Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Planned Parenthood protester settles free speech suit against city

The City of Ann Arbor, Michigan has settled a federal free speech lawsuit brought by a Planned Parenthood protester who was ticketed over anti-abortion signs on his car.

The American Freedom Law Center had filed the suit on behalf of Paul Dobrowolski against the city’s police chief, John Seto. Dobrowolski had displayed anti-abortion signs in his car which was parked on a street outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Ann Arbor.
Donbrowolski’s signs included the phrases “Ask to see the Ultrasound,” "Abortion Hurts Women" and "Free Ultrasound, Family Life Services,” then listed a pro-live center’s address and phone number. Police considered the “Free Ultrasound” sign to be advertising and Dobrowolski was ticketed twice and paid a $25 fine to the city for each. City code prohibits a parking a car on a city street for the purpose of displaying advertising.

The lawsuit challenged the city code claiming the signs were political speech and protected by the First Amendment. The city agreed to pay Dobrowolski $7,000.

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