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Utah Animal Rights Coalition v. State of Utah | Complaint

01 April 2001 Published in Litigation Materials

Utah Animal Rights Coalition v. State of Utah

JAMES L. HARRIS, Jr. USB # 8204
BRIAN M. BARNARD USB # 0215
UTAH LEGAL CLINIC
Attorneys for Plaintiff
214 East Fifth South Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111-3204
Telephone: (801) 328-9531

JANELLE EURICK, USB # 8801
STEPHEN C. CLARK, USB # 4551
ACLU OF UTAH FOUNDATION, INC.
355 North 300 West St. Suite # 1
Salt Lake City, UT 84103
Telephone: (801) 521-9862

ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFFS

COMPLAINT

Civil No. 2:01-CV-0221

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF UTAH
CENTRAL DIVISION

UTAH ANIMAL RIGHTS COALITION, a Utah non-profit corporation; SUMMER ADAMS; and, BILL FRENCH, Plaintiffs,

vs.

THE STATE OF UTAH, a governmental entity; MICHAEL LEAVITT, Governor of the State of Utah; and MARK SHURTLEFF, Attorney General of the State of Utah, Defendants.

Plaintiffs, UTAH ANIMAL RIGHTS COALITION, a Utah non-profit corporation, SUMMER ADAMS and BILL FRENCH, through counsel, Brian M. Barnard and James L. Harris, Jr. of the Utah Legal Clinic, and Stephen C. Clark and Janelle Eurick of the A C L U Foundation of Utah Inc., as a COMPLAINT against the defendants state and allege claims and causes of action as follows:

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

1. This is a civil action for declaratory relief and prospective injunctive relief to prevent violation of civil rights protected by the constitutions of the United States and Utah. Plaintiffs seek no monetary compensation. Plaintiffs seek declaratory relief as to the unconstitutionality of a recently enacted Utah statute. Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief prohibiting defendants from implementing and enforcing that statute. Plaintiffs seek attorney fees and court costs pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and § 1988.

JURISDICTION

2. Jurisdiction is based on 28 U.S.C. § 1343 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for claims arising under the United States Constitution. Declaratory relief is au­thorized by 28 U.S.C. § 2201 and § 2202 and Rule 57 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Injunctive relief is authorized by the United States Code and Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. This court has supplemental or pendent jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367 to hear claims under the Utah Constitution which arise out of the same fact situation.

VENUE

3. All of the conduct complained of occurred, is occurring or will occur in the Central Division of the District of Utah and in Salt Lake County, Utah. The named individual parties to this action reside in the Central Division of the District of Utah. Defendants have their places of business in the Central Division of the District of Utah.

PARTIES

4. The plaintiff UTAH ANIMAL RIGHTS COALITION (“UARC”) is a non-profit Utah corporation. Its offices are located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

5. SUMMER ADAMS is an adult citizen and resident of Salt Lake County, Utah. Plaintiff ADAMS is a member of UARC.

6. BILL FRENCH is an adult citizen and resident of Salt Lake County, Utah. Plaintiff FRENCH is a member of UARC.

7. THE STATE OF UTAH is a governmental entity that governs the geographical area known as Utah.

8. MICHAEL LEAVITT is the duly elected and serving Governor of the State of Utah. He is the chief executive officer of the State of Utah. He is a proper defendant in this action seeking equitable relief against the State of Utah regarding the unconstitutionality of a Utah statute.

9. MARK SHURTLEFF is the duly elected and serving Attorney General of the State of Utah. He is the chief executive officer of the State of Utah. He is a proper defendant in this action seeking equitable relief against the State of Utah regarding the unconstitutionality of a Utah statute.

10. At all times pertinent to this action, the individual defendants and each of them were acting under color of state law and with the power and authority granted to them by the laws of the State of Utah. The individual defendants are sued in their personal and official capacities.

FACTS

11. UARC and its members regularly engage in public demonstrations and protests in Salt Lake City and County including picketing and leafleting. UARC seeks to educate the public with regard to issues regarding the treatment of animals.

