Skip to comments.Court strikes down mall talk rules
Posted on 08/17/2010 10:53:34 AM PDT by JoeProBono
ROSEVILLE, Calif - A California appeals court struck down a mall's rules banning strangers from talking about subjects other than the mall while inside the facility.
A three-judge 3rd District Court of Appeals panel issued a 43-page opinion Wednesday describing the rules, which ban the unacquainted for discussing anything other than Roseville's Westfield Galleria mall and its stores while in the mall, as "unconstitutional on their face" due to violations of free speech as outlined in the California Constitution, the Sacramento Bee reported Tuesday.
The mall's rules, which were previously upheld by Placer Superior Court Judge Larry Gaddis, allow for conversations between two strangers on non-mall related topics only if an application is submitted 4 days in advance and approved by officials.
"We are reviewing the court's decision and will consider our options, including appeal to the California Supreme Court," Westfield spokeswoman Katy Dickey said.
This story came out in the local paper a couple of days ago. Basically, the mall had a rule that you couldn’t talk to anyone about anything other than mall business, or they could remove you. There is no way that rule could pass constitutional muster...
Nothing in this world would entice me to live in the land of fruits and nuts.
I know what youre saying. Kookyfornia is WAY overrated. What the lemmings who live there see in it is way beyond me. Guess they enjoy being told when to jump and whos tune to dance to.
Why on Earth would a mall even entertain such a stupid rule written that way?
I GET what they likely meant, but the paper pushing dweeb that worded this should have received their pink slip by now.
When Judge Gaddis appears on my ballot I will vote no. He was apparently absent the day the Constitution was taught. The mall mentioned is about 8 minutes from my house. Too expensive to shop there.
It took 3 judges and 43 pages to tell them to go pound salt?
This is a gag, right?
i luuuvvvvvv this mall... dumb rule, but very nice mall...
i still love it here... it's so beautiful... especially a day like today... i know there is a lot wrong with it, but i love the weather, the outdoors, the big cities, and espcially that we have no homeschooling laws... and our vegetable garden is doing so well... much of the time i'm living in paradise... besides, the mall's rule was struck down...
I realize now why it takes so many years of law school to become a lawyer...and why they get such a bad rap.
To convince someone to pay $100’s per hour on such a CRAZY thing as this would require some serious levels of BS abilities.
This court room should be video taped and put on youtube so everyone can see such a spectacle and realize the horror knowing that its the LAW in action. Yikes!
Just don’t ask anybody for a light. You won’t be shopping there anymore.
My guess is that they are trying to weed out hooligans and people that aren’t there to shop. Silly approach. Why not just issue trespass warnings?
“Fine weather we’re having, hey?”
“Citizens Arrressst! Citizens Arrressst!”
Speaking about anything else but Allah, while visiting that Muslim Community Center at Ground Zero, will probably be enforced much more drastically.
Another reason to NOT go to the mall — now we can look forward to being accosted by total strangers determined to annoy us with their personal fixations.
So, let me get this straight, you live in a place with a massively failing economy and society second to none and all you can talk about is the weather? You do realize Kookyfornia doesn’t have a monopoly on nice weather...right? You seem to fit right in to the out of control insanity. So please stay put, you wont like the life of freedom and responsibility outside the Granola state.
re mall rule being struck down...perhaps youre missing the point. Its unbelievable it was even consider and implemented in the first place.
While I’m hardly shocked one judge actually ruled this was Constitutional - how the HELL is this mall getting a single customer???
$100 bucks says the owner of this mall donated to Obama.
I’ve always been amazed that some people are actually eager to spend time in shopping malls. Contrived, artificial environments, suitable for people with shallow intellects, where their money is separated from them as a form of entertainment.
Given the choice of going to the mall or detailing the bathroom - I’ll go with the clean bathroom.
“conversations between two strangers on non-mall related topics only if an application is submitted 4 days in advance and approved by officials.”
I would love to see this application for talking to strangers about un-mall related topics.
That is troubling.
