Case Overview

Legal Principle at Issue

Whether the 1st and 14th Amendments protect the right of individuals to solicit signatures for political petitions in privately owned shopping centers.


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


Soon after appellees had begun soliciting in appellant privately owned shopping center's central courtyard for signatures from passersby for petitions in opposition to a United Nations resolution, a security guard informed appellees that they would have to leave because their activity violated shopping center regulations prohibiting any visitor or tenant from engaging in any publicly expressive activity that is not directly related to the center's commercial purposes. Appellees immediately left the premises and later filed suit in a California state court to enjoin the shopping center and its owner (also an appellant) from denying appellees access to the center for the purpose of circulating their petitions.

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