Case: Pledge of Resistance v. We the People, Inc.

2:87-cv-03975 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Filed Date: June 29, 1987

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, several activist groups and individuals filed a complaint in on 6/29/1987 claiming that their First Amendment rights had been and were likely to continue to be violated by the defendants. The defendants consisted of a corporation active in providing ceremonies commemorating the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, the National Park Service and its personnel, the City of Philadelphia and various Philadelphia police officers, …

In the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, several activist groups and individuals filed a complaint in on 6/29/1987 claiming that their First Amendment rights had been and were likely to continue to be violated by the defendants. The defendants consisted of a corporation active in providing ceremonies commemorating the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, the National Park Service and its personnel, the City of Philadelphia and various Philadelphia police officers, and an FBI official. We do not have a copy of the complaint, but an available document shows that the plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction. An evidentiary hearing on that application occurred on July 8, 1987, before District Judge John P. Fullam, who heard oral argument on the motion the next day.

On July 10, 1987, Judge Fullam issued a preliminary injunction, albeit slightly less sweeping than the plaintiffs had sought. First, the judge denied the request to enjoin the corporate and FBI defendants, and refused to enjoin the police from surveillance activities, since the evidence adduced at the hearing did not show clear violations of rights or a substantial likelihood of further constitutional violations attributable to these defendants. Based, however, on evidence showing efforts to exclude dissenting or controversial opinions from being expressed at bicentennial activities, the remaining defendants were enjoined from denying plaintiffs or others permission to lawfully distribute leaflets or printed matter, or to wear, display, or carry signs, placards or insignia, by reason of the message contained, in areas open to the public including Independence National Historical Park, so long as the activities did not breach the peace or interfere with similar activity by others or with public events in progress. Judge Fullam's injunction contained a proviso that it not be interpreted to prevent the defendants from properly performing their duties to ensure safety and security, enforce federal and state laws, and bar unreasonable interference and disruption of bicentennial events and ceremonies.

We do not have additional documents from this case, nor its docket sheet, and therefore cannot summarize additional activity that may have occurred in it. Years later, however, community activist organizations filed a separate lawsuit in 2003 seeking protections against local and federal conduct in Philadelphia which, the plaintiffs contended, violated their constitutional rights and what they termed a "consent decree" entered in 1987 in this case. The allegation suggests that Judge Fullam's 1987 preliminary injunction, at some point, was converted to or adopted as, by consent of settling parties, a consent decree. (The separate lawsuit, ACORN v. City of Philadelphia, exists in this database as case PN-PA-6.)

Summary Authors

Mike Fagan (6/26/2008)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4368966/parties/pledge-of-resistance-v-we-the-people-200-inc/


Judge(s)

Fullam, John Patrick (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Hansen, Christopher A. (New York)

Kairys, David (Pennsylvania)

Presser, Stefan (Pennsylvania)

Spitzer, Arthur (District of Columbia)

Walczak, Witold J. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Garner, Joan K (Pennsylvania)

Teti, Ralph J. (Pennsylvania)

Judge(s)

Fullam, John Patrick (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Hansen, Christopher A. (New York)

Kairys, David (Pennsylvania)

Presser, Stefan (Pennsylvania)

Spitzer, Arthur (District of Columbia)

Walczak, Witold J. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Garner, Joan K (Pennsylvania)

Teti, Ralph J. (Pennsylvania)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Memorandum and Order

Pledge of Resistance v. We the People

665 F.Supp. 414

July 10, 1987 Order/Opinion

Amended Complaint [different case]

Acorn v. The City of Philadelphia

Sept. 23, 2003 Complaint

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4368966/pledge-of-resistance-v-we-the-people-200-inc/

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

Copy of docket entries prior to 12/1/09. (kw, ) (Entered: 01/07/2010)

Dec. 1, 2009 RECAP
31

EMERGENCY MOTION PURSUANT TO F.R.C.P. 71 TO ENFORCE INJUNCTION, MEMORANDUM, CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE, (EXHIBITS ATTACHED), FILED BY FRIENDS OF ANIMALS, LEILA FUSFELD, BRANDON GITTELMAN, MARIANNE BESSEY.(kw, ) (Entered: 01/07/2010)

Dec. 1, 2009 PACER
32

Minute Entry, Hearing held before HONORABLE JOHN P. FULLAM on 12/1/09, re: Emergency motion to enforce injunction. Ruling - Plff should make application for a permit & a further hearing on the emergency motion will be held on 12/3/09 at 2:00 p.m. Court Reporter: ESR. (kw, ) (Entered: 01/07/2010)

Dec. 2, 2009 PACER
33

Minute Entry, Further Hearing held before HONORABLE JOHN P. FULLAM on 12/3/09, re: Emergency motion to enforce injunction. Witness called & sworn. Ruling - The parties shall submit an order to the Court for signature. Court Reporter: ESR.(kw, ) (Entered: 01/07/2010)

Dec. 3, 2009 PACER
34

ORDER THAT INDEPENDENCE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK SHALL ISSUE TO FRIENDS OF ANIMALS A PERMIT IN SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME FORM AS ATTACHED HERETO. SIGNED BY HONORABLE JOHN P. FULLAM ON 12/3/09. 12/22/09 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED.(kw, ) (Entered: 01/07/2010)

Dec. 3, 2009 PACER
35

TRANSCRIPT of Emergency Injunction Hearing held on 12/1/2009, before Judge John P. Fullam. Court Reporter/Transcriber ESR. Transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Redaction Request due 6/14/2010. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 6/22/2010. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 8/20/2010. (kw, ) (Entered: 05/26/2010)

May 25, 2010 PACER
36

TRANSCRIPT of Continued Emergency Injunction Hearing held on 12/3/2009, before Judge John P. Fullam. Court Reporter/Transcriber ESR. Transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Redaction Request due 6/14/2010. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 6/22/2010. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 8/20/2010. (kw, ) (Entered: 05/26/2010)

May 25, 2010 PACER
37

Notice of Filing of Official Transcript with Certificate of Service, re: 35 Transcript - PDF, 36 Transcript - PDF, 5/26/10 Entered and Copies E-mailed. (kw, ) (Entered: 05/26/2010)

May 25, 2010 PACER

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 29, 1987

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Antiwar protest groups and civil rights groups claimed their constitutional rights had been violated because the National Park Service barred them from distributing leaflets and pamphlets during a bicentennial celebration in Philadelphia.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

City of the Philadelphia (Philadelphia), City

We the People 200 (Philadelphia), City

Case Details

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted