tattoo shops, and the requirement of a conditional use permit which he vested unbridled discretion in the city. It was not necessary for the ordinances to prohibit tattooing entirely in order to be a prior restraint; Real v. City of Long Beach, #15-56158, 2017 U.S. App. Lexis 5446  (9th Cir.).

     Two nonprofit protest organizations challenged D.C.’s sign posting rules that required them to remove signs relating to an event 30 days after protest demonstrations, regardless of whether a 180-day period allowing signs on public lampposts had expired. A federal appeals court ruled that the rules were reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions, and were not imposing a content-based distinction in violation of the First Amendment. The rules at issue regulate how long people may maintain event-related signs on public lampposts, not the content of the signs’ messages, and were narrowly tailored to further a well-established, admittedly significant governmental interest in avoiding visual clutter. Act Now to Stop War and End Racism Coalition v. District of Columbia, #12-7139, 846 F.3d 391 (D.C. Cir. 2017).
     A protest group coalition challenged a 2008 federal Park Service regulation
reserving areas on Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. for the defendant Presidential Inaugural Committee at an inauguration parade. The plaintiffs claimed that this interfered with their First Amendment right to use the same space for a large demonstration against the Presidential Inauguration. Upholding summary judgment for the Park Service, a federal appeals court held that the regulation authorizing the priority permit, including the space on Freedom Plaza for the bleachers, was not a content- or viewpoint-based speech restriction, but a reasonable time, place, and manner regulation of the use of a public forum. The First Amendment does not support the plaintiffs’ claim of a right to displace spectator bleachers with its own demonstration at the same location. The regulation left 70 percent of the parade route open to the public, including demonstrators. A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition v. Basham, #16-5047, 845 F.3d 1199, (D.C. Cir. 2017).
     A freelance photographer and a media outlet he supplied photos to sued a New Hampshire state trooper who allegedly violated their constitutional rights by seizing the photographer’s camera without a warrant at the scene of a vehicle crash. The trial court concluded that even if these actions were unconstitutional under current law, the trooper was entitled to qualified immunity from suit because constitutional standards as applied to a situation like this one were unclear at the time of the challenged conduct (August 2010). A federal appeals court affirmed, holding that the plaintiffs failed to identify clearly established law at the time of the challenged conduct showing beyond debate that the officer’s specific acts violated the First Amendment. Belsito Communications, Inc v. Decker, #16-1130, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 23201 (1st Cir.).
    An evangelical Christian who claimed that a police commander threatened to confiscate his religious banners which he attempted to bring into an Irish Fair could pursue claims against her in her individual capacity for violating his First Amendment rights, but could not pursue similar claims against the city, its police chief, or the commander in her official capacity, as nothing in the record showed that the permits for the festival or the city's permitting regulations would subject him to prosecution for engaging in his desired religious expression of displaying his banners and engaging in preaching at the fair. Nothing showed that the commander was a policymaker for the city. Miller v. City of St. Paul, #15-2885, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 9362 (8th Cir.).
     A city ordinance prohibited congregating or demonstrating within 15 feet of the entrance to a hospital or health care facility, with exceptions for public safety personnel or those assisting patients. The plaintiffs, who wished to provide sidewalk counseling outside a Planned Parenthood facility claimed that this violated their First Amendment rights. A federal appeals court held that the First Amendment claims could go forward. The city needed to show that it seriously considered substantially less restrictive alternatives that would achieve its legitimate, substantial, and content-neutral goals of protecting unobstructed patient access before it substantially burdened protected First Amendment speech. Bruni v. City of Pittsburgh, #15-1755, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 10019 (3rd Cir.).
     City ordinances required licenses before businesses were allowed to offer nude or partially nude entertainment. Two businesses, the first of which had applied for a license, and a second business that had not applied, filed challenges to the ordinance, seeking both injunctive relief and damages. The ordinances were repealed, so they dropped the claim for injunctive relief, but pursued the damage claims. The trial court found that the ordinances had been based on the time, place, and manner of expression, but did not include constitutionally required procedural safeguards. The business that did not apply for a license still had standing to pursue its damage claim, since the chilling effect of the unconstitutional laws violated their right to freedom of expression. It was therefore awarded $435,000 in compensatory damages as the jury found that but for the ordinances, they would have opened a club providing nude entertainment. The other business, which applied for a license, was awarded nominal damages. Six Star Holdings, LLC v. City of Milwaukee, #15-16i08, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 6682 (7th Cir.).
     Two men distributed pamphlets with information about "jury nullification" outside a state courthouse. They were arrested and charged with jury tampering. Plaintiffs, who similarly wanted to distribute jury nullification literature to individuals outside the courthouse who might be prospective jurors sued the city, county, and police chief, seeking to establish their First Amendment right to do so. The trial court issued a preliminary injunction against the enforcement against the plaintiffs of a police order barring all expressive activity in the area around the courthouse. A federal appeals court found that the trial court had not abused its discretion in enjoining the enforcement of the order. "[T]he government’s power to control speech in a traditional public forum is circumscribed precisely because the public has, through the extent and nature of its use of these types of government property, acquired, in effect, a 'speech easement' that the government property owner must now honor." Verlo v. Martinez, #15-1319, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 6463 (10th Cir.).
     A man engaged in street preaching was arrested in several incidents while carrying a shofar, a trumpet-like instrument made from a ram's horn. commonly used in Jewish high holiday services to make loud noises. He was arrested for possessing the shofar, which officers contended violated an ordinance specifying the dimensions of signs and objects that could be carried during street demonstrations. The shofar was 37 inches long and 6 inches wide. The ordinance stated that "All objects which are generally rectangular in shape shall not exceed one-fourth inch in thickness and two inches in width," and "All objects which are not generally rectangular in shape shall not exceed three-quarters inch in their thickest dimension." A federal appeals court held that the arresting officers were entitled to qualified immunity for the arrest. They did not violate the Fourth Amendment, as possession of the shofar provided a reasonable basis for his detention, quite apart from disputed factual issues as to whether or not he complied with officers' orders or stepped into the roadway. The officers also did not violate the plaintiff's First Amendment rights, and it was clear that they did not know of the religious significance of the shofar. Allen v. Cisneros, #15-20264, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 4401 (5th Cir.).
     The plaintiff filed challenges to a city's ordinances prohibiting the use of sound amplification devices on public sidewalks and prevailed, invalidating several aspects of the ordinance. He was also awarded nominal damages. As a result, the ordinance was amended to expand the permissible use of amplification devices. While a plaintiff who prevails but is only awarded nominal damages while seeking compensatory damages may be denied attorneys' fees, this lawsuit did not seek compensatory damages. Instead, the lawsuit primarily sought to change the law and succeeded in that, and therefore could be awarded attorneys' fees under federal law, while being properly denied such fees on claims brought under California law. Klein v. City of Laguna Beach, #13-56973, 2016 U.S. App. Lexis 578 (9th Cir.).
     A man who engaged in filming airport security procedures and was questioned there on suspicion of disorderly conduct was arrested for concealing his identity from officers by declining to show identification. He sued, claiming that he was arrested without probable cause and in retaliation for engaging in protected speech in violation of the First Amendment. A federal appeals court found that the defendant officers and Transportation Security Administration agents were entitled to qualified immunity, since a reasonable officer could have believed that he violated state law by not showing identification during an investigatory stop, and could also reasonably believe that they had probable cause to arrest him when he filmed at an airport security checkpoint. Additionally, at the time of the arrest, it was not clearly established that unlawful retaliation claims could arise from arrests supported by probable cause. Mocek v. City of Albuquerque, #14-2063, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 435 (10th Cir.).
     A Florida city barred a man from opening a tattoo business in the city's designated historic district. He sued, claiming that this violated his First Amendment rights and further that an ordinance restricting the number of such businesses in the historic district suppressed free expression. A federal appeals court agreed that tattooing is protected artistic expression and reversed summary judgment for the city. The city failed to establish that its ordinance constituted a reasonable time, place, and manner restriction. Aside from a "vague statement of purpose," the city presented insufficient evidence that the law would actually serve the purpose of avoiding a negative impact on tourism if tourists rashly decide to get tattoos that they later regret. Buehrle v. City of Key West, #14-15354, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 22782 (11th Cir.).
     A D.C. regulation forbids anyone from camping on public property without the mayor's approval. Members of the "Occupy Movement" sued, claiming that their arrests violated their constitutiobal rights under the Fourth and First Amendments. A federal appeals court held that the officers had probable cause for the arrests as the plaintiffs clearly set up a tent as defined by the regulation on public land without authorization. Qualified immunity protected the officers from liability on the plaintiffs' claim that they were arrested in retaliation for their protests in violation of the First Amendment, as such arrests based on probable cause did not violate clearly established law. Dukore v. District of Columbia, #13-7150, 799 F.3d 1137 (D.C. Cir. 2015).
     A man claimed a violation of his constitutional rights based on police using physical force to eject him from a city court where he was waiting for his attorney in a public area outside th county clerk's office. A federal appeals court held that the plaintiff's First Amendment claim was properly dismissed because the plaintiff had not alleged that he was engaged in any form of expressive activity at the time or that his removal impaired his access to any judicial records. His Fourth Amendment claim should not have been dismissed for failure to plead seizure, as the use of physical force to restrain him and control his movements so as to eject him, could be either reasonable or unreasonable, even though he was free to go anywhere else he wanted after ejected from the court. Salmon v. Blesser, #14-1993, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 16070 (2nd Cir.).
     Muslim plaintiffs claimed that the New York City Police Department, since January of 2002, had carried out a secret program monitoring the lives of Muslims, as well as their businesses, houses of worship, organizations and schools both in New York and surrounding states such as New Jersey solely because they were Muslim. The program allegedly included the use of remote controlled surveillance cameras aimed at mosques and the sending of undercover officers into mosques, student organizations, businesses, and neighborhoods believed to be heavily Muslim. The plaintiffs argued that this falsely stigmatized Muslims as criminals who should be pervasively surveilled. Overturning a trial court dismissal of the lawsuit for lack of standing and failure to state a claim, a federal appeals court held that the allegations “tell a story in which there is standing to complain and which present constitutional concerns that must be addressed and, if true, redressed.” The court compared the alleged surveillance program to the situations faced by Japanese-Americans during World War II, Jewish-Americans during the Red Scare era, and African-Americans during the civil rights era. Claims in the case involved alleged violations of religious liberty under the First Amendment and equal protection violations based on intentional discrimination against a protected class. The court stated that the allegations raised a presumption of unconstitutionality that the city had an obligation to rebut. The plaintiffs' First Amendment religious freedom claims could also go forward. Hassan v. City of New York, #14-1688, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 17776 (3rd Cir.).
     A music group called the Insane Clown Posse had numerous devoted fans who called themselves "Juggalos" and often displayed on their property or person insignia representing the band, including tattoos and painting their faces like clowns. The National Gang Intelligence Center, operated by the FBI, issued a 2011 congressionally mandated report on gang activity that identified the Juggalos as a "hybrid gang," and relayed information about criminal activity said to have been committed by subsets of the Juggalos. A number of such fans claimed that this caused them to suffer violations of their First and Fifth Amendment rights by state and local law enforcement officers who were "motivated" to cause these injuries and detentions and searches by the identification of the group as a criminal gang. A lawsuit against the FBI and Department of Justice was filed under the Administrative Procedures Act and the Declaratory Judgment Act. A federal appeals court overturned the dismissal of the lawsuit for lack of standing. The plaintiffs adequately alleged that the harm to their reputations and chill to their First Amendment activities was caused by the report and those injuries could likely be alleviated by the relief sought, such as an order holding the classification of the Juggalos as a criminal street gang to be unlawful. Parsons v. Dep't of Justice, #14-1848, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 16528, 2015 Fed. App. 0230P (6tth Cir.).
     A federal appeals court upheld an injunction against enforcement of a city ordinance barring standing, sitting, staying, driving, or parking on median strips. The ordinance was found to violate the constitutional right of free speech because it "indiscriminately" outlaws almost any expressive activity in all of the city's median strips. Further, it was found not to be narrowly tailored to serve the city's indicated interests in protecting people in the streets and on medians. Such medians historically were traditional public forums based on their past uses, and had routinely, prior to enactment of the ordinance, been the site of many types of protected speech including election campaigning, charitable contribution solicitations, and political protests. Cutting v. City of Portland, Maine, #14-1421, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 16206 (1st Cir.).
     A federal statute, 40 U.S.C. Sec. 6135, prohibits parading, standing, or moving in processions or assemblages in the U.S. Supreme Court building or the surrounding grounds, or displaying there a flag, banner, or device designed to bring into public notice a party, organization, or movement. A plaintiff who wished to picket, leaflet, and make speeches in the Supreme Court plaza to convey political messages claimed that the law violated the First Amendment. A federal appeals court, reversing the trial court, found the statue constitutional. It held that the Supreme Court's plaza was a nonpublic forum, and that the government could impose reasonable restrictions on speech there as long as it did not suppress particular viewpoints in doing so. There were long-standing governmental interests in preserving decorum in the area of the courthouse and in ensuring the appearance and actuality of a Court uninfluenced by public pressure and opinion. Further there was an available alternative site for expressive activity in the immediate area, the public sidewalk directly in front of the plaza. Hodge v. Talkin, #13-5250, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 15190 (D.C. Cir.).
     Springfield, Illinois, the state's capital, had an ordinance prohibiting panhandling in the downtown historic district, which was less than 2% of the city's area, containing it main shopping, entertainment, and governmental areas. Panhandling was defined as oral requests for immediate donations of money, while signs requesting money or oral pleas to send money later were both allowed. A federal appeals court previously upheld the ordinance, Norton v. City of Springfield, #13-3581, 768 F.3d 713,2014 U.S. App. Lexis 18439 (7th Cir. 2014), stating that the ordinance was "indifferent to the solicitor's stated reason for seeking money, or whether the requester states any reason at all," and did not interfere with the "marketplace of ideas," but instead imposed a valid restriction based on time, place, and manner--a restriction based on subject matter rather than content. The appeals court granted a rehearing after the U.S, Supreme Court's decision in Reed v. Gilbert, #13-502, 2015 U.S. Lexis 4061 (striking down a town's sign code that prohibits the display of outdoor signs without a permit, but exempts 23 categories of signs, including "ideological" or political signs. The Court found these to be content based restrictions that did not survive strict scrutiny.). The appeals court then reversed for further proceedings. In Reed, the Court stated that "A law that is content based on its face is subject to strict scrutiny regardless of the government's benign motive, content-neutral justification, or lack of 'animus toward the ideas contained' in the regulated speech" and "a speech regulation targeted at specific subject matter is content based even if it does not discriminate among viewpoints within that subject matter." The appeals court expressed the opinion that Reed had effectively abolished any distinction between subject matter regulation and content regulation. As a result, "any law distinguishing one kind of speech from another by reference to its meaning now requires a compelling justification," as a result of which the appeals court ordered that an injunction be issued against the enforcement of the ordinance. Norton v. City of Springfield, #13-3581, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 13861 (7th Cir.).
     An "Occupy" protester on government land in D.C. started tearing down U.S. Park Police notices from tents. The notices informed occupants that they were required to vacate the premises. He was told that he would be arrested for disorderly conduct if he did not stop his activity. He swore at police, crumpled up notices he had gathered, and threw them away. A video showed him continuing to tear down notices after ordered to stop. As he walked away, an officer tried to grab him from behind. Then a Taser was used on him in stun mode on his back as he allegedly resisted efforts to restrain him. The trial court held that, under the circumstances, no reasonable jury could find that the force used was so excessive that no reasonable officer could believe that it was lawful. The use of the Taser to effect an arrest was reasonably proportionate to the difficult and uncertain situation that the officers faced, so they were entitled to qualified immunity. Lash v. Lemke, #12-0822, 2013 U.S. Dist. Lexis 134951 (D. D.C.). On appeal, a federal appeals court agreed that qualified immunity protected the officers against liability on the Fourth Amendment claim, but on different grounds. The appellate court ruled that a person actively resisting arrest does not have a clearly established right against a single use of a Taser to subdue him. The court also granted summary judgment to the officers on a First Amendment claim because the plaintiff failed to meaningfully advance the argument on appeal. There was nothing in the record to indicate that the use of force was retaliatory for the plaintiff's First Amendment expression. Lash v. Lemke, #13-5308, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 8011 (D.C. Cir.).
    A couple were out walking with their daughter, grandson, and a dog. The man carried a cell phone, holstered on his hip, next to a semiautomatic handgun. a motorcyclist passing by stopped to complain about the visible weapon, and after a heated argument, called 911. The dispatcher stated that the weapon was legal in Ohio with a concealed carry weapon permit. An officer was dispatched, and took possession of the man's weapon. The officer threatened to arrest the man for inducing panic and placed him in handcuffs. After the officer discovered that the man had a carry permit for the weapon, he released him while citing him for failure to disclose personal information, a charge later dropped. The man had produced his driver's license, but told the officer to look up his carry permit. While the trial court rejected First and Second Amendment charges against the officer on summary judgment, it permitted Fourth Amendment and state law claims to go forward. A federal appeals court upheld this result. It noted that the officer had the right to approach the plaintiff and ask him questions, but that Ohio law permitted the man, with his permit, to do exactly what he was doing, openly carry his firearm. The officer had no basis for uncertainty abut the law, and had no evidence that the man was dangerous. All that he saw was that the man was armed, and legally so. There was no basis for reasonable suspicion of inducing panic or that the man needed to be disarmed, and allowing stops in these circumstances would effectively eliminate Fourth Amendment protection for legally armed persons. The court noted that "Not only has the State made open carry of a firearm legal, but it also does not require gun owners to produce or even carry their licenses for inquiring officers." While the officer also claimed that the man made a "furtive motion" towards his weapon before being disarmed, that was disputed and was an issue of fact for a jury. A second officer, who did not arrive on the scene until after the plaintiff was already handcuffed and placed in the back of the first officer's car, however, was entitled to qualified immunity, as he had not detained, disarmed, or handcuffed the plaintiff. Northrup v. City of Toledo Police Dep't., #14-4050, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 7868, 2015 Fed. App. 0092P (6th Cir.).
     A man who owned business property 150 feet from a local polling place sued state and local officials claiming that a state statute that created a 300 foot no political speech buffer zone around polling places on election day violated his First Amendment rights. Based on the statue, sheriff's deputies had allegedly removed political signs from the plaintiff's property on previous election days, and informed him that the statute prohibited him, on such days, from waving signs on his own property or offering campaign literature to persons passing by. A federal appeals court upheld a permanent injunction against the statute as unconstitutional in violation of the First Amendment. The state failed to carry its burden of showing why it required a no political speech buffer zone vastly larger than previously upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Russell v. Lundergan-Grimes, #14-6262, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 6977 (6th Cir.).
     A woman claimed that a state trooper started harassing her in 2007, tailgating her in an off-duty vehicle, parking behind her, and questioning her about her driving. When the officer and the female motorist's adult son exchanged heated words, the officer at first allegedly stated that the motorist would receive an additional ticket because of her son's statements and then left without issuing any tickets when the son stated that he would complain to the officer's supervisor. After the motorist complained abut this, the officer, hours later, arrived at her home and delivered three tickets. After her son mentioned the alleged harassment at a restaurant, the trooper, accompanied by a fellow officer, again returned to the home, resulting in a confrontation with the woman's son-in-law. A federal appeals court ruled that a First Amendment retaliatory prosecution claim was time barred as it was filed two years after the tickets were delivered to the woman, which was the date the claim accrued, rather than the later date of the trial when she was convicted on the tickets. The trial court erred, however, in dismissing a Fourth Amendment constructive seizure complaint against the trooper on the basis that the plaintiff failed to specifically identify in that claim that she was proceeding under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983 rather than merely under the Fourth Amendment. Smith v. Campbell, #14-1468, 782 F.3d 93 (2nd Cir. 2015).
    Groups of protestors, including some concerned with alleged sexual abuse by clergy and others promoting acceptance of gay, lesbian, or transgender people or Catholic ordination of women, filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a Missouri state statute prohibiting intentional disturbance of a "house of worship" through the use of "profane discourse, rude or indecent behavior . . . either within the house of worship or so near it as to disturb the order and solemnity of the worship services." They argued that the law was facially invalid under the First Amendment. A federal appeals court agreed. The court commented that there was no actual evidence of disturbance to houses of worship or indication that protests had interfered with church members' entry or exit from services. The law, the court found, made content-based distinctions on the type of expression allowed near a church. this could cause "a substantial risk of suppressing ideas in the process." Law enforcement officials were given impermissible power to look at the content of the message. The law could not survive the scrict scrutiny appropriate for content-based distictions that were not necessary to achieve the asserted interest in protecting free religious exercize. Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests v. Joyce, #13-3036, 779 F.3d 785 (8th Cir. 2015).
     A group of advocates for homeless peopl were threatened with arrest and then arrested for loud chanting to protest an organized walk by elected officials and their supporters through a skid row area. They were charged under a state statute under which "willfully disturb or break up any assembly or meeting that is not unlawful in its character" other than a political meeting, is a misdemeanor. A federal appals court found that, while the statute in question was not facially unconstitutional, it was unconstitutional as applied to the plaintiff's behavior, or political meetings as occurred here. The statute was improperly applied in this case to a group's protest of a meeting of public officials and members of the public to discuss conditions in the skid row area. As to public meetings in which people assemble to consider "public questions," arrests of protestors are only allowable if a protestor engages in "threats, intimidations, or unlawful violence," not for non-violent political protest. CPR For Skid Row v. City of Los Angeles, #12-55289,779 F.3d 1098 (9th Cir. 2015).
    Two participants in Occupy Wall Street protests in front of the Austin, Texas city hall sued the city and won both declaratory and injunctive relief against a policy under which such demonstrators were issued criminal trespass notices to get off of city property. The trial court ruled that the policy, on its face, violated the First Amendment. They were not, however, awarded the nominal damages they sought. A federal appeals court ruled that the plaintiffs were prevailing parties, still entitled to an award of attorneys' fees, despite not receiving damages, since their primary goal was to force the city to stop issuing the notices, and they achieved that goal. Further hearings will determine the amount of the fees to be awarded. Sanchez v. City of Austin, #13-50916, 774 F.3d 873 (5th Cir. 2014).
     A homeless man who supports himself by soliciting donations filed a federal lawsuit challenging a county ordinance prohibiting solicitations on county roadways. A federal appeals court found that the county had the burden of showing the constitutionality of the ordinance, which the plaintiff showed limited his ability to collect donations because he was forced to move to locations where it was more difficult for drivers to give him money. It further ruled that the county failed to show that the ordinance was content neutral and was a narrowly tailored time, place, and manner restriction on free speech, or that it left open ample alternative channels of communication. While the county showed that the ordinance materially advanced its interest in roadway safety, it failed to show that it had tried to improve safety by prosecuting those roadway solicitors who actually obstructed traffic or had thought about barring solicitations only at certain locations where it could not be done safely. Reynolds v. Middleton, #13-2389, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 2704 (4th Cir.).
     A well known female political activist was arrested and jailed for disorderly conduct and breaching the peace after an incident in which she shouted "Fuck the Police! Cobb Police Suck!" and gave two officers "the finger" while riding a bicycle on a public street when she saw the officers confronting an African-American man in a supermarket parking lot. She was forty feet away from the officers at the time, and the incident was recorded by a camera in a police patrol car. A trial judge threw out the charges, stating that "The defendant's statements, although offensive to this court, clearly constitute political speech." She filed a federal lawsuit over the arrest, claiming that it violated her First Amendment rights, and that she did not interrupt or disrupt the police from performing their duties. The county has reached a $100,000 settlement in the case. Barnes v. Cobb County, Georgia, #1:14-cv-00948, U.S. Dist. Court, (N.D. Ga. December 19, 2014).
     Ku Klux Klan members in a small city regularly distributed leaflets on streets and sidewalks wearing robes and hoods. Klan members leafleting about gun rights stood at a sidewalk near a four way stop holding up leaflets and stepping into the streets to supply one if a vehicle occupant signaled for one. Police informed them that a new ordinance prohibited distributing anything to the occupant of a vehicle. While litigation was pending, the ordinance was amended to explain that it sought to address public safety concerns, such as distracting drivers and resulting collisions. Overturning an injunction against the ordinance as not sufficiently narrowly tailored to serve an important governmental interest, a federal appeals court ruled that there was no evidence that the purpose of the ordinance was to curtail the Klan's message or limit its speech, and the record did not show an obvious, less burdensome alternative. Traditionalist Am. Knights of the Ku Klux Klan v. City of Desloge, #13-3368, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 24422 (8th Cir.).
    Chicago police arrested 130 demonstrators from Occupy Chicago for violating a Park District Ordinance prohibiting remaining in a city park from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. An intermediate Illinois appeals court held that the ordinance was not overbroad in violation of the First Amendment. It only applied to city parks, and only restricted presence there for seven hours at night. It did not bar anyone from engaging in expressive activities on public sidewalks or other adjacent public spaces outside the parks, thus providing ample opportunities for expressive activities outside the parks during late night hours. The ordinance was also not selectively enforced. The City of Chicago v. Alexander, 2014 IL App (1st) 122858 2014 Ill. App. Lexis 924.
     A federal court jury awarded a total of approximately $97.5 million for the police shooting death of a man who was the former mayor of Cottageville, South Carolina. Damages awarded included $7.5 million in compensatory damages, as well as $90 million in punitive damages--$60 million against the town and $30 million against the officer. The officer who shot the decedent had been hired by the department after being previously fired by a number of other police departments for insubordination, dangerous use of firearms, and other alleged infractions. The officer claimed that the shooting was in self-defense because the decedent threw "wild" punches at him. His attorney argued that the decedent suffered from a bipolar disorder and was enraged during the incident. The plaintiffs contended that the decedent had complained about the officer, who wrote traffic tickets worth over $600,000 from 2008 to 2011, more than any other officer on the force, and that the shooting was retaliatory for the decedent's complaints intended to get rid of the officer because of his aggressive policing. Reeves v. Town of Cottageville, #2:12-cv-02765, U.S. Dist Ct., (D.S.C. Oct. 15, 2014). In an earlier decision, the trial judge commented that evidence of the officer's departure from six other law enforcement agencies in seven years was "obviously admissible" against him with respect to the claim that the town and police department negligently hired, retained, and supervised the officer, and a claim for municipal liability for violation of civil rights. This evidence, the court ruled, had a bearing on whether the municipal defendants properly evaluated the officer's credentials befire hiring him. Reeves v. Town of Cottageville, #2:12-cv-02765, 2014 U.S. Dist. Lexis 120619 (D.S.C.).
     Six "Occupy Nashville" protestors claimed that their arrests for violating a curfew while they were conducting an around-the clock presence at a public plaza violated their First and Fourth Amendment rights. The curfew, they argued, had been adopted in violation of the state's Administrative Procedures Act. A federal appeals court held that, even if that were true, state officials were entitled to qualified immunity because the claimed First Amendment right to an unrestricted 24-hour a day access to the plaza was not a clearly established constitutional right. Occupy Nashville v. Haslam, #13-5882, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 19154, 2014 Fed. App. 0253P (6th Cir.).
     A federal judge preliminarily enjoined the enforcement of a "five second rule" against anti-police protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. The rule was purportedly used to require protesters to keep moving and prevent them from standing still for too long, under threat of arrest. The court found that the rule was so vague and enforced so arbitrarily with unfettered discretion that it violated due process and the First Amendment right to assemble. "Criminal laws must be defined in a way that allows ordinary people to understand what conduct is against the law." Abdullah v. County of St. Louis, Missouri, #4:14CV1436, 2014 U.S. Dist. Lexis 141744 (E.D. Mo.).
     A city's ordinance prohibited panhandling in its "downtown historic district," constituting less than 2% of the city's land, but containing the state capital's main governmental buildings and the main shopping and entertainment areas. A federal appeals court upheld the ordinance against a First Amendment challenge. Panhandling was defined as an oral request for an immediate donation of money, and the ordinance allowed signs requesting money or oral requests to send money later. The parties had agreed that panhandling was a form of speech protected by the First Amendment and that if the ordinance drew lines on the basis of the content of speech it would be unconstitutional. Here, the court said, the ordinance was "indifferent to the solicitor's stated reason for seeking money, or whether the requester states any reason at all," and did not interfere with the "marketplace of ideas," but instead imposed a valid restriction based on time, place, and manner. Norton v. City of Springfield, #13-3581, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 18439 (7th Cir.).