“Not sure if I will meet a stranger while at the mall, but if I do, can we talk about un-mall related topics? Please? Oh and I will be coming to the mall in 3 days. Could you expidite the process and let me know?”
What happend to common sense?
So, what is your solution, to just give up on the state?
By all means no, dont leave, stay put and enjoy the weather.
Great solution. Well thought out.
I wouldn’t put it past California to have government-run malls, but the article doesn’t say one way or the other. Can anyone confirm whether the government does actually run this mall?
I agree that this is a stupid rule, but why is it unconstitutional? Why can't a private property owner (the mall owner) set rules for those who enter his property?
No sir, we are talking about the gas mileage of my Dodge minivan.
Get out of here, and don't come back.
The mall is a private business, and should have the constitutional right to decide who is allowed to be in the mall, and what they can do.
It’s like a “no solicitation” rule. Surely the mall has a right not to allow people to come into a store and beg people for money, just like you have a right to tell people to leave your front porch if they try to convert you to their religion.
To keep political groups from coming into the mall and harassing their customers?
Like the local Leather outlet, to protect them from animal rights activists setting up a protest outside their store and shouting at customers?
Like the local cigar shop, to protect them from anti-smoking zealots setting up shop in front of their store and flashing pictures of cancer victims and shouting profanities at the customers?
Like the local gun shop, to protect them from anti-gun nuts who might form protest lines by their store and scream at people who want to shop there?
A mall is a store, a privately owned business, and should have the right to decide what activities are allowed in their building.
It’s a clear rule. You and your friends and family can go to the mall, and you can talk about whatever you want.
You can’t walk up to a stranger and try to proselytize them to join the Muslim Brotherhood, or Scientology, or scream at them for wearing fur, or leather, or in any other way try to solicit them for money, or ask for them to support your political candidate, or to vote for or against some proposition, or to boycott some store.
This is a way for the mall to give their customers peace of mind that they will not be harassed while shopping in their mall. Why shouldn’t a mall be allowed to kick people out of a store if those people are harassing customers?
This rule was too intrusive. It attempted to control the conversation between consenting participants. In this instance, the person suing was a youth pastor who was sharing his faith with three young people who willingly engaged in conversation with him. The mall asked him to leave and had him arrested because of the content of his private speech. That is unconstitutional.
If he had gotten up on a bench and started to preach, disrupting the normal operation of the mall and interfering with commerce, they could have stopped him. If he was attempting to sell Bibles or religious items without permission, they could have stopped him. But to have him arrested for engaging in a private conversation with willing participants just because the conversation was religious in nature goes too far.
Your analogy of someone on your front porch is off base as well. As a general rule, you do not spend millions in advertising asking people to come visit your front porch. A mall does, and in doing so becomes a quasi-public forum or “public accommodation”. This places some limits on their ability to infringe on the rights of their customers.
The problem here is that the person arrested was not harassing anyone. He was engaged in a conversation with three willing participants. Some mall employee overheard the content of the conversation and decided to take matters into their own hands.
Not sure how the mall can determine that a non-business-related conversation with strangers is a willing one or not, or how they can determine that people are “strangers”.
If the pastor had asked the young people their names, they could then reasonably state that they were now friends, not strangers, and therefore not violating the policy.
But I think the description given is more of the mall’s violation of the intent of their policy, rather than an indication that the policy itself is wrong, or unconstitutional.
The policy as written prohibits communications of a non-mall nature with strangers; if I strike up a conservation with someone, and they reciprocate, we are no longer strangers. If the mall stuck to the letter of their rule, they wouldn’t go after a man speaking about religion to new friends, but would go after a man harassing people about religion when they have no interest.
So in your example, if the kids were sitting at a table eating food court meals, and the guy sat down and started sharing the gospel of scientology, the mall cop would have a right to go ask him to leave. If the court throws out the rule, there’s nothing the mall can do, and the vegans can sit AT your lunch table and harass you about eating a hamburger.
