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AMERICAN FREEDOM DEFENSE INITIATIVE; PAMELA GELLER; ROBERT SPENCER, Plaintiffs,-v.- COMPLAINT KING COUNTY, Defendant.

AMERICAN FREEDOM DEFENSE INITIATIVE; PAMELA GELLER; ROBERT SPENCER, Plaintiffs,-v.- COMPLAINT KING COUNTY, Defendant.

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Published by Pamela Geller
Geller and Spencer take Seattle transit tocourt
Geller and Spencer take Seattle transit tocourt

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Published by: Pamela Geller on Oct 08, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/23/2015

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COMPLAINT; Case No. _________ 
 
1
S
TEPHEN
P
IDGEON
 
Attorney at Law, P.S.3002 Colby Avenue, Suite 306Everett, Washington 98201(425) 605-477412345678910111213141516171819202122232425
 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTONAT SEATTLE
 AMERICAN FREEDOM DEFENSEINITIATIVE; PAMELA GELLER; and ROBERT SPENCER,Plaintiffs,-v.-KING COUNTY,Defendant.
 
Case No.
COMPLAINT
[42 U.S.C. § 1983]Plaintiffs American Freedom Defense Initiative (hereinafter referred to as “AFDI”),Pamela Geller, and Robert Spencer (collectively referred to as “Plaintiffs”), by and throughtheir undersigned counsel, bring this Complaint against Defendant King County (hereinafter referred to as “Defendant” or “King County”), its employees, agents, and successors in office,and in support thereof allege the following upon information and belief:
INTRODUCTION
1.
 
This case seeks to protect and vindicate fundamental constitutional rights. It is acivil rights action brought under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United StatesConstitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging Defendant’s restriction on Plaintiffs’ right toengage in protected speech in a public forum created by Defendant based on the content and viewpoint of Plaintiffs’ message. Defendant prohibited Plaintiffs from displaying an
Case 2:13-cv-01804 Document 1 Filed 10/07/13 Page 1 of 12
 
 
COMPLAINT; Case No. _________ 
 
2
S
TEPHEN
P
IDGEON
 
Attorney at Law, P.S.3002 Colby Avenue, Suite 306Everett, Washington 98201(425) 605-477412345678910111213141516171819202122232425
advertisement on King County property based on Defendant’s assertion that Plaintiffs’advertisement violates its Transit Advertising Policy (“Free Speech Restriction”), whichoperates as a prior restraint on Plaintiffs’ speech.2.
 
Plaintiffs seek a declaration that Defendant violated their clearly established constitutional rights as set forth in this Complaint; a declaration that Defendant’s Free SpeechRestriction violates the United States Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 as set forth in thisComplaint; a preliminary and permanent injunction enjoining the enforcement of Defendant’sFree Speech Restriction as set forth in this Complaint; and nominal damages for the past loss of Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights. Plaintiffs also seek an award of reasonable costs of litigation,including attorneys’ fees and expenses, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988 and other applicable law.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
3.
 
This action arises under the Constitution and laws of the United States.Jurisdiction is conferred on this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343.4.
 
Plaintiffs’ claims for declaratory and injunctive relief are authorized by 28U.S.C. §§ 2201 and 2202, by Rules 57 and 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and bythe general legal and equitable powers of this Court. Plaintiffs’ claim for nominal damages isauthorized by 42 U.S.C. § 1983.5.
 
Venue is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) because a substantial part of theevents or omissions giving rise to Plaintiffs’ claims occurred in this district.
PLAINTIFFS
 6.
 
Plaintiff AFDI is an organization that is incorporated under the laws of the Stateof New Hampshire. AFDI is a human rights organization dedicated to freedom of speech,freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom from religion, and individual rights.7.
 
AFDI achieves its objective through a variety of lawful means, includingthrough the exercise of its right to freedom of speech under the United States Constitution.
Case 2:13-cv-01804 Document 1 Filed 10/07/13 Page 2 of 12
 
 
COMPLAINT; Case No. _________ 
 
3
S
TEPHEN
P
IDGEON
 
Attorney at Law, P.S.3002 Colby Avenue, Suite 306Everett, Washington 98201(425) 605-477412345678910111213141516171819202122232425
8.
 
AFDI exercises its right to freedom of speech and promotes its objectives by,
inter alia
, purchasing advertising space on transit authority property in major cities throughoutthe United States, including Seattle, Washington. AFDI purchases these advertisements toexpress its message on current events and public issues, particularly including issues involvingglobal terrorism (hereinafter referred to as “AFDI’s advertising campaign”).9.
 
Plaintiff Pamela Geller is the president of AFDI, and she engages in protected speech through AFDI’s activities, including AFDI’s advertising campaign.10.
 
Plaintiff Robert Spencer is the vice president of AFDI, and he engages in protected speech through AFDI’s activities, including AFDI’s advertising campaign.
DEFENDANT
11.
 
Defendant King County is a municipal corporation. In the performance of itsgovernmental duties, Defendant King County operates a public transit system (King CountyMetro Transit), which includes more than 1,400 buses.12.
 
As a governmental agency, Defendant is mandated to comply with the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
13.
 
Defendant leases space on the exterior of its buses for use as advertising space.14.
 
Defendant accepts noncommercial and commercial advertisements for displayon its advertising space.15.
 
Defendant accepts noncommercial public service, public issue, and politicalissue advertisements, including advertisements on controversial issues, for display on itsadvertising space.16.
 
Defendant has leased its advertising space for political and social commentaryadvertisements covering a broad spectrum of political views and ideas.
Case 2:13-cv-01804 Document 1 Filed 10/07/13 Page 3 of 12

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