15 F.3d 1007 (11th Cir. 1994), 92-8999, Speer v. Miller

Docket Nº:92-8999.
Citation:15 F.3d 1007
Party Name:Robert H. SPEER, Jr., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Zell MILLER, as Governor of Georgia, and Michael Bowers, as Attorney General of Georgia, Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:March 07, 1994
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
 
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Page 1007

15 F.3d 1007 (11th Cir. 1994)

Robert H. SPEER, Jr., Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

Zell MILLER, as Governor of Georgia, and Michael Bowers, as

Attorney General of Georgia, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 92-8999.

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

March 7, 1994

Page 1008

Paul Christopher Munger, Office of Paul C. Munger, Atlanta, GA, for plaintiff-appellant.

Michael Bowers, Stephanie B. Manis, Mark H. Cohen, Office of State Atty. Gen., Atlanta, GA, for defendants-appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Before BLACK, Circuit Judge, FAY [*], Senior Circuit Judge, and UNGARO-BENAGES [**], District Judge.

FAY, Senior Circuit Judge:

Robert H. Speer, Jr. ("Speer") filed an action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia seeking a permanent injunction against the enforcement of O.C.G.A. Sec. 35-1-9. 1 Speer challenged the statute entitled "Inspecting or copying records of law enforcement agency for commercial solicitation prohibited; penalty" both facially and as applied to him on first and fourteenth amendment grounds. The District Court dismissed Speer's first amendment count and, while recognizing his equal protection claim, denied Speer's motion for a preliminary injunction. He appeals that denial. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1292(a)(1). Because we hold that the District Court erroneously dismissed Speer's first amendment claim and that he has a good likelihood of prevailing on the

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merits, we VACATE the District Court's order and REMAND for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

I. FACTS

Speer is an attorney licensed to practice in Georgia. He primarily practices criminal law. Speer obtains most of his clients through inspecting public records and sending advertisements to those persons who are likely in need of an attorney's services. He had access to the records under O.C.G.A. Sec. 17-4-27. 2

In 1991, the Georgia legislature passed O.C.G.A. Sec. 35-1-9 which states:

Inspecting or copying records of law enforcement agency for commercial solicitation prohibited; penalty.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to inspect or copy any records of a law enforcement agency to which the public has a right of access under paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of Code Section 50-18-72 for the purpose of obtaining the names and addresses of the victims of crimes or persons charged with crimes or persons involved in motor vehicle accidents or other information contained in such records for any commercial solicitation of such individuals or relatives of such individuals. 3

(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section shall not prohibit the publication of such information by any news media or the use of such information for any other lawful data collection or analysis purpose.

(c) Any person who violates any provision of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Following the passage of this law...

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