IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICOWATCHTOWER BIBLE TRACTSOCIETY OF NEW YORK, INC., et al.,Plaintiffs,v.MUNICIPALITY OF SANTA ISABEL, etal., Defendants.
Civil No. 04-1452 (GAG) AMENDED PARTIAL JUDGMENT AS TO UNMANNED URBANIZATIONS
Pursuant to the final disposition hearing held yesterday, March 20, 2013, the court herebyorders the following:1) All municipal defendants shall collect and deliver to Plaintiffs a means of access toall unmanned urbanizations located within their municipality. Depending on themeans of access, each urbanization shall deliver to Plaintiffs a physical key, anaccess code, beeper, or other device necessary to permit entry to the urbanization.The means of access provided to Plaintiffs must be equal to that of the residents of those urbanizations and must grant Plaintiffs unfettered access to the urbanizations,i.e., without restrictions.
The court notes Plaintiffs object to this order on the basis that it may create an
Establishment Clause violation by treating Jehovah’s Witnesses differently and more preferentiallythan other religious entities. Plaintiffs are correct in arguing the Establishment Clause bars thegovernment from promoting any particular religion over another, or generally, religious beliefs over non-religious beliefs. See Texas Monthly, Inc. v. Bullock, 489 U.S. 1, 8-9 (1989). The courtclarifies and states for the record that Plaintiffs’ religious beliefs did not alter the outcome of thecase. In the course of adjudicating Plaintiffs’ claims, the court must necessarily fashion a remedythat balances Plaintiffs’ First Amendment right to religious speech and expression with the PuertoRico government’s right to protect its citizens. No other religious entities were a party to this action.Had other similarly situated religious groups joined Plaintiffs in these claims, they would have probably benefitted from the same remedies.
Case 3:04-cv-01452-GAG Document 978 Filed 03/21/13 Page 1 of 3