     A mass arrest of 700 Occupy Wall Street demonstrators was made after they walked onto a bridge roadway. The arrestees claimed that this violated their First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The officers were not entitled to qualified immunity. The plaintiffs alleged that the officers directed their activity along the route that led to them entering the bridge. If the facts were as alleged, no reasonable officer could have believed that the warning to clear the roadway was sufficiently audible for the crowd to hear it. Further, the demonstrators alleged that the officers had retreated onto the bridge in a manner that could be reasonably understood to constitute a continuation of the officers' earlier practice of allowing the demonstrators to proceed in violation of traffic laws. Garcia v. Does, #12-2634, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 16156 (2nd Cir.).
     An annual Arab International Festival, drawing as many as 250,000 people was hosted in a Michigan city. Preparing for the 2012 event, a Christian group that had been involved in some confrontations there the year before with those objecting to their Christian signs, banners, and t-shirts, had their attorney send a letter to the county. He complained that the sheriff had sided with "violent Muslims" in attendance, and demanded protection at the upcomong festival, claiming that officers had a duty to protect speakers from "hostile audiences." The county's lawyer responding, saying that the county only had a general duty to the public and was not required to have sheriff's personnel serve as a security force for the sole benefit of the Christian group. At the 2012 festival, the Christian group, known as Bible Believers, displayer anti-Islam messages such as "Islam is a Religion of Blood and Murder," while one of its members carried a severed pig's head on a stick, and others used a megaphone to preach about a "pedophile" prophet. Bystanders in the crowd threw debris, yelled, and shoved a Believer to the ground. Officers detained some debris-throwers and tried the stop the disturbance. As the Believers continued to preach, the disturbance grew, and the officers escorted the Believers out, concerned for their safety. The officers' actions did not violate the Believers group's First Amendment rights. The security plan for the festival was content neutral, and the plaintiffs were not treated differently than the counter-protestors in the crowd. Threats to cite members of the Believers if they did not leave did not violate free speech, as they were allowed to speak until the possibility of violence and physical injury became too great. Bible Believers v. Wayne Cnty, #13-1635, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 16533, 2014 Fed. App. 0208P (6th Cir.).
    An anti-abortion protester successfully sued a county sheriff's office for violation of First Amendment rights by requesting that graphic signs with disturbing pictures of aborted fetuses not be displayed in a public demonstration. While injunctive relief was awarded, no damages were awarded against individual defendants because of qualified immunity. In Lefemine v. Wideman, #12-168, 133 S. Ct. 9, 10 (2012), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the plaintiff was still a prevailing plaintiff fo purposes of an award of attorneys' fees. On remand, the trial court abused its discretion by denying the plaintiff an award of attorneys' fees. The presence of qualified immunity, the nature of the relief granted, and the absence of a policy or custom of discrimination were not enough, individually or taken together, to deny an award of such fees. Lefemine v. Wideman, #13-1629, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 13218 (4th Cir.).
     An officer had at least arguable probable cause to arrest a man for trespass for refusal to leave a bus stop after he was observed waiting there without getting on any bus, so the officer was entitled to qualified immunity. While the plaintiff described being pepper sprayed as painful, there was insufficient evidence of more than "de minimus" (minimal) injury, so the officer was entitled to qualified immunity on an excessive force claim. The officer was not entitled, however, to qualified immunity on a retaliatory use of force claim, as he argued that the pepper spray had been used in retaliation for his protected First Amendment speech of asking for the officer's badge number. Peterson v. Kopp, #12-3776, 754 F.3d 594 (8th Cir. 2014).
     A trial court properly denied a preliminary injunction to prevent enforcement of most provisions of an ordinance aimed at aggressive panhandlers, other solicitors, and demonstrators seeking the attention of motorists (other than a ban on nighttime solicitation). The ordinance was challenged by homeless people who solicited donations from city sidewalks and a person who displayed political signs near traffic during election campaigns. The restrictions in the ordinance were not aimed at the content of speech, and did not appear to violate the First Amendment. And as homelessness and wealth were not suspect classifications for equal protection purposes, the ordinance would only have to survive rational basis scrutiny. Thayer v. City of Worcester, #13-2355, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 11578 (1st Cir.).
     A county police department reached a $200,000 settlement with a freelance videographer arrested for filming police activity on a public street. In addition to paying the money, the county agreed to develop and implement training for officers on citizens' First Amendment rights to record public police activity. The plaintiff, a freelance journalist, was filming the scene of a police chase when the police told him to leave. He moved a block away and continued filming from a public area. Then, despite showing his press credentials, his camera was confiscated and he was arrested on charges of obstruction. Datz v. Suffolk County, #12-CV-1770 (E.D.N.Y. May 7, 2014).
     A Massachusetts start statute making it illegal to knowingly stand on a public sidewalk or way within 35 feet of the entrance or driveway to any reproductive health care facility, including an abortion clinic, violated the First Amendment rights of anti-abortion protestors. The unanimous court decision found that the law was content neutral and that an exemption allowing those who worked in the facility to enter or remain within the buffer zone was reasonable. But the statute was not narrowly tailored to serve significant governmental interests and the buffer zone compromised the protestors' ability to engage in counseling of patients on the sidewalk or to distribute literature to arriving patients. This amounted to excluding abortion protestors from areas of the public way historically open to speech and debate. McCullen v. Coakley, #12-1168, 2014 U.S. Lexis 4499.
     The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that Secret Service agents who moved protesters away from a location where President George W. Bush was dining on an outside patio were entitled to qualified immunity on First Amendment viewpoint discrimination claims. It ruled that a federal appeals court had erred in finding that viewpoint discrimination could be inferred from the alleged lack of a legitimate security rationale for the different treatment given to two groups of demonstrators present at the event. The anti-Bush demonstrators, the agents could believe, posed a potential security risk to the President, based on their particular location, while the demonstrating Bush supporters, based on their location, did not. As the anti-Bush demonstrators, unlike the pro-Bush demonstrators, were within weapons' range, it could not plausibly be shown that the agents could show no rationale for requesting or ordering the eviction of the anti-Bush demonstrators. Wood v. Moss, #13-115, 2014 U.S. Lexis 3614.
     Under an arrestee's version of the facts, she had a clearly established First Amendment right to film police carrying out a traffic stop in public. There was no reasonable restriction imposed or in place, as there was not even a police order to leave the area or stop filming. The officers were not entitled to qualified immunity for arresting her for wiretapping in alleged retaliation for her trying to film the officer making a late night traffic stop. Gericke v. Begin, #12-2326, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 9623 (1st Cir.).
     A city required adult bookstores to remain closed all day Sunday and between midnight and 10 a.m. every other day, restrictions that were not applied to other retail businesses. A federal appeals court rejected the general justification that the restriction would curtail negative secondary effects of the bookstores such as crime. On remand, a trial was held after which the district court accepted the city's claim that there were fewer armed robberies at or near adult bookstores because of the restrictions. On further appeal, the appeals court reversed and ordered the entry of an injunction against the enforcement of the law. The city failed to control the statistics used for other potentially important variables, including the presence of late night taverns in the same area. The court found that the differences in the number of armed robberies cited were not statistically significant, and that the city failed to show that such robberies would be more likely at adult bookstores than at late night liquor stores or convenience stores not covered by the law.
Annex Books, Inc. v. City of Indianapolis, #13-1500, 740 F.3d 1136 (7th Cir. 2014).
     A city ordinance generally prohibiting targeted picketing within 50 feet of a residential dwelling did not violate the First Amendment. It was content neutral, furthered a significant governmental interest, was narrowly tailored to serve that interest, and left open ample alternative methods of exercising free speech. A section of the ordinance prohibiting loitering on a public forum such as a sidewalk abutting a private residence gave private individuals impermissible unbridled discretion to invoke the city's power to regulate speech there and was therefore facially unconstitutional. Bell v. City of Winter Park, FL, #13-11499, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 5250, 24 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. C 1119 (11th Cir.).
     A city's policy confining leafleting to a designated protest area outside an arena did not facially violate the First Amendment. It was a reasonable time, place, and manner regulation. The appeals court upheld summary judgment to the defendants in the plaintiff's lawsuit challenging his arrest for refusing to obey an officer's repeated requests to confine his leafleting to the designated area. Ross v. Early, #12-2547, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 4161 (4th Cir.).
     A protestor was barred from entering a military base's designated protest area because of alleged prior acts of trespass and vandalism. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the protest area was included as a portion of the military installation, making it a federal crime to reenter it after being ordered not to do so by an officer or person in command. U.S. v. Apel, #12-1038,188 L. Ed. 2d 75, 2014 U.S. Lexis 1643.
     Demonstrators from an "Occupy" group were removed by police from a 24-hour-a-day protest on the grounds of a state legislature. The officers were not entitled to qualified immunity as the plaintiffs had a clearly established First Amendment right to demonstrate on the legislature's grounds after 6 p.m. when there was no existing valid time, place, and manner restriction. Occupy Columbia v. Haley, #13-1258, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 24866 (4th Cir.).
     A federal district court is allowing an "Occupy D.C." demonstrator to proceed with his claim that he was arrested for using profanity in violation of his First Amendment rights. Based on the facts alleged, no reasonable officer could have believed that there was probable cause for an arrest for disorderly conduct. The words spoken did not risk provoking violence. All he did was make the remark, addressed to no one in particular, "Ah, this fucking bullshit" when observing several people carrying pro-Tea Party signs entering a federal park. The Tea Party people did not respond, but U.S. Park police arrested him. Patterson v. U.S.A., #13-cv-0085, 2013 U.S. Dist. Lexis 178087(D.D.C.).
     An officer who was working off-duty, but in full uniform, asked a woman to move her car from the parking lot of a bar before it was towed. The woman reacted by cursing and "speaking loudly." The officer was not entitled to qualified immunity for arresting the woman for disorderly conduct, since the facts, taken in the most favorable light for the plaintiff, showed that there was no arguable probable cause for the arrest. There is no right to arrest people exercising their right to free speech, even in a loud manner, and the officer himself admitted that the woman had used no language that was insulting or degrading, only saying "hell" and "damn," and not even directing those words at him. A sergeant who was not even on the scene, however, was granted qualified immunity for lack of personal involvement there, and only relied on the arresting officer as to there having been grounds for an arrest. Wilkerson v. Seymour, #12-15938, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 22058, (11th Cir..).
     A evangelical Christian had distributed Bibles at a city gay pride festival using an exhibitor's booth, but one year the festival denied his application for a booth. A federal appeals court held that he had shown a likelihood of success on his claim that a local regulation restricting literature distribution at the public park during the festival violated his First Amendment rights because itr failed to be narrowly tailored to serve a significant governmental interest. The denial of a preliminary injunction was reversed and further proceedings ordered. Johnson v. Minneapolis Park and Rec. Bd., #12-2419, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 18831 (8th Cir.).
     A city's legitimate interests in alleviating congestion, improving circulation, promoting the aesthetics of its public parks, and making sure that the parks were available to the public for a wide range of activities justified regulations on vending in the parks that were challenged by visual artists who sold their art in the public parks and on sidewalks. The regulations were valid time, place, and manner restrictions and were narrowly tailored to promote the interests in question. Lederman v. N.Y.C. Dep't of Parks & Recreation, #12-4333, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 19575 (2nd Cir.).
     A Michigan state anti-begging statute under which two homeless adults were arrested violated the First Amendment. The statute was facially invalid since begging was a form of solicitation protected by the First Amendment and the law prohibited a substantial amount of solicitation by beggars but allowed other solicitation based on its content. One arrestee had been holding signs saying "Cold and Hungry, God Bless" and "Need Job, God Bless." The second arrestee, a veteran who needed money for bus fare, asked another person on the street whether they could "spare a little change." While there was a substantial state interest in preventing duress and fraud, the law was not narrowly tailored to serve those interests. Speet v. Schuette, #12-2213, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 16796, 2013 Fed App. 0226P (6th Cir.).
     A street newspaper devoted to educating people about homelessness, which used homeless people as street vendors, challenged an ordinance that two of its vendors were cited for violating that barred using any part of the city street, alley, sidewalk, or public right of way to sell any goods or materials. The city altered the ordinance so that it did not bar the sale or distribution of publications or handbills. Under the revised ordinance, those activities were prohibited, however, on any portion of the street. The revised ordinance also barred handing such materials to an occupant of a motor vehicle on the street or taking action reasonably intended to cause a vehicle occupant to hand anything to the person selling or distributing the materials. The federal appeals court upheld a determination that the ordinance, as revised, did not violate the First Amendment and left open adequate available alternative channels of communication. The Contributor v. City of Brentwood, #12-6598, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 16795, 2013 Fed App. 0225P (6th Cir.).
     When then President Bush spoke at a fundraising dinner at a mayor's residence, demonstrators protesting his appearance were required to go to at area 150 yards away, while a group of demonstrating supporters of the President were permitted to stay on private property directly across from the mayor's house. A federal appeals court granted the defendant law enforcement personnel qualified immunity on claims that their actions violated the First Amendment. Each defendant was aware of the disparate treatment to which the protesters were subjected, but this evidence was insufficient as a matter of law to show that any of them promulgated the policies at issue or acted for a discriminatory purpose. Each defendant's actions were consistent with his own agency's facially viewpoint-neutral policy. Pahls v. Thomas, #11-2055, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 11174 (10th Cir.).
    A photojournalist sued police officers who arrested him for taking their pictures arresting a man while on duty. The U.S. Department of Justice issued a statement supporting the constitutional rights of the plaintiff to take the pictures under the First and Fourth Amendments. The statement upholds citizens’ constitutional rights to record police officers in their public capacity without being arrested or having their recordings unlawfully seized. Garcia v. Montgomery County, Maryland, #8:12-cv-03592, U.S. Dist. Ct. (D. Md. March 4, 2013).
      A federal appeals court overturned the dismissal of a lawsuit claiming that a city's adoption of an ordinance prohibiting soliciting in certain areas violated the free speech rights of persons who regularly beg in those areas. The plaintiffs had adequately alleged that the city had adopted a content-based regulation that was not the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling government interest. Clatterbuck v. City of Charlottesville, #12-1149, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 3651 (4th Cir.).
     An Arizona state law made it illegal for a motorist to hire or attempt to hire a person for work from a stopped car that impedes traffic or for a person to be hired in this manner. While the city did have a significant interest in promoting traffic safety, the day labor provision, largely targeting illegal immigrants imposed restrictions on constitutionally protected commercial speech that could be viewed as more extensive than needed to serve that interest. The appeals court upheld a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of that portion of the statute. Valle del Sol v. State of Arizona, #12-15688, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 4425 (9th Cir.).
    A motorist adequately alleged that officers arrested him in retaliation for his First Amendment protected expressive activity after he was cited for violating a noise ordinance. The officer allegedly told the motorist that if he cooperated he would get off with a ticket, but that "if you run your mouth, I will book you in jail for it." When he later was taken into custody and was being taken to a booking facility, he was allegedly told that it was because he was playing his music too loud and had "acted like a fool." The appeals court found that, if true, this violated his clearly established First Amendment right to be free from action motivated by retaliation even if probable cause existed for his initial arrest on the noise violation alone. A reasonable officer would have known that he could not exercise his discretion to book a person in retaliation for First Amendment activity. Ford v. City of Yakima, #11-35319, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 2716 (9th Cir.).
     Officers were not liable for violating the rights of a Hispanic man who was arrested and removed from a city council meeting where he voiced opposition to the city's proposed agreement with federal authorities for immigration enforcement in the city. In a prior meeting, he had called the mayor a "racist pig," and in this meeting, he had called for his supporters in the audience to rise. He was removed and arrested under a city ordinance prohibiting "disorderly, insolent, or disruptive" actions at such official meetings. While the use of the term "insolent" made the ordinance overbroad, the deletion of the term would make the ordinance constitutional. At the time of the arrest, the officers acted in an objectively reasonable manner by believing that the ordinance was valid and justified his removal. Acosta v. City of Costa Mesa, #10-56854, 694 F.3d 960 (9th Cir. 2012).
     Police officers did not violate the First Amendment rights of demonstrators at the Madison Square Garden 2004 Republican National Convention by arresting those who failed to comply with orders to move from an area were demonstrating was prohibited to a designated demonstration zone. The restriction of protest to the designated zone was content neutral, and was narrowly tailored to achieve significant governmental interests concerning sidewalk congestion and convention security. The demonstration zone, which was equipped with a stage and sound amplification equipment, provided an adequate alternative channel of expression. Marcavage v. City of New York, #10-4355, 689 F.3d 98 (2nd Cir. 2012).
     Plaintiffs entered into a $30,000 settlement agreement with a city and police officers on claims arising out of their arrest. The settlement was offered by the defendants under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68. Subsequently, the trial court awarded a total of $290,997.94 in costs to the plaintiffs under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1988, including $286,065.00 in attorneys' fees. The appeals court rejected the argument that the Rule 68 offer of judgment to settle all claims should have been interpreted to include any costs, including attorneys' fees, when that was not specified. It also rejected the argument that the fee award was disproportionate to the success achieved in the litigation, as the defendants had not preserved that argument for appeal. Barbour v. City of White Plains, #11-2229, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 23386 (2nd Cir.).
     A man's website promoting white supremacist ideas contained the statement that everyone connected with the trial of a white supremacist "deserved assassination." The website also published personal information about the foreperson of the jury which convicted that white supremacist of soliciting harm to a federal judge. The website operator was convicted, by a jury, of soliciting the commission of violence against that juror. The trial court set the conviction aside, finding that the speech was protected by the First Amendment. A federal appeals court reinstated the conviction, finding that a rational jury could have found, based on the website's contents and its context, that it was intentionally soliciting for criminal acts to be committed against the juror. Such criminal solicitation is not First Amendment protected speech. United States v. White, #11-2150 , 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 22229 (7th Cir.).
     A documentary filmmaker, making a film concerning gang activity, was filming in a public place when a police officer compelled him to stop. He brought a civil rights lawsuit under a New Jersey state statute, claiming violations of his First and Fourth Amendment rights, and his rights under the state Constitution. Reversing the trial court's grant of qualified immunity to the defendant police officer, an intermediate New Jersey appellate court found that the defense of qualified immunity applies to the state statute just as it does to federal civil rights claims, but that it only applies to claims for money damages, not to claims seeking injunctive relief. Additionally, applying the qualified immunity defense on summary judgment was incorrect, since, if the plaintiff's claims were true, the officer may have violated his right of free speech. Ramos v. Flowers, #A-4910-10T3, 2012 N.J. Super. Lexis 157 (App Div.).
      A man was arrested under a city ordinance which criminalized the refusal to leave a place when ordered to do so by a police officer after three or more persons were engaging in disorderly conduct nearby. A federal appeals court found that the ordinance violated the First Amendment on its face because it "substantially inhibits protected speech and is not amenable to clear and uniform enforcement." Additionally, a section of the ordinance did not clearly specify what inconveniences, if performed by three or more persons, could trigger an order to disperse, nor clarify whether dispersal had to be necessary to end the violation. The ordinance, as it was standardless as to the nature of the annoyance that triggered the law, could render individuals subject to arbitrary or discriminatory arrest, making it void for vagueness in violation of due process. Bell v. Keating, #11-2408, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 18952 (7th Cir.).
    Newspapers had no First Amendment right to obtain access to sealed court documents used in connection with the issuance of a search warrant as part of an investigation into financial fraud. There was no historical record of unrestricted public access to documents filed in search warrant proceedings. Further, granting public access to such documents would be detrimental to the search warrant application and process of criminal investigation, particularly when the magistrate sufficiently stated the justification for sealing the documents. In re: In the Matter of the Search of Fair Finance, #10-4139, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 18627, 2012 Fed. App. 0304P (6th Cir.).
    Members of a group devoted to expressing the belief that the September 11, 2011 terrorist attacks were "an inside job" were arrested when they displayed signs with that message on a highway overpass during rush hour. A federal appeals court ruled that the city ordinance under which they were arrested, which prohibits conduct, including speech, that has the consequence of impeding vehicle or pedestrian traffic was facially invalid under the First Amendment. The court reasoned that the ordinance did not give fair notice of what conduct was prohibited. It "criminalizes speech if it has the consequence of obstructing traffic, but the speaker does not know if his or her speech is criminal until after such an obstruction occurs." Stahl v. City of St. Louis, #10–3761, (8th Cir.).
     A federal appeals court rejected a criminal defendant's argument that his conviction for impersonating a police officer in violation of a statute should be overturned because his false speech was constitutionally protected under the First Amendment. The court ruled that the Virginia state statute prohibiting pretending to be a police officer was not facially invalid, since it served a legitimate governmental interest in public safety. False claims of being an officer could be used for dangerous purposes, such as boarding an aircraft improperly. In this case, the defendant tried to use his false claim of being a police officer to try to avoid a speeding ticket. United States v. Chappell, #10-4746, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 16990 (4th Cir.).
     The interior sidewalks of postal facilities are not a public forum. A ban on collecting petition signatures on post office sidewalks not running along public streets does not violate the First Amendment. Initiative and Referendum Institute v. United States Postal Service, #10–5337, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 14347 (D.C. Cir.).
     It was not clearly established, at the time of a 2006 arrest, that an arrest supported by probable cause could violate the First Amendment. The plaintiff was arrested by Secret Service agents protecting Vice President Dick Cheney after he was overheard saying on his cell phone that he was going to confront the Vice President and ask him "how many kids he's killed today." He touched the Vice President's shoulder and made statements critical of the war in Iraq. The agents were entitled to qualified immunity as the U.S. Supreme Court stated that it has never held that there is a First Amendment right to be free of a retaliatory arrest supported by probable cause, and the plaintiff's action in touching the Vice President provided probable cause for the arrest for assault. Reichle v. Howards, #11-262, 2012 U.S. Lexis 4132.
     Security guards at a "turbulent" public school board meeting allegedly pulled an activist from his seat and dragged him out of the meeting after he refused to leave when asked. He denied being one of those disrupting the meeting. Once outside, he was arrested by police based on the security guards' version of the incident. He was acquitted of disturbing the peace and resisting arrest. The officers were not liable for false arrest and were properly granted qualified immunity, as they could rely on the security guards' statements that the man had disrupted the meeting to arrest him, and were not required to investigate further. The plaintiff also failed to present a valid First Amendment claim against the school board or its security guards, as he had not shown that they threw him out on the basis of his remarks during the public comments portion of the meeting or his past activism. Green v. Nocciero, #11–2037, 676 F.3d 748 (8th Cir. 2012).
     When President Bush was dining at a restaurant during his 2004 reelection campaign, groups of demonstrators both in favor of and opposed to his re-election attempted to gather outside. A federal appeals court has ruled that, if the facts were as alleged, Secret Service agents violated the First Amendment by forcing protesters opposed to the President to move further away from the restaurant than where they permitted supporters of the President to rally. This was enforcement of a content-based restriction. The agents were not entitled to qualified immunity. The court also found that state and local police supervisors could not be held liable for the alleged use of excessive force against the anti-Bush demonstrators, including the use of pepper spray, clubs, and shoving, since there was no indication that they were personally involved. Moss v. United States Secret Service, #10-3615, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 7077 (9th Cir.).
     An Illinois eavesdropping statute violated the First Amendment to the extent that it could be applied to prohibit the open audio taping of police officers in public performing their official duties. Any supposed governmental interest in protecting conversational privacy was not implicated when officers performing their duties engage in communications audible to those witnessing the events. In restricting more speech than necessary to protect legitimate privacy interests, the statute was likely to violate the free speech and free press guarantees of the First Amendment. An injunction against enforcement of the statute was therefore ordered. ACLU of Illinois v. Alvarez, #11-1286, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 9303 (7th Cir.).
     Sheriff's deputies were entitled to qualified immunity for asking anti-abortion demonstrators to remove the large graphic signs displaying aborted fetuses they were holding during their roadside demonstration. Even if the order to do so were found to be an impermissible content-based violation of First Amendment rights in a public forum, the deputies did not act in an objectively unreasonable manner in deciding that they could lawfully make the request in order to shield the public from traffic hazards potentially arising from the proximity of the signs to the road, and in order to prevent children from seeing the images displayed. The officers were ordered to refrain from impermissible content based restrictions on free speech in the future, but the plaintiff anti-abortion group was not entitled to attorneys' fees as it was not a prevailing party. Lefemine v. Wideman, #10-1905, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 4490 (4th Cir.).
     A city's ordinance which outlawed soliciting and door-to-door canvassing after 6 p.m. violated the First Amendment rights of a citizens' environmental advocacy group. While the city did have a legitimate interest in protecting the privacy of its residents in their homes, this was adequately handled in another ordinance provision which stated that residents could post a "No Soliciting" sign on their home to avoid being bothered. The city failed to support its claim that door-to-door activity of this type promoted crime. The city also failed to show that the ban on nighttime soliciting was narrowly tailored to support its interest in minimizing an alleged drain on municipal law enforcement resources.Ohio Citizen Action v. City of Englewood, #10-3265, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 1904 (6th Cir.) .
     A city failed to justify its policy of excluding registered sex offenders from its public libraries. The court ruled that the First Amendment "includes not just a right of free speech, but also a right to receive information." Since the public libraries constitute a designated public forum, the burden was on the city to show that the exclusion policy was narrowly tailored to serve the stated interest of providing safety for library patrons and left open sufficient alternative avenues of communication for information. Since the city submitted no evidence in response to the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, mistakenly believing that it had no burden to overcome to defeat his facial challenge to its policy, the motion was properly granted. The policy was found not to be a valid time, place, and manner regulation and to violate a fundamental First Amendment right. Doe v. City of Albuquerque, #10–2102, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 1169 (10th).
     During the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, a police commander ordered that no one be permitted to enter the downtown area during a time when large crowds of protestors and widespread vandalism had been encountered. A large group of people attempted to ignore the order, and allegedly responded to the officers blocking their path by throwing feces and rocks at them. The officers made arrests and used non-lethal force to subdue the protestors. A federal appeals court ruled that the arrests were reasonable, including arrests of those who were not themselves using violence, but were swept up as part of the crowd. The officers also used reasonable force under the circumstances. "What is reasonable in the context of a potential large-scale urban riot may be different from what is reasonable" otherwise. Bernini v. City of St. Paul, #10–3552, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 781 (8th Cir.).
     A city mayor violated a Hispanic protester's First Amendment rights by refusing to let him speak during the comments portion of the city council meeting unless he first apologized to a city community liaison officer for getting "in her face" during an earlier protest. Even assuming that his words at the earlier rally had been threatening, there was nothing to indicate that his intended speech at the council meeting would be similarly threatening. The mayor's action was not content neutral, and therefore was not merely an acceptable time, place, and manner regulation.
The mayor also violated another protester's First Amendment rights by imposing a $1,500 permit fee for her planned rally against a city ordinance allowing the impounding of cars driven by motorists without driver's licenses or car insurance. The fee imposed was based on the cost of assigning officers to patrol her protest. The court found that he would have assigned fewer officers and charged a smaller fee for a rally in support of the city's ordinance, and basing the size of the fee on the content of the speech is impermissible. Surita v. Hyde, #09-1165, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 25558 (7th Cir.).
     An ordinance prohibiting posting of private signs on trees, sign posts, street lights, and utility poles on public property was not a violation of political candidates' First Amendment rights. The ordinance was narrowly designed to serve legitimate aesthetic and traffic safety interests of local government, was content neutral, and left open ample alternative avenues for political candidates to express their views. Johnson v. City & Co. of Philadelphia, #10–4185, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 25812 (3rd Cir.).
     An officer arrived at the home to investigate complaints that a woman and her parents had taken unauthorized control of an elderly woman's property and care there. The officer confronts a caretaking woman outside the home, and asked her about the location of the elderly woman. When she refused to answer his question, and attempted to flee inside the house, he placed her under arrest for obstruction, grabbed her arm, and handcuffed her after a struggle. A federal appeals court rejects First Amendment and Fifth Amendment claims, ruling that there was no clearly established law that the woman had a right to refuse to answer the officer's questions during a Terry investigative stop. The officer was entitled to qualified immunity, as he could reasonably, under these circumstances, believe that her refusal to answer his question amounted to obstruction. The court also rejected a claim that the officer handcuffed the woman too tightly, finding that any injury was de minimis (minimal). Koch v. City of Del City, #10-6105, 660 F.3d 1228 (10th Cir. 2011).
     The District of Columbia did not violate the First Amendment rights of anti-abortion protestors by threatening them with prosecution under a statute prohibiting the defacement of public and private property when they wanted to use chalk to write their message on the street in front of the White House. They had other adequate avenues through which they could communicate their message, and were allowed to conduct an assembly and protest. The District had a strong interest in controlling the aesthetic appearance of the street in front of the White House, which the threat of prosecution for chalking was narrowly tailored to serve. Mahoney v. Doe, #09-7131, 642 F.3d 1112 (D.C. Cir. 2011).
