Becker v. Thompson, Civ. A. No. 14260.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Northern District of Georgia
Writing for the CourtALBERT J. HENDERSON
Citation334 F. Supp. 1386
PartiesSandra Lee BECKER, a minor, et al. v. John R. THOMPSON, Solicitor of the Civil and Criminal Court of DeKalb County, et al.
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 14260.
Decision Date19 March 1971

334 F. Supp. 1386

Sandra Lee BECKER, a minor, et al.
v.
John R. THOMPSON, Solicitor of the Civil and Criminal Court of DeKalb County, et al.

Civ. A. No. 14260.

United States District Court, N. D. Georgia, Atlanta Division.

March 19, 1971.


334 F. Supp. 1387

Howard Moore Jr., Atlanta, Ga., for plaintiffs.

Robert E. Mozley, Decatur, Ga., Dock H. Davis, Atlanta, Ga., for defendants.

ORDER

ALBERT J. HENDERSON, District Judge.

By order dated January 8, 1971, this court stayed further proceedings in the above styled case until the United States Supreme Court had opportunity to consider several cases thought to pertain to issues herein relevant. Two of the awaited decisions, Samuels v. Mackell, 401 U.S. 66, 91 S.Ct. 764, 27 L.Ed.2d 688 (1971) and Dyson v. Stein, 401 U.S. 200, 91 S.Ct. 769, 27 L.Ed.2d 781 (1971), were recently announced in conjunction with several others, the totality of which makes further staying of this action clearly inappropriate. Accordingly, the issues in this case will be considered in light of the most recent pronouncements of the Supreme Court.

The plaintiffs, in this class action suit, seek to have the court declare unconstitutional, as applied, Ga.Code Ann. § 26-1503 (Acts 1968, p. 1249 et seq.); to enjoin the criminal prosecution presently pending against the plaintiff, Sandra Lee Becker; further, to enjoin future enforcement of said statute as to these plaintiffs; and for a declaration of the plaintiffs' rights in the distribution of handbills in a shopping center. Jurisdiction is based on 28 U.S.C. §§ 1343, 2201 and 2202, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 et seq.

This court denied the plaintiffs' motion for a temporary restraining order, pursuant to a hearing on October 20, 1970. Plaintiffs' motion for preliminary and permanent injunction and declaratory relief came on for hearing on October 28, 1970, at which time all parties to the dispute stipulated their willingness to consider it the final hearing in the present action. This order is based on the evidence then presented and the stipulation of the parties submitted to the court.

The basic issue presented is the plaintiffs' desire to distribute handbills at the North DeKalb Shopping Center, located in a partially residential, partially commercial area in the unincorporated portion of DeKalb County, Georgia, approximately four miles from the City of Decatur, Georgia.

On Thursday, October 8, 1970, the plaintiffs and others, individually and as representatives of the Atlanta Mobilization Committee, stood on the exterior sidewalk of the North DeKalb Shopping Center and distributed handbills inviting people to "March Against the War" and to abstain from purchasing lettuce at the Colonial Supermarket ("because this inflationary war continues to starve Mexican lettuce pickers"). Pursuant to the shopping center's regulations, adopted shortly after the center's opening in 1965, the center's maintenance man and security guard told the plaintiffs that they would have to cease their distribution and leave. The plaintiffs refused and, in accordance with the guard's standing instructions, the on-site manager was notified. He, in turn, called the DeKalb County Police. The police advised the plaintiffs that they would be arrested should they persist in their actions. In response to this admonition by the police officers, the plaintiffs departed.

The plaintiffs, however, returned on Saturday, October 10, 1970, accompanied by Messrs. William Ginilliat and John R. Meyer, staff attorneys for the Emory Legal Services Center. Mr. Meyer brought a camera for the avowed "probability

334 F. Supp. 1388
of later use in some litigation". See Transcript pp. 30-31. The defendant, Reynolds, explained to Mr. Ginilliat, pursuant to a request for permission, that the center's regulations prohibited the distribution of leaflets on its property. Further, Mr. Ginilliat was informed that if the plaintiffs persisted in their efforts to pass out the leaflets he would have no alternative but to summon the DeKalb County Police

Despite this warning, and while Mr. Meyer took pictures, the plaintiffs began distributing anti-war...

