Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Preliminary Injunction Protects Street Preachers At Holiday Festival In Park

In Jankowski v. City of Duluth, (D MN, Dec. 20, 2011), a Minnesota federal district court granted a preliminary injunction to prevent city of Duluth police officers from interfering with activities of two street preachers at the Bentleyville Tour of Lights.  The Tour is a holiday festival held each year on city property, Bayfront Festival Park, and is sponsored by a private non-profit group. The court concluded that Bayfront Festival Park is a traditional public forum, and it remains so when a private group uses it to host an event that is free and open to the public. The court concluded that the city had failed to set forth any interest that is furthered by its enforcing the non-profit sponsor's ban on plaintiffs' 1st Amendment activities. A Dec. 13 magistrate judge's decision in the case had likewise recommended granting a preliminary injunction. An Alliance Defense Fund press release reports on the court's decision. (See prior related posting.)