An animal rights protestor sued the City of Vallejo to challenge an ordinance that required individuals to obtain an advance permit to use a bullhorn or other sound-amplifying equipment on nearly all public property in the city, including—as applied to this case—the sidewalk in front of Six Flag Discovery Kingdom. The ordinance applied whether or not the individuals would create a noise disturbance, and applied to individuals or small groups whether or not they would engage in any other activities, such as large parades or assemblies, that might independently require permits and the provision of city services. The protestor challenged the ordinance on First Amendment and other grounds.
The protestor appealed the district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction, and we represented the protestor on appeal. In December 2019, the court of appeals ruled in favor of our client, holding that the district court had abused its discretion in denying the preliminary injunction because the ordinance was not narrowly tailored to serve the city’s legitimate interests and that the protestor was therefore likely to succeed in his challenge to its constitutionality.