     A city ordinance that prohibits standing on the street to solicit contributions, business or employment from motorists violates the First Amendment by regulating "significantly more speech than is necessary to achieve the City's purpose of improving traffic safety and traffic flow at two major intersections. The court found that the city could have achieved these goals through less restrictive measures, such as the enforcement of existing traffic rules. The challenge was filed by day laborer organizations. A prior case upholding the constitutionality of a similar ordinance in another municipality, ACORN v. City of Phoenix, #85-1810, 798 F.2d 1260 (9th Cir. 1986), was overruled. Comite de Jornaleros v. City of Redondo Beach,  #06-55750, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 19212 (9th Cir.).
     A city ordinance outlawing standing within a hundred feet of an abortion clinic entrance to attempt to talk to a person seeking to enter was constitutional on its face, and was modeled after the law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Hill v. Colorado, #98-1856, 530 U.S. 703 (2000). A minister who regularly stood outside such clinics seeking to engage in "friendly conversation" to persuade patients not to enter challenged the law, however, arguing that the city failed to enforce it against persons standing there to encourage patients to enter. This would amount to unconstitutional suppression of speech on the basis of its content, in violation of the First Amendment.  The appeals court ordered the trial court to fashion a remedy "that ensures that Oakland will adopt and henceforth apply a policy that enforces the Ordinance as written, that is, in an evenhanded, constitutional manner." Hoye v. City of Oakland, #09-16753, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 15541 (9th Cir.).
     A man was exercising clearly established First Amendment rights in standing ten feet away from officers and using a cell phone's video recorder with an audio microphone to record their activities, based on his concern that they were using excessive force on an arrestee in a public place. The officer was not entitled to qualified immunity on the man's false arrest lawsuit, despite his argument that the videotaping, by recording audio without consent of all parties to a conversation, violated a state wiretapping statute. The wiretapping statute aimed at clandestine recording, and the officers admitted that the arrestee was open about the fact that he was recording them. Glik v. Cunniffe, #10-1764, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 17841 (1st Cir.).
     The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a California state law prohibiting the rental or sale of violent video games to minors violates the First Amendment. Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Assn., #08–1448, 2011 U.S. Lexis 4802.
     A member of a "flash mob" who was arrested for failing to obey orders to stop dancing at the Jefferson Memorial in D.C. failed to show that her arrest violated her First Amendment rights. Expressive dancing of the type she was engaged in was properly included in the list of activities that could be prohibited by the reasonable regulations that govern the Jefferson Memorial, a nonpublic forum reserved for the tranquil commemoration of President Thomas Jefferson's legacy. Oberwetter v. Hilliard, #10-5078, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 9923 (D.C. Cir.).
     An arrestee filed a federal civil rights lawsuit concerning his arrest and pepper spraying. While that lawsuit was pending, he picketed police headquarters with signs stating that an officer was "dirty" and a "liar." This resulted in him being charged with criminal libel, and he sought to sue the charging officer, claiming that the charges were retaliatory for his exercise of his First Amendment rights. He had, however, subsequently settled the original lawsuit, and a federal appeals court found that the settlement agreement also covered the claims made in his second lawsuit. The plaintiff argued that his claim arising from the picketing incident did not accrue until after the charges concerning it were dismissed, but the court stated that, unlike a malicious prosecution claim, a" First Amendment retaliatory-prosecution claim does not require a favorable termination of the underlying action." Mata v. Anderson, # 10-2031, 635 F.3d 1250 (10th Cir. 2011).
     A federal appeals court has upheld the constitutionality of a municipal ordinance that limits the number of feedings of large groups that any person or organization can sponsor in parks within a two-mile radius of City Hall. The court rejected the argument of an organization calling itself "Food Not Bombs" that it had a First Amendment right to feed large groups of homeless people in any park as often as it likes. The court found that the ordinance was a reasonable time, place, and manner regulation, assuming, for purposes of argument, without deciding, that such feedings were expressive activity. First Vagabonds Church of God v. City of Orlando, #08-16788, 638 F.3d 756 (11th Cir. 2011).
     The trial court properly granted judgment as a matter of law to a county council chairperson on a First Amendment claim asserted by a man ousted from a council meeting when he insisted on speaking to raise an objection while the council was considering a new ordinance. Council rules allowed members of the public to speak only during a designated public comment segment of the meeting, and it did not violate the First Amendment to oust a member of the public from the meeting for failing to obey the rules. There was no evidence to support the claim that the ouster was based on the plaintiff's viewpoint or personal animus, Galena v. Leone, #10-1914, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 7562 (3rd Cir.).
     After a deputy stopped her husband's car, in which she was a passenger, and ticketed him for failing to dim its high beam lights, a woman called 911 to express her fears of the deputy, who she described as "shaking, agitated, and nervous," and requested that other officers meet the couple at a local gas station, because the deputy had activated his lights and siren and was following them. She had criticized him during the stop and been told to "shut up." At the gas station, the deputy instructed another officer to arrest the woman for obstructing an officer without violence. The other officer did so, grabbing her arm as she climbed out of the vehicle, dragging her to his patrol car, pushing her against the hood to handcuff her, and then shoving her inside. A federal appeals court found that the deputy did not have probable cause to order the woman's arrest under these circumstances. Her criticisms of the deputy during and after the traffic stop, even if distracting did not incite others against, interfere with, or impede the deputy from citing her husband for his traffic infraction. DeRosa v. Sheriff of Collier County, Florida, #10-14046, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 4057 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
     A man visiting a shopping center observed Vice President Dick Cheney exit from a grocery store, and stated into his cell phone, to a person he was talking to, "I'm going to ask him how many kids he's killed today." A Secret Service agent, hearing this, placed the man under surveillance. The man later talked to the Vice President, telling him that his policies in Iraq "are disgusting," to which Cheney replied "Thank you." Departing, the man touched Cheney's right shoulder with his open hand. When he later again returned to the area where the Vice President was speaking with crowd members, a Secret Service agent asked him whether he had assaulted or touched the Vice President, and placed him under arrest when he said he had not. The agent had probable cause to arrest the man for making a false statement that he had not touched the Vice President. The arrestee did, however, establish a possible claim for First Amendment retaliation by several of the agents, who may have acted against him on the basis of his opinion about the Iraq war. Further proceedings were ordered on that claim. Howards v. McLaughlin, #09-1201, 634 F.3d 1131 (10th Cir. 2011).
     In a case where city police officers made a mass arrest of hundreds of anti-war demonstrators engaged in a demonstration against the beginning of the war against Iraq, police officials were improperly granted qualified immunity. The demonstration, while initially commenced without a proper permit, was allowed to proceed down a number of streets before being blocked from proceeding further. The record failed to establish that those arrested were given adequate notice that permission for the demonstration had been revoked or an opportunity to disperse before facing arrest. The lawsuit claimed that the city's police superintendent was the city's policymaker as to the making of mass arrests, and had authorized the arrests in this case. Vodak v. City of Chicago, #09-2768, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 5327 (7th Cir.).
     Members of a church who demonstrated near the funeral of a dead U.S. soldier killed in combat had a protected First Amendment right to express their message that God was punishing the U.S. for tolerating homosexuality by the death of soldiers. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the church's message was on an issue of public concern, so that a jury verdict for the soldier's father against the church of $2.9 million in compensatory damages and $8 million in punitive damages (reduced by the trial court to $2.1 million in punitive damages) for emotional distress and intrusion into seclusion was improper. Additionally, the protest took place on public land adjacent to a public street and in compliance with local law enforcement's instructions that demonstrators remain 1,000 feet away from the church where the funeral services were held. Snyder v. Phelps, #09-751, 2011 U.S. Lexis 1903.
     A federal appeals court upheld a public university's enforcement of a free speech policy regulating the time, place, and manner of on-campus speech by non-students. It found that the policy was narrowly tailored to serve the school's significant interest in requiring the obtaining of an advance permit, limiting the time and locations of such speech, and obtaining personal information concerning those coming on campus for expressive activity. In granting rehearing in part, the appeals court ruled, however, that the provisions of the policy concerning the security fees that could be imposed on such speakers was facially invalid because it allowed for too much discretion as to when to impose such fees. Sonnier v. Crain, #09-30186, 613 F.3d 436 (5th Cir.), rehearing granted in part and denied in part, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 3494 (5th Cir.).
     An earlier version of a city ordinance that restricted vending at a beach boardwalk but made exceptions for the sale of merchandise with an "inextricably intertwined" religious, political, philosophical, or ideological message was unconstitutionally vague, but an amended version of the law, containing clear definitions was not vague and did not violate the First Amendment. Hunt v. Los Angeles, #09-55750, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 5721 (9th Cir.).
     An officer who arrested a man for disorderly conduct after he called the officer an "SOB" and a "flat slob" was not entitled to qualified immunity from a federal civil rights claim. The arrestee's voice may not have been loud enough to be unreasonable, and the officer's decision to arrest him may have been motivated by retaliation against the arrestee for exercising his First Amendment rights. Kennedy v. City of Villa Hills, #09-6442, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 5985 (6th Cir.).
     Rejecting a "street preacher's" claim that an officer's enforcement of a noise control ordinance against him violated his First Amendment rights, a federal appeals court ruled that the ordinance did not substantially burden more speech than needed to serve the city's goal of banning excessive noise. The plaintiff's voice could be heard over 350 feet away, and "dominated" the area, infringing on the right of others to use the neighborhood without such intrusion. Costello v. City of Burlington, #08-0551, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 2831 (2nd Cir.).
     Two anti-abortion protesters sued a city and various officials, claiming that two ordinances related to public assemblies and picketing violated their free speech rights. The court held that the lawsuit should be dismissed because the plaintiffs could not show that the ordinances caused them an actual injury. The plaintiffs sought a permit to hold a "Roe v. Wade Memorial" event, but were informed that the event planned was viewed by the city as a "demonstration" or picket, and could be held at the park as a matter of right with no permit, so no permit would be issued. The event was held as planned, and no arrests were made. Benham v. City of Charlotte, #10-1132 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 2890 (4th Cir.).
     Utah state authorities gave permission to the Utah Highway Patrol Association to erect a number of 12-foot crosses on public land in memory of fallen troopers who died in the line of duty. An atheist group, joined by other organizations, objected, and filed suit, claiming that this violated the clause of the First Amendment prohibiting an "establishment of religion." A federal appeals court ruled that state employees were improperly granted summary judgment on this claim. While there was a "plausible" secular purpose of honoring the dead troopers, erecting crosses to do so resulted in an unacceptable effect, in that reasonable observers could believe that it meant that the state endorsed a specific religion. American Atheists, Inc. v. Duncan, #08-4061, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 26936, amended 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 26725 (10th Cir.).
     The owner of a local weekly newspaper filed a defamation and First Amendment retaliation lawsuit in federal court claiming that a city mayor took action against him because of his publication of material critical of the town's alleged corruption, fiscal mismanagement, and police brutality. Upholding the dismissal of the lawsuit, a federal appeals court ruled that state law defamation was not actionable in federal court and that the plaintiff had failed to show that the mayor's criticism of him at a campaign event as a "convicted drug dealer," "Albanian mobster," "thug," and person planning to open "drug dens" and "strip clubs" if the mayor was not re-elected, even if false, did not "actually chill" the newspaper's exercise of its rights as required for a First Amendment retaliation claim against a public official. Zherka v. Amicone, #10-37, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 3944 (2nd Cir.).
     An adult bookstore challenged a city ordinance requiring the dispersal of adult businesses. The trial court erroneously granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs on the issue of whether they had presented "actual and convincing" evidence that cast "doubt" on the city's purported rationale for the ordinance, combating the effects of concentrations of adult businesses on crime in the surrounding areas. Alameda Books v. City of Los Angeles, #09-55367, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 1769 (9th Cir.).
      A Florida county ordinance aimed at regulating sexually-oriented businesses through zoning and prohibitions on public nudity was reasonably designed to reduce negative secondary effects associated with such businesses, and was not a violation of the First Amendment rights of the business owners. Peek-a-Boo Lounge of Bradenton, Inc. v. Manatee Cty., #09-16438, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 1191 (11th Cir.).
     A man ejected from a city council meeting and arrested after he gave a silent Nazi salute sued the city for violating his First Amendment rights. On the eve of trial on his claim, the trial court, acting on its own, granted summary judgment to city officials, finding that they were entitled to qualified immunity. Reversing, a federal appeals court held that the plaintiff should have been given adequate notice and a chance to respond before summary judgment was granted. Norse v. Santa Cruz, #07-15814, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 25502 (9th Cir.).

     An African-American Muslim woman and her three minor daughters sued the county, its child welfare agency, and several agency employees for actions taken in the course of a child abuse and neglect investigation. They claimed that abuse and neglect accusations were fabricated, that false information about them was released to the media, and that the defendants acted with racial and religious animus and retaliatory intent intended to "intimidate and silence" them from complaining, in violation of their First Amendment rights. After the woman's teenage son intimated that he suffered physical abuse at home, an investigation resulted in the removal of the three daughters from the home on accusations that the mother neglected their educational needs. A year later, the mother was exonerated, and the complaint was dismissed. A federal appeals court found that claims against two supervisory officials in the defendant agency were properly rejected as there was no evidence that they either encouraged or condoned the allegedly illegal actions of their subordinate, a defendant caseworker. The court also found no evidence that there had been any intent to "intimidate and silence" the plaintiffs from exercising their First Amendment rights. Abdulsalaam v. Franklin County Board of Commissioners, #09-4018, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 21334 (Unpub. 6th Cir.).
     Multiple injunctions against a man restricting his conduct towards the mayor and city council were properly granted when he arguably made credible threats of violence towards a city employee, making reference to an incident in another city where an angry man shot and killed five people at a city hall, and questioning whether such action was necessary to get his complaints listened to. While the man had engaged in some protected conduct in the past, such as attending city council meetings and speaking during public comment times, his threat of violence was not protected speech, and could be the basis for an injunction. City of San Jose v. Garbett, #H034424, 2010 Cal. App. Lexis 2003 (Cal.App.).
     A woman who participated in an animal rights protest outside a city-owned arena where a circus was performing claimed that police officers improperly pushed her and other demonstrators 100 feet from the arena entrance, preventing them from communicating with entering circus patrons or having their signs read. Some demonstrators were then arrested, but not the woman or two others who had purchased tickets to the circus. The city subsequently took the position that future protests should stay 80 feet from the arena entrance. Ordering further proceedings in the woman's free speech lawsuit against the city, a federal appeals court found that the trial court failed to examine in sufficient detail the necessary balance between free speech and the city's interests, creating a "sparse" record. Zalaski v. City of Bridgeport Police Dept., #08-3671, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 15307 (2nd Cir.).
    The rules of a large regional shopping mall banning peaceful, consensual, spontaneous conversations between strangers in common areas of the mall about topics unrelated to the activities of the mall, its tenants or the noncommercial sponsored activities of the mall or its tenants violated free speech rights guaranteed by the California state constitution. The appeals court reversed summary judgment for the defendants in a lawsuit brought by a plaintiff who sought to approach young women at the mall and ask them to talk to him about Jesus. Snatchko v. Westfield LLC, #C059985, 2010 Cal. App. Lexis 1556 (Cal.App.).
     Officers' use of tasers against protestor arrestees who had chained themselves to a several-hundred-pound barrel drum and refused to free themselves was objectively reasonable even though their arrest was for relatively minor crimes of trespass and resisting arrest. The plaintiffs admitted that officers at the scene considered and attempted several alternate means of removing them from the property before resorting to use of their tasers, that the officers expressly warned them that they would be tased and that it would be painful, and that the officers gave them another opportunity to release themselves from the barrel after this warning. Finally, both plaintiffs were given opportunities again to release themselves from the barrel prior to the subsequent uses of the tasers. Crowell v. Kirkpatrick, #09-4100, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 23518 (Unpub.2nd Cir.).
     A political action committee was opposed to increased municipal taxes and spending, and involved in building opposition to the City Council's authority to implement an automated photo-monitoring program to enforce traffic regulations. The group and one of its members sued the City of Cincinnati, contending that a regulation governing access to the interior spaces of city hall violated their First Amendment rights to express their opinions and was void for vagueness. Upholding a trial court's preliminary injunction against the regulation, a federal appeals court agreed that the plaintiffs had shown that there was a substantial likelihood that they would prevail on the merits of their claims. The group had twice tried and failed to gain access to the interior stairs and the lobby of city hall to hold a press conference and rally advocating its views. The city barred most private business enterprises or solicitations in city buildings, while providing for exceptions with specific approval when judged to be "in the public interest," such as the United Way campaign. As a practice, the city only approved activities inside city buildings that had a sponsor such as a city department or council member. In this manner, the city had allowed, inside city hall, rallies by a group supporting increased taxes for local schools, and for a group urging a local newspaper to stop accepting ads for adult entertainment. The regulation gave city departments and officials complete discretion as to whether a proposed rally or display in city hall would be in the "public interest," and requires groups to collaborate with public officials in order to avail themselves of the opportunity to conduct expressive activities inside city hall, the court found. Miller v. City of Cincinnati, #08-4679, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 19820 (6th Cir.).
     A federal appeals court has ruled that a city's attempt to totally ban tattoo parlors violated the First Amendment. The court concluded that “the tattoo itself, the process of tattooing, and even the business of tattooing are … purely expressive activity fully protected by the First Amendment.” The court also ruled that a total ban was not a reasonable time, place, or manner regulation "because it is substantially broader than necessary to achieve the city's significant health and safety interests and because it entirely forecloses a unique and important method of expression." Anderson v. City of Hermosa Beach, #08-56914, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 18838 (9th Cir.).
Editor's Note: a good number of prior court decisions have upheld such bans against First Amendment challenges. The court in Anderson cited six such prior cases, two from federal trial courts, and four from state appellate courts, while stating that "we respectfully disagree."
     Two organizations that organize marches on city streets for various political or social causes challenged the constitutionality of an ordinance under which the city imposes fees on such marches or parades for the purpose of paying for cleanup and traffic control expenses. A federal appeals court, rejecting a First Amendment challenge to the imposition of such fees, found that the city's subsidy for certain parades, such as Martin Luther King Day and Veteran's Day, by waiving such fees, was not impermissible viewpoint discrimination. Such waivers were provided to events with a "broad appeal, historic tradition, cultural significance, and [provision of] other public benefits.” International Women's Day March Planning Comm. v. San Antonio, #09-50692, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 18781 (5th Cir.).
     A federal appeals court has struck down as unconstitutional and violative of the First Amendment two Oregon statutes criminalizing giving sexually explicit material to minors. The intent of the statutes as written was to prohibit adult sexual predators from engaging in the practices of "luring" and "grooming" minors, exposing them to sexually explicit materials to attempt to have sex with them. As written, however, the statutes could apply to the sale of a book to a minor by an ordinary bookstore, even though the store clerk had little or no knowledge of the contents of the book, and there was no intent or attempt to have sex with the minor. Powell Books v. Kroger, #09-35153, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 19520 (9th Cir.).
     A business owner's request to a city councilman for help with difficulties he was having operating his business constituted a "petition" for redress of grievances for purposes of the First Amendment, although it was oral rather than written. The business operated a fleet of motorized three-wheel rickshaws as a taxi service for visitors to the city's downtown area. The plaintiff presented evidence that, if true, would support a claim that he was subjected to unlawful retaliatory harassment for exercising their First Amendment rights. A police sergeant was not entitled to qualified immunity because a reasonable officer would have known that her alleged actions of refusing to issue the business permits or allow its rickshaws to pick up passengers at a downtown premier event venue were unlawful, when she allegedly did them because of her displeasure in the business going over her head to seek help from the city councilman. Holzemer v. City of Memphis, # 09-5086, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 19226 (6th Cir.).
     A police chief was not entitled to summary judgment in a false arrest lawsuit filed by a man taken into custody for allegedly interfering with official police conduct. The record in the case showed that the arrestee cursed at and "distracted" the police chief, whose car was blocking access to his business. This conduct did indicate that the arrestee intended to prevent the chief from completing the traffic stop he was engaged in. Additionally, purely expressive conduct, even if distracting, is protected under the First Amendment. There was also sufficient evidence to support claims against the chief for excessive use of force. Municipal liability claims were rejected, however, as the chief was not a final policymaker for the city. Copeland v. Locke, #09-2485, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 15762 (8th Cir.).
     Two persons were arrested for disorderly conducted while they handed out anti-war leaflets near a military recruiting booth at a festival in downtown Chicago when they allegedly did not obey a police order to disperse. They reached a settlement with the city on false arrest claims and then challenged the city's disorderly conduct ordinance, claiming that it violated their First and Fourth Amendment rights. The trial court enjoined the enforcement of the failure to disperse provision of the ordinance, ruling that it imposed an harsh burden on protected free speech and was unconstitutionally vague. A federal appeals court vacated the injunction, finding that the plaintiffs did not have standing to challenge the validity of the ordinance on its face. The failure to disperse provision of the disorderly conduct ordinance was "not even arguably" violated by their demonstration against military recruiting, as it was designed to be applied to plainly disorderly and criminal conduct, such as throwing things at police. The plaintiffs also could not show they faced a reasonable possibility of being arrested in the future for violating the same provision of the ordinance. They also could not establish that there was a pattern of the ordinance being used to stifle free speech. Goldhamer v. Nagode, #09-2332, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 18325 (7th Cir.).
     In a lawsuit challenging National Park Service regulations making it unlawful to engage in "expressive" activities in any of the 301 national parks without a permit issued by a park official, the defendant was not entitled to summary judgment. The regulations in their current form violated "core First Amendment" principles as such restrictions on speech in a public forum like the parks are only lawful if "narrowly tailored" to serve legitimate governmental interests. The plaintiff and his associates wanted to distribute free tracts discussing the "Gospel of Jesus Christ" in a free speech area of Mount Rushmore but they were stopped by a park ranger because they lacked a permit. He requested a permit later by phone, but never received a permit or even an application. "Requiring individuals and small groups to obtain permits before engaging in expressive activities within designated “free speech areas” (and other public forums within national parks) violates the First Amendment." Boardley v. U.S. Dep't of the Interior, #09-5176, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 16302 (D.C. Cir.).
     A student was subjected to a ten-day suspension from school after he wrote a slogan on the back of his hands supporting a former student who was accused of shooting a police officer. The student sued, seeking a judicial declaration that the school's actions violated his First Amendment rights, and the expungement of his suspension, as well as damages and attorneys' fees. A federal court rejected this claim. Even if the student acted in a peaceful and passive manner in displaying the slogan, his actions took place within a context of hostility and intimidation. School authorities could reasonably believe that his actions might contribute to disturbances already going on because of gang activity and the same slogan, even if no individual had felt threatened by his actions. Allowing the student to display the slogan might have increased the fear and tension already expressed by some students and parents over the slogan, so the school could properly prohibit its display. Brown v. Cabell County Board of Education, #3:09-0279, 2010 U.S. Dist. Lexis 53200 (S.D.W.Va.).
     A woman claimed that her arrest and prosecution for obstructing police officers who were arresting her son violated her First Amendment rights. The trial court found that the ordinance, which criminalized obstructing or resisting officers, was facially overbroad, and enjoined its enforcement. Reversing, a federal appeals court found that the ordinance's use of the words "obstruct" and "resist" only covered physical acts or "fighting words," and did not give officers unfettered discretion to arrest persons merely for engaging in speech that was critical or annoyed them. McDermott v. Royal, #09-3167, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 15766 (8th Cir.).
     The leader of an anti-abortion demonstration in front of the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park was arrested by a park ranger when he refused orders to move to a nearby location away from the sidewalk. While there is a legitimate interest in maintaining public order, these actions violated the First Amendment, so the conviction was overturned. The sidewalk was a traditional public forum, and the ranger's actions were based on the content of the protestor's speech. U.S.A. v. Marcavage, #09-3573, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 12271 (3rd Cir.).
     A federal appeals court has reversed a summary judgment and injunctions in favor of a constitutional challenge to the City of Los Angeles Freeway Facing Sign and Supergraphic and Off-Site Sign ordinances. The Freeway Facing Sign ordinance bans freeway-facing billboards, with some exceptions, such as near a sports and entertainment complex known as the Staples Center. Supergraphic billboards are large format signs projected onto or hung from building walls, and off-site billboards are signs directing attention to a business or product not located on the same premises as the sign. These are also generally restricted, with some exceptions. The federal appeals court, rejecting a First Amendment challenge to the ordinances, and the city's asserted interests in traffic safety and the flow of traffic, found that the fact that limited exceptions to the ordinances were allowed did not undermine the merits or legitimacy of the city's asserted interests. World Wide Rush, LLC v. Los Angeles, #08-56454, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 10797 (9th Cir.).
     Two women protested against the war in Iraq at a 2004 Republican campaign rally for President Bush. They were arrested for trespass and subjected to strip and body cavity searches at the county jail. They sued federal, state, and county law enforcement officers, claiming violations of their First and Fourth Amendment rights. A jury awarded them $750,000 on the unreasonable search claims, but the trial judge found that excessive, and a second jury, after a new trial, awarded $55,804 in damages. On appeal, the court found that, under the totality of the circumstances, there had been probable cause for the arrest of the plaintiffs for resisting a federal agent providing protection for the President. The appeals court also agreed that the amount awarded by the first jury on the search claim had been excessive, but found that the trial court had erroneously ordered the plaintiffs to either accept a 90% reduction to $75,000 or undergo a new trial on damages. The trial court used prior cases, including a 1978 strip search award for $75,000 for comparison, but made no adjustment for inflation. After a new reduced amount is calculated, making such an adjustment for inflation, the plaintiffs may either accept that amount or undergo a third trial on damages. They were entitled to attorneys' fees for a percentage of the time spent on the first trial and for all of the work done on the second trial. McCabe v. Parker, #09-1185, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 13327 (8th Cir.).
     By 6-3, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a First Amendment challenge to a federal statute which criminalizes providing "material aid" to designated foreign terrorist organizations even when the aid provided is purportedly aimed at facilitating training for peacefully resolving conflicts or asserting human rights claims. “At bottom,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the majority, “plaintiffs simply disagree with the considered judgment of Congress and the executive that providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization — even seemingly benign support — bolsters the terrorist activities of that organization.” Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, #08-1498, 2010 U.S. Lexis 5252.
     Final approval has been given to a $13.7 million settlement in a lawsuit against the District of Columbia by persons subjected to mass arrests while demonstrating during a protest in 2000 near the World Bank and International Monetary Fund buildings. The lawsuit, according to the trial judge, became the basis for a 2004 revised D.C. law setting forth policies for officers to follow in responding to demonstrations, including a prohibition on officers encircling protestors in the absence of probable cause to arrest them. Each of 464 arrestees found eligible for the settlement will receive $18,000, as well as expungement of their arrest record. The settlement also requires additional training for officers on First Amendment issues, including the handling of demonstrations. The lawsuit contended that the arrestees were not doing anything illegal at the time of their arrest, but merely engaging in a peaceful demonstration. The settlement agreement provides for an award of $3,272,500 in attorneys' fees and costs, which are included in the total settlement amount. Becker v. Dist. of Columbia, #01-CV-811, U.S. Dist. Ct. (D.D.C. July 1, 2010). For the plaintiff's memo in support of preliminary approval of the settlement, click here. For the court's order granting such approval, click here.
     In a lawsuit by protestors arrested at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, a federal appeals court ruled that the city can keep secret and not disclose 1,800 pages of confidential Field Reports prepared by undercover officers investigating security threats before the convention. The trial court erred in finding that the plaintiff's need for their disclosure outweighed the public's interest in their secrecy. Release of the documents "could undermine the safety of law enforcement personnel and would likely undermine the ability of a law enforcement agency to conduct future investigations."  In re the City of New York, #10-0237, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 11784 (2nd Cir.).
      Overturning the issuance of an injunction against the enforcement of a city ordinance prohibiting the act of standing on a highway or street for the purpose of asking for business, contributions, or employment from vehicle occupants, a federal appeals court found no violation of First Amendment rights, but rather a valid content neutral time, place, or manner restriction justified by a significant governmental interest in traffic flow and safety, and narrowly tailored to serve those interests. Comite de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach v. City of Redondo Beach, #06-55750, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 11733 (9th Cir.).