The concept of “stranger” pretty much implies non-consenting participants, as well as more common “speech-making” in which a person finds a place, and simple starts giving a lecture to whomever wanders by. “Stranger” should never apply to a person once that person consents to a conversation with another person — that is the start of a relationship.
*flush*... There goes the USA. Make way for the fundamental transformation. I give you the USSA: United Socialist States of Amerika.
Since when is free speech banned in a public forum?
If you don’t like the content of the speech, move on. Kinda like the FCC banning certain types of shows.
If you don’t like the content, don’t sue, just change the channel.
You'd lose. The mall is owned by the Westfield Group which has donated 98 percent of their PAC to Republicans and only 2 percent to Democrats.
Does the California Constitution’s “Free Speech” provision apply to restrictions by non-government entities? How else could this be a “constitutional” issue in a private business?
True, however Westfield Group is owned by Australian Frank Lowy who donates heavily to the Democrats. And like every good Democrat donor got into some serious problems with the IRS for a rather substancial donation to Bill and Hillary.
We’ll split it.... :)
Why do you think a private mall is a public forum?
There was a time when a business owner had the right to do whatever they wanted, to serve who they wanted, to price things how they wanted.
A lot of that right has been taken away, and in some cases we might even conservatively agree about the infringement of rights. Should a private business be allowed to serve only jewish people, or only blacks, or only men?
Should a business be allowed to have steps to their door without putting in a wheelchair ramp? Should a business be allowed to let people smoke in their establishment, or to ban it?
Should a business have the right to decide to let people carry weapons, or not? Should a business be allowed to dictate a dress code? Shirts and Shoes required?
Where would YOU draw the line regarding private ownership rights? If I have a Halloween haunt walkthrough at my house, and some kids are swearing, do I violate the first amendment and destroy the country if I kick them off my property?
What makes a private mall enough of a “public forum” that the mall owner loses his right to operate his business as he sees fit?
If people don’t like the “no talking” policy, they don’t have to shop at the mall. Isn’t that how it should work? Why should the government dictate to the mall what speech is OK for their property?
i'm no threat to any red state... i vote a straight conservative ticket... i said we have problems... but i do find the weather and landscape enticing... and i would rather live in this liberal hell-hole with nice weather and no homeschool laws than in a red state like Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas etc., where the government tells me how to educate my children...
we like having a beach house in addition to a cabin in the mountains... we like taking our boat to the lake on any given day of the year... we enjoy living in the Central Valley--which is mainly conservative--where we have a ranchette large enough to accommodate more than 100 people at a time for our various celebrations... if we moved away, we would be away from our rather large and tight-knit family... not worth it to us...
so for me, California is underrated... sue me for looking for the silver lining... no matter where i live, i do my best to live by the two most important commandments... love your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength... love your neighbors as yourself... and this is the foundation we have chosen to raise our family upon... and we are able to do it here in California...
p.s.--the US as a country has had many ridiculous cases come before the Supreme Court--that have been shot down, and that have been left to stand... is the US underrated?
>>i’m no threat to any red state... i vote a straight conservative ticket...
What does a ‘conservative’ ticket look like in KA?
>>i said we have problems...
Thats a huge understmt....the state is insolvent and paying its bills w/ IOUs. Your society is in moral meltdown. Weather would be the last thing on my mind.
>>but i do find the weather and landscape enticing... and i would rather live
>> in this liberal hell-hole with nice weather and no homeschool laws than in
>>a red state like Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia,
>>Arkansas etc., where the government tells me how to educate my
Thats an odd jump from weather to home schooling law. Ill bite tho...do you know anythingabout the home school laws in the other states?
>>if we moved away, we would be away from our rather large and tight-knit
>> family... not worth it to us...
OK, that makes loads more sense than the ‘I like the weather’ argument.
>>p.s.—the US as a country has had many ridiculous cases come before the
>> Supreme Court—that have been shot down, and that have been left to
>>stand... is the US underrated?
Thats the diff...KA seems a magnet for the disgusting and stupid. Laws that other places reject become law in KA. No, the US isnt overrated but KA sure is.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.