Law School Case Brief
Doe v. Minneapolis - 693 F. Supp. 774 (D. Minn. 1988)
Regulations enacted for the purpose of restraining protected speech because of its content presumptively violate the First Amendment. Protected First Amendment speech may be subject to time, place, and manner restrictions if sufficiently justified and narrowly enough drawn.
Plaintiffs, patrons and an owner of an adult book store, filed an action under 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against defendant City of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of Minneapolis, Minn., Ordinance §§ 219-500 - 219.530, which regulated that viewing booths had to have one open side. The ordinance was enacted to diminish the spread of contagious diseases caused by "high risk sexual conduct." The ordinance was, by its terms, a health, safety, and welfare regulation. Plaintiffs attacked the constitutionality of the ordinance on several grounds.
Is the contested Minneapolis ordinance constitutional?
The court held that the ordinance sustained a valid time, place, and manner restriction on First Amendment activities. The court found that the ordinance was content-neutral; that there appeared to be a rational nexus between the council's findings and the ordinance it passed; that the ordinance served a legitimate, governmental objective; that there appeared to be a rational nexus between the council's findings and the ordinance it passed; and that the city had met its burden with regard to the narrowly tailored requirement. The court held that the ordinance did not impermissibly infringe upon plaintiffs' first amendment rights. The ordinance did not invidiously single out adult bookstores or encumber first amendment activities. Further, the bookstore owner was not deprived equal protection of the law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
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