Case Overview

Legal Principle at Issue

Whether a local ordinance that prohibited the distribution of literature of any kind, and in any way, without first obtaining written permission from the city manager violated the First Amendment.


Affirmed (includes modified). Petitioning party did not receive a favorable disposition.


Appellant, Alma Lovell, was convicted in the Recorder's Court of the City of Griffin, Georgia, of the violation of a city ordinance and was sentenced to imprisonment for fifty days in default of the payment of a fine of fifty dollars. The violation, which is not denied, consisted of the distribution without the required permission of a pamphlet and magazine in the nature of religious tracts, setting forth the gospel of the "Kingdom of Jehovah." Appellant did not apply for a permit, as she regarded herself as sent "by Jehovah to do His work," and that such an application would have been "an act of disobedience to His commandment."

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