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Indybay Feature
Mon Aug 2 2010
Parade Group Challenges Santa Cruz City Permits
Santa Cruz City Parade Permit Requirements Challenged as Unconstitutional
Lawyers for Wes Modes, charged with participating in the 2009 Last Night DIY New Year's Parade, filed a brief with the court that challenges the constitutionality of City of Santa Cruz rules that require permits for first amendment activities, including parades.

In a brief filed with the court on August 2nd, Modes' attorney Jonathan Gettleman argues that the Santa Cruz City law requiring a permit for parade and protests is "an overbroad delegation of authority to government officials to control free speech and assembly" and that this is a violation of the First Amendment of the US and California constitutions. Additionally, the brief points out that the city administrators violate the restrictions of the city statute.

Before any group may legally conduct a parade or protest on public streets, the City of Santa Cruz requires a lengthy and expensive permit process amounting to dozens of documentation requirements and thousands of dollars in fees and services. The constitutional brief argues that this is a form of "prior restraint," a chilling of free speech, and a constitutional violation. The case closely resembles a case in San Luis Obispo in which the city's permit requirements for parades was found unconstitutional.

imc_pdf.gif Read more | previous coverage: Parade Prosecution: People v. Wes Modes
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