Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD ASSN. OF SAN MATEO CTY. v. HOLY

May 29, 1991

PLANNED PARENTHOOD ASSOCIATION OF SAN MATEO COUNTY, Plaintiff,
v.
HOLY ANGELS CATHOLIC CHURCH, NORTHERN CALIFORNIA OPERATION RESCUE, JAMES ROBINSON, DOROTHY ANN CONNOLLY, CHARLES METZGER, NANCY MURRAY, AND DOES 1 THROUGH 100, Defendants


Stanley A. Weigel, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: WEIGEL

STANLEY A. WEIGEL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

 Summary of Decision

 At this preliminary point in this case, the Court acts to protect the rights of all parties guaranteed by the Constitutions of the United States and of the State of California.

 Under both Constitutions, women have the right to seek counseling and medical services, including abortion. They are entitled to exercise this right without unlawful interference or intimidation by defendants.

 Under both the state and federal Constitutions, defendants have the right to freedom of speech, assembly and protest. These rights must be protected against invasion by plaintiff.

 The rights of both parties are subject to lawful limitations. The rights asserted by Planned Parenthood may not transcend limitations delineated by law as, for example, legal prohibition against abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy.

 The rights of defendants to freedom of speech, assembly and protest are limited to conduct which does not violate the law as, for example, that against disturbing the peace.

 The evidence before the Court in this case discloses no violation of law by plaintiff.

 On the other hand, while the evidence is not free from conflict, credible evidence shows that defendants have unlawfully attempted to intimidate women into abandoning planned abortion, blocking entrance to plaintiff's clinic, threatening staff members with bodily harm, shoving plastic replicas of fetuses into the faces and cars of clinic staff and patients, as well as other action which transcends the rights of peaceful protest, assembly and free speech.

 However zealous and genuine persons may be in their convictions on moral, philosophical and religious issues, no person has the right to act unlawfully in furthering such convictions. Defendants have violated the limitations upon their claimed constitutional rights and must be stopped from violating the law.

 Therefore, the Court has issued a preliminary injunction which, while protecting the rights of Planned Parenthood, has been carefully tailored so as not to interfere with any right of free speech, assembly or protest. As can be seen upon inspection of the precise terms of the preliminary injunction, the Court cannot and does not condone preventing, threatening or intimidating women who wish to avail themselves of the services offered by the clinic. Nor can the Court condone preventing, threatening or intimidating staff members of the clinic.

 Finally, in this summary, it should be noted that the injunction does not run against defendant Holy Angels Catholic Church. This is because the Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco, a corporation sole (the "Archdiocese") has entered the case with a sworn declaration that the Archdiocese is the owner and operator of the Holy Angels Catholic Church which is not a separate legal entity. The declaration, moreover, is unambiguously specific, stating:

 
The ARCHDIOCESE does not condone, encourage or approve of any interference with access to or travel to or from any abortion clinic, including those operated by plaintiff and specifically the clinic located at 219 Southgate Avenue, Daly City, California (the "CLINIC"), nor does it condone, encourage or approve of blocking ingress to or egress from any clinic; harassing any individual whether a patient at any such clinic or not; approaching or speaking to any individual at or near any such clinic for purposes of harassment, threats or persuasion; making any excessively loud sound at any Clinic such as chanting or shouting; offering literature to any Clinic worker or patient; disturbing the public peace in any way or otherwise violating any local or state laws governing behavior in public places.
 
No person is authorized, instructed or encouraged by the ARCHDIOCESE, tacitly or overtly, to engage in any of the behavior referred to above.
 
The ARCHDIOCESE has no connection, formal or informal, tacit or overt, with defendant OPERATION RESCUE or any other defendant in this action, with the exception that some of the individual defendants may or may not be Roman Catholics. The ARCHDIOCESE has no direct or indirect, formal or informal, control or right of control over the activities of any other defendant in this action. The actions of any other ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.