    A small group of people gathered in downtown Minneapolis while the city was hosting a weeklong summer festival. They planned to protest the "mindless nature" of "consumer culture" by walking through the downtown area dressed as "zombies," wearing white powder and fake blood on their faces and ark makeup around their eyes. They danced down the street, playing music on their IPods, and broadcast announcements such as "brain cleanup in Aisle 5" by speaking into a wireless phone handset. Police received an anonymous 911 call complaining about the group and the noise they were making. Officers asked them to turn down their music and keep their distance from bystanders. Later, when the group stopped dancing and gathered on a sidewalk, officers asked them for identification, and when most of them could not produce any, told them they were being taken to the police station to be identified and possibly booked for disorderly conduct. Once there, they were placed in a holding cell, questioned, and searched. They were also booked on charges of displaying simulated weapons of mass destruction, a felony offense punishable by ten years imprisonment, even though it was determined that the bags they were carrying, containing various electronic equipment, did not contain explosives. They were kept in custody for two nights and released. A federal appeals court found that the officers were not entitled to summary judgment on some of the plaintiffs' claims because they did not have probable cause to arrest the plaintiffs for disorderly conduct. It was also clearly established the court stated, that a reasonable officer would have known that there was no probable cause to arrest the plaintiffs for engaging in protected expressive conduct. Baribeau v. Minneapolis, #08-3165, 596 F.3d 465 (8th Cir. 2010).
     A federal criminal statute that outlawed the selling of videos depicting cruelty to animals when the underlying conduct was illegal under applicable state or federal law violated the First Amendment. It was constitutionally overbroad and regulated expression based on its content, which made it presumptively invalid. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to carve out another category of speech as unprotected based on what was depicted and the nature of the underlying conduct, such as it had created for child pornography. The Court also rejected the argument that the statute was saved by a requirement that the banned videos lack “serious religious, political, scientific, educational, journalistic, historical, or artistic value," as the First Amendment protects not only speech with such characteristics. "The First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech does not extend only to categories of speech that survive an ad hoc balancing of relative costs and benefits. The First Amendment itself reflects a judgment by the American people that the benefits of its restrictions on the Government outweigh the costs. Our Constitution forecloses any attempt to revise that judgment simply on the basis that some speech is not worth it.” The case itself involved the application of the statute to videos depicting dog fights. U.S. v. Stevens, #08–769, 2010 U.S. Lexis 3478.
     Protest demonstrators claimed that a police chief, a deputy chief, a captain, a major, and the police department violated their First Amendment rights by directing officers to disperse and "herd" them despite the peaceful nature of their actions, using batons to beat them, as well as spraying pepper spray, and discharging bean bags, pepper spray balls, tear gas, and other projectiles, causing them injuries. If the facts were as the plaintiffs alleged, they sufficiently stated claims for supervisory liability against all of the individual defendants except the major, who lacked authority to either give or rescind orders to officers. The alleged conduct violated clearly established First Amendment rights. Keating v. City of Miami, #09-10939, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 4268 (11th Cir.).
     Whether or not the Los Angeles airport was a public forum, a city ordinance prohibiting the solicitation of funds for immediate receipt there was a reasonable content neutral time, place, and manner regulation of arguably protected speech. The airport had a legitimate interest in preventing undue interference with travelers by solicitors seeking to immediately receive cash donations. The plaintiff religious organization had adequate alternative means of spreading their message and soliciting funds, since it was allowed to distribute literature and speak to travelers who wished to listen, and could even seek financial donations without violating the ordinance, so long as it didn't ask for the immediate receipt of funds, but instead distributed self addressed stamped envelopes seeking such donations in areas of the airport open to the public. International Society for Krishna Consciousness of Calif. v. Los Angeles, #S164272, 2010 Cal. Lexis 2063.
     In a case allegedly involving "sexting" by underage girls, the sending of nude or provocative sexually oriented photographs of oneself to others via cell phones or the Internet, a federal appeals court enjoined the prosecution of the plaintiffs, based on a claim that the threatened prosecution on felony child pornography charges was in unlawful retaliation for the plaintiffs' exercise of their First Amendment rights in refusing to attend an educational meeting on the subject in order to avoid prosecution. In at least one instance, a parent argued that the photograph sent by her daughter was not child pornography, since it involved no nudity, while a prosecutor took the position that it was child pornography because it was posed in a provocative manner. Coercing attendance to such educational meetings by threats of prosecution, the court stated, could violate parents' rights to parental autonomy under the Fourteenth Amendment (including deciding what lessons concerning morality and gender roles to give their children), and their children's First Amendment rights against compelled speech. Miller v. Mitchell, #09-2144, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 5501 (3rd Cir.).
     A police officer, acting on a request by a mall owner, arrested the plaintiff when he refused, at the mall, to either remove a shirt displaying a political statement or leave the premises. The arrestee claimed that this violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights. The involvement of a police officer to enforce the rights of a private property owner to oust someone who did not comply with a request such as the removal of a shirt with a political statement did not make it the action of the town in attempting to suppress the political statement. Since the arrestee was repeatedly asked by the mall to either remove the shirt and its message or leave the premises, he was properly arrested when he refused to do so. Downs v. Town of Guilderland, #507428, 2010 N.Y. App. Div. Lexis 1419 (3rd Dept. A.D.).
     A number of artists claimed that a city ordinance that barred them from selling reproduced prints of their work in a city square violated their First Amendment rights. The court found that the city had a legitimate interest in maintaining the "tout ensemble" (general effect) of the artists' colony at the city square, which would be adversely impacted if prints were allowed to be sold in the area. The ordinance was also narrowly tailored, only covering prints reproduced by mechanical or duplicative means. There were adequate alternative avenues for the artists to attempt to reach their audience. Sarre v. New Orleans, Civil Action #05-910, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 122277 (E.D. La.).
     A man protesting outside a cultural center was informed by the president of the center's board of directors that he could not bring his protest sign into the building. When the protestor refused to leave the property, a deputy sheriff arrested him for trespass after first giving him a warning to leave. The deputy was entitled to qualified immunity, as it was reasonable for him to believe that the president was authorized to request the protestor's removal, and he had at least arguable probable cause for the arrest. Additionally, the officer could reasonably believe that ordering the man to leave the property was not a violation of his First Amendment rights. Moran v. Cameron, #09-11074, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 1459 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
     A private religious boarding school for children with behavioral and substance abuse problems, six former students, and thirteen parents of the former students sued Missouri juvenile officials, claiming that they conspired to raid the school and seize scores of its students. The purported ringleader of the conspiracy allegedly disliked the school because it operated, legally, without a license, because he disagreed with its teachings, and because he believed that it had not acted "very Christ-like." Juvenile authorities and armed law enforcement officers, numbering 30 persons in total, arrived at the school and removed 115 of its students, based on ex parte orders from local juvenile court judges, allegedly obtained by misrepresentations that the students were in imminent danger of physical harm and that the school was unwilling to cooperate with juvenile authorities. Because the information presented was also "stale" the raiding party lacked orders for dozens of the students that they removed, but they had orders for about forty children who no longer lived there, as well as for four adults over whom the juvenile courts lacked jurisdiction. The children were detained until their parents could pick them up, and parents were then given "stern letters" telling them to keep their children away from the school. Juvenile cases involving the children were all dismissed. The defendants were not entitled to summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity, as the constitutional rights violated under the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment if the plaintiffs' allegations were true were clearly established. Heartland Acad. Community Church v. Anderson, #08-3723 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 2619 (8th Cir.).
     A group called "Critical Mass" held a mass bicycle ride on city streets with 150 participants, to promote the benefits of using bicycles for transportation. Several persons were arrested for disorderly conduct and parading without a permit. A New York court found that the parade permit law applied to any group of persons moving on public streets, including small groups, and was therefore unconstitutionally overbroad. It placed a burden on more speech and expressive conduct than required to satisfy legitimate goals of traffic and crowd control. Additionally, the law gave the police commissioner, acting on behalf of the city, improperly broad discretion to decide what events needed a permit. The convictions under the permit law were overturned, while the disorderly conduct convictions were upheld. People v. Beck, #570357/06, 2010 N.Y. Misc. Lexis 3 (A.D. 1st Dept.). [Note: While this is a criminal case, the principles announced would also be applicable in a civil lawsuit].
     A city was properly granted summary judgment in a lawsuit claiming that its officers wrongfully interfered with anti-abortion demonstrators. The court found no evidence that there was a widespread and persistent practice of using inapplicable statutes against demonstrators to violate their free speech rights because of the content of their signs. World Wide Street Preachers Fellowship v. Columbia, #08-31196, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 27993 (5th Cir.).
   A New York City regulation prohibiting "new" parades on Fifth Avenue, used to reject an anti-war group's permits applications to march on two sections of that street, did not violate the First Amendment. The regulation did not discriminate on the basis of subject matter or viewpoint, but was content neutral, banning "any" new parades, regardless of what they were about or what viewpoint they expressed. Furthermore, the city granted the group permission to march, although over a different route than the one requested. The 100-block ban was narrow enough to properly serve the city's interest in avoiding noise and congestion. International Action Ctr. v. New York, No. 07-5739, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 25180 (2nd Cir.).
     A city council ejected an audience member from a meeting after he gave a silent one-second Nazi salute objecting to the council's action in cutting off another audience member after his time to speak expired. He was arrested when he refused to leave. A federal appeals court ruled that this did not violate the arrestee's First Amendment rights, as he was not ousted for a permissible expression of his point of view, but rather for protesting a good faith attempt by the chairperson of the meeting to maintain order and enforce council rules. Norse v. City of Santa Cruz, No. 07-15814, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 24123 (9th Cir.).
     While a city and its officers did not have probable cause to believe that all protesters arrested during a demonstration knew that the protest lacked a required permit, the city need only show that officers reasonably believed that those arrested were part of a rioting group of participants in the protest who were damaging property, and, under the circumstances, it could lawfully carry out a mass arrest without first giving those arrested an order to disperse and time to comply. "[P]olice witnesses must only be able to form a reasonable belief that the entire crowd is acting as a unit and therefore all members of the crowd violated the law...If police have probable cause to believe that the group they are arresting is committing or has committed a crime, no more is necessary. ...Requiring a dispersal order in addition to the ordinary probable cause threshold would be particularly anomalous in a case like this in which officers have reason to believe that an entire crowd is engaged in or encouraging a riot.” Further proceedings were still ordered concerning the factual circumstances surrounding how the plaintiffs were arrested. Carr v. Dist. of Columbia, #08-7083, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 25482 (D.C. Cir).
    The Animal Enterprise Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 43, under which an animal rights organization and various individuals were convicted, was not unconstitutional as void for vagueness and did not violate the First Amendment free speech rights of those using the organization's website to coordinate civil disobedience. There was evidence from which the jury could have believed that the object of a conspiracy among some of the defendants was to create physical disruption to an animal enterprise and intentionally cause loss of or damage to property. Participation in such illegal activity was not protected free speech activity. U.S.A. v. Stepanian, #06-4211, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 22515 (3rd Cir.).
     Activists distributing leaflets on immigration policy by placing them on cars parked along city streets were improperly denied a preliminary injunction against sheriff's deputies' orders to stop on the basis of purported violations of a city anti-litter ordinance. A federal appeals court ruled that the city had failed to present evidence that placing the leaflets on cars would result in any litter at all, let alone more than a "minimal" amount of additional litter. The court, noting that the protection of private property is not a sufficiently substantial governmental interest to support general bans on door to door solicitation, reasoned that it was also insufficient to support a general ban on putting leaflets on the windshields of empty vehicles on the street. Klein v. City of San Clemente, #08-55015, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 21642 (9th Cir.).
     A federal appeals court orders further proceedings to seek evidence of what adverse secondary effects result from adult businesses that carry only purchase and take home books and DVDs, as opposed to presenting live or recorded entertainment on the premises. An injunction against the enforcement of a city ordinance regulating adult businesses was improperly entered by the trial court on the basis that it violates the First Amendment because it was not narrowly tailored to achieve its objectives. The court ordered that the injunction remain in place pending the outcome of the hearing below. New Albany DVD, LLC v. City of New Albany, Indiana, #05-1286, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 20703 (7th Cir.).
      In a lawsuit against a municipal adult entertainment licensing ordinance, a federal appeals court ordered an evidentiary hearing to determine if the city can show that the public benefits provided by the restrictions are great enough to justify any resulting infringement on First Amendment rights. The court noted that the prior studies of the secondary effects of adult businesses relied on by the city in enacting the ordinance did not show that an increase in operating hours of adult businesses caused an increase in crime in the area, The ordinance at issue, among other things, requires adult bookstores to close at night and on Sunday, which would limit sales, in light of which the public benefit to result must be supported by evidence rather than merely asserted, the court stated. Annex Books, Inc. v. City of Indianapolis, Ind., #05-1926, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 19844 (7th Cir.).
     Participants in a federal housing program sued, claiming that they were maliciously investigated and prosecuted in retaliation for exercising their right of free speech to criticize certain federal housing practices and filing a lawsuit against a number of government agencies. The investigation and prosecution, which was ultimately dropped, involved the plaintiffs' use of housing program funds. The plaintiffs failed to show that the agent involved in the investigation and prosecution was aware of their protected activity. Additionally, the investigation and their arrests occurred before they engaged in the speech in question, and was prompted by a complaint of non-payment of amounts allegedly due to a property owner. The appeals court also rejected false arrest and malicious prosecution claims as meritless, as the arrests were based on a valid warrant. Brown v. U.S. Postal Service, #08-10991, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 16525 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
     Protesters objecting to the "Gay Games," an athletic and cultural event, tried to distribute religious literature and talk to participants at three locations. At the first location, police allegedly told them to keep moving, and not to stay in one place on the sidewalk. At the second location, police allegedly told them that they needed a permit to demonstrate, resulting in the arrest of one protester for trespass after he refused to leave. In the third location, officers arrested a demonstrator for disorderly conduct because he refused to move from his spot on the sidewalk. These actions did not violate the First or Fourth Amendment rights of the protesters. The permit requirement and prohibitions on standing on the sidewalk were valid time, place, and manner regulations on expression. The arrests were supported by probable cause to believe an offense had occurred. Marcavage v. City of Chicago,  #06 C 3858, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 61438 (N.D. Ill.).
     Police officers conducting a raid on a suspected drug house arrested a freelance photographer who stood nearby to take pictures while the raid was ongoing, and who disobeyed orders to leave. Rather than arresting the plaintiff in violation of any First Amendment right to take pictures, an argument that he provided no support for, the court found that the plaintiff was arrested for failure to comply with an instruction to leave the area given because he was standing directly across the street from a purported drug house, "where a high-risk search warrant was in the process of being executed." Hollins v. City of Milwaukee, #08-3505, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 16916 (7th Cir.).
     Secret Service agents were entitled to qualified immunity in a lawsuit claiming that they violated demonstrators' First Amendment rights by ordering the relocation of a protest. The plaintiffs' allegation that the defendants acted for an impermissible motive based on the content of their expression was "conclusory," and was not entitled to be assumed to be true for purposes of a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., #07-36018, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 15694 (9th Cir.).
     Federal appeals court upholds the constitutionality of a statute that established a fixed "buffer zone" around abortion facilities barring demonstrators from protesting near clinic entrances. Nothing in the statute itself or its legislative history indicated that it was not "content neutral," and it was a valid time-place-and-manner regulation promoting a substantial governmental interest without restricting free speech any more than necessary to accomplish it, as well as leaving open alternative means of communication. McCullen v. Coakley, #08-2310, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 14927 (1st Cir.).
     Because the state has a compelling interest in preventing the intimidation and confusion of the public, a state statue prohibiting the solicitation of voters within 100 feet of any polling place did not violate First Amendment rights. Citizens for Police Accountability Pol. Comm. v. Browning, #08-15115, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 13785 (11th Cir.).
     Plaintiffs who successfully challenged the constitutionality of a city's parade and mass gathering ordinances as violative of the First Amendment were awarded a total of $83,264.78 in attorneys' fees and costs, including $6,000 for their attorneys' work in pursuing the fee request. The plaintiffs prevailed on challenges to five aspects of the ordinances, including bonding and insurance requirements for parades and marches, standing to challenge a 30-day notice requirement, the 30-day notice requirement itself, proper calculation of an administrative fee, and a meet and attempt to agree provision. Their success on some, but not all, of their claims entitled them to 50% of their fee request. Sullivan v. City of Augusta, #CV-04-32, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 48602 (D, Maine).
     Rules established by the City of Seattle governing street performers in an 80-acre public park and entertainment complex known as the Seattle Center were impermissibly broad, in violation of the First Amendment, given the area's status as a traditional public forum. The rules require such performers to obtain permits before performing; set out specified locations for street performances and established a first-come, first-served rule for using the locations; allowed only passive solicitation of funds by street performers; and prohibited any communication, by street performers or anyone else, within thirty feet of visitors to the Seattle Center who are waiting in line, attending an event, or sitting in a spot available for eating or drinking. The court rejected the city's argument that these were valid "time, place, or manner" restrictions. Berger v. Seattle, #05-35752, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 13609 (9th Cir.).
     An adult entertainment cabaret, which challenged a city's adult business zoning ordinances as violating its First Amendment rights, was entitled to injunctive relief against enforcement of the ordinances, which were unconstitutional as applied to it, even though they were "content-neutral" and facially valid. Once the trial court ruled that the ordinances were an unconstitutional prior restraint on free speech, it was erroneous not to enjoin their enforcement. H.D.V.-Greektown, LLC v. Detroit, #08-1329, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 12588 (6th Cir.).
     Animal rights protestors had previously reached a settlement with a county government, which agreed not to enforce a county permit requirement on small spontaneous animal rights demonstrations. Subsequently, county employees called city police to complain about the animal rights protestors demonstrating against a circus. The police arrived and ended the demonstration, based on lack of a permit,. as required by a city ordinance. The circus was taking place on land under city, but not county, jurisdiction. The city later reached a settlement with the demonstrators agreeing not to enforce the advance permit requirement against such demonstrations. The demonstrators then sued the county, based on the actions of its employees in calling city police. A federal appeals court upheld summary judgment for the county and two of its employees. It held that the county employees, in calling city police to enforce a city ordinance, did not act under color of law, but only did what any private citizen could do. The county and its employees were not responsible for the actions of the city police officers. Utah Animal Rights Coal. v. Salt Lake, #07-4275 566 F.3d 1236 (10th Cir. 2009).
     City ordinances that restricted an artist from displaying and selling his artwork in a public park were content neutral, aimed at furthering legitimate governmental interests in controlling the flow of traffic, and protecting property values, and constituted reasonable time, place, and manner regulation of First Amendment speech. Travis v. Park City, #08-4115, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 10146 (10th Cir.).
     While a city ordinance restricting the manner and place of protests was unconstitutional, since it was too restrictive, and not narrowly tailored, anti-abortion protesters failed to show that the city engaged in a pattern or practice of discriminating against them. The court also rejected the argument that the mayor violated the plaintiffs' First Amendment rights by asking them, on the day of a city Christmas parade, to display only written messages instead of the photographs of aborted fetuses they were holding up. The court awarded the protesters $300 in damages, and stated that they could also recover costs and attorneys' fees on their challenge to the ordinance. Michael v. City of Granite City, #06-CV-01, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 25563 (S.D. Ill.).
     A police officer was not entitled to summary judgment in a "pro-life" activist's lawsuit over prohibiting him from walking in an alley near an abortion clinic, thereby preventing him from being able to speak to the clinic's clients about his anti-abortion beliefs. While the officer said that his actions were based on concerns for pedestrian safety, the appeals court noted that the clinic's clients and personnel were not prevented from entering the alley to use its only entrance, despite the presumed presence of the same pedestrian safety concerns. Further proceedings were ordered on First Amendment claims. McTernan v. City of York, Pa., #07-4437, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 8884 (3rd Cir.).
     A federal district judge granted a temporary restraining order enjoining a prosecutor from bringing criminal charges against the plaintiffs' minor children for "sexting," the practice engaged in by them of using cellphones or the Internet to send or post sexually suggestive text messages and semi-nude or nude photographs of themselves. The plaintiff parents sought the order to prevent criminal charges involving photos that they said did not show sexual activity. The plaintiffs argued that the threatened prosecution violated First Amendment rights to self-expression and the children's right to be free from compelled speech, as well as the parents' rights, under the Fourteenth Amendment, to determine the upbringing of their children. The "compelled expression" claim was based on the prosecutor's demand that the minors write essays stating that what they did was wrong, which they did not believe, or face felony charges. Miller v. Skumanick, #3:09cv540, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 27275 (M.D. Pa.).
     Online want ads firm agrees to drop an erotic services category. In doing so, however, it substituted an "adult services" category, which continues to include ads for unlicensed massage services and escorts, leading some to question how substantive the change made was, while the company contended that the ads in the new category were now screened for potentially illegal content. The substitution of the "adult services" category for the "erotic services" category was effective for the company's classified ad pages for U.S. cities, while the "erotic services" category was evidently retained for pages for some foreign cities. The Cook County, Illinois Sheriff had sued the firm, claiming that his office had incurred high costs while enforcing state solicitation laws, and seeking an injunction. Dart v. Craigslist, Inc., #09-cv-1385 (N.D. Ill.). Click here to view the Complaint in the case. Also, on May 22, 2009, a federal judge entered an agreed order restraining the South Carolina Attorney General from prosecuting or its officers regarding site content, specifically ads that allegedly led to prostitution arrests, while the company pursues a lawsuit against the state over threats of such prosecution. The complaint in the case can be found at the following link. Craiglist, Inc. v. McMaster, #2:09-cv-01308, (U.S. Dist. Ct. S.C.).
     Two lesbian women claimed that the city failed to treat complaints they file in the same manner as those filed by heterosexuals, in violation of their equal protection rights and in retaliation for their exercise of their First Amendment rights in filing the complaints. They reported that a registered sex offender was violating the law by living near a school and also complained that they faced harassment by certain persons on the basis of their sexual orientation. While the municipal defendants were aware of the plaintiffs' sexual orientation, the court found no evidence of discriminatory intent on the basis of sexual orientation in the decisions not to pursue the complaints. Additionally, there was no evidence that the city's alleged non-responsiveness was motivated by retaliation against the plaintiffs for filing their reports, in violation of their First Amendment rights. Butler v. City of Batavia, #08-1361, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 7229 (Unpub. 2nd Cir.).
      The City of Los Angeles settled lawsuits arising from a 2007 May Day immigration rights demonstration in a public park for $12.85 million. A class action lawsuit, as well as a number of individual cases, claimed that officers used improper crowd control tactics, resulting in numerous injuries. 8 (1) Police Practices Review (PARC) 7-8. A report by the LAPD to the Board of Police Commissioners concerning the incident is available online.
     A Missouri state specialty license plate program was violative of the First Amendment in giving the state total discretion to decide what viewpoints could be expressed on the license plate. A federal appeals court found that the license plates did not constitute speech by the government, but rather speech by the private motorists whose cars display the plates. The court upheld an injunction ordering the state to issue requested anti-abortion "Choose Life" specialty license plates. Roach v. Davis, #08-1429, 560 F.3d 860 (8th Cir. 2009).
     Gun show promoters failed to show that an ordinance prohibiting the presence of firearms on county property violated their Second Amendment or First Amendment rights. The federal appeals court ruled that the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment apply to the states because they are incorporated by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, but that the Second Amendment does not guarantee a right to possess guns on government property. The county could regulate gun possession in sensitive public spaces, and its actions did not violate the promoters' right to self-defense. Even if the holding of a gun show was expressive conduct, the county ordinance was not intended to suppress speech, and the desire to reduce gun violence was a reasonable basis for the law. Finally, the appeals court rejected an equal protection claim based on an argument that the ordinance unequally applied to the possession of guns for promoters holding a gun show and possession of guns for "entertainment" purposes. The court found that entertainment events were not similarly situated to gun shows, as they involved safety measures that the gun show promoters couldn't meet. Nordyke v. King, No. 07-15763, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 8244 (9th Cir.).
    Store owner could proceed with his First Amendment claim arising from his arrest and prosecution for attaching, to a "Road Construction Ahead" traffic sign, a warning about a sheriff's checkpoint nearby. The trial court improperly considered information outside the complaint and improperly drew inferences in favor of deputies in granting dismissal of the lawsuit on the basis that the plaintiff's speech had not been constitutionally protected and that he had failed to show a lack of probable cause for his arrest. Rodriguez v. Rutter, No. 07-51423, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 2440 (Unpub. 5th Cir.).
     A county ordinance with licensing requirements and regulations concerning "sexually-oriented" businesses was properly content-neutral and aimed at the negative secondary effects of the presence of the business, and was not an unconstitutional prior restraint. Additionally, the defendant county had met its burden of showing why it believed the ordinance at issue would have the desired effect. Richland Bookmart, Inc. v. Knox County, Tennessee, No. 07-6469, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 2729 (6th Cir.).
     A visual artist barred from selling his work on the streets, in the parks, or on other city property under a municipal ordinance could not pursue civil rights claims for damages against individual defendants, who were entitled to qualified immunity because the constitutional rights they alleged violated were not "clearly" established at the time. Further proceedings, however, were required on claims for municipal liability, to which the qualified immunity defense did not apply. Christensen v. Park City Mun. Corp., No. 07-4273, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 2268 (10th Cir.).
     Whether or not an officer or his colleagues had a retaliatory motive for stopping a motorist for speeding because he had supported a candidate running for sheriff in that day's primary election was irrelevant when the officer had probable cause based on observation of the speeding vehicle. The trial court also detailed subsequent observations concerning signs of possible intoxication, which also supported the arrest. Hubble v. Voorhees, No. 06-3546, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 3732 (Unpub.7th Cir.).
     Bicycle club was not entitled to a preliminary injunction against a city's parade rules, which mandate an advance permit for any group bicycle rides involving 50 or more persons. While it might be true that not every group bicycle ride of that size would involve the disruption of traffic, the violation of traffic laws, or pose a danger to others, the fact that such an event could pose such hazards was likely to have justified the imposition of the permit requirement. Five Borough Bicycle Club v City of New York, 07-2154, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 1620 (Unpub. 2nd Cir.).
     City's action in initially ordering demonstrators to cease their activities, utilizing its all events policy, was unconstitutional, in violation of the First Amendment, given that the protestors were engaged in the display of signs, spoken messages, and the passing out of leaflets on city sidewalks which were a traditional public forum. The policy's permit requirement did not contain any criteria for granting or denying the permit, giving the municipality's mayor and public safety director seemingly unlimited discretion which could be used to deny permits for reasons such as the content of the speech involved. Additionally, the requirement that 30 days notice be given before holding a demonstration was found unconstitutional. The city was liable to the plaintiffs. Trewhella v. City of Findlay, Case No. 3:07 CV 2372, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 105281 (N.D. Oh.).
     A military academy's policy barring demonstrations on the premises did not violate the First Amendment, as it was applied in a viewpoint neutral manner, and the academy, which was located on a military facility, was not a public forum. Sussman v. Crawford, No. 07-2171, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 24458 (2nd Cir.).
     The owner of a car claimed that a deputy sheriff violated his First Amendment rights by issuing a repair order for a cracked windshield, followed by the towing of his car, and ultimately it being compacted when he failed to pay a towing fee. The plaintiff had placed swastikas and the words "Vote for Pipkin" on the car, referring to a state senator whom he opposed. The deputy's actions were allegedly taken after the senator's office complained about the car, which was operable, not abandoned, and legally parked. The defendant was not entitled to summary judgment on the First Amendment claim. Richter v. State of Maryland, Civil No. 07-2707, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 104397 (D. Md.).
     Police who entered a condemned building without a warrant to place illegal occupants staging a protest under arrest were entitled to qualified immunity on Fourth Amendment and First Amendment claims, as their actions did not violate these rights. Further proceedings were needed, however, on claims related to strip searches conducted. Cross v. Mokwa, No. 07-3110, 547 F.3d 890 (8th Cir. 2008).
     A Seattle city ordinance that gives the police chief, while granting parade permits, unbridled discretion to decide whether to allow a group to use the street or remain confined to use of the sidewalk for their demonstration violates the First Amendment. It failed to require that the police chief give any reason for his decision, and failed to provide a mechanism for appealing such decisions. Seattle Affiliate of the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality v. City of Seattle, No. 06-35597, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 25036 (9th Cir.).
     Police captain in charge of directing police response to campus anti-war protest was not entitled to qualified immunity on claims that he authorized the arrests of and use of force against certain protestors, in violation of their First Amendment rights. The rights to freedom of speech and to peaceful assembly are "clearly established." Buck v. City of Albuquerque, No. 07-2118, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 25450, (10th Cir.).
     Actions of police officer, which completely excluded for one day political petition signature gatherer from cook-out event open to the public held on public property under permit, violated the First Amendment when no justification was given other than the purported right of the permit holder to exclude political messages. Further proceedings were ordered to determine whether the officer was entitled to qualified immunity. Court rejects the plaintiff's argument, however, that a traffic citation given to her on a subsequent day for driving past a police barricade stating that a road was closed improperly retaliated against her for a newspaper article that appeared about the first incident. The plaintiff herself did not dispute that she drove past the barricade. Dietrich v. John Ascuaga's Nugget, No. 06-17135 548 F.3d 892 (9th Cir. 2008).
