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200081) 1900 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 665-2000 Attorneys for Plaintiff Spectrum Arena Limited Partnership SPECTRUM ARENA LIMITED PARTNERSHIP 3601 South Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19148 Plaintiffs, v. MARIANNE BESSEY address unknown Defendant. _ : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : COURT OF COMMON PLEAS PHILADELPHIA COUNTY CIVIL ACTION – EQUITY TERM, 2011 NO. _______________
COMPLAINT – CIVIL ACTION
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COZEN O’CONNOR By: Robert W. Hayes (Id. No. 33099) Abby L. Sacunas (Id. No. 200081) 1900 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 665-2000 Attorneys for Plaintiff Spectrum Arena Limited Partnership SPECTRUM ARENA LIMITED PARTNERSHIP 3601 South Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19148 Plaintiffs, v. MARIANNE BESSEY Defendant. _ : : : : : : : : : : : : : : COURT OF COMMON PLEAS PHILADELPHIA COUNTY CIVIL ACTION – EQUITY TERM, 2011 NO. _______________
VERIFIED COMPLAINT – EQUITY Plaintiff, Spectrum Arena Limited Partnership (“SALP”) complains against defendant, Mary Ann Bessey and avers in support thereof: NATURE OF THIS ACTION 1. SALP brings this action for immediate equitable relief against Mary Ann Bessey
and others associating and acting in concert with her, to prevent trespass upon the building, parking lot, and grounds of the facilities known as the Wells Fargo Center. Because the Wells Fargo Center is the private property of SALP, SALP will be irreparably harmed if its requested relief is not granted.
THE PARTIES 2. SALP is a limited partnership created under the laws of the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania and has offices at 3601 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 3. Upon information and belief, defendant is Marianne Bessey, an adult individual. JURISDICTION AND VENUE 4. Jurisdiction and venue are proper because defendant acts of trespass are taking
place at The Wells Fargo Center, which is located in Philadelphia County. FACTS 5. SALP is a private commercial entity that developed, constructed, owns and
operates The Wells Fargo Center. 6. The Wells Fargo Center exists within a complex that consists of parking lots and
abutting sidewalks patrons utilize to enter the Center. The remnants of the Philadelphia Spectrum, a smaller sports, entertainment and conference center, is also located within the complex. 7. SALP leases the land upon which the Wells Fargo Center is built from the City of
Philadelphia pursuant to the terms of a 29-year lease (the “Lease”). 8. The Lease term expires on or about August 31, 2025 and SALP has an option to
renew the Lease for three additional 10 year terms. 9. SALP operates the Wells Fargo Center as a for-profit sports complex,
entertainment center and conference facility. The Center is used exclusively for private, commercial purposes.
Neither the City of Philadelphia nor any other government entity has any
involvement in the operation or management of the Wells Fargo Center or the management of SALP. 11. SALP has adopted and enforces an express policy prohibiting picketing, soliciting
money or distributing literature at the Wells Fargo Center. 12. The ban does not apply to authorized concessionaires selling souvenirs, programs,
food and/or beverages consistent with the purposes for which the Center is utilized. SALP always applies its ban in a uniform, non-discriminatory, and content-neutral manner. 13. One of the regular events occurring at the Wells Fargo Complex is the Ringling
Bros. and Barnum & Bailey “Barnum’s FUNundrum Circus” (the “Circus”). The Circus was initially held at the Spectrum. 14. While the Circus was held at the Spectrum, certain individuals protested by
distributing leaflets and confined their activities to public property near the facility. 15. 16. In 2010, the circus was moved to the Wells Fargo Center. For many of the performances in 2010, Ms. Bessey purchased tickets to the
Circus under false pretenses and solely for the purpose of disrupting the Circus by distributing literature and protesting. Defendant Bessey conducted these protests on the sidewalks abutting the Wells Fargo Center. 17. SALP informed Ms. Bessey that, under prior court rulings1, she is not permitted to
distribute literature, picket, protest or disrupt events at the Wells Fargo Center and repeatedly demanded that Ms. Bessey discontinue these activities. Ms. Bessey ignored these demands.
See Spectrum Arena Limited Partnership v. Philadelphia Gay & Lesbian Task Force, No. Civ. A. 1408 (C.P.Phila, Oct. 23, 2000)
SALP prepared a Complaint and Petition for a Temporary Restraining Order and
provided notice to Ms. Bessey of its intention to seek an injunction prohibiting her from entering the premises of the Wells Fargo Center. 19. Upon receiving this notice, acting through counsel, Ms. Bessey agreed to refrain
from entering the premises of the Wells Fargo Complex and to confine any protest activities to the public sidewalks abutting the Wells Fargo Center along 11th Street. 20. The Circus is returning to the Wells Fargo Center for performances beginning
5:00 p.m. February 16th through February 20, 2011. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey is paying SALP for the use of the Wells Fargo Center, and the Circus is open only to ticket holders. 21. By letter dated February 9, 2011, but not faxed until February 14, 2011 or
received until the evening of February 14, a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto and marked Exhibit A, counsel for Ms. Bessey informed SALP that she intends to enter the premises of the Wells Fargo Center to protest the Circus during the current performance. 22. In this letter, SALP was further advised that Ms. Bessey intends to act with a
group of individuals numbering less than seventy-five to “hand-out leaflets, and hold signs and/or banners, and at least one of them will be dressed as an elephant or other circus animal. They will also have stationary signs, and/or folding tables that will hold literature about their cause, as well as flat screen televisions on which they will play videos about the treatment of animals. They may also carry such televisions as they walk about offering literature to patrons.” 23. Ms. Bessy and her unnamed co-conspirators intend to enter the premises of the
Wells Fargo Center without a ticket and to conduct these activities on the sidewalks directly abutting the Center and between the Center and the parking lots on the Center’s property.
24. a trespass.
These planned activities are illegal, violate SALP’s property rights and constitute
COUNT I – TRESPASS 25. herein. 26. 27. The Wells Fargo Center is the private property of SALP. SALP has an express, content-neutral policy banning picketing, soliciting money SALP incorporates by reference the foregoing paragraphs as though set forth fully
or distributing literature of any kind at the Wells Fargo Center. 28. SALP learned that Marianne Bessey and other unnamed individuals plan to enter
the Wells Fargo Center and distribute literature, demonstrate or otherwise disrupt the Circus’ performance. 29. SALP has informed Ms. Bessey and her co-conspirators through counsel that she
is not allowed to distribute literature, picket or demonstrate at the Wells Fargo Center or disrupt the Circus. 30. SALP will be irreparably harmed if Marianne Bessey distributes literature or
demonstrates at the Wells Fargo Center.
WHEREFORE, plaintiff Spectrum Arena Limited Partnership demands judgment in its favor and against defendant Marianne Bessey for injunctive relief prohibiting her and any persons acting in concert with her from entering the Wells Fargo Center premises at any time to conduct protest or other such activities or to otherwise enter these premises without a ticket to the Circus performance.
DATED: February 15, 2011
s/ Robert W. Hayes_________ Robert W. Hayes (Id. No. 33099) Abby L. Sacunas (Id. No. 200081) 1900 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 665-2000 Attorneys for Plaintiff, Spectrum Arena Limited Partnership
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