Skip to Content (Press Enter)

Skip to Nav (Press Enter)

First Amendment

Subscribe to California Appellate Tracker

Thank you for your desire to subscribe to Severson & Werson’s Appellate Tracker Weblog. In order to subscribe, you must provide a valid name and e-mail address. This too will be retained on our server. When you push the “subscribe button”, we will send an electronic mail to the address that you provided asking you to confirm your subscription to our Weblog. By pushing the “subscribe button”, you represent and warrant that you are over the age of 18 years old, are the owner/authorized user of that e-mail address, and are entitled to receive e-mails at that address. Our weblog will retain your name and e-mail address on its server, or the server of its web host. However, we won’t share any of this information with anyone except the Firm’s employees and contractors, except under certain extraordinary circumstances described on our Privacy Policy and (About The Consumer Finance Blog/About the Appellate Tracker Weblog) Page. NOTICE AND AGREEMENT REGARDING E-MAILS AND CALLS/TEXT MESSAGES TO LAND-LINE AND WIRELESS TELEPHONES: By providing your contact information and confirming your subscription in response to the initial e-mail that we send you, you agree to receive e-mail messages from Severson & Werson from time-to-time and understand and agree that such messages are or may be sent by means of automated dialing technology. If you have your email forwarded to other electronic media, including text messages and cellular telephone by way of VoIP, internet, social media, or otherwise, you agree to receive my messages in that way. This may result in charges to you. Your agreement and consent also extend to any other agents, affiliates, or entities to whom our communications are forwarded. You agree that you will notify Severson & Werson in writing if you revoke this agreement and that your revocation will not be effective until you notify Severson & Werson in writing. You understand and agree that you will afford Severson & Werson a reasonable time to unsubscribe you from the website, that the ability to do so depends on Severson & Werson’s press of business and access to the weblog, and that you may still receive one or more emails or communications from weblog until we are able to unsubscribe you.

Plaintiff chose to read aloud various Bible passages which he thought were anti-homosexual during and near gay pride parades.  The paraders and their sympathizers heckled plaintiff and then some began assaulting him.  For his own safety, the police told him to move away from the parade and arrested him when he refused to do so.    Held, the police violated plaintiff's… Read More

California Rule of Court 3.1322 requires that a motion to strike be brought with a demurrer or within 30 days after service of complaint and requires a notice of a motion to strike "quote in full the portions sought to be stricken except where the motion is to strike an entire paragraph, cause of action, count, or defense."  This decision… Read More

A civil harassment injunction entered in favor of an attorney for one of a divorcing couple against the attorney for the other spouse was reversed.  Insofar as the injunction was based on emails that defendant sent plaintiff about the divorce, the emails didn't threaten violence and so were protected First Amendment speech which could not be considered in support of… Read More

Applying the test for conduct in furtherance of First Amendment activities stated in v. DoubleVerify, Inc. (2019) 7 Cal.5th 133, this decision holds that while the production of a TV program about rich Asian-Americans' adjustment to life in LA was an exercise of constitutionally protected expression, the wrongful conduct alleged in the complaint--denying the plaintiff a role in producing… Read More

A news organization sent UC Irvine a records request under the California Public Records Act for documents about a professor's postpublication communications about her articles which UCI had withdrawn from publication due to concerns about plagarism and accuracy of citations.  The professor filed this lawsuit to prevent UCI from producing documents in response to the request. Held, the suit arose… Read More

Oregon's wiretapping statute violates the First Amendment and is unenforceable.  It is a content-based regulation of speech since it excepts from its scope police recordings of conversations in which the policeman is a party and is performing official duties.  The law doesn't meet strict scrutiny because it is too broad, banning audio or visual recording on any conversation without consent--thus,… Read More

The First Amendment bars Colorado from applying its law banning discrimination in places of public accommodation to a person whose business is creating websites to celebrate and document the couple's wedding.  The website designer's collaborative effort with the couple to create a website that celebrates the story of their marriage is pure speech, not commercial speech, and it is speech… Read More

