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California, constitution, shopping mall, security guard, public fora, first amendment, trespass, false arrest, imprisonment

Los Angeles, CA |

I am a street performer in Los Angeles, a constitutionally protected form of expression. The area I work in is adjacent to a large, open-air shopping mall. It is my understanding that I should be allowed to perform on mall property, but mall security has a blanket "ban" on allowing street performers on property. I have disobeyed the security for years, slipping back over the property line if i saw them coming, or when they told me to leave.
Finally, a couple of months ago, they caught me and wouldn't let me leave. They made private person's arrest, i went to jail overnight, fought case until, day of trial, it was dismissed "in the interest of justice".
Mall security continues to threaten arrest should i enter onto their property, despite this failure to convict. What can i do?

Scary. The fist three respondents (with 2 additional lawyers agreeing, so far), all seem blissfully ignorant https://supreme.justia.com/us/447/74/case.html., and/or any of the other relevant cases, established as Law in California. It's private property. I am NOT trespassing. Wonder why i'm considering proceeding pro per?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

It's private property. You're trespassing. You have no constitutionally protected right to trespass on private property.

The opinions rendered herein are based on general principles of law. Laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and there are often numerous factors which can render advice or an opinion inapplicable. You should NOT make any decisions about the handling of a legal matter without first directly consulting with an attorney about the particulars of your case.

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3 comments

Asker

Posted

wrong. https://supreme.justia.com/us/447/74/case.html

Harry Edward Hudson Jr

Harry Edward Hudson Jr

Posted

I suggest that you read 602 of the California Penal Code. I also suggest that you reread the Pruneyard case you cited. I am doubtful it supports your position. I think you read it to broadly.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for your response. I am intimately familiar with pc602. Mall security arrested me for violating pc602, but the case was dropped. I do not interfere with other businesses, nor do I "occupy" Mall property for any prolonged period of time. I have always left when asked to. I have reread the Pruneyard case. It seems to me to state that, in California, a shopping mall which has all of the characteristics of a traditional public forum (i.e. sidewalks, parks, etc., must allow others to use the property to express constitutionally protected speech, subject to reasonable time, place, manner restrictions. Please specify what part of pc602 I am missing, or how I have misinterpreted the Pruneyard holding. The possibility of being wrong is why I asked the question.

Posted

Stay off their property. Are you willing to risk another more jail time and the time for trial to prove your wrong?

The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.

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Asker

Posted

Maybe to prove i'm right. If the lawyers can't figure it out, how is Mall Security supposed to? https://supreme.justia.com/us/447/74/case.html

Michael Kevin Cernyar

Michael Kevin Cernyar

Posted

It appears the lawyers have it figured out and the mall security has it figured out. You got lucky because the prosecution didn't want to handle it that day, but if you keep on testing it your luck will change. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

are you saying that you don't agree that in ca. shopping malls are considered a public forum, and therefore should be open for the excercise of free speech? That the mall is allowed to ban all street performers from entering their property (or, for example, ban all picketers)?

Michael Kevin Cernyar

Michael Kevin Cernyar

Posted

I'm saying it's narrowly tailored. Reread the case. Everybody has figured it out but you.

Asker

Posted

Admittedly, this case is somewhat complex and I could not provide all necessary details in my original post to enable proper analyzation. In fact, I have done somewhat extensive (for a layman) research on the law as it applies to this topic. I am not trying to disrespect, or be unappreciative, but the first several responses I know to be flat-out wrong. As per the Mall "rules", here are some details: Although I have repeatedly asked for access to the "rules", I have been denied and even told I would need a subpoena to see them! The Mall bans all performers carte blanche, disallowing performers from entering on to their property, for any reason. There is no time, place, manner restrictions in place or offered. Even ignoring California Law with respect to freedom of expression, I have never disrupted or impeded in any way the Mall's businesses, nor have I intended to do so, and have always left the property upon request. Thus, I am not guilty of trespass under PC602.

Posted

The act is protected expression if the government were trying to silence you--but you can't do it where ever you want--being a street performer doesn't convey a free pass to tresspass on private property.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.

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Asker

Posted

https://supreme.justia.com/us/447/74/case.html also: Berger v. City of Seattle.

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Posted

If you want back and forth interchange recommend you try any of the many blogs or websites that are out there. Thus isn't one of those sites. If you don't like the response, read someone else's, or better yet, hire a CA attorney and discuss your options.

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Posted

I am actually familiar with the case, I don't believe it applies to street performers.

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