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Seventh Day Adventist Lawsuit

Seventh Day Adventist Lawsuit

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Published by Kelly Phillips Erb
SOUTH CENTRAL CONFERENCE OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS; NATHANAEL DE CANAL; and JOSHUA DESIRE,
Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF ALABASTER, ALABAMA, Defendant.
SOUTH CENTRAL CONFERENCE OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS; NATHANAEL DE CANAL; and JOSHUA DESIRE,
Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF ALABASTER, ALABAMA, Defendant.

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Published by: Kelly Phillips Erb on Jul 18, 2012
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ZillZ
13/4.11:34
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA SOUTHERN DIVISION 
CV-12-BE-2451-S
SOUTH CENTRAL CONFERENCE OFCASE NO.SEVENTH-DA Y ADVENTISTS;NATHANAEL DE CANAL; and JOSHUACOMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORYDESIRE,JUDGMENT AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEFPlaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF ALABASTER, ALABAMA,Defendant.
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEFI. INTRODUCTION
1.
The City
of
Alabaster has enacted two sweepmg ordinances thatunconstitutionally restrict the exchange
of
beliefs and religious principles within theAlabaster city limits. The City
of
Alabaster has enacted an absolute ban on door-to-doorsales, and has restricted all other forms
of
solicitation and expression unless those wishing toengage in such religious, charitable or other such protected discourse first register with theCity -not just once, but twice pay the required license fees, disclose their personal identityand a variety
of
personal information, and provide numerous burdensome and irrelevantdetails regarding their past and future speech. These ordinances directly target, and impose aprior restraint upon, speech afforded the highest levels
of
protection by the First Amendment.COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENTAND INJUNCTIVE
RELIEF-l
FILED
2012 Jul-13 PM 12:09U.S. DISTRICT COURTN.D. OF ALABAMA
 
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Courts have routinely rejected governmental efforts to impose this sort
of
sweeping priorrestraint on speech, and particularly
so
when the speech involved lies at the very core
of
ourconstitutional system. For these reasons, plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment and injunctiverelief, barring the City from enforcing the ordinances, and declaring them unconstitutional ontheir face and as applied.
II. PARTIES
2.
Plaintiff South Central Conference
of
Seventh-day Adventists is anunincorporated religious membership organization with numerous members and churcheslocated in several states, including within Shelby County, Alabama. The South CentralConference has been established and in existence for decades, and operates the SummerStudent Missionary Program under the Family Health Education Service, which is one
of
itsministries.
3.
Plaintiff Nathanael De Canal is an individual and a citizen and resident
of
theState
of
Alabama. Mr. De Canal has participated in the annual Summer Student MissionaryProgram for each
of
the past five years, including the current year's Program which isscheduled to continue through mid-August 2012. He attends a Seventh-day AdventistChurch located in Huntsville, Alabama, which is a member
of
the South Central Conference
of
Seventh-day Adventists. At all relevant times herein, Mr. De Canal participated in theSummer Student Missionary Program as a Literature Evangelist and team leader. Hisgeographic territory includes locations within the City
of
Alabaster, Alabama.
4.
Plaintiff Joshua Desire is an individual and a citizen
of
the State
of
Floridaand a resident
of
the State
of
Alabama. Mr. Desire has participated in the annual SummerStudent Missionary Program for each
of
the past four years, including the current year'sProgram which is scheduled to continue through mid-August 2012. He attends a Seventh-COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENTAND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF -2
 
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day Adventist Church located in Huntsville, Alabama, which is a member
of
the SouthCentral Conference
of
Seventh-day Adventists. At all relevant times herein, Mr. Desireparticipated in the Summer Student Missionary Program as a Literature Evangelist and teammember under the leadership
of
Mr. De Canal. His geographic territory includes locationswithin the City
of
Alabaster, Alabama.5. The South Central Conference has already scheduled, planned, and made thenecessary preparations for engaging in protected speech within the city limits
of
theDefendant City
of
Alabaster during this year's Summer Student Missionary Program. Theseplans were implemented in late June 2012, but were immediately suspended when the SouthCentral Conference received information from the Defendant City
of
Alabaster that two Cityordinances prohibited this speech without City-issued permits and licenses. The SouthCentral Conference actively seeks to resume evangelism within the City
of
Alabaster, andstands ready, willing and able to promptly resume these efforts to seek religious convertsonce the "chill" on these efforts to speak is removed.6. Defendant City
of
Alabaster, Alabama is a municipal corporation organized,existing and operating under Alabama statute and located in Shelby County, Alabama, withthe capacity to sue and be sued in this name. All action by this defendant (referred to hereinas the "Defendant," the "City," or the "Defendant City") is action under color
of
state law.
III. JURISDICTION AND VENUE
7.
The Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1331 
(federal question jurisdiction) and 28 U.S.C.
§
l343 (civil rights jurisdiction) this Court also has pendentlsupplementaljurisdiction over Plaintiffs' claims made under state law. 
8.
The Court has personal jurisdiction over the defendant.9. Venue is proper in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§
1391(b).COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENTAND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF -3

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