     Federal appeals court overturns denial of preliminary injunction against Missouri law imposing criminal penalties for picketing in front of funerals. First Amendment interests in protecting speech would outweigh any interest the state has in protecting mourners from the plaintiff's message that God is "punishing America" for homosexuality by having Americans, including U.S. soldiers, die. Phelps-Roper v. Nixon, No. 07-1295, 545 F.3d 685 (8th Cir. 2008).
     A police chief acted properly in reporting to a poll inspector that voters who used their parents' address to register appeared to live elsewhere, resulting in a mistaken challenge to their absentee ballots. This was not a violation of the voters' First Amendment or other constitutional rights. Kozuszek v Brewer, No. 07-3224, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 21088 (7th Cir.)
     Specialty license plates are not a "public forum," and it does not violate the First Amendment rights of an anti-abortion group to deny their request that Illinois issue "Choose Life" license plates. The state can impose a viewpoint neutral, but content based, ban on all messages about abortion on license plates. Choose Life Illinois, Inc. v. White, No. 07-1349, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 23715 (7th Cir.).
     City curfew ordinance barring minors from appearing in public during designated hours except for certain limited enumerated purposes violated the equal protection and free speech rights of a minor and his father. Anonymous v. City of Rochester, 796 CA 07-02672, 2008 N.Y. App. Div. Lexis 7586 (4th Dept.).
     Anti-abortion protester found guilty and fined for using a sound system outside an abortion clinic in violation of a city ordinance failed to show that this violated his First Amendment right to exercise his religion in violation of the Pennsylvania Religious Freedom Protection Act, 71 Pa. Stat. Ann. §§ 2401-2407. The defendant provided no testimony that his actions of preaching to people near the clinic were activities "fundamental" to his religion, but merely showed that he was engaged in these activities on the basis of his religious beliefs. Pennsylvania v. Parente, No. 1575 C.D. 2007, 2008 Pa. Commw. Lexis 397.
     Motorcycle club members could not recover damages for violation of their federal civil rights based on their removal by security from a city park on the basis of a policy of festival sponsors prohibiting the wearing of gang colors or other similar insignia, including motorcycle club insignia. Running such festivals, the court found, was not a traditional municipal function, and the association running the festival did not act under color of state law, despite the fact that the festival was held in a park in which the city retained control and provided security. The city was not involved in formulating the festival's dress code, and a police officer would not violate the constitution in enforcing the rights of a private entity, such as the festival sponsor. Villegas v. Gilroy Garlic Festival Association, No. 05-15725, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 18801 (9th Cir.).
     U.S. Coast Guard personnel did not violate the First Amendment by establishing and enforcing a safety zone protecting a super ferry from a possible blockade by protestors. Wong v. Bush, No. 07-16799, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 18973 (9th Cir.).
     A city's regulation, under which some individuals and entities were allegedly allowed to hold activities in the lobby and stairs inside City Hall, and the plaintiffs were not allowed to hold press conferences and/or political rallies was violative of due process and unconstitutionally vague. It did not, however, violate their First Amendment rights or their right to equal protection of law. To the extent that the regulation was vague, the court would enjoin its enforcement. Miller v. City of Cincinnati, No. 1:08cv550, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 64393 (S.D. Ohio).
     "Pro-life" organizations who sought to conduct counseling outside abortion clinics failed to show that a Massachusetts statute that established a 35-foot fixed buffer zone around the driveways and entrances of such facilities violated their First Amendment rights, or their right to equal protection or due process of law. The law was justified by the state's police power and its interest in providing safe access to medical services, without any reference to content of communication. McCullen v. Coakley, No. 08-10066, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 64560 (D. Mass.).
     There were genuine issues of fact as to whether union activists who protested at a "free trade" summit were improperly arrested after leaving the protest and charged with disorderly conduct in retaliation for their participation in the protest, in violation of their First Amendment rights. Battiste v. Lamberti, No. 05-22970, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 61191 (S.D. Fla.).
     A city ordinance regulating the passing out of handbills constituted a content-neutral restriction on the time, place, and manner of speech, but was unconstitutional because it did not serve a substantial governmental interest and was not narrowly tailored to serve such an interest, and did not provide other adequate channels of communications. Further proceedings were ordered on the question of what actual damages, if any, the plaintiff had suffered as a result of the ordinance. Horina v. City of Granite City, No. 07-1239, 07-2623, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis ____ (Unpub. 7th Cir.). (Note to Missy: decided Aug. 7--Lexis cite not yet available, should be in a couple of days).
     Police officers who arrested 16 protestors at an antiwar rally could not pursue, on appeal, their argument that they were entitled to summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity for allegedly using force to break up the protest. Their argument was that the protestors had not shown that the officers violated their clearly established First Amendment rights, because they had not proved that the officers' actions would have "chilled" a person of "ordinary firmness" from exercising their constitutional rights. They failed, however, to raise this argument in the trial court, so it could not be considered on appeal. Buck v. City of Albuquerque, No. 07-2117, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 16093 (10th Cir.).
     Anti-homosexual counter-protestors at homosexual street festival covered by a permit did not show that police violated their rights in asking them to move on, and then arresting them when they interfered with the festival's activities. While the permit holders would not have been able to exclude them from the festival, since the public streets were a traditional public forum, the arrestees' actions did constitute disorderly conduct.  Startzell v. City of Philadelphia, No. 07-1461, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 14984 (3rd Cir.).
     Officers were not entitled to qualified immunity for arresting a number of vegetarian protestors after they had handed out vegetarian flyers and talked to shoppers outside a food store. The officers allegedly told them to stop handing out leaflets, and to stop talking to shoppers. One of the protestors wrote down the license plate number of a car from which an undercover officer was watching, and the officers subsequently followed the protestors' car, blocked their exit, and demanded to be given the slip of paper with the license plate number, after which they arrested the protestors in the car for disorderly conduct. The protestors had a clearly established right to peacefully protest for vegetarianism on public property. Childs v. DeKalb County, Georgia, No. 07-15028, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 15380 (Unpub. 11th Cir.).
     Federal judge upholds Denver's plan to restrict protests around the site of the August 2008 Democratic National Convention to "protest zones," amounting to a "security perimeter," rejecting arguments by demonstrators that the public protest area should be moved closer to where delegates would be coming in and out of the convention center. "The court finds that the plaintiffs have shown that the challenged restrictions affect their ability to engage in expressive activities in traditional public fora. However, the defendants have shown that the restrictions are content-neutral, that they are narrowly tailored to serve important governmental interests, and that there are adequate alternative channels by which the plaintiffs can communicate their messages. Thus, the plaintiffs have not shown that their First Amendment rights will be infringed, nor that they are entitled to any injunctive relief. " ACLU of Colorado v. City and County of Denver, Civil Action No. 08-cv-00910, U.S. Dist. Ct. (D. Colo. August 6, 2008).
     Man's expulsion from a town's community center and his later arrest and prosecution for trespass did not violate his Fourth or Fourteenth Amendment right or his First Amendment rights. The town had a right to limit access to its facilities, and this action did not silence or chill his speech. There was probable cause to arrest him when he returned to the center despite having been told not to return. Williams v. Town of Greenburgh, No. 06-4897, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 15403 (2nd Cir.).
     Federal court allows civil rights claims by four demonstrators arrested while protesting a Presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C. to go forward. After some demonstrators committed acts of vandalism or other crimes, approximately 65 to 75 individuals were arrested. While the District claimed that an officer had grounds to arrest the demonstrators for rioting and parading without a permit, the officer could not make a mass arrest unless he first transmitted an order asking the crowd to disperse, and providing the crowd with a reasonable time to do so. Failure to do so violates the Fourth Amendment. The District was evidently unable to identify the demonstrators who engaged in the criminal actions during the incident, and it lacked evidence to show either that all demonstrators had done so or that the plaintiff arrestees had done so. Partial summary judgment was granted to the plaintiffs on the issue of liability. Carr v. D.C., Civil Action No. 06-00098, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 46489 (D.D.C.).
     Police officers violated the First Amendment rights of anti-abortion protesters by ordering them to move their truck, displaying graphic photos of aborted fetuses, from an area near a middle school. The individual officers, however, were entitled to qualified immunity from liability for damages because of the lack of clearly established precedent. There were also genuine issues of fact as to whether the officers acted improperly in searching the vehicle, or in the length of time they detained a number of the protesters. Ctr. for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc. v. Los Angeles County Sheriff Dep't, No. 05-55294 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 13975 (9th Cir.).
     Further proceedings were ordered on whether public university officials' denial to a campus evangelist permission to continue a speech on school grounds violated his First Amendment or due process rights. The court found that a campus open area was a limited public forum, but also commented that the university officials in charge of enforcing an unwritten university policy concerning speech there did not appear to understand it very well. Gilles v. Garland, No. 07-3645, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 13191 (Unpub. 6th Cir.).
     Journalists claimed that FBI agents, while executing a search warrant at a condominium building, grabbed and assaulted them, and used pepper spray and metal batons against them when they entered a gated area. The agents were using the building's fences and security structure in an attempt to restrict the flow of people into the area, and allegedly did not give them a chance to exit before using force against them. The court found that there was no special First Amendment right of access by the press to enter property that was not in the public domain. The court found, however, that some of the journalists' Fourth Amendment claims were improperly dismissed. The appeals court ruled that "mere obstinance" by a crowd did not justify the use of force when there is no showing that crowd members posed a public safety threat or that any other law enforcement considerations were at risk. The court ruled, therefore, that Fourth Amendment excessive force claims by individual journalists could proceed, while the rejection of all First Amendment claims was upheld. Asociacion de Periodistas de Puerto Rico v. Mueller, No. 07-2196, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 12783 (1st Cir.).
     A man's removal from a public meeting of a county planning commission did not violate his First Amendment rights when he had refused, while speaking, to relate his comments to the issue under discussion, or to cease speaking and sit down after refusing to stay on topic. The commission had a right to set its agenda, and a policy barring personal attacks during meetings served a legitimate interest in preserving order. The action taken was "content neutral" because it was not based on the speaker's viewpoint, and the plaintiff did not show that other people were allowed to speak off-topic. Steinburg v. Chesterfield County Planning Commission, No. 07-1181, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 11417 (4th Cir.).
     Police officers were entitled to qualified immunity for arresting (for disorderly conduct) protesters awaiting the passing of a presidential motorcade who stripped down to their thong underwear and formed a human pyramid for purposes of protesting the war in Iraq. The demonstrators were released after two hours in custody, and charges against them were dropped. The police needed to make a "split second" decision in circumstances where the boundaries of free speech were "muddled," the court concluded, so that their actions could not be viewed as a willful violation of the law or incompetent. Egolf v. Witmer, No. 06-2193, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 11079 (3rd Cir.).
     A police officer ejected an artist from a city park after telling him that a city ordinance barred him from conducting business there without a license. That ordinance barred selling art in the park, but permitted the display of such art there, but the officer misunderstood it. Because the artist denied ever selling art there, and had no intention of doing so, and because there was also no showing that he abandoned any such intention out of fear of arrest, he did not have standing to challenge the ordinance as a violation of his First Amendment rights. Travis v. Park City Police Dept., No. 07-4192, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 10543 (Unpub. 10th Cir.).
     A deputy sheriff and a U.S. Forest Service officer didn't use excessive force by attempting to arrest a protester who had climbed a tree by denying her supplies, food, and water, subjecting her to a risk of severe dehydration. Her own decision to remain in the tree was the cause of her injuries, and the case she relied on for her argument that excessive force was used involved the direct use of force, such as pepper spray, in instances where police could have easily removed protesters without infliction of injury or pain. The defendants' actions in the immediate case were consistent with the court's ruling in that past case. The officers had no obligation to "care" for her while she was in the tree, since she was not in their custody. Smith v. Ball, No. 07-35080, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 1059 (Unpub. 9th Cir.).
     The trial court's issuance of an injunction barring a deputy sheriff's ex-wife from publishing false and defamatory statements or confidential personal information about him or from initiating contact with the sheriff's department concerning him, except for the purpose of reporting criminal conduct under emergency circumstances violated her free speech rights under both the U.S. and California constitutions. The order was an unconstitutional prior restraint and was overbroad and vague. False and defamatory statements cannot be enjoined before they are found, at trial, to be defamatory. The prohibition on the publication of confidential personal information would require a more specific description of the information at issue, although, if sufficiently described, its publication might violate a right of privacy under the California constitution. Finally, the wife had a constitutional right to petition the government that included contacting the sheriff's department in non-emergency circumstances, and the order prohibiting her from doing so was not justified by the evidence in the record. Evans v. Evans, No. D051144, 2008 Cal. App. Lexis 689 (4th Dist.).
     A business owner's claim that he was issued numerous municipal citations in retaliation for his frequent criticism of the city's policies and administration was at least arguable, given that he received 26 such citations in a time frame of less than two years. Additionally, he received twelve citations for failing to have two (rather than one) licenses for his business, and the number of the citations and their timing presented circumstances from which a retaliatory motive could be inferred. Williams v. City of Carl Junction, No. 07-2704, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 9516 (8th Cir.).
     A city's ordinances requiring that picketers on public ways provide prior notice to the city and comply with certain restrictions did not violate the First Amendment, but rather furthered legitimate interests in maintaining the accessibility of streets and sidewalks. The ordinances were "narrowly tailored" in that they did not provide any discretion to prohibit picketing, and allowed for such notice to be given at any time, without "advance" notice or the paying of any fees or costs. A restriction on the size of signs furthered safety objectives and reduced possible obstruction of traffic control devices. Green v. City of Raleigh, No. 07-1351, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 8242 (4th Cir.).
     A police officer had probable cause to arrest a man for interfering with his criminal investigation by repeatedly telling his friend, the owner of a vehicle in which marijuana had been found, not to talk to the officer. The arrestee acted in a disorderly manner, and allegedly "spoke over" the officer's questions, interfering with the investigation. The officer did not violate either the Fourth or First Amendment, and the plaintiff's speech was not constitutionally protected. Additionally, the officer gave him a warning to be quiet prior to arresting him. The court also stated that, assuming that there was a constitutional violation of free speech rights, it was not clearly established, so the officer would still be entitled to qualified immunity. King v. Ambs, No. 06-2054 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 5899 (6th).
     Even if a man was initially stopped from speaking at a city council meeting because of the content of his speech, there were grounds to remove him from the meeting and place him under arrest for trespass when he charged the mayor because he was ruled out of order, and refused to leave. The arrest did not violate his First Amendment rights, since there was a compelling governmental interest in preserving order at the meeting. Kirkland v. Luken, No. C-1-02-364, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 17378 (S.D. Ohio).
     A federal regulation, 38 C.F.R. sec. 1.218(a)(14), which prohibits unauthorized demonstrations by visitors to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) property, does not violate the First Amendment. Preminger v. Sec'y Veterans Affairs, No. 2007-7008, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 4017 (Fed. Cir.).
     Protest demonstrators and organizations challenged the constitutionality of a city ordinance regulating expressive activities in public forums, and were granted a preliminary injunction as well as an award of attorneys' fees. The injunction was lifted after the city enacted a revised ordinance resolving the complained of constitutional problems with the original one. On appeal, the court upheld the award of attorneys' fees under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1988. The plaintiffs were prevailing parties, even though they did not get a final judgment in their favor. The preliminary injunction was sufficient, and the preliminary injunction was not dissolved based on a finding that the plaintiffs were not entitled to it, but rather only after the preliminary injunction had "done its job" by causing the city to pass the revised ordinance. People Against Police Violence v. City of Pittsburgh, No. 06-4457, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 5644 (3rd Cir.).
     Rules barring street performers from "actively" soliciting donations in a city entertainment zone, while allowing "passive solicitations," together with a permit requirement for certain activities in the zone did not violate the First Amendment. The city had a substantial interest in protecting the public for unwanted behavior and harassment, and the rules were content neutral, and allowed the plaintiff, without a permit, to convey any desired message verbally while walking through the zone, as well as allowing him to pass out leaflets, gather signatures, or make speeches. Berger v. City of Seattle, No. 05-35752, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 331 (9th Cir.).
     In a lawsuit filed after the Los Angeles Police Department's alleged wrongful forceful dispersal of a protest concerning immigration issues, the court ruled that the case met the requirements for certification of a class action. It found that the alleged actions were not "an isolated event," but that instead, an "unfortunate" history of prior civil rights violations by the Department, and the contents of a departmental report made it "clear" that it was not "hypothetical" that there was a "threat of future injury." The court found commendable the Department's remedial actions since the incident at issue, but found that there was a realistic threat of a repetition of the alleged violations. The police report showed that "very few" people in the crowd of 6,000 persons were disorderly or attacked police, despite the decision to declare the assembly unlawful and disperse the crowd. Multi-Ethnic Immigrant Workers Organizing Network v. City of Los Angeles, No. CV 07-3072, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 92724 (C.D. Cal.).
     Public university had a right to bar uninvited guests from access to any part of its property, specifically from the student union, its terrace, and the terrace walkway, and did not violate the First Amendment rights of political campaign staff members who wanted to display campaign signs and gather signatures in support of a candidate on the property. A public university can control its property and place limits on where uninvited persons can engage in expressive activity. Masel v. Mansavage, No. 07-cv-454, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 93934 (W.D. Wis.)
     Federal trial courts grants preliminary injunction against enforcement of a city ordinance criminalizing as a disturbance of the peace addressing "offensive, derisive, or annoying words" to persons on the street or other public places. The ordinance was applied by police officers who told a man to leave or risk arrest under the ordinance when he spoke his religious views against alcoholism as people entered or left a restaurant that serves alcohol. The court found that the ordinance was a "content-based" restriction on speech, and was vague and overbroad, since the officers were required to determine, on a subjective basis, what statements were "annoying." Netherland v. City of Zachary, Louisiana, #07-409, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 90798 (M.D. La.).
     Union activists conducting an allegedly peaceful protest in downtown Miami, Florida claimed that officers from a county sheriff's office had detained them without probable cause while being supervised by the local police chief and police department. The police chief, in his individual capacity, was entitled to qualified immunity for claims against him based on his role as a supervisor. The plaintiffs claimed that he failed to adequately train the officers, and that a report established that he had notice of prior "widespread" unjustified arrests by police during public protests. The court stated that it found no prior case law establishing that a police chief, based on alleged past unjustified arrests by his officers, had an obligation to conduct training for "borrowed" officers concerning when to make arrests. Battiste v. Sheriff of Broward County, No. 06-14958, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 339 (11th Cir.).
     A police officer who allegedly arrested the plaintiff for criticizing him for writing tickets, rather than for illegal parking, was not entitled to qualified immunity in a lawsuit over alleged violation of First Amendment rights. The officer was writing parking tickets, and wrote one for the plaintiff, who tried to explain he was only parking on the sidewalk temporarily in front of his apartment building to unload, and that he was handicapped, with a handicap parking permit. When the plaintiff stepped into the building and warned his employees working at the apartment building that they should move their vehicles because the officer was writing tickets, the officer allegedly stated that he was "tired" of the plaintiff's "mouth," so that the plaintiff was going to jail, grabbing him by the arm and attempting to pull him out of the building. Other officers arrived on the scene and told the officer to leave the plaintiff alone. Making an arrest that was based entirely on an arrestee's speech opposing or questioning police actions violates the First Amendment. Lowe v. Spears, No. 07-1497, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 29488 (4th Cir.).
     California Supreme Court holds that union protesters have a free speech right, under state law, to engage in protests on private property in shopping malls to urge boycotts of a store located there. The mall owners had summoned a police officer to tell protesters that they were engaged in trespassing while distributing boycott leaflets in the mall. Fashion Valley Mall, LLC v. NLRB, (2007).
     Provisions of city's mass outdoor gathering ordinance requiring a 30 day advance notice for the issuance of a parade permit were unconstitutional, but federal appeals court rejects the argument that an "indigency" exception to a parade permit fee was required under the First Amendment. The availability of parks and sidewalks for demonstrating without a permit was an acceptable alternative for demonstrators who could not afford the permit fee and other charges for police traffic control, the court stated, agreeing with the approach taken by another federal appeals court in Stonewall Union v. City of Columbus, 931 F.2d 1130, 1135 (6th Cir. 1991). Sullivan v. City of Augusta, No. 06-1177, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 29181 (1st Cir.).
     Police officer had probable cause to arrest man for passing out handbills containing advertisements for businesses as well as statements in favor of the legalization of marijuana. While the arrestee had a clear First Amendment right to advocate legalization of marijuana, this did not give him any right to violate an anti-littering ordinance while doing so, and many of his handbills were lying in the street. Lorenzo v. City of Tampa, No. 07-13420, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 29381 (11th Cir.).
     Federal appeals court overturns decision that plaintiff was not entitled to a preliminary injunction while her challenge to a Missouri statute criminalizing picketing in front of a funeral location or procession was considered. The appeals court found that the plaintiff had a "fair chance" of proving that her First Amendment right to spread the message that "God is punishing America" for the "sin of homosexuality" by killing Americans, including American soldiers, outweighs any governmental interest in protecting funeral mourners from exposure to an unwanted message. Phelps-Roper v. Nixon, No. 07-1295, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 28196 (8th Cir.).
     Disputed facts concerning whether police officers were motivated by ordinary law enforcement concerns, or by a wish to censor the speech of a religious leaflet distributor based on his viewpoint barred summary judgment in a lawsuit over their arrest of the leaflet distributor for failing to obey their order to move from the middle of the sidewalk. Frantz v. Gress, No. 06-CV-3210, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 81182 (E.D. Pa.).
     Statute enacted by village banning the sale of alcohol in new strip clubs was properly found to have been enacted to protect current club owners from competition, so that the ban was not "necessary" to serve a compelling state interest, and violated the First Amendment. Joelner v. Village of Washington Park, Illinois, No. 06-2901, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 26693 (7th Cir.).
     Arrestee removed from "Palestinian Solidarity Conference" at university by school safety officers could pursue his federal civil rights claim on the basis of his allegation that the officers acted under provisions of the D.C. Code, and removed him in violation of First Amendment rights after he repeatedly asked a panel of speakers at the conference whether they approved of suicide bombings. Maniaci v. Georgetown University, No. 06-1625, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 66236 (D.D.C.).
     Persons who were arrested and prosecuted for "open burning without a permit" after they burned a "rainbow flag" at a Gay Pride parade to express their disapproval of homosexuality, and who stated their desire to engage in similar actions in the future, had standing to pursue their claim for injunctive relief based on their claim that such conduct was protected by the First Amendment and that the process for obtaining such permits was burdensome. Daubenmire v. City of Columbus, No. 06-346, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 25763 (6th Cir.).
     Anti-war protestor on university campus failed to show that university buildings were a designated public forum on which the school allowed the hanging of banners and "expressive painting," or that the university violated his First Amendment rights when they removed banners and painted messages he placed on the buildings to protest the war with Iraq. The court found that the university policy was clear, that there was no permission to paint messages on the sides of buildings, and that doing so was vandalism. The appeals court also rejected the plaintiff's claim that the university engaged in viewpoint discrimination in terms of which messages it removed, finding that the removal of unauthorized banners and paintings was "prioritized" on the basis of their prominence and limited by budgetary concerns. Wilson v. Johnson, No. 05-6733, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 16568 (6th Cir.).
     Eleven arrestees who claimed that FBI agents who interrogated them improperly interrogated them about their political activities and affiliations and then improperly disseminated that information, in violation of their First and Fourth Amendment rights, were not entitled to injunctive relief even if those allegations were true. They failed to show that the alleged past wrongful conduct would subject them to a threat of future injury or continuing harm, particularly when the records derived from the arrests had been expunged. Bolger v. District of Columbia, Civil Action No. 03-0906, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 66716 (D.D.C.).
     There is no constitutional right to enter a federal building anonymously, so that the U.S. Marshals Service and Federal Protective Service did not violate the plaintiffs' constitutional rights by refusing them access to a federal building on the basis of an identification policy. The defendants also acted reasonably in removing one of the plaintiffs from the federal building, after he tried to enter without complying with their orders. Foti v. McHugh, No. 05-16079, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 20996 (9th Cir.).
     A city's action in barring an artist from selling his paintings on city sidewalks and parks violated his First Amendment rights when the city barred such sales except for vendors having permits or whose merchandise was found to convey an "express or obvious" religious, political, philosophical, or ideological "message." The self-expression of the artist, embodied in his paintings, were also protected First Amendment speech even if it merely expressed his "perspective," including the "sanctity" of nature, other than an "obvious" message. Additionally, the mere fact that the artist sold his work did not make it commercial speech because it expressed more than simply "proposing" a commercial transaction. Federal appeals court upholds partial summary judgment for the artist's First Amendment challenge to the city's vendor-permitting scheme, found by the trial court to be an invalid prior restraint and to lack required objective criteria for the approval or rejection of artwork for sale on public property. White v. City of Sparks, No. 05-15582, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 20621 (9th Cir.).
      In lawsuit challenging Michigan regulations and a state statue barring businesses with liquor licenses from allowing dancers to perform fully nude or to mimic sex acts on stage, the plaintiff was entitled to a preliminary injunction because the challenged rules could not survive a First Amendment challenge applying either "strict" or "intermediate" scrutiny. The trial judge, in denying injunctive relief, relied on New York State Liquor Authority v. Bellanca, No. 80-813, 452 U.S. 714 (1981) and California v. LaRue, No. 71-36, 409 U.S. 109 (1972), holding that the 21st Amendment, in granting the states authority to regulate liquor sales, allowed a state to prohibit nude dancing in places where liquor is sold. The appeals court stated that the Supreme Court has "entirely abandoned this rationale for upholding regulations that raise First Amendment concerns in places where alcohol is sold," citing 44 Liquormart v. Rhode Island, No. 94-1140, 517 U.S. 484 (1996). Because the state had put forward no other relevant governmental interest to justify the restrictions imposed, injunctive relief was proper. Hamilton's Bogarts, Inc. v. Michigan, No. 06-1436, 2007 U.S. App Lexis 20726 (6th Cir.).
     A store owner's First Amendment rights were not violated by his being given a citation for placing on a construction sign, a warning to his customers of a roadblock, and for erecting an electric protest sign there. The plaintiff admitted that he placed his sign on the construction sign in a location that hid a traffic control device from view. The state had a right to regulate the use of the roadways and a substantial interest in making sure that traffic was regulated. The governmental action did not limit the store owner's right of expression, except in the narrow circumstances that he interfered with an official traffic control device. Claims in connection with the electric protest sign were not dismissed, as they were not addressed in the defendant officers' motion. Rodriguez v. Rutter, No. EP-07-CA-0115, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 56764 (W.D. Tex.).
     Removing cameras placed in a public park by an animal rights group in order to videotape deer-culling activity which it opposed as inhumane did not violate the group's First Amendment rights, nor did the erasure of the images captured by the cameras. S.H.A.R.K. v. Metro Parks Serving Summit County, No. 06-4009, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 20266  (6th Cir.).
     Officers did not violate a woman's free speech rights by removing her from a county office where she voiced her opposition to a new county payroll tax and stated that a county official was a "lying son of a bitch," since the office was not dedicated as a "public forum." An arresting officer had probable cause to take her into custody for disrupting the office and refusing to leave when asked to do so. She had announced that she was going to remain there, moving in and refusing to leave until she got her "$70 back." The restrictions on her speech were content-neutral and reasonable, and based on her interference with the functioning of the office. Helms v. Zubaty, No. 06-6360 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 17156 (6th Cir.).
     Federal trial court acted erroneously in dismissing an anti-abortion demonstrator's civil rights lawsuit when he claimed that officers outside of an abortion clinic arrested him for the content of his speech there, rather than for any trespass on clinic property, in violation of his First Amendment rights. Logsdon v. Hains, No. 06-4085 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 16023 (6th Cir.).
     While a federal trial court found that an ordinance restricting the location and manner of operation of a county's only existing adult bookstore was content-neutral and aimed at preventing negative secondary effects of adult businesses, a federal appeals court, while believing that the main purpose of the county in passing the ordinance was to regulate adult businesses' secondary effects, found that there was a genuine issue of disputed fact as to whether the cases and research studies relied on by the county were reasonably related to doing so. The store was in an area far away from any residential area or other business. Further proceedings were ordered on the store's First Amendment claims. Abilene Retail v. Board of Commissioners of Dickinson County, Kansas, No. 05-3473, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 16276 (10th Cir.).
     Individual who posted on the Internet a video and audio recording of the warrantless search of a private residence and a related arrest was entitled to an injunction against state police interfering with the posting. It was reasonably likely that the First Amendment protected the posting even if the recording was illegally made and she had reason to know that. Jean v. MA State Police, No. 06-1775, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 14813 (1st Cir.).
