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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, 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.