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An injunction is obviously a personal decree. It operates on the person of the defendant by commanding him to do or desist from certain action. Indeed it may deprive the enjoined parties of rights others enjoy precisely because the enjoined parties have abused those rights in the past. Thus, it is well established that injunctions are not effective against the world at large. On the other hand, the law recognizes that enjoined parties may not nullify an injunctive decree by carrying out prohibited acts with or through nonparties to the original proceeding. Thus, an injunction can properly run to classes of persons with or through whom the enjoined party may act. However, a theory of disobedience of the injunction cannot be predicated on the act of a person not in any way included in its terms or acting in concert with the enjoined party and in support of his claims.
In 1995 Planned Parenthood Association of San Mateo County obtained a permanent injunction limiting demonstration activity outside its clinic in San Mateo (the 1995 injunction). In February 2001, Planned Parenthood Golden Gate (PPGG) filed the instant action seeking a declaration that the 1995 injunction applied to appellants, Rossi Foti (Foti) and Jeannette and Louie Garibaldi (the Garibaldis), even though they were not named in the injunction. The trial court denied the Garibaldis' motion to strike PPGG's complaint pursuant to section 425.16 of the Code of Civil Procedure, California's anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) statute. Subsequently, the court granted PPGG summary judgment. The Garibaldis separately appealed from the order denying their motions to strike and from the summary judgment. Foti also appealed from the summary judgment.
Was the 1995 injunction enforceable against the appellants, notwithstanding the fact that they were not named in such injunction?
The court held that the injunction was not enforceable against appellants. Personal jurisdiction and notice were not enough to subject a person to the restraint of an injunction. According to the court, the order must be directed against that person, either by naming that person as an individual or by designating a class of persons to which that person belonged. If the person charged with a violation was neither named in the injunction individually or as a member of a class, nor as aiding or abetting a person so included, he or she cannot be brought within the prohibition merely by being served with a copy of the writ. The court further held that because the injunction purported to enjoin all demonstrators in addition to the named parties, it was constitutionally overbroad on its face. Actual notice of an injunction was a requirement but cannot be an independent ground upon which to apply an injunction to a nonparty.