12. As members of UARC, Summer Adams and Bill French regularly engage in public demonstrations and protests in Salt Lake City and County including picketing and leafleting. UARC seeks to educate the public with regard to issues regarding the treatment of animals.

13. UARC and its members, including Summer Adams and Bill French have, at various locations in Salt Lake County, Utah pro-tested, demonstrated, leafleted and picketed on the public side-walks in front of and adjacent to businesses and enterprises that use animals for food or fiber production, produce and/or traffic in livestock, sell apparel made from skins and fur of animals, and/or operate zoos, circuses, rodeos and other competitive animal events.

14. The purposes, inter alia, of UARC and its members, including Summer Adams and Bill French in protesting, demonstrating, leafleting and picketing as set forth above include to educate the public and the operators of such enterprises.

15. The purposes, inter alia, of UARC and its members, including Summer Adams and Bill French in protesting, demonstrating, leafleting and picketing as set forth above include to dissuade patrons and customers from patronizing such enterprises.

16. The purposes, inter alia, of UARC and its members, including Summer Adams and Bill French in protesting, demonstrating, leafleting and picketing as set forth above include to dissuade the owners and operators of such enterprises from continuing in those enterprises and in activities which are harmful to animals.

17. During protests and demonstrations as set forth above, members of UARC, including Summer Adams and Bill French some times sing, chant and/or yell.

18. During protests and demonstrations as set forth above, members of UARC, including Summer Adams and Bill French some times carry signs and banners.

19. During protests and demonstrations as set forth above, the singing, chanting and yelling by members of UARC may be heard by people inside the target business or enterprise.

20. During protests and demonstrations as set forth above, the signs and banners held and carried by members of UARC may be seen by people inside the target business or enterprise.

21. UARC and its members, including Summer Adams and Bill French intend to continue to engage in similar conduct as de-scribed above by way of protesting, demonstrating, picketing and leafleting.

22. The Utah Legislature recently passed H.B. 322 entitled “Domestic Terrorism of Commercial Enterprises.” That bill enacts Utah Code Ann. §76-6-110 and §76-10-2401 (1953 as amended). That enactment was signed and approved by the defendant Governor Leavitt on March 16, 2001. Those statutes become effective on or about May 1, 2001. Those statutes are referred to hereinafter as “the challenged statutes.”

23. The challenged statutes prohibit, inter alia, a person from engaging in conduct which causes “the intrusion of any . . . sound wave, light ray, electronic signal, or other means of intrusion under the control of the actor” into a retail business dealing in tangible personal property (Utah Code Ann. §76-10-2401(3)(b) (1953 as amended)) “with the intent to interfere with the employees, customers, personnel or operations of a business. Utah Code Ann. §76-10-2402(1) (1953 as amended).

24. UARC and its members, including Summer Adams and Bill French are fearful that if they continue to engage in similar conduct as described above by way of protesting, demonstrating, picketing and leafleting, that they will be arrested and/or charged with criminal conduct in violation of the challenged statutes.

CAUSES OF ACTION

Federal Free Expression Clause

25. All preceding paragraphs are incorporated into this cause of action.

26. The challenged statutes are vague and unclear such as to chill the exercise of free expression as protected by the first amendment to the United States Constitution.

27. The challenged statutes prohibit legal expressive conduct based upon the content of the expression.

28. The challenged statutes prohibit legal peaceful conduct protected by the United States Constitution such as picketing, protesting, demonstrating and leafleting on a public street.

29. No compelling state interest justifies the restriction of plaintiffs’ right to expressive activity.

30. The plaintiffs are entitled to declaratory relief that the challenged statutes are in violation of the pro­hibition against government interference with free expression as protected by the United States Constitution.

31. The plaintiffs are entitled to injunctive relief that the defendants not enforce said statutes because they are in violation of the free expression clause of the United States Constitution.

State Free Expression Clause

32. All preceding paragraphs are incorporated into this cause of action.

33. The challenged statutes are vague and unclear such as to chill the exercise of free expression as protected by the Utah Constitution. Art. I, § 15.

