May 18, 2022
Attorney Aaron Martin, a shareholder in the law firm of Mette, Evans & Woodside based in Harrisburg, PA, recently obtained a preliminary injunction against Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and York County District Attorney David W. Sunday, Jr. The injunction was issued by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to protect a firm client from prosecution. The injunction prohibits both prosecutors from filing criminal charges against a firm client if she would publish certain government records.
The injunction arose out of a suit Martin had filed challenging the constitutionality of a provision in the Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services Law restricting the dissemination of the government records in question. Martin challenged the provision as a violation of his client’s First Amendment right to free speech. The district court found that there was a likelihood of success in proving the First Amendment violation and barred the prosecutors from filing charges pending resolution of the underlying constitutional challenge.
A determination of the client’s request for a permanent injunction will be made in the future, although the client will be safe from prosecution in the meantime upon posting a $100 bond with the court.