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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ind. Courts - "ACLU of Indiana Challenges Street Performance Ordinance in South Bend"

From the Indiana ACLU press release today:

Indianapolis - Many communities welcome street performers as a symbol of a vibrant downtown. But a person in South Bend performing at the wrong place at the wrong time could be fined as much as $500 for exercising his or her right to free expression.

Today the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a lawsuit on behalf of a South Bend man, challenging a city ordinance that sets vague and unconstitutional limits on street performances in the Central Business and Entertainment Area of the city. The plaintiff, Rick Peden, is a sidewalk performer who plays the guitar and does an improvisational routine. He can often be found performing in front of the Morris Performing Arts Center and East Race Waterway.

Ordinance No. 10274-13 requires buskers to obtain a permit, pay a fee, submit an application, stay within certain geographical boundaries and pay hefty fines for violations of the ordinance. The statute violates the First Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, according to the ACLU of Indiana.

"Courts have long held that entertainment-whether in the form of books, movies or performers on public sidewalks-is protected by the First Amendment," said Gavin M. Rose, ACLU of Indiana staff attorney. "South Bend is failing to show due regard for that indisputable fact."

The lawsuit, Rick Peden v. City of South Bend, Indiana, Cause No. 3:14-cv-01682, was filed by Gavin M. Rose, ACLU of Indiana Senior Staff Attorney, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, on June 25, 2014.

ILB: "Busking" per Wikipedia: Street performance or busking is the practice of performing in public places, for gratuities. In many countries the rewards are generally in the form of money but other gratuities such as food, drink or gifts may be given.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 25, 2014 10:39 AM
Posted to Courts in general