34. The challenged statutes prohibit legal expressive conduct based upon the content of the expression.

35. The challenged statutes prohibit legal peaceful conduct protected by the Utah Constitution such as picketing, protesting, demonstrating and leafleting on a public street.

36. No compelling state interest justifies the restriction of plaintiffs’ right to expressive activity.

37. The plaintiffs are entitled to declaratory relief that the challenged statutes are in violation of the pro­hibition against government interference with free expression as protected by the Utah Constitution.

38. The plaintiffs are entitled to injunctive relief that the defendants not enforce said statutes because they are in violation of the free expression clause of the Utah Constitution.

Federal Equal Protection Clause

39. All preceding paragraphs are incorporated into this cause of action.

40. The challenged statute violates equal protection of the law guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

41. The challenged statute allows citizens acting in accordance with the National Labor Relations Act and the Federal Railway Labor Act to engage in legal peaceful conduct protected by the United States Constitution such as picketing, protesting, demonstrating and leafleting on a public street while prohibiting all other citizens from engaging in similar constitutionally protected conduct.

42. The plaintiffs are entitled to declaratory relief that the challenged statute is in violation of the equal protection of the law guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

43. The plaintiffs are entitled to injunctive relief that the defendants not enforce the statute because it is in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the law.

State Equal Protection Clause

44. All preceding paragraphs are incorporated into this cause of action.

45. The challenged statute violates equal protection of the law guaranteed by the Utah Constitution, Art. I, § 24.

46. The challenged statute allows citizens acting in accordance with the National Labor Relations Act and the Federal Railway Labor Act to engage in legal peaceful conduct protected by the United States Constitution such as picketing, protesting, demonstrating and leafleting on a public street while prohibiting all other citizens from engaging in similar constitutionally protected conduct.

47. The plaintiffs are entitled to declaratory relief that the challenged statute is in violation of the equal protection of the law guaranteed by the Utah Constitution, Art. I, § 24.

48. The plaintiffs are entitled to injunctive relief that the defendants not enforce the statute because it is in violation of the Utah Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the law.

IMMEDIATE EQUITABLE RELIEF

49. The plaintiffs are being or will be irreparably damaged by defendants’ implementation and enforcement of the challenged statutes.

50. The plaintiffs are entitled to immediate equitable relief in the nature of a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to prohibit implementation and enforcement of the challenged statutes during the pendency of this action.

ATTORNEY FEES AND COSTS

51. The plaintiffs have incurred and will incur attorney fees and court costs in the pursuit of this matter.

52. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and § 1988, plaintiffs are entitled to reimbursement for said attorney fees and court costs.

DEMAND FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, the plaintiffs demand the following relief:

1. Plaintiffs are entitled to declaratory relief that the challenged statutes violate the equal protection and free expression protections of the United States Constitution and the comparable provisions of the Utah Constitution.

2. Plaintiffs are entitled to permanent injunctive relief prohibiting defendants from implementation and/or enforcement of the challenged statutes because of their violation of the equal protection and free expression provisions of the United States Constitution and the comparable provisions of the Utah Constitution.

3. Plaintiffs are entitled to immediate injunctive relief and an order that the defendants be enjoined from enforcement and implementation of the challenged statutes during the pendency of this action.

4. Plaintiffs seek no money damages.

5. For an award of attorney fees and court costs under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and § 1988.

6. For such other and further relief as the court deems just and proper.

DATED this 2ND day of APRIL 2001.

UTAH LEGAL CLINIC
ACLU FOUNDATION OF UTAH, Inc.
Attorneys for Plaintiffs

by BRIAN M. BARNARD
JAMES L. HARRIS, JR.
STEPHEN C. CLARK
JANELLE EURICK

CERTIFICATE OF MAILING

I hereby certify that I caused to be mailed a true and correct copy of the foregoing COMPLAINT to:

MARK SHURTLEFF
ATTORNEY GENERAL
236 STATE CAPITOL
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114

on the 2ND day of APRIL 2001, postage prepaid in the United States Postal Service.

UTAH LEGAL CLINIC
ACLU FOUNDATION OF UTAH, Inc.
Attorneys for Plaintiffs

by BRIAN M. BARNARD