     "Street preachers" conducted demonstrations at the intersection of a public highway and a town street while holding up pictures of mutilated fetuses, and one of them was arrested for resisting arrest, stopping in a specified area, and demonstrating without a permit. Officers also threatened to arrest other demonstrators. A trial court found no First Amendment violation. An appeals court found that there was a genuine issue of disputed fact as to the motivation of the officers in stopping the demonstration and making the arrest. The appeals court found, on the basis of the record, that none of the six laws cited were applicable or valid time, place, or manner restrictions. The appeals court reversed summary judgment for the town, while upholding the denial of summary judgment to the arrestee and "street preachers'" organization, and ordered further proceedings. World Wide Street Preachers Fellowship v. Town of Columbia, No. 06-30294, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 13117 (5th Cir.).
     A handicap access ramp leading to an abortion clinic was not a public forum for First Amendment purposes, despite protestors' claim that it encroached onto the public sidewalk. The demonstrators therefore were not entitled to conduct their protest on the ramp, which was constructed for purposes of complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), rather than to "facilitate" First Amendment activity or commerce. Additionally, because the presence of the demonstrators would have interfered with the accessibility requirements of the ADA, it was reasonable for police to have prohibited them from entering onto the ramp. McTernan v. City of York, No. 4:07-CV-88, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 36907 (M.D. Pa.).
     A man demonstrated on election day 2004 while dressed up in a costume as a terrorist and a sign stating "Vote Kerry" on one side and "Bush" with a red circle and a line through it over the name on the other side was told by police to remove his mask, a plastic item that resembled a machine gun, and two empty green ammunition bandoliers, or face arrest. These actions by the police were not aimed at suppressing the plaintiff's First Amendment protected political message, but rather on preventing public alarm because of elements of his costume that some might find threatening. It was a question for a jury, however, whether the restriction imposed was reasonable, narrowly tailored to serve a significant governmental interest, and left sufficient alternative opportunities for the plaintiff to express his message. Galibois v. Fisher, No. 04-cv-444, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 34149 (D.N.H.).
     Federal appeals court rules that approximately 1,000 protestors had no First Amendment right to be admitted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for a political demonstration inside the gates of the facility during a graduation ceremony at which Vice President Cheney was delivering the commencement address. Legitimate security concerns justified the exclusion of the protestors, who had no constitutional right to demonstrate inside the gates of a military facility. Sussman v. Crawford, No. 07-2171, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 12192 (2nd Cir.).
     Newspapers who obtained injunction against enforcement of ordinance regulating street vendors and door-to-door solicitors as applied to prohibit street and door to door sales of newspapers were prevailing parties entitled to an award of attorneys' fees even though the city argued that the case was moot and that the injunction should be vacated because the city voluntarily repealed portions of the law. Additionally, when the alleged mootness was based on the city's voluntary act, the injunction did not need to be vacated. A portion of the ordinance aimed at traffic safety, that only regulated the conduct of street vendors' at traffic-signal controlled intersections, however, was a constitutional restriction, and is non-discriminatory and content-neutral, so that it was improperly found unconstitutional by the trial court, and that portion of the decision was reversed. Houston Chronicle Pub. Co. v. City of League City, Texas, No. 05-41689, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 12432 (5th Cir.).
     Barring members of a motorcycle club from attendance at a city and festival association sponsored garlic festival, based on a dress code barring the wearing of gang colors or other demonstrative insignia did not violate their First Amendment rights. The plaintiffs were asked to leave after entering the festival wearing vests with patches showing a skull with wings and a top hat, and the words "Top Hatters" and "Hollister." The court noted that the individual members of the club themselves had different interpretations of what the insignia meant, so that they did not amount to expressive content intended to convey any particular message which was worthy of protection under the First Amendment. There was no evidence that onlookers would understand any message conveyed, and barring the plaintiffs from the festival did not interfere with their First Amendment right of association, as they were still free to associate with each other. Villegas v. City of Gilroy, No. 05-15725, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 9907 (9th Cir.).
     Town ordinance under which a woman was arrested for distributing leaflets for "Jews for Jesus" without a permit in a municipal park was unconstitutional on its face and as applied to the arrestee. The ordinance placed a prior restraint on distributing religious literature and engaging in conversation about religion in the park, and was more of an absolute bar than a reasonable time, place, and manner regulation. The ordinance had no standards or guidelines as to when a permit would be granted or denied, so that it gave the town completely unfettered discretion. Additionally, the town official authorized to grant such permits refused to consider the arrestee's application to obtain one. New York v. Mendelson, No. 2006NA 00602, 2007 N.Y. Misc. Lexis 1973 (Dist. Ct. N.Y., First Dist. Nassau County).
     Two arrestees who both displayed an inverted U.S. flag as a political statement failed to show that charges of flag desecration and disorderly conduct were facially violative of the First Amendment, since not all applications of these laws would impermissibly suppress protected ideas or chill free speech. The laws were void for vagueness under the 14th Amendment's due process clause however, because terms such as "contempt," "disrespect," and "flag" were not clearly defined and the statutes gave officers and prosecutors impermissible "unfettered discretion" as to when to prosecute someone for a violation. Roe v. Mulligan, No.4:06-cv-00300, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis 22051 (S.D. Iowa).
     A city ordinance, which requires users of public land in the city to sign an agreement to "bear all costs of policing, cleaning up, and restoring the park," violated the First Amendment rights of a protest organization who sought a permit for a demonstration. While the fee charged for the permit was "nominal" and not content-based, and therefore did not violate the First Amendment, this was not true of the promise to "bear all costs" of policing and cleanup. That burden was, indeed, content-based, the court reasoned, because the anticipated cost would depend on the public's reaction to the speech involved. Further, this reimbursement policy was "ripe for abuse" because the city, by deciding how best to police an event and charge the speaker, is provided with "unlimited discretion" which could be used to punish speakers based on the content of their messages. The Nationalist Movement v. City of York, No. 06-2184,481 F.3d 178 (3rd Cir.).
     A town ordinance prohibiting nude dancing violated the First Amendment constitutional rights of a corporation to free expression. The town and its officials failed to show that they relied on evidence of negative secondary effects that such dancing would cause before they passed the law, and also failed to show that the law served a substantial governmental interest. The fact that the building in which the company operated its business was damaged by fire while the lawsuit was pending did not alter the result when the company had a clear intention to reopen and continue to present the same type of entertainment. White River Amusement Pub v. Town of Hartford, No. 06-0233-cv, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 7150 (2nd Cir.).
     While an acknowledged "pain in the neck" to city officials who frequently opposed city policies showed that he had been issued 26 municipal citations in a two-year period, he failed to prove that the citations were issued because of a retaliatory motive or without probable cause. There was no arguable issue about probable cause as to 25 of the 26 citations, and even if the remaining one was issued without probable cause, the plaintiff failed to show that it was issued because of his exercise of his constitutional rights. Williams v. City of Carl Junction, Missouri, No. 06-2130, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 7137 (8th Cir.).
     Removal of man from public city council meeting did not violate his First Amendment rights when he was removed because he was being disruptive and not because of the views he expressed. Dehne v. City of Reno, No. 04-17200, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 4044 (9th Cir.).
     Protesters who wanted to engage in non-disruptive expressive activity during a Memorial Day air show at a city airport were entitled to injunctive relief against the enforcement of rules that would prevent such activities. Wickersham v. City of Columbia, No. 06-1922, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 6600 (8th Cir.).
     City's ordinances restricting the operation of sexually oriented businesses within 800 feet of residences, schools, churches, and other such businesses, as well as other designated areas, were adequately supported by studies from nine cities concerning the alleged harmful secondary effects of adult businesses, as well as data concerning land use in the city. The ordinances were upheld as narrowly tailored to achieve substantial governmental interests. Further proceedings were ordered to determine whether the ordinances allowed sufficient alternative opportunities for communication. H and A Land Corp. v. City of Kennedale, Tex., No. 05-11474, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 3941 (5th Cir.).
     Small town's zoning law restricting the available locations for adult book stores was not unconstitutionally vague, and provided the owner of one such store with adequate alternative locations to move to. IL One News, Inc. v. City of Marshall, No. 06-1828, 477 F.3d 461 (7th Cir. 2007)
     Public university could lawfully require off-campus "solicitors" to seek prior approval for on-campus activities and to limit their activities to a sidewalk in front of the student union. Application of these rules to prohibit an evangelist from preaching on the lawn of the campus library did not violate his First Amendment free speech rights. The evangelist failed to show that any other uninvited outsider was ever allowed to use that lawn for any activity. Gilles v. Blanchard, No. 06-1441, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 3234 (7th Cir.).
     City's security plan, designed to protect a NATO conference from possible terrorism or violent protests, did not violate the First Amendment rights of demonstrators when it was content neutral, there was a significant security interest involved, and the restrictions on demonstrating were limited to the immediate area of a hotel at which the conference was taking place. Citizens for Peace in Space v. City of Colorado Springs, No. 05-1391, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 4441 (10th Cir.).[N/R]
     City and FBI agents in their official capacities were not liable for allegedly violating the First Amendment rights of an anti-abortion group and three individuals involved in a "public education" program on abortion during which they used two trucks that displayed pictures of aborted fetuses, along with a third vehicle that looked similar to a police car. Police officers and individual FBI agents, however, were not entitled to summary judgment on claims that they detained the individuals without probable cause, because there were genuine issues as to whether they did so based on concerns about public safety or in retaliation for the individual's speech. Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc. v. City of Springboro, No. 06-3284, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 3689 (6th Cir.).[N/R]
     A city ordinance regulating the playing of sound devices gave fair notice to anti-abortion activists of prohibited conduct, so that the use of the ordinance to bar them from playing a recording near an abortion clinic of a 911 emergency call concerning a woman whose bleeding could not be stopped following an abortion was not unreasonable. Gaughan v. City of Cleveland, No. 06-3010, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 281 (6th Cir.).[N/R]
     In lawsuit challenging, on the basis of the constitutional right of privacy, a city ordinance criminalizing a "live sex act" business, the trial court improperly reached the merits of the case, and ruled that the business owner's customers could not assert a claim for relief under "any conceivable" set of allegations. Further proceedings ordered. Fleck & Assocs., Inc. v. Phoenix, No. 05-15293, 471 F.3d 1100 (9th Cir. 2006) [N/R]
     Federal appeals court upholds issuance of preliminary injunction against enforcement of New York City ordinance prohibiting sale to or possession by persons aged 18-21 of indelible markers and aerosol spray paint, which was intended to help prevent graffiti. The trial court found that the plaintiffs were likely to prevail on the merits of their claims that the ordinance violated their First Amendment right of freedom of expression, and also violated their right to equal protection of law. Vincenty v Bloomberg, No. 06-2106, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 2481 (2d Cir.). [N/R]
     An officer could not reasonably have believed that he had probable cause to arrest someone at a public township board meeting simply for the mild profanity of saying "God damn" while speaking to the board. The First Amendment protected this expression by the husband of an owner of a towing company complaining about the fact that the police chief had stopped using that company as the municipality's towing company. Leonard v. Robinson, No. 05-1728, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 2275 (6th Cir.). [N/R]
     Liquor establishment's owner failed to show that state troopers and city police officers harassed him and his business because of his support for the incumbent sheriff and personal friendship with the city police chief, who the defendants opposed. The court ruled that the personal friendship did not qualify as protected conduct for purposes of asserting a First Amendment claim, and that the plaintiffs failed to present any evidence that the defendants even knew about the business owner's political support for the sheriff. Smith v. Michigan State Police Troopers, No. 1:05-cv-64, 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 78780 (W.D. Mich.). [N/R]
     Two undercover police officers who arrested a man for offering to sell them basketball tickets outside a university arena did not violate his First Amendment rights. The plaintiff had admitted to being a "peddler" as defined by a county ordinance by pleading guilty to criminal charges made against him, and the ordinance, which merely required that such peddlers obtain a permit, was not an unconstitutional restraint on protected First Amendment activity, but was instead merely aimed at regulating traffic to advance safety in a public area. Wilson v. Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, No. 05-5923, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 25617 (6th Cir.). [N/R]
     Police had probable cause to arrest protestors after they had given a minimum of four orders to disperse which the crowd did not comply with. The federal appeals court ruled that the officers need not have individualized suspicion that each and every member of the crowd had heard the orders, and that it was sufficient that they had a reasonable belief that a "fair probability" existed that they had. Lyons v. City of Seattle, No. 04-35808, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 31707 (9th Cir.). [N/R]
     Police officers had probable cause to arrest members of a family and other persons who allegedly failed to comply with their orders to clear a sidewalk while attending a crowded outdoor festival. The arrests did not violate either the Fourth Amendment or the arrestees' First Amendment rights. Gomez v. City of Whittier, No. 04-56944, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 29423 (9th Cir.). [N/R]
      City's actions in removing anti-homosexuality protesters from overpasses based on a noticeable effect on traffic on the highway below did not violate protestors' constitutional rights of free speech or freedom of religion. The city's actions were found to be content neutral, and needed to serve a compelling interest in the safety of motorists. Ovadal v. City of Madison, No. 05-4723, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 28682 (7th Cir.). [N/R]
     Woman's First Amendment rights were not violated by her arrest for refusing to leave government office after she was asked to do so. While the office was open to the public, it was not a "public forum," and it was reasonable to ask her to leave because the person she wished to see was gone that day. She was not asked to leave based on the content of what she had to say nor arrested on that basis. Additionally, even if these actions had violated her rights, the defendants were entitled to qualified immunity since they could reasonably believe that she could be asked to leave and arrested, under these circumstances, for refusal to do so. Helms v. Zubaty, No. 2005-56, 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 72052 (E.D. Kentucky). [N/R]
     While an arrestee stated a valid claim for unlawful retaliation by alleging that an officer seized his camera in response to his exercise of his First Amendment rights by filing a lawsuit against police, the officer was still entitled to qualified immunity because the right allegedly violated was not clearly established at the time of the incident. Skoog v. County of Clackamas, No. 04-35087, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 28683 (9th Cir.). [N/R]
    Officers were not entitled to qualified immunity in lawsuit claiming that they used excessive force and violated the First Amendment rights of Native American demonstrators by dispersing their protest adjacent to a public highway. Jones v. McMahon, No. 05-1830, 465 F.3d 46 (2d Cir. 2006). [2006 LR Dec]
     Las Vegas city ordinances barring solicitation and setting up of tables for expressive purposes in downtown area on pedestrian mall found to violate First Amendment. ACLU of Nevada v. City of Las Vegas, No. 05-15667, 05-15767, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 26006 (9th Cir.). [2006 LR Dec]
     Officers who claimed that they relied on their commander for a determination that they had probable cause to arrest protesters were not entitled to qualified immunity when they observed the same events and actions by the protesters that their commander had. Under those circumstances, their reliance on the commander for a determination of probable cause would be unreasonable. Killmon v. City of Miami, No. 06-11208, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 24523 (11th Cir.). [N/R]
     A minister, a fellow Christian, and an unincorporated religious association did not have a valid claim for violation of their First Amendment rights based on the closure of sidewalks and other restrictions at an annual ceremony in Washington, D.C., the Red Masses, a religious ceremony held for judges. The restrictions imposed were content neutral and justified by legitimate security concerns, and the plaintiffs, while unable to hold a demonstration exactly where they wanted in relationship to the ceremony, had ample alternative means of expressing their opinions. Mahoney v. U.S. Marshals Service, No. 05-1786, 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 69131 (D.D.C.). [N/R]
     City of Gary, Indiana's ordinance restricting sexually oriented businesses upheld against challenge. Court finds that the law was properly directed at the secondary effects of the presence of such businesses, and the city's evidence of those effects were sufficient to survive scrutiny. Andy's Restaurant & Lounge. v. City of Gary, No. 05-2225, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 25352 (7th Cir.). [N/R]
     City's adult zoning ordinance requiring sexually oriented businesses to remain a distance away from residences, schools, child care centers, parks or churches was content-neutral and aimed at the secondary effect of such businesses, such as crime and decreased property values, but the court finds that there remained genuine issues as to whether it left an adequate number of alternative avenues of communication. Central Avenue, Inc. v. City of Charlotte, North Carolina, No. 3:02CV00014, 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 68074 (W.D.N.C.). [N/R]
     Officer did not have probable cause to arrest a village council member for disorderly conduct one month after they had a conversation about the member moving his vehicle. The arrestee's comments did not amount to fighting words, so an arrest on the sole basis of the conversation violated his First Amendment rights. Kinkus v. Village of Yorkville, No. C2-05-930, 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 70451 (S.D. Ohio). [N/R]
     In lawsuit against city by persons arrested during national political convention, court denies city's application to submit a section of a brief and supporting declarations for the brief under seal, ruling that there was a First Amendment right of access to these materials, and the defendants failed to show that there were other factors overcoming that right of access. Schiller v. City of New York, No. 04 Civ. 7922, 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 70479 (S.D.N.Y.). [N/R]
     Evidence supported jury verdict that a series of traffic stops, equipment compliance citations, and a vehicle impoundment were carried out against a California man to unlawfully retaliate against him for his protected free speech activity of complaining about a California Highway Patrol officer to his department. Federal appeals court upholds award of $500,000 in compensatory damages, but rules that punitive damage awards of $4 million were excessive and must be substantially reduced. Plaintiff also receives $800,000 in attorneys' fees. Grassilli v. Barr, No. D044931, 2006 Cal. App. Lexis 1384 (Cal. 4th App. Dist.). [2006 LR Nov]
     Off-duty police officer, in full uniform, acted under color of law while acting as a security guard at a ballpark, and placing patron under arrest after he refused to cease heckling one of the ball players. Trial court improperly granted qualified immunity to officer, and there were factual issues as to whether he had probable grounds for an arrest, whether the arrest violated the arrestee's free speech rights, and whether the officer used excessive force in ejecting him from the stadium. Swiecicki v. Delgado, No. 05-4036, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 23454 (6th Cir.). [2006 LR Nov]
     City ordinances governing expression in school zones and regulation of "parades" were unconstitutional time, place, and manner regulations when used to threaten the ability of anti-abortion demonstrators to peacefully engage in protests near an abortion clinic. Knowles v. City of Waco, No. 05-50598, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 21691 (5th Cir.). [N/R]
     Officers were not entitled to qualified immunity in lawsuit claiming that they forced demonstrators against alleged police brutality to march on the sidewalk after they had been granted a permit to march in the street, on the basis of the content of their message. Court finds that no reasonable officer could have believed that they could constitutionally discriminate against demonstrators based on the content of their speech and for reasons not related to the safety of vehicular or pedestrian traffic. Seattle Affiliate of Oct. 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality v. City of Seattle, No. C04-0860, 430 F. Supp. 2d 1185 (W.D. Wash. 2006). [N/R]
     In a lawsuit filed by a "street preacher" against a state university's rules requiring permits for non-university entities to engage in certain expressive activity on campus, a federal appeals court held that the schools outdoor common areas were a public forum, that the requirement that non-university entities obtain permits did not violate the plaintiff's right to free speech, and that the school's requirement of three-days advance notice was also not a violation of his rights, but that the school's limit of five days per speaker per semester was a violation of the First Amendment. Bowman v. White, No. 04-2299, 444 F. 3d 967 (8th Cir. 2006). [N/R]
     Conservation officers had probable cause to seek prosecution of man who allegedly pointed a gun at them after criticizing their job performance, and they were entitled to qualified immunity on his malicious prosecution and First Amendment retaliation claims, given that he was subsequently convicted on some of the charges he was indicted on based on their grand jury testimony. Barnes v. Wright, No. 04-6288, 449 F.3d 709 (6th Cir. 2006). [2006 LR Aug]
     State troopers had probable cause to arrest anti-war protestors for open "lewdness" for stripping down to their thong underwear and forming a human pyramid during a campaign visit to their town by President Bush prior to the 2004 election. Further, even if the Pennsylvania open lewdness statute was unconstitutional under these circumstances, the troopers did not violate any clearly established constitutional right, because there was no prior case law establishing a right to demonstrate in thong underwear. The trial court further found that the lewdness law was not aimed at expression in violation of the First Amendment, as it prohibited all public lewdness and indecent conduct, whether or not carried out for purposes of expression. Egolf v. Witmer, No. Civ.A. 04-5695, 421 F. Supp. 2d 858 (E.D. Pa. 2006). [N/R]
     U.S. Supreme Court: a civil rights lawsuit for retaliatory prosecution in violation of a person's First Amendment rights must be based on, among other things, the absence of probable cause to prosecute for the asserted criminal charges. Hartman v. Moore, No. 04-1495, 126 S. Ct. 1695 (2006). [2006 LR Jul]
     In a lawsuit by man claiming a city "chilled" his First Amendment rights by gathering and filing information about his political activity as early as the late 1960s, and sharing this information with other agencies until March of 2000, his claims accrued, for purposes of a two-year Colorado statute of limitations on the date on which, based on his own admissions, he had knowledge that the files existed. His claims were therefore time-barred under the statute, when his own admissions showed that he had sufficient knowledge that the files existed by 1998, "at the latest," and he did not file his lawsuit until 2003. Vigil v City and County of Denver, #04-1414, 162 Fed. Appx. 809 (10th Cir. 2006). [N/R]
     A municipal ordinance requiring door-to-door canvassers who plan to "hand pamphlets or other written material" to residents or discuss with them "issues of public or religious interest" to first register with the police department violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments' guarantee that no state shall abridge the freedom of speech. Serv. Employees Int'l Union v. Municipality of Mt. Lebanon, No. 04-4646, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 10596 (3d Cir.). [2006 LR Jun]
     While the statements "Allah praise the Patriot Act," and "JIHAD on the First Amendment," painted on the side of an arrestee's car, were protected speech under the First Amendment, there was a genuine factual issue as to whether other statements on the vehicle, such as that the driver was 'a fucking suicide bomber communist terrorist!" with "W.O.M.D. on Board" were a "true threat" not protected as free speech. Officers who arrested him were therefore entitled to qualified immunity from liability as to his claim that his arrest violated his First Amendment rights. Fogel v. Grass Valley Police Department, No. Civ. 05-0444, 415 F. Supp. 2d 1084 (E.D. Cal. 2006). [N/R]
     Suspect's arrest on a charge of disorderly conduct after he placed "tombstones" bearing the names of his neighbors on his lawn and engaged in an altercation with one of his neighbors in an officer's presence was supported by probable cause. Factual issues as to whether the references to the neighbors on the "tombstones" were "fighting words" or protected First Amendment speech barred summary judgment for officer on arrestee's claim that his rights were violated when he was asked to take down the "tombstones" placed in his yard. Purtell v. Mason, No. 04C7005, 412 F. Supp. 2nd 903 (N.D. Ill. 2006). [N/R]
     City's interpretation and enforcement of noise ordinance to prevent Christian preacher from speaking in downtown pedestrian mall loud enough to be heard 25 feet away violated his First Amendment rights. The mall was a traditional public forum, and the preacher's level of speech was not inappropriate for the circumstances. The ordinances also improperly failed to give clear notice of what was prohibited. Deegan v. City of Ithaca, No. 04-4708, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 8372 (2d Cir.). [2006 LR May]
     City ordinance regulating mass gatherings and parades violated the First Amendment when there were no objective standards for determining what traffic control fees were to be paid by parade sponsors, and the ordinance required that applications for parade permits be made 30 days in advance of the event. The court also ruled that the absence of any provision providing for circumstances in which persons were unable to pay the parade application fee rendered the ordinance unconstitutional. Sullivan v. City of Augusta, No. CV-04-32, 406 F. Supp. 2d 92 (D. Maine. 2005). [N/R]
     City was not entitled to summary judgment in lawsuit by protester prohibited by city from displaying an anti-homosexuality banner on highway overpasses, as there were genuine issues of fact as to whether the city had acted for the purpose of ensuing traffic safety based on the distraction the banner presented or on the basis of the content of the message displayed, in violation of the First Amendment. Ovadal v. City of Madison Wisconsin, No. 04-C-322, 401 F. Supp. 2d 949 (W.D. Wis. 2005). [N/R]
     Assistant police chief's alleged action of ordering arrest of 386 D.C. demonstrators gathered in a park, without providing either an order to disperse or an opportunity to do so, and absent particularized probable cause to arrest each of them, violated their clearly established constitutional rights. Police chief who "tacitly" approved the assistant chief's arrest order could also be liable, depending on whether or not he knew that the park had not been cleared of people who had not been observed breaking any law. Barham v. Ramsey, No. 04-5388, 04-5389, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 807 (D.C. Cir.). [2006 LR Mar]
     Federal government's civilian airline passenger identification policy does not violate passengers' constitutional rights in requiring them to present identification or submit to screening searches or be denied the ability to board airline flights. No violation is found of the constitutional right to travel, the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, the First Amendment, or due process. Gilmore v. Gonzales, No. 04-15736, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 1856 (9th Cir.). [2006 LR Mar]
     Purported police harassment of witness who claimed to have witnessed two police officers murdering a woman was an insufficient basis for a civil RICO claim. The plaintiff's alleged loss of employment income because of false arrest and malicious prosecution, and his expenses for attorneys' fees to defend himself were not an injury to "business or property" as required for standing to bring a RICO lawsuit. Federal appeals court also upholds dismissal of plaintiff's First Amendment civil rights claim and state law claims as untimely. Evans v. City of Chicago, No. 03-3844, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 264 (7th Cir.). [2006 LR Feb]
     Information concerning whether or not the plaintiff was listed in a Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) maintained by the FBI was protected from disclosure under a privilege for law enforcement investigatory files. FBI's alleged surveillance of an Israeli native in the U.S. did not violate his First Amendment rights. FBI agents were also not liable for alleged harassment by his neighbors, who were under the mistaken belief that he was Iranian, and when there was no evidence that any FBI agent was aware of the plaintiff's particular political beliefs. Raz v. Mueller, No. CIV 02-5184, 389 F. Supp. 2d 1057 (W.D. Ark. 2005). [N/R]
     A woman arrested by an officer during a protest demonstration supporting a black radical convicted of murdering a police officer failed to show that her arrest was motivated by his hostility to the political views of the demonstrators, as required to support a claim for violation of the First Amendment. Instead, the evidence showed that he had probable cause to arrest her for stepping in front of him in order to prevent the arrest of another demonstrator, then fleeing, who had thrown a flaming object at him. The woman's actions caused the officer to collide with her, and both to fall to the ground, preventing him from apprehending the fleeing suspect. Mims v. City of Eugene, No. 04-35042, 145 Fed. Appx. 194 (9th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Disputed issue as to whether man's characterization of other participants in town meeting as "assholes" and his invitation to "make" him sit down were fighting words not entitled to First Amendment protection barred summary judgment on his claim that police officers violated his rights when they forced him to leave the meeting. Nolan v. Krajcik, No. CIV.A.02-12228, 384 F. Supp. 2d 447 (D. Mass. 2005). [N/R]
     Federal appeals court: California statute, in imposing criminal penalties for making knowingly false complaints of misconduct against police officers, while failing to prohibit knowingly false statements supportive of the same officers, violates the First Amendment through improper viewpoint discrimination. Chaker v. Crogan, No. 03-56885, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 23728 (9th Cir.). [2005 LR Dec]
     Campus police officer who arrested "campus-evangelist" for disorderly conduct for making rude and confrontational speech to student crowd calling them "fornicators," "whores," and drunken "little devils" was entitled to qualified immunity even if the speech was possibly protected by the First Amendment. Given the manner of the speech and the crowd's reaction, a reasonable officer could have believed there was probable cause for an arrest. Gilles v. Davis, No. 04-2542, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 23001 (3d Cir.). [2005 LR Dec]
     City's alleged unwritten policy banning signs and banners on highway overpasses was not unconstitutional. Appeals court rejects constitutional claims of anti-abortion protester barred from displaying her banner there. Faustin v. City of Denver, #04-1025, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 19834 (10th Cir.). [2005 LR Nov]
     Sheriff and two of his deputies were properly denied qualified immunity for allegedly carrying out a campaign of harassment and retaliation, including surveillance of homes and business, accessing of confidential government information, issuance of false traffic citations, and the seeking of an arrest warrant on "trumped-up" environmental charges against two businessmen in retaliation for their support of a ballot referendum that would have reduced the powers of the sheriff's department. Bennett v. Hendrix, #04-12256, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 19466 (11th Cir.). [2005 LR Nov]
