News & Events

Settlement of First Amendment Lawsuit Against York County, Pennsylvania

by | Aug 13, 2018 | Kiessling, Jacob H, Latest News, Martin, Aaron D

Mette, Evans & Woodside announces the settlement of a client’s lawsuit against York County, Pennsylvania, alleging violations of the client’s rights under the First Amendment. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg.

The firm’s client desired to conduct a public demonstration in front of the York County Courthouse, but was threatened by York County with criminal prosecution if he would not first comply with an onerous and outdated ordinance. Among other things, the ordinance required disclosure of the client’s “affiliation with any organization or identifiable group” as a condition of applying for a permit to demonstrate on property owned by York County. The ordinance also conditioned approval of a permit upon criteria including any “reasonable expectation of provocative messages.” The firm’s client intended to protest racism.

After filing suit, the county retreated from its threats of criminal prosecution, allowed the client to protest without complying with the challenged ordinance, and ultimately paid $30,000 in settlement of the case.

Attorneys Aaron D. Martin and Jacob H. Kiessling represented the firm’s client in this action. Mette, Evans & Woodside maintains an active practice protecting the constitutional rights of private citizens and entities.