Summary of Decision April 10, 2012
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Case Name: Operation Save America v. The City of Jackson, a Wyoming Municipal Corporation
Docket Number: S-11-0149
Appeal from the District Court of Teton County, Honorable Timothy C. Day, Judge
Representing Appellant (Plaintiff/Defendant): Jack D. Edwards of Edwards Law Office, P.C., Etna, Wyoming
Representing Appellee (Plaintiff/Defendant): Audrey P. Cohen-Davis of The City of Jackson, Jackson, Wyoming
Date of Decision: April 10, 2012
Facts: The Town of Jackson applied to the district court for an ex parte temporary restraining order (TRO) against Operation Save America (OSA), an anti-abortion protest group. The Town sought to restrict OSA’s demonstration activities in and around the Jackson Town Square during the Boy Scouts’ 2011 annual Elk Fest. The district court granted the ex parte TRO, which enjoined OSA “from assembling on the Jackson Town Square without a permit or holding posters/signs or materials of any graphic nature (e.g., aborted fetus pictures) on the Town Square or within a two (2) block radius thereof . . . during the Boy Scouts of America Expo and Elk Antler Auction between 5:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2011.”
Issues: Both parties presented numerous procedural and substantive issues for review. Appellant, OSA, framed the issues as follows: The district court did not have subject matter jurisdiction to issue an ex parte temporary protection order. The district court did not have personal jurisdiction over the defendants. The restrictions outlined in the Order Granting Temporary Restraining Order are in violation of Art. I, § 21 of the Wyoming Constitution. The restrictions outlined in the Order Granting Temporary Restraining Order are in violation of the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Appellee, the Town of Jackson, presented the issues as follows: Whether there is a direct appeal from the ex parte Order Granting Temporary Restraining Order initially issued by the District Court. Whether an appeal from this validly issued Order Granting Temporary Restraining Order is moot because it expired on its own terms and no motion to vacate or set aside, motion to extend terms of Order Granting Temporary Restraining Order or a preliminary injunction issued. Whether the District Court had subject matter jurisdiction to issue the ex parte Temporary Restraining Order pursuant to W.R.C.P. 65 and W.S. § 15-1-103(a) (xviii). Whether the District Court had personal jurisdiction over the Defendant, Operation Save America. Whether the restrictions outlined in the Order Granting Temporary Restraining Order were in violation of Art. I, § 21 of the Wyoming Constitution. Whether