     Towing service operator failed to show that new sheriff modified his towing area in retaliation for his support of another candidate for sheriff, or that the sheriff and his undersheriff engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity in violation of RICO in connection with maintenance of a list of favored tow service operators. Roger Whitmore's Auto. Serv. v. Del Re, #04-1978, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 20296 (7th Cir.). [2005 LR Nov]
     City's ordinance requiring permits for public parades or demonstrations was in violation of the First Amendment because it contained a 30-day application period, it applied to small groups which would not involve traffic or crowd control issues, and it imposed strict liability on all participants, imposing punishment even on those unaware that a particular demonstration had no permit. American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Comm. v. City of Dearborn, No. 04-1433, 418 F.3d 600 (6th Cir. 2005). [2005 LR Oct]
     Minority civil rights advocacy organization was not entitled to an injunction against prosecutors and police officers questioning, threatening, or detaining its members while they engaged in lawful advocacy of the rights of African-Americans in criminal cases when it failed to show the likelihood of the future reoccurrence of alleged past harassment. NAACP v. Brackett, No. 04-1059, 130 Fed. Appx. 648 (4th Cir. 2005). [N/R]
     Christian minister banned by city, under threat of arrest, from displaying anti-homosexuality signs on pedestrian overpasses above highways was entitled to further proceedings to determine whether the city was truly motivated by traffic safety considerations, or whether the action was based on the content of his message. Ovadal v. City of Madison, No. 04-4030 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 14554 (7th Cir.). [2005 LR Sep]
     City ordinance which prohibited all meetings, parades, or assemblies on public streets or sidewalks without a permit was unconstitutional to the extent that it applied to small groups and absolutely prohibited all such activities on Sunday mornings. Cox v. City of Charleston, No. 03-1782, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 15255 (4th Cir.). [2005 LR Sep]
     The closing of one corner of an intersection during a visit by President Bush to a city was a reasonable time, place, and manner restriction on protest speech and did not violate the First Amendment. Factual issues, however, as to whether a police officer had warned a protester that crossing the street was prohibited before arresting her for doing so barred granting qualified immunity to the officer on a false arrest claim. Burnett v. Bottoms, No. CV031891, 368 F. Supp. 2d 1033 (D. Ariz. 2005). [N/R]
     City's declaration of civil emergency and prohibition of access to parts of downtown Seattle during 1999 World Trade Organization conference there upheld as a constitutional time, place, and manner restriction on free speech in light of violent acts by protesters. Menotti v. City of Seattle, No. 02-35971, 409 F.3d 1113 (9th Cir. 2005). [2005 LR Aug]
     Township's ordinance, providing for warrantless health and safety inspections of sexually oriented businesses, and disclosure of information concerning all partners and shareholders in such businesses, did not violate the First and Fourteenth Amendment, and was properly aimed at minimizing the adverse secondary effects caused by the establishments. Deja Vu of Cincinnati v. Union Township, No. 00-4420, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 11807 (6th Cir.). [N/R]
     Bar patron's "animated" criticism of police officers' conduct to a crowd of bar patrons outside following a bar fight and some arrests, was not protected speech because it was aimed at inciting or producing "lawless action" and likely to result in such action. Further, even if his speech was constitutionally protected, the officer was entitled to qualified immunity for issuing the bar patron with a disorderly conduct citation, since the case law did not clearly establish that doing so was illegal. Carmack v. Trombley, No. CIV. 04-70110, 363 F. Supp. 2d 904 (E.D. Mich. 2005). [N/R]
     City police officer did not violate the First Amendment rights of motorcycle club members in assisting festival in city park in expelling them for violating the festival's dress code by wearing club vests. The wearing of the vests did not involve expressive association protected by the First Amendment, the court rules, in the absence of any evidence that the club advocated a specific viewpoint. Villegas v. City of Gilroy, No. C01-20720, 363 F. Supp. 2d 1207 (N.D. Cal. 2005). [N/R]
     City's prohibition on the placing of leaflets on car windshields or elsewhere on vehicles without owner's consent did not violate the First Amendment, and was a reasonable content-neutral time, place and manner restriction. Jobe v. City of Catlettsburg, No. 04-5222, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 7890 (6th Cir.). [2005 LR Jul]
     County executive order prohibiting persons previously convicted of sex crimes involving minors from receiving permits for performance activity such as balloon sculpture that would "entice" children to gather around was not a violation of the First Amendment. Hobbs v. County of Westchester, No. 03-7985, 397 F.3d 133 (2nd Cir. 2005). [2005 LR May]
     Arrestee failed to satisfy her burden of presenting proof that officers "stalked" and "harassed" her in retaliation for having filed a previous lawsuit against police arising out of an arrest. The evidence she presented, which concerned unidentified police officers and vehicles, was insufficient, as it did not alleged adverse actions by particular officers or show that her exercise of her First Amendment rights were "chilled." Marczeski v. Gavitt, No. 3:02 CV 894, 354 F. Supp. 2d 190 (D. Conn. 2005). [N/R]
     Appeals court upholds injunction against city using ordinance prohibiting structures on a public right of way to prohibit, under threat of arrest or citation, union's use of a large "rat" balloon during demonstrations against a car dealership for alleged unfair labor practices. Tucker v. Fairfield, No. 03-4508 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 2228 (6th Cir.). [2005 LR Apr]
     Probable cause existed to arrest demonstrators who burned a professional baseball team (the Cleveland Indians) mascot in effigy outside a stadium, and the arrests were an "incidental restriction" on the First Amendment free speech rights of the demonstrators, who claimed that the team's Indian logo was disparaging to Native Americans and their culture. This incidental restriction was no greater, the court found, than what was essential to protect public safety. Bellecourt v. City of Cleveland, No. 2003-1202, 820 N.E.2d 309 (Ohio 2004). [N/R]
     An arts festival, held under a permit on barricaded city streets, which was free and open to the public, was a traditional public forum for First Amendment purposes. Off-duty police officer in uniform, serving as security for the private group holding the festival, violated a man's rights by threatening him with arrest for walking around there wearing a sign with a religious message and distributing religious leaflets. Parks v. Columbus, No. 03-4096, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 1219 (6th Cir.). [2005 LR Mar]
     Police officers could not be personally liable for the arrest of a man under a New York state harassment statute, for mailing "annoying" written materials on religious and political issues to a candidate for Lieutenant Governor. While the trial court believed that the statute, when applied in this manner, violated the arrestee's First Amendment rights, the officers did not have fair notice, at the time of the arrest, that the courts would "inevitably" declare the statute unconstitutional. Vives v. City of New York, No. 03-9270, 393 F.3d 129 (2nd Cir. 2004). [2005 LR Mar]
     Even if Fourteenth Amendment did not directly limit the actions of the District of Columbia against demonstrators protesting against the policies of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the U.S. government, because the District is not a "state," a complaint which alleged that D.C. officials and "other state or local governments" conspired together or aided and abetted each other in violating the demonstrators' Fourteenth Amendment rights was sufficient to state a possible basis of recovery against the District, so that judgment on the pleadings was inappropriate. Chang v. United States, No. CIV.A. 02-2010, 338 F. Supp. 2d 20 (D.D.C. 2004). [N/R]
     Police officers' decision to prohibit abortion protesters from carrying signs showing aborted fetuses in Halloween parade, and subsequent confiscation of those signs was an impermissible violation of the protesters rights of free speech and assembly and the officers' actions were not "narrowly tailored" to the public safety concerns, when spectators' hostile reactions were only heckling and non-violent threats. Grove v. City of York, Pennsylvania, No. CIV. 1:CV-03-198, 342 F. Supp. 2d 291 (M.D. Pa. 2004). [N/R]
     City's denial of permission to anti-abortion group to hold a parade on a specific street on the basis that the street had been closed to "facilitate" safe protests was improper when street closing was not allowable under requirements of an applicable ordinance. Group was only entitled, however, to nominal damages of one dollar and an award of attorneys' fees, since claim for estimated lost "freewill offering" revenue was not supported, since such offerings had not been solicited at earlier such parades. Injunctive relief was also denied, as there was an insufficient showing that there was a likelihood of recurrence of the alleged violations. Lippoldt v. Cole, #01-1226, 311 F. Supp. 2d 1263 (D. Kan. 2004). [N/R]
     Protester's detention during a demonstration was not "egregious" enough to violate his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights, when the detention only lasted a half hour and he returned to the protest and continued with the exercise of his First Amendment rights after his release. Bonilla v. Vivoni Del Valle, Civil No. 03-2265, 336 F. Supp. 2d 159 (D. Puerto Rico 2004). [N/R]
     Building inspector was not entitled to qualified immunity for his nonconsensual warrantless entry into business premises not open to the public after business hours, or on claims that he did so in retaliation for the business owners' association with a member of the Village council in violation of their First Amendment rights. Mimics, Inc. v. Village of Angel Fire, No. 03-2214, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 15 (10th Cir. 2005). [2005 LR Feb]
     Police chief was not entitled to qualified immunity in case where a mass arrest was allegedly made of a group of demonstrators in a park despite the fact that no dispersal order had been given. Even if he was unaware of the absence of a dispersal order, his approval of the arrests was not objectively reasonable in the alleged absence of any investigation by him of the justification for the arrest. Federal trial court states that when a group gathered in a public place contains persons who have not been obstructive or violent, a mass arrest is improper in the absence of a fair warning or notice and the opportunity to comply with an order to disperse. Barham v. Ramsey, No. Civ.A. 02-2283, 338 F. Supp. 2d 48 (D.D.C. 2004). [N/R]
     Massachusetts state statute regulating speech and protest activities within a "buffer zone" around abortion clinics and health care facilities performing abortions did not violate the First Amendment, as it was a valid time, place, and manner restriction and was content neutral. Police enforced the statute in the same manner as to protesters with differing views on abortion who violated the statute, and only made arrests after giving multiple warnings. McGuire v. Reilly, No. 03-2389, 386 F.3d 45 (1st Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     "Critic" of city officials did not show that an investigation of him, and his subsequent arrest and prosecution for alleged involvement in constitutionally unprotected flyers, accusing city officials of "drug abuse, adultery, or pedophilia" were in unconstitutional retaliation for his prior circulation of First Amendment-protected flyers accusing the mayor and others of official misconduct. Tucker v. City of Richmond, No. 03-6336, 388 F.3d 216 (6th Cir. 2004). [2005 LR Jan]
     Policy which prohibited "animal rights" demonstrator from protesting at a state-owned performance facility outside of a designated "free expression zone" away from the building entrance was unconstitutional on its face, and violated his free speech rights. Kuba v. 1-A Agric. Ass'n, No. 02-16989, 387 F.3d 850 (9th Cir. 2004). [2005 LR Jan]
     Police department's use of officers mounted on horses to control crowd of demonstrators protesting an appearance by President Bush to the city was not unreasonable. The use of mounted officers, by itself, did not prevent demonstrators from exercising their First Amendment right to free speech and assembly. Plaintiffs were not entitled to an injunction against future use of mounted officers in similar circumstances in the absence of evidence that protester's future speech would be prevented on the basis of its viewpoint or content. Democracy Coalition v. City of Austin, No. 03-03-00235-CV, 141 S.W.3d 282 (Tex. App. 2004).[N/R]
     City's policy requiring everyone participating in a protest demonstration to submit to a metal detector search violated both the First and Fourth Amendment. Bourgeois v. Peters, #02-16886, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 21487 (11th Cir. 2004). [2004 LR Dec]
     Indiana's curfew statute violated minor's First Amendment rights, even with the inclusion of an affirmative defense for minors arrested while going to or from First Amendment protected activities, since subjecting them to the possibility of arrest may improperly "chill" such activities, federal appeals court rules. Hodgkins v. Peterson, No. 01-4115, 355 F.3d 1048 (7th Cir. 2004). [2004 LR Dec]
     Officer violated arrestee's First Amendment rights by arresting him for disorderly conduct for yelling obscenities at a Canadian flag being carried in parade for the purposes of expressing his political opinion about the Canadian government's lack of support for U.S. military actions in Iraq. Officer was not entitled to qualified immunity from liability, as the arrestee's comments did not constitute "fighting words," and a reasonable officer would have known that there was no probable cause for an arrest. Levine v. Clement, No. CIV. A. 03-30206-KPN, 333 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D. Mass. 2004). [N/R]
     City's action of issuing a convicted sex offender a letter permanently banning him from all city parks did not violate his First Amendment rights or his right to due process of law. The action was not aimed at punishing the offender for his thoughts, a federal appeals court ruled, but rather was aimed at preventing his conduct of going to parks to search for children to satisfy deviate desires, and any impact on his First Amendment right to freedom of thought was incidental. The court also found that the city's action was the narrowest reasonable means of promoting a compelling interest of protecting children from him when he admitted that he was a "sexual addict" and would always have "inappropriate urges" towards children. Doe v. City of Lafayette, Indiana, No. 01-3624, 377 F.3d 757 (7th Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     Plaintiff in federal civil rights lawsuit against officers and city claiming summons was improperly issued to him in retaliation for his exercise of First Amendment rights and because of racial animus was not entitled to disclosure of a defendant officer's home address for the purpose of asking whether neighbors had overheard officer make racist remarks. Trial court also rejects plaintiff's arguments that plaintiff was entitled to disclosure of officer's home address for the purpose of aiding his investigation of her ability to pay punitive damages. The officer's interests in privacy and safety outweighed the plaintiff's "extremely weak" interest in obtaining her home address, the court rules. Collens v. City of New York, 222 F.R.D. 249 (S.D.N.Y. 2004). [N/R]
     City ordinance creating an offense of knowing and willful "abusive or derogatory" conduct towards police officers was not a violation of an arrestee's First Amendment rights. It was not unconstitutionally overbroad, and the court could narrowly construe it to only prohibit "fighting words" which are unprotected speech. Appeals court upholds conviction of Ohio resident for referring to a police officer as a "the real cock sucker." State v. Baker, No. CA2002-11-286, 809 N.E.2d 67 (Ohio App. 12th Dist. 2004). [N/R]
     There were genuine issues of fact as to whether police officers arresting anti-abortion demonstrators who had chained themselves together had used excessive force, precluding summary judgment in the demonstrators' federal civil rights lawsuit. There were also factual issues as to whether the town failed to adequately supervise its officers, but no evidence that the town inadequately trained its officers on the use of force. Amnesty America v. Town of West Hartford, #03-7332, 361 F.3d 113 (2nd Cir. 2004). [N/R]
     Federal appeals court upholds denial of injunction to change a designated area for demonstrators at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, finding that the trial court's ruling was proper in light of security concerns. Bl(a)ck Tea Society v. City of Boston, No. 04-2002, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 15778(1st Cir.). [2004 LR Sep]
     An arrest of anti-abortion protesters for holding posters of mutilated fetuses was reasonable under a city ordinance making it unlawful to stand in a public place and hinder traffic, and a valid use of police power to protect public safety, and therefore did not violate the First Amendment. Arresting officers were entitled to qualified immunity. Frye v. Kansas City, Mo., No. 03-2134, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 15366 (8th Cir. July 26, 2004) [2004 LR Sep]
     Adult nightclub seeking to feature nude or semi-nude dancers was a "prevailing party" entitled to an award of $49,175 in attorneys' fees despite the fact that their civil rights lawsuit against a restrictive zoning ordinance was dismissed as moot after the defendant county repealed the challenged restriction. Federal appeals court notes that the repeal came only after the trial court had already ruled on the merits of the challenge, and that the trial court only delayed entering a final order to allow the county a continuance to make the change to the law. Palmetto Properties, Inc. v. County of DuPage, No. 03-2174, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 13952 (7th Cir.). [2004 LR Sep]
     Deputies had probable cause to arrest woman's stepfather for disorderly conduct for yelling obscenities and other "fighting words" at her and her husband in the morning after being involved in a domestic dispute with them the evening before. Gower v. Vercler, No. 02-4112, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 15281 (7th Cir.). [2004 LR Sep]
     Supervisors of police officers who allegedly attacked political demonstrators at Presidential Inaugural Parade could not be held personally liable on alleged failure to properly train and supervise their subordinates, in the absence of any knowledge of past transgressions making such misconduct likely. International Action Center v. United States, No. 03-5163, 365 F.3d 20 (D.C. Cir. 2004). [2004 LR Aug]
     There were genuine issues of fact as to whether minister was arrested on three occasions solely for the words he spoke, and whether those words were constitutionally protected free speech or unprotected "fighting words" which provoked hostile crowd reactions threatening to cause riots. The arrestee is a evangelist who believes that his mission is to bring the gospel to college students and on these occasions, he went to various events or locations, preaching and, in one instance, carrying a sign stating that "Fornicators and drunkards will join Tupac in hell," referring to deceased "rap" musician Tupac Shakur, and allegedly, on one occasion, called female students "Catholic whores." City, however, was not shown to have failed to adequately train officers on First Amendment rights, as it taught officers to protect individual rights to free speech limited only by threats to the safety of the public. Victory Outreach Center v. Melso, 313 F. Supp. 2d 481 (E.D. Pa. 2004). [N/R]
     Federal appeals court rules that demonstrator who painted a "peace" symbol on a U.S. flag for display during demonstrations against the war against Iraq was not entitled to an injunction against being prosecuted under state flag desecration law as a violation of her First Amendment rights in the absence of a showing of a real danger that she would be prosecuted under the statute. Lawson v. Hill, #03-3433, 368 F.3d 955 (7th Cir. 2004). [2004 LR Jul]
     New York state harassment statute, when applied to the mailing of written materials on religious and political issues found "annoying" by a candidate for Lieutenant Governor to whom they were sent, was violative of the First Amendment. Court enjoins enforcement of statute against arrestee with respect to his further mailing of First Amendment protected materials. Factual issues as to whether police detectives violated clearly established rights, however, prevented summary judgment on the issue of qualified immunity from liability. Vives v. City of New York, 305 F. Supp. 2d 289 (S.D.N.Y. 2003). [N/R]
     Denial of a parade permit to Ku Klux Klan based on a New York statute prohibiting the wearing of masks upheld by federal appeals court. Overturning trial court opinion, appeals court finds no First Amendment violation, ruling that the mask that the Klan sought to wear in public conveyed no message "independent" of their robes and hood, and that the statute did not discriminate on the basis of viewpoint. Church of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan v. Kerik, #02-9418, 356 F.3d 197 (2nd Cir. 2004). [2004 LR Jun]
     County ordinance requiring permits for public demonstrations of five or more people violated the First Amendment by improperly targeting political expression. A provision in the ordinance requiring that groups indemnify the county in a manner "satisfactory" to the county attorney granted him "unconstitutional discretion" over permit decisions. Burk v. Augusta-Richmond County, No. 03-11756, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 7261 (11th Cir.). [2004 LR Jun]
     Man arrested for failure to respond to complaint that he had not properly registered his dog could not pursue his claim that city officials retaliated against him for exercise of his First Amendment rights when he failed to provide any specifics or allege how the individual defendants participated in the supposed violation of his rights. Ledbetter v. City of Topeka, Kansas, No. 02-3202, 318 F.3d 1183 (10th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Arrestee who was awarded $1 in nominal damages on his claim that a police officer improperly arrested him for exercising his freedom of speech in putting him under arrest for disorderly conduct after he shouted at the officer for refusing to move his illegally parked personal vehicle was a prevailing party entitled to an award of attorneys' fees under Massachusetts state statute. Trial court awarded $45,451.36 as reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses. Norris v. Murphy, 287 F. Supp. 2d 111 (D. Mass. 2003). [N/R]
     Denial of Ku Klux Klan's application to join state highway commission's "adopt-a-highway" was improper whether justified on the basis that the Klan discriminates on the basis of race or on the basis of "judicial notice" that the organization has a history of violence. Denial overturned by federal court on First Amendment grounds. Robb v. Hungerbeeler, 281 F. Supp. 2d 989 (E.D. Mo. 2003). [2004 LR Feb]
     Public library's eviction of patron for refusal to wear shoes did not violate his First Amendment rights. Requirement to wear shoes was rationally related to legitimate government interests in protecting public health and safety and protecting public funds against personal injury claims of barefoot patrons. Neinast v. Board of Trustees of Columbus Metropolitan Library, #02-3482, 346 F.3d 585 (6th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Deputy sheriff had probable cause to arrest protester passing out leaflets about "jury nullification" in a courthouse lobby who allegedly failed to leave when asked to do so. There was no First Amendment violation, as the courthouse lobby was not a traditional public forum. Braun v. Baldwin, No. 02-4143, 346 F.3d 761 (7th Cir. 2003). [2004 LR Jan]
     First Amendment rights of "erotic dancing" business were not violated by city code prohibiting consumption of alcohol in establishments lacking valid liquor licenses. The ordinance in question did not regulate protected expression and applied equally to all businesses. Talk of the Town v. Dept. of Finance and Business Services, No. 01-15303, 343 F.3d 1063 (9th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Under federal law, an indictment "fair upon its face, by a properly constituted grand jury" is dispositive as to whether there was probable cause for an arrest, so that police officers indicted on charges of tampering with records could not pursue false arrest civil rights claim. There was, however, a genuine issue of fact as to whether city officials engaged in retaliation against the officers in violation of their First Amendment right to express opinions about a matter of public concern, requiring further proceedings on that claim. Bakos v. City of Olmsted Falls, No. 02-3399, 73 Fed. Appx. 152 (6th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Police officers were not entitled to qualified immunity for allegedly arresting and using excessive force against civil rights activists who attempted to make video and audio tape records of their traffic stops in retaliation for their criticism of police. Plaintiffs had a clearly established First Amendment right to criticize and journalistically record traffic stops. McCormick v. City of Lawrence, 271 F. Supp. 2d 1292 (D. Kan. 2003). [2003 LR Dec]
     Motorist could not recover damages on her claim that state trooper wrote a citation against her to retaliate for her husband's accusations that he was mishandling an accident investigation. Court finds that husband's free speech was not "chilled" by the allegedly retaliatory issuance of the traffic citation, since the husband continued his argument with the trooper after the citation was issued, and also later complained about the incident to the trooper's superior. Persaud v. McSorley, 275 F. Supp. 2d 490 (S.D.N.Y. 2003). [N/R]
     Arrestee's chanting of words in protest of police requirement that persons seeking to attend a protest rally submit to a pat down search, including "two, four, six, eight, fuck the police state," was constitutionally protected speech under the First Amendment for which he could not face arrest for disorderly conduct in the absence of any evidence that his words presented a "clear and present danger" of a violent reaction by the crowd. Arresting officer, however, was entitled to qualified immunity from liability, since he believed that the arrestee was trying to incite the crowd, which had become disorderly the previous day.  Spier v. Elaesser, 267 F. Supp. 2d 806 (S.D. Ohio 2003). [2003 LR Nov]
     Federal appeals court grants judgment as a matter of law to African-American high school basketball coach arrested by police officer solely for calling him a "son of a bitch." Arrestee's statement did not constitute "fighting words," and were therefore protected by the First Amendment. Officer also did not, prior to the arrest, have reasonable suspicion sufficient to detain the coach for an investigatory stop on the basis of motel clerk's report of his "suspicious" behavior of appearing nervous while drinking coffee and looking at newspapers in motel office. Johnson v. Campbell, No. 02-3580, 332 F.3d 199 (3rd Cir. 2003). [2003 LR Oct]
     Boat dealer failed to show that environmental police officer, (employed by the division of environmental law enforcement of the state Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental Law Enforcement, subsequently renamed the Department of Fish and Game), seized his dealer "certificate of number" and two number placards from vessels the dealer was operating in retaliation for his exercise of his First Amendment rights in expressing opposition to certain actions of the zoning board of appeals and harbormaster. The dealer appeared to be in violation of a licensing statute and the officer was unaware of the dealer's disputes with the zoning board and harbormaster. Baker v. Gray, 785 N.E.2d 395 (Mass. App. 2003). [N/R]
     Pro-statehood, pro-U.S. demonstrator in Puerto Rico did not adequately show that police violated his First Amendment rights by arresting him, thereby showing favoritism towards non-statehood supporters, "leftist groups," and "anti-American" sentiment expressed by opposing demonstrators there. The court noted that the plaintiff was the only person arrested in this single alleged incident, out of 500 pro-U.S. demonstrators present to oppose anti-U.S. demonstrators, which was insufficient to show a policy of making arrests on the basis of political affiliation. The plaintiff, who suffered from a chronic emotional condition and a schizophrenic disorder, was removed from the scene on the basis of his actions, in order to "avoid any serious altercations with protesters." Bonilla v. Vivoni, 259 F. Supp. 22d 135 (D. Puerto Rico 2003). [N/R]
     California county's ordinance banning the possession of firearms on county property did not violate the First Amendment rights of gun show promoters or improperly regulate commercial speech. State gun regulations did not preempt county's ability to regulate gun shows, and federal appeals court declines to address Second Amendment argument, finding that it involves a collective right to bear arms only assertable by the states, and not by individuals. Nordyke v. King, #99-17551, 319 F.3d 1186 (9th Cir. 2003). [2003 LR Aug]
     Arrestee who was awarded $2 in damages by a jury on his claim for violation of his First Amendment rights based on his arrest while he was protesting on the steps of city hall was not entitled to attorneys' fees, particularly when he previously declined two separate offers of judgment from defendant officers, requested $10,000 in damages, and lost his claim against the municipality and his claim for punitive damages. Pouillon v. Little, No. 01-1619, 326 F.3d 713 (6th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Doctor who cursed police dispatcher and made statements that could be interpreted as threats against officers did not have a claim for violation of his First Amendment rights based on police department report of these statements to his employer, which contributed to his suspension from medical residency program. Cohen v. Smith, #01-1666, 58 Fed. Appx. 139 (6th Cir. 2003). [2003 LR Jul]
     Florida statutes under which protesters at Disney World were threatened with arrest if they did not disperse were unconstitutional under the First Amendment because they were not "content neutral," prohibiting retarding of traffic except for purposes of charitable solicitation or political campaigning, or offering literature to the occupant of a car even if there was no effect on traffic or safety. Bischoff v. Florida, 242 F. Supp. 2d 1226 (M.D. Fla. 2003). [2003 LR Jun]
     Update: federal appeals court reverses ruling that off-duty sheriff's deputies, in making a "mass purchase" of copies of a weekly community newspaper which published an article critical of the sheriff on the night before the vote on his re-election, did not act "under color of state law" for purposes of a federal civil rights lawsuit claiming violation of First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Appeals court also holds that sheriff's contribution of money towards the mass purchase and expression of his approval of the action was an act under color of state law. Rossignol v. Voorhaar, #02-1326, 316 F.3d 516 (4th Cir. 2003). [2003 LR May]
     Federal appeals court upholds New York City's decision to bar an anti-war march through the streets near the United Nations, while allowing a stationary protest rally. Court finds that, under the circumstances of a proposed march of uncertain size, called on short notice, with unclear provisions for march organizers to attempt to control the crowd, the city's decision was a reasonable time, place, and manner regulation not violative of the First Amendment. United for Peace and Justice v. City of New York, #03-7130, 2003 U.S. App. Lexis 4526 (2nd Cir.). [2003 LR May]
     City ordinance which prohibited the sale of alcohol on premises which presented "adult entertainment" such as nude dancing did not violate the First Amendment, since it was a reasonable effort to combat undesirable "secondary" effects that could result from the combination of that form of entertainment and the consumption of alcohol. Ben's Bar, Inc. v. Village of Somerset, #01-4351, 316 F.3d 702 (7th Cir. 2003). [N/R]
     Federal appeals court overturns injunction requiring that police notify cooperating witnesses being interrogated that a lawyer, purporting to represent them, has arrived at the station. Court rejects ruling which was purportedly based on the First Amendment rights of the lawyer to associate with his client. First Defense Legal Aid v. City of Chicago, #02-3376, 319 F. 3d. 967 (7th Cir. 2003). [2003 LR Apr]
     New York statute prohibiting the wearing of masks in public demonstrations, with the sole exception of "masquerade parties" or "entertainment" purposes, violated the First Amendment rights of Klan group. Federal trial court finds that wearing masks is protected by the right to anonymous speech, as well as the right to symbolic speech, and that the exception provided constituted an impermissible content-based restriction. Statute was also improperly "selectively" enforced. Church of Amer. Knights of Ku Klux Klan v. Kerik, 232 F. Supp. 2d 205 (S.D.N.Y. 2002). [2003 LR Apr]
     Municipal ordinance requiring a permit before distributing literature or making speeches in public parks was facially invalid under the First Amendment. It would curtail spontaneous speech and was not "narrowly tailored" to achieve a significant government interest. Diener v. Reed, 232 F. Supp. 2d 362 (M.D. Pa. 2002). [N/R]
     Arrestee, in characterizing an officer as an "asshole" did not say anything sufficient to place the statement outside the protection of the First Amendment as "fighting words." Additionally, even if the officer had probable cause to make an arrest for violation of the city's civil disturbance ordinance, there would be no justification for the arrest if the officer actually was motivated by retaliation for the arrestee's statements prior to the arrest. Greene v. Barber, #01-1247, 310 F.3d 889 (6th Cir. 2002). [2003 LR Mar]
     Officer was not entitled to summary judgment on liability for alleged false arrest when there was a material issue of fact as to whether the arrestee was actually taken into custody solely because he criticized the officer's conduct in arresting and allegedly beating another person, and requested his badge and vehicle identification numbers, which would have been protected speech. Baskin v. Smith, #01-1721, 50 Fed. Appx. 731 (6th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
     Officer's arrest of an attorney, made during his protest of a state trooper's traffic stop of his client, was not unlawful retaliation for the attorney's exercise of his First Amendment rights. The lawyer's interference with the officer on the side of a busy interstate highway and his attempt to leave the scene after the trooper informed him that he was going to be issued tickets, gave the trooper probable cause to arrest him for his conduct, even if the trooper was "arguably brimming over with unconstitutional wrath." Abrams v. Walker, No. 01-2447, 307 F.3d 650 (7th Cir. 2002). [2003 LR Feb.]