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10 practice notes
  • Wall v. American Optometric Association, Inc., Civ. A. No. 16414
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Northern District of Georgia
    • October 21, 1974
    ...declaration that the trespass statute as applied to him was unconstitutional. The district court denied all relief, Becker v. Thompson, 334 F.Supp. 1386 (N.D.Ga.1971), and Steffel appealed only the denial of declaratory relief. The Fifth Circuit, 459 F.2d 919 (1972), held that Samuels v. Ma......
  • Independent Tape Merchant's Association v. Creamer, Civ. No. 72-73.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Pennsylvania
    • July 24, 1972
    ...1926, 271 U.S. 240, 46 S.Ct. 492, 70 L.Ed. 927; Cooley v. Endictor, N.D. Ga.1971, 340 F.Supp. 15; Becker v. Thompson, N.D.Ga.1971, 334 F.Supp. 1386, aff'd, 5 Cir. 1972, 459 F.2d 919; cf. Younger v. Harris, supra; Hopson v. Asch, 3 Cir.1972, 457 F.2d 79. Plaintiff has alleged that a failure ......
  • Steffel v. Thompson 8212 5581, No. 72
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • March 19, 1974
    ...or will in the future act in bad faith,' and therefore 'the rudiments of an active controversy between the parties . . . (are) lacking.' 334 F.Supp. 1386, 1389 1390 (1971). Petitioner appealed5 only from the denial of declaratory relief.6 The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, one judg......
  • State v. Maddox, 2020-1266
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • March 16, 2022
    ...an active controversy between the parties * * * lacking.'" (Ellipsis added in Steffel.) Id. at 456, quoting sub nom. Becker v. Thompson, 334 F.Supp. 1386, 1389-1390 (N.D.Ga.1971). The petitioner appealed the district court's denial of declaratory relief, and the court of appeals affirmed th......
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10 cases
  • Wall v. American Optometric Association, Inc., Civ. A. No. 16414
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Northern District of Georgia
    • October 21, 1974
    ...declaration that the trespass statute as applied to him was unconstitutional. The district court denied all relief, Becker v. Thompson, 334 F.Supp. 1386 (N.D.Ga.1971), and Steffel appealed only the denial of declaratory relief. The Fifth Circuit, 459 F.2d 919 (1972), held that Samuels v. Ma......
  • Independent Tape Merchant's Association v. Creamer, Civ. No. 72-73.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Pennsylvania
    • July 24, 1972
    ...1926, 271 U.S. 240, 46 S.Ct. 492, 70 L.Ed. 927; Cooley v. Endictor, N.D. Ga.1971, 340 F.Supp. 15; Becker v. Thompson, N.D.Ga.1971, 334 F.Supp. 1386, aff'd, 5 Cir. 1972, 459 F.2d 919; cf. Younger v. Harris, supra; Hopson v. Asch, 3 Cir.1972, 457 F.2d 79. Plaintiff has alleged that a failure ......
  • Steffel v. Thompson 8212 5581, No. 72
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • March 19, 1974
    ...or will in the future act in bad faith,' and therefore 'the rudiments of an active controversy between the parties . . . (are) lacking.' 334 F.Supp. 1386, 1389 1390 (1971). Petitioner appealed5 only from the denial of declaratory relief.6 The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, one judg......
  • State v. Maddox, 2020-1266
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Ohio
    • March 16, 2022
    ...an active controversy between the parties * * * lacking.'" (Ellipsis added in Steffel.) Id. at 456, quoting sub nom. Becker v. Thompson, 334 F.Supp. 1386, 1389-1390 (N.D.Ga.1971). The petitioner appealed the district court's denial of declaratory relief, and the court of appeals affirmed th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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