True threats are not protected by the First Amendment.  True threats are “serious expressions conveying that a speaker means to “commit an act of unlawful violence.”  This decision holds that to prosecute a defendant for making a true threat, a state need only prove that the defendant was reckless in consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his conduct… Read More

Defendant didn't infringe on plaintiff's First Amendment rights by restricting him from talking to potential witnesses and other of defendant's employees about plaintiff's alleged transgressions while defendant conducted an investigation of those matters.  Plaintiff was not prevented from speaking about matters of public concern, but only from discussing his own alleged violation of defendant's policies—a matter of private, personal concern. Read More

When an Anti-SLAPP defendant lodges a factual challenge, district courts may properly consider extrinsic evidence in evaluating whether a defendant has met her prima facie burden under either step of the Anti-SLAPP analysis.   If a defendant moves to strike “on purely legal arguments,” courts must analyze the motion under Rules 8 and 12, but where a defendant asserts “a factual… Read More

Vehicle Code 27001 prohibits honking a car horn except when reasonably necessary to warn of a safety hazard.  Plaintiff was ticketed for honking her horn in a show of support for demonstrators protesting outside a government official's office.  Over a strong dissent, this decision holds that section 27001 is a content-neutral restriction on speech (to the extent a car horn… Read More

The defendant's application to the IRS to qualify an organization as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization was a protected activity under CCP 425.16(e)(1) or (2).  It was a submission in an official proceeding before an executive agency whose action was not purely ministerial but involved the exercise of judgment and discretion.  By contrast, filing of articles of incorporation and a statement… Read More

To determine whether speech or other conduct falls within the scope of CCP 425.16(e)(4)'s catchall provision, the court must make a two-step analysis, first asking what public issue or issue of public interest the defendant's conduct or speech implicates, and second asking what functional relationship exists between the speech and the public conversation about that issue of public interest--i.e., whether… Read More

The trial court correctly denied defendants' Anti-SLAPP motion to strike plaintiff's claims under the UCL and CLRA based on defendants' allegedly false statements in releases or other statements and advertisements that Michael Jackson was the lead artist on all tracks in a posthumous CD.  Even if the defendants' statements were protected speech under CCP 425.16(e), plaintiff showed a probability of… Read More

A plaintiff may apply to the court for leave to proceed by a fictitious name if privacy concerns outweigh the First Amendment interest in public access to judicial proceedings.  Here, the employee on whose behalf DFEH sued for employment discrimination said that revealing his identity and caste would subject him and his family to discrimination and jeopardize their safety in… Read More

A public entity (school board) violated plaintiff's First Amendment rights by blocking him from posting on the social media (Facebook) it used to communicate with constituents about public issues.  The page was a public forum.  Blocking plaintiff from using the page altogether was an overly broad restriction of his free speech.  Less restrictive measures would serve the entity's interest in… Read More

Four individuals protested the Golden Gate racetrack's allegedly improper treatment of race horses by sneaking onto the track, linking their arms by PVC pipes and lying across the track in a manner that prevented the racetrack from holding races.  The racetrack owner sued the four individuals for trespass and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, naming Direct Action as an… Read More

Flags often are raised as a form of government speech on government-owned property.  The government has the right to control its own speech including what flags it flies.  However, in this case, Boston allowed private groups to fly their flags from government-owned poles about 20 times a year.  Those flag-flying days were not government speech.  So on those days, the… Read More

Austin's ordinance banning signs advertising goods or services not sold on the premises where the sign is located did not infringe sign owners' First Amendment rights.  Even though the ordinance required some examination of the contents of the advertising to determine whether it related to goods or services sold on the premises, the ordinance was facially content-neutral.  Austin's ’s on-/off-premises… Read More

This decision affirms a preliminary injunction issued against the California Attorney General and private parties preventing them from filing suit under Prop. 65 to require food manufacturers to give the standard Prop. 65 warning about acrylamide being a chemical supposedly "known" to cause cancer.  Under Zauderer v. Office of Disciplinary Counsel, 471 U.S. 626 (1985), the compelled speech (the required… Read More

1 2 3