     Instructors at college's police academy, who had testified against police as expert witnesses in an excessive force case had no constitutionally protected property interest which was violated by chiefs of police and sheriffs allegedly seeking non-renewal of their contractors in retaliation for the testimony. Police chiefs and sheriffs were not, however, entitled to qualified immunity on instructors' claim that they kept their personnel out of the instructors' classes, in violation of their First Amendment rights, in retaliation. Plaintiffs also asserted a valid claim under Texas state law for tortious interference with instructors' contract relationship with the academy, and the defendants were not entitled to official immunity from that claim. Kinney v. Weaver, #00-40557, 301 F.3d 253 (5th Cir. 2002).[N/R]
     Dispute over whether arrestee continued to protest loudly or lowered his voice after initial yelling when officer confronted him over sleeping in the surgery waiting room in the hospital where his daughter was going to be operated on barred summary judgment on false arrest claim. Arrestee's activity in confrontation with hospital staff over his sleeping in the waiting room was not, however, protected by the First Amendment. Shevlin v. Cheatham, 211 F. Supp. 2d 963 (S.D. Ohio 2002). [N/R]
     Members of motorcycle organization denied entry to portions of county courthouse because of their refusal to remove clothing with "biker" symbols were entitled to a preliminary injunction, based on the likelihood of their success on the claim that the action violated their First Amendment rights. Sammartano v. First Judicial District Court, #01-16685, 303 F.3d 959 (9th Cir. 2002). [2003 LR Jan]
     Police officer did not act reasonably in arresting man for shouting abusive comments at officers and answering them with sarcasm, which "amounted to no more than criticism of the police" and did not constitute either fighting words or incitement of others to imminent unlawful violence. Qualified immunity defense was not available. Resek v. City of Huntington Beach, #01-56029, 41 Fed. Appx. 57 (9th Cir. 2002). [2002 LR Dec]
     An arrestee's actions in pouring a drink on another patron in a casino did not involve the exercise of his First Amendment right to speech, so summary judgment was properly granted in his federal civil rights lawsuit over his arrest for doing so. Corrigan v. Jaeger, #01-16903 43 Fed. Appx. 69 (9th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
     Officer who allegedly elbowed a protester at a lawyers' meeting did not violate her First Amendment rights when his alleged motive was personal revenge for being embarrassed at a prior event, rather than deterrence of political expression. Force officer used to remove protester from public event was reasonable. Kash v. Honey, #01-7794, 38 Fed. Appx. 73 (2nd Cir. 2002). [2002 LR Nov]
     City ordinance restricting the use of amplified sound to 25-foot audibility from a private property line was so limiting that it constituted a complete ban on the use of amplified sound for any form of speech and violated the First Amendment. Court rules that the ordinance in question was not a reasonable time, place and manner restriction on speech, but an impermissible prior restraint which violated the rights of those seeking to hold a live music festival on private property. City council member, however, was entitled to qualified immunity from liability for money damages. Lilly v. City of Salida, 192 F. Supp. 2d 1191 (D. Colo. 2002). [N/R]
     Georgia statute which prohibited the advertising and distribution of sexual devices violated the First Amendment. Georgia statute, O.C.G.A. Sec. 16-12-80, was not expressly preempted by federal Medical Device Amendments of 1976, 21 U.S.C. Sec. 360k(a) when its purpose was not related to the safety or effectiveness of the sexual devices, but rather related to public morality and the distribution of allegedly obscene material. Owner of retail establishment selling devices could pursue federal civil rights claim. This That and Other Gift & Tobacco v. Cobb County, #01-13482, 285 F.3d 1319 (11th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
     Ordinance barring "religious or political activities" in municipal amphitheater violated the First Amendment and a preliminary injunction against its enforcement would be issued. Firecross Ministries v. Municipality of Ponce, 204 F. Supp. 2d 244 (D. Puerto Rico 2002). [N/R]
     Village ordinance, which made it a misdemeanor to engage in door-to-door "canvassing" without first obtaining a permit and registering with the mayor's office, violated the First Amendment in preventing religious "witnessing" and anonymous political speech. Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, Inc. v. Village of Stratton, #00-1737, 122 S. Ct. 2080 (2002). [N/R]
     Police department study concluding that concentrations of "adult" entertainment establishments are associated with higher crime rates in surrounding communities was reasonably relied on by city in enacting ordinance prohibiting such enterprises within 1,000 feet of each other or within 500 feet of a religious institution, school, or public park. City of Los Angeles v. Alameda Books, Inc., #00-799, 122 S. Ct. 1728 (2002). [N/R]
     Colorado Supreme Court holds that U.S. and Colorado constitutions protect an individual's "fundamental right to purchase books anonymously," and imposes a requirement under state law that bookstores be given an opportunity for an adversarial hearing prior to the execution of a search warrant seeking customer purchase records, to balance the need for the search against the privacy interests of the customers. Tattered Cover, Inc. v. City of Thornton, #01SA205, 44 P.3d 1044 (Colo. 2002). [2002 LR Aug]
     Woman who allegedly intended to place religious leaflets on car windshields had standing to sue county prosecutor and superintendent of state patrol to enjoin, on First Amendment grounds, enforcement of state statute prohibiting such leafleting, since she faced a credible threat of enforcement of the statute after they refused to tell her lawyer that they would not enforce it. Deida v. City of Milwaukee, 192 F. Supp. 2d 899 (E.D. Wis. 2002). [N/R]
     Officer was entitled to qualified immunity for arresting hunter for disturbing the peace and did not violate the hunter's First Amendment rights by making the arrest after the hunter complained about the officer's interruption of his stalking of an elk to check the hunter's license. The arrest was based on a prosecutor's independent determination that there was probable cause for the charges and there was no indication that the officer fabricated any facts in his report to the prosecutor. Petersen v. Cazemier, 164 F. Supp. 2d 1217 (D. Or. 2001). [N/R]
     U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upholds city ordinance requiring permits to hold more than 50-person events in a city park. Ordinance was utilized to deny a permit for a large gathering to advocate the legalization of marijuana, but was "content neutral," and therefore did not have to have First Amendment related procedural safeguards. Thomas v. Chicago Park District, No. 00-1249, 122 S. Ct. 775 (2002). [2002 LR Apr]
     Virginia state statute, Virginia Code Sec. 46.2-930, prohibiting loitering on bridges, being used to prevent anti-abortion protesters from gathering there, was unconstitutionally vague, providing inadequate notice of what conduct was prohibited, but city was not liable for damages under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983, as plaintiffs failed to show that any deprivation of their rights was caused by an official municipal policy or custom. Lytle v. Doyle, No. 299CV1366, 197 F. Supp. 2d 481 (E.D. Va. 2001). [N/R]
f       City ordinance which prohibited residential picketing was a permissible time, place, and manner restriction on speech in the traditional public forum of residential streets so that arrests of anti-abortion protestors for disobeying it did not violate their First Amendment rights. Veneklase v. City of Fargo, No. 98-2147, 248 F.3d 738 (8th Cir. 2001). [N/R]
     Use of a public school as a polling place did not automatically make it a traditional public forum and police officers did not violate petition circulators' First Amendment rights by removing them from the school property. United Food and Commercial Workers v. City of Sidney, Ohio, 174 F. Supp. 2d 682 (S.D. Ohio 2001). [N/R]
     Bringing reckless driving charges against motorcyclist, if motivated to hinder or prevent him from filing a civil lawsuit against arresting officers who had engaged in a high-speed chase in which he was injured, could constitute a violation of his First Amendment rights, even if criminal charges would otherwise be warranted. Poole v. County of Otero, No. 00-2215, 271 F.3d 955 (10th Cir. 2001). [2002 LR Mar]
     Five alleged instances of primarily verbal "harassment" by a police officer over a three- year period, even if "inappropriate," was insufficient to state a claim for violation of a woman's First Amendment rights to complain about the officer's conduct towards her adult son. A person of "ordinary firmness" would not be "chilled" from expressing her views based on the officer's alleged actions. Carroll v. Pfeffer, No. 00-2946, 262 F.3d 847 (8th Cir. 2001). [2002 LR Jan]
     Police officers did not need warrants to make arrests for allegedly obscene nude dances performed in their presence. Furfaro v. City of Seattle, #68971-7, 27 P.3d 1160 (Wash. 2001). [2002 LR Jan]
     347:170 Newspaper was entitled to access to most discovery documents in settled lawsuit claiming that police officer committed sexual crime against a woman and police department had a policy of inadequate training, supervision and discipline of officers engaged in repeated acts of misconduct; public interest in preventing police misconduct outweighed any benefit of keeping the documents confidential, as long as personal information such as social security numbers, addresses, and medical records were excluded. Doe v. Chicago Police Officer E. Marsalis, 202 F.R.D. 233 (N.D. Ill. 2001).
     344:115 Military police officer who shoved protester into a van while arresting him at the scene of a speech by the U.S. Vice President at a military based was entitled to qualified immunity; U.S. Supreme Court rules that inquiry on qualified immunity is whether an officer would have clearly known that his use of force was improper under the particular circumstances faced, not merely whether the use of force is ultimately judged reasonable. Saucier v. Katz, No. 99-1977, 121 S. Ct. 2151 (2001).
     341:71 Animal rights activist could lawfully be barred from premises of city animal shelter when she engaged in "rude and disruptive conduct" interrupting the shelter's business. Mcafee v. Deale, #99-2361, 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 21411 (4th Cir.).
     341:71 Motorist's statement to officer who stopped him that "I'll see you out" could be protected First Amendment expression if not meant as a threat of immediate harm; statement did not need to be on a matter of "public concern" to be protected speech. Naccarato v. Scarselli, # 98-CV-1115, 124 F. Supp. 2d 36 (N.D.N.Y. 2000).
     338:23 Federal appeals court modifies consent decree on political spying to allow surveillance of possible terrorist groups which advocate violence prior to when there is reasonable suspicion of imminent violent actions. Alliance to End Repression v. City of Chicago, No. 99-3825, 237 F.3d 799 (7th Cir. 2001).
     [N/R] Anti-abortion protester failed to establish that police officers, in enforcing injunction against his activities, was acting as an agent of abortion clinic; protester could not bring suit under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 248. Raney v. Aware Woman Center for Choice, Inc., #99-14122, 224 F.3d 1260 (11th Cir. 2000).
     [N/R] Officers' alleged different treatment of individual compared to their treatment of his neighbors in responding to various complaints did not violate his First Amendment right to petition for redress of grievances or his right to equal protection. Hilton v. City of Wheeling, #99- 3727, 209 F.3d 1005 (7th Cir. 2000).
     [N/R] Female operator of auto towing company could sue Highway patrol official for alleged retaliation against her for complaining of sex discrimination in the allocation of the patrol's towing business. Gable v. Lewis, #98-3819, 201 F.3d 769 (6th Cir. 2000).
     337:7 Federal trial court rules that motorist's gesture of displaying his middle finger to an officer driving by was protected First Amendment speech; officer was not entitled to qualified immunity and could be held liable for arresting motorist for disorderly conduct. Nichols v. Chacon, 110 F. Supp. 2d 1099 (W.D. Ark. 2000).
     331:104 City hall steps were a "traditional public forum" on which anti-abortion protester had a right to demonstrate unless he impeded access to the building or violated a reasonable time, place, and manner restriction; jury should have been instructed that he had this right to demonstrate there and should not have been allowed to decide a legal issue of whether the officers were entitled to qualified immunity for arresting him. Pouillon v. City of Owosso, #98-1967, 206 F.3d 711 (6th Cir. 2000).
     332:120 Police officer was entitled to qualified immunity for arresting protesters who were passing out anti- income tax leaflets on a sidewalk outside a post office on the day that federal income tax returns were due; officer could reasonably believe that leafleting there would impede the access of postal patrons to the facility, and the sidewalk in question was not a "traditional public forum." Paff v. Kaltenbach, No. 99-6025, 204 F.3d 425 (3rd Cir. 2000).
     333:134 Running of one year statute of limitations to bring a federal civil rights claim over alleged political discrimination in revocation of store's firearms sales license and raid on store accrued on the day of the raid and a lawsuit filed 23 years after the fact was time barred even if plaintiffs claimed they did not learn the reason for the raid until later. Ramos v. Roman, 83 F.Supp. 2d 233 (D. Puerto Rico 2000).
     335:170 Federal appeals court rules that city's decision to deny a newspaper's request to have a hyperlink to its website on the city's website, if motivated by the viewpoint of the newspaper's website, may be violative of the First Amendment. Putnam Pit, Inc. v. City of Cookeville, #98-6438, 221 F.3d 834 (6th Cir. 2000).
     335:171 Fact that a portion of school property was being used as a polling place did not convert the remainder of the premises into a public forum; police chief did not violate plaintiff's First Amendment rights by arresting her when she refused to leave school property where she had been collecting signatures on a petition on election day. Embry v. Lewis, No. 99-2238, 215 F.3d 884 (8th Cir. 2000).
     326:19 Publishing company was not entitled to an injunction against statute placing restrictions on the release of and use of information concerning the names and addresses of arrestees, which provided that such addresses could not be used for the sale of any products or services; statute on its face did not restrict commercial speech, but merely regulated the release of information in the hands of law enforcement. Los Angeles Police Dept. v. United Reporting Publishing Corp., #98-678, 120 S. Ct. 483 (1999).
     326:28 Denying photographer access to accident scene to take photographs did not violate his First Amendment rights; newsmen have no constitutional right of access to crime or disaster scenes when the general public is excluded. Kinsey v. City of Opp, 50 F Supp. 2d 1232 (M.D. Ala. 1999).
     326:29 Arrestee who joked at courthouse security checkpoint about whether he looked like "the Unabomber" stated claim for violation of his First Amendment rights in claiming he was arrested in retaliation for telling the joke. Palma v. Atlantic County, 53 F.Supp. 2d 743 (D.N.J. 1999).
     327:42 Sheriff's action of allegedly issuing criminal summons to woman in retaliation for her political opposition to him did not state a civil rights claim for malicious prosecution when she was not arrested, detained, fingerprinted, or ultimately prosecuted; plaintiff's liberty was not restricted in any way; summons and alleged defamatory remarks to the press also did not constitute a violation of First Amendment rights when no tangible adverse damage resulted from these acts. Matherne v. Larpenter, 54 F.Supp. 2d 684 (E.D. La. 1999).
     329:71 Arrests and threatened arrests of anti- abortion protesters on highway overpass for alleged violation of a state statute prohibiting "loitering" violated their First Amendment rights as overpass was similar to a public street and therefore a public forum; officer was entitled to qualified immunity, however, as he relied on the constitutionality of the statute, acted on the orders of his supervisor, and believed that the protesters represented a hazard to traffic safety; no showing of official policy or custom as required for municipal liability. Lyttle v. Brewer, 77 F.Supp. 2d 730 (E.D. Va. 1999).
     330:90 City ordinance that restricted "focused residential picketing" within 50 feet of a residence, enacted in response to anti-abortion demonstrators at abortion clinic doctor's home, did not violate demonstrator's First Amendment rights because it was content neutral and legitimately aimed at protecting residential privacy. Thorburn v. Roper, 39 F.Supp. 2d 1199 (D. Neb. 1999).
     330:91 Sufficient evidence existed for a jury to be able to conclude that an "informal" New York City policy existed of driving street artists out of the community; trial court denies city summary judgment in lawsuit brought by artist arrested three times while protesting application of licensing ordinance to artists who sold their work on the street. Lederman v. Adams, 45 F.Supp. 2d 259 (S.D.N.Y. 1999).
     320:122 City of New York reaches $59,000 settlement with "Black Israelite" street preachers over claim that denial of permits for amplified sound and treatment of group by police violated their First Amendment rights. Israeli Church of Universal Practical Knowledge v. N.Y.C., U.S. Dist. Ct. (S.D.N.Y.), reported in The New York Times, p. A25 (June 16, 1999).
     320:115 Officers did not violate union demonstrators' First Amendment rights by using tear gas to disperse rally outside factory after picketers refused to disperse; blowing of tear gas into nearby homes did not violate clearly established privacy rights of homeowners; court rejects inadequate training claim in absence of specific evidence. Ellsworth v. City of Lansing, 34 F.Supp. 2d 571 (W.D. Mich. 1998).
     318:90 Officer's removal of spectators from a minor league baseball game at a leased stadium in a public park based on request from team's security personnel did not violate their First Amendment rights; cheering on the home team was not "expressive activity" meriting constitutional protection. James v. City of Long Beach, 18 F.Supp. 2d 1078 (C.D. Cal. 1998).
     {N/R} Interest of police department in maintaining confidentiality concerning investigation of shooting by officer outweighed another officer's First Amendment right to speak about the shooting; officer did not have reasonable grounds for believing that a fellow officer acted improperly. Lytle v. City of Haysville, Kan., #96-3197, 138 F.3d 857 (10th Cir. 1998).
     316:57 New York City parade permit ordinance was facially unconstitutional because it did not contain an "express time limit" by which the police commissioner had to either grant or deny a parade permit application. MacDonald v. Safir, 26 F.Supp. 2d 664 (S.D.N.Y. 1998).
     316:57 Federal appeals court overturns injunction against enforcement of anti-noise ordinance against street preachers; ordinance only prohibits "unreasonably" loud noise. Asquith v. City of Beaufort, #95-2956 - 95-2958, 139 F.3d 408 (4th Cir. 1998).
     314:25 Police chief's cable television ad, warning voters that some candidates for city council were ex-felons, did not violate candidate's First Amendment right to political association or to run for public office; there is a legitimate governmental interest under the U.S. Constitution in impeding the candidacy of ex-felons, even if state law allows them to run. Medina v. City of Osawatomie, 992 F.Supp. 1269 (D. Kan. 1998).
     314:24 Officers had arguable probable cause to arrest street minister for disorderly conduct when he admittedly succeeded in making himself heard "over traffic"; officers entitled to qualified immunity from First Amendment claim when minister was not singled out because of the content of his speech. Redd v. City of Enterprise, #95-6673, 140 F.3d 1378 (11th Cir. 1998).
     307:104 Action of passenger in moving vehicle of yelling "f--k you" and extending middle finger towards abortion protesters was protected speech under the First Amendment; passenger's rights were clearly established, so that officer was not entitled to qualified immunity for arresting passenger for disorderly conduct. Sandul v. Larion, 119 F.3d 1250 (6th Cir. 1997).
     311:167 Verbal protests or challenges to the police are permitted, even if they knowingly hinder, delay or obstruct the police, appeals court rules; to be criminal, the words must be fighting words. Gulliford v. Pierce County, #96-35614, 136 F.3d 1345 (9th Cir. 1998), cert. denied, 1998 U.S. Lexis 4989.
     311:168 Provision in consent decree limiting F.B.I.'s political surveillance activities did not allow injunctive orders merely upon a showing that the F.B.I. had "deliberately" begun an investigation, but rather that it had done so with the "intent to interfere with First Amendment rights." Alliance to End Repression v. City of Chicago, Nos. 96-2347, 96-4014, 119 F.3d 472 (7th Cir. 1997).
     {N/R} Ordinance barring sales and solicitations of donations along boardwalk was violative of First Amendment, when not narrowly tailored to serve governmental interests of aiding free flow of traffic and protecting local merchants. Perry v. Los Angeles Police Dept., 121 F.3d 1365 (9th Cir. 1997).
     291:42 Township will pay $10,000 to reporter and $25,000 in attorneys' fees to ACLU in settlement of federal lawsuit over police department spokesmen's alleged refusal to speak to reporter after he published a series of articles critical of the department Moore v. Monroe Township, U.S. Dist. Ct., Newark, NJ, reported in The Natl. Law Jour., p. A8 (November 4, 1996).
     292:54 Violence at prior demonstration concerning Rodney King verdict could not be basis for banning all demonstrations on following day, federal appeals court rules; defendant city and law enforcement officials were not entitled to qualified immunity from class action suit brought by arrestees at demonstrations Collins v. Jordan, 102 F.3d 406, 1996 U.S. App. Lexis 31148, 96 Daily Journal DAR 14460 (9th Cir. Dec 4, 1996).
     280:56 Even if arrested demonstrator could not state false arrest or false imprisonment claim, his complaints concerning officers' alleged viewpoint discrimination against him based on where he was told to stand, etc stated independent First Amendment claim on which he could pursue federal civil rights suit Johnson v. Bax, 63 F.3d 154 (2nd Cir. 1995).
     281:73 Arrest of man in crowd for repeatedly calling his sister a "bitch," accusing her of matricide, calling another man a "fucking queer" and pushing him, etc did not violate his First Amendment free speech rights since his words were unprotected "fighting words" with a tendency to provoke a physical altercation Digiambattista v. Doherty, 897 F.Supp. 649 (D.Mass 1995).
     282:90 Arrest of man for writing with chalk on sidewalk was not supported by probable cause; no "reasonable officer," federal appeals court rules, could have thought that there was probable cause to arrest man for violation of statute prohibiting writing on property with "paint" or liquid or damaging property; factual issue was created as to whether city had policy of neglecting to train officers to be sensitive to citizens' First Amendment rights MacKinney v. Nielsen, 69 F.3d 1002 (9th Cir. 1995). [Cross-reference: Defenses: Qualified (Good-Faith). Immunity; False Arrest/Imprisonment: No Warrant]
     284:120 Mere fact that individuals were indicted by grand jury after they had already filed federal civil rights lawsuit against officers who conducted gambling raid on their business premises did not show that prosecution was retaliatory in violation of their First Amendment rights; evidence clearly showed that there was intent to seek indictments prior to filing of civil rights lawsuit Enlow v. Tishomingo County, Mississippi, 45 F.3d 885 (5th Cir. 1995). [Cross-reference: Malicious Prosecution]
     268:57 Jury awards $35,000 in damages to gay free circulation newspaper which sued police chief for allegedly ordering thousands of copies of paper confiscated when it printed an article and "doctored" photo ridiculing him Coming Up, Inc v. City and County of San Francisco, 857 F.Supp. 711 (N.D.Cal 1994). The New York Times, p. 14 (Sept 18, 1994).
     268:57 Arrest of man circulating petitions for signatures on private property did not violate his First Amendment rights; manager of property and police officer asked man to leave before he was placed under arrest Geibels v. City of Cape Coral, 861 F.Supp. 1049 (M.D. Fla 1994).
     269:68 City officials, including police chief, who were alleged to have conspired to destroy or conceal evidence in order to achieve low settlement in plaintiffs' wrongful death suit against city were entitled to qualified immunity; plaintiffs' claim that such conduct violated constitutional right of access to courts was not "clearly established" law in 1988 at the time of the alleged misconduct Foster v. City of Lake Jackson, 28 F.3d 425 (5th Cir. 1994).
     271:99 U.S. Supreme Court to review case granting qualified immunity to prison officials in suit inmate brought claiming that his First Amendment rights were violated when he was placed in administrative detention after he told the press he had allegedly sold marijuana to a Vice Presidential candidate Kimberlin v. Quinlan, 6 F.3d 789 (DC Cir. 1993), rehearing denied, 17 F.3d 1525 (DC Cir. 1994), cert granted, 115 SCt 929 (1995).
     273:135 Having a jury determine whether officer was entitled to qualified immunity in case where it was alleged that he warned and cited plaintiff because of his political beliefs was "proper," or at worst "harmless," federal appeals court rules; $35,350 jury award against officer upheld, but award against city overturned in absence of evidence of municipal policy or custom; $55,000 attorneys' fee award ordered reconsidered Sloman v. Tadlock, 21 F.3d 1462 (9th Cir. 1994).
     275:167 Officer was entitled to qualified immunity for arresting passenger in van stopped at border patrol checkpoint who refused to identify himself; federal appeals court finds no "clearly established" right under either the First or Fourth Amendment to refuse to identify oneself during a lawful investigatory stop Albright v. Rodriguez, 51 F.3d 1531 (10th Cir. 1995).
     275:168 Right to be free from retaliation for filing and winning a lawsuit was not so "clearly established" in 1988 that a reasonable officer would be required to know that conduct carried out with that intent violated a person's First Amendment rights; officer was entitled to qualified immunity on First Amendment claim Hale v. Townley, 45 F.3d 914 (5th Cir. 1995).
     {N/R} Correct legal standard for determining First Amendment violations by police officer was whether the officer's intent to curb the plaintiff's free expression was the "determining or motivating" factor in making an arrest; plaintiff need not show that this was the officer's "sole" motive Tatro v. Kervin, 41 F.3d 9 (1st Cir. 1994).
     Federal appeals court holds that NY statute prohibiting all loitering for purposes of begging violates beggars' First Amendment free speech rights, upholds injunction against enforcement by NY City Police Department Loper v. NY City Police Dept, 999 F.2d 699 (2nd Cir. 1993).
     Arrest of picketing anti-abortion protesters on sidewalk outside abortion clinic for refusing officers' orders to cover the words "The Killing Place" on their signs violated their clearly established First Amendment right to picket on the sidewalk; words involved did not constitute "fighting words" for which an arrest could be made Cannon v. City and County of Denver, 998 F.2d 867 (10th Cir. 1993).
     Anti-abortion demonstrators arrested under noise ordinance later held unconstitutional could not recover damages in federal civil rights lawsuit if they had been creating a level of noise which could have constitutionally been prohibited under a reasonable time, place and manner restriction Noelker v. City of Kansas City, Missouri, 802 F.Supp. 268 (WD Mo 1992).
     Arrest of homeless street musician for sleeping in public square, and alleged destruction of his property, did not violate his free speech rights or his right to due process Stone v. Agnos, 960 F.2d 893 (9th Cir. 1992).
     Police officers' enforcement of property owners' wishes that anti-abortion demonstrators stay away from abortion clinic did not constitute "state action" restrictive of free speech rights under New York state constitution Moore v. Suffolk County Police Dept, 579 N.Y.S.2d 575 (Sup 1991).
     Library policy barring patrons who "annoy" others or who emit offensive odors violated homeless man's rights to free speech, due process and equal protection of law, federal court rules; Homeless plaintiff receives $150,000 settlement from town on allegations of Police "harassment" Kreimer v. Bureau of Police for Town of Morristown, 765 F.Supp. 181 (D.N.J. 1991).
     Use of state police to bar access of AIDS protect group to legislature's gallery during governor's speech violated the First Amendment ACT-UP v. Walp, 755 F.Supp. 1281 (M.D. Pa 1991).
     Political activists and organizations who alleged they were targets of unconstitutional police surveillance causing harm to their reputations could bring civil rights class action against city Riggs v. City of Albuquerque, 916 F.2d 582 (10th Cir. 1990).
     Protest permit could be denied for white supremacist group which wished to protest on the same day previously reserved for dedication of a civil rights monument based on city officials' belief that they could not ensure public safety if both groups demonstrated at same location nor have adequate manpower to supervise both groups if the demonstration was held elsewhere Holland v. Wilson, 737 F.Supp. 82 (M.D. Ala 1989).
     Federal Appeals Court finds that profanities and obscene gestures directed at police officer by car passenger were speech and conduct protected by the First Amendment Duran v. City of Douglas, Arizona, 904 F.2d 1372 (9th Cir. 1990).
     Police officers violated news photographer's first amendment rights by restricting his access to accident site more than required to prevent interference with police functions Connell v. Town of Hudson, 733 F.Supp. 465 (DNH 1990). Ordinance allowing establishment of police lines to "prevent, suppress or contain" events allowed unconstitutional discretion to prevent events protected by first amendment Leonardson v. City of East Lansing, 896 F.2d 190 (6th Cir. 1990).
     Placing of police barricade in front of abortion clinic did not violate protester's first amendment rights Thompson v. Police Dept of City of New York, 546 N.Y.S.2d 945 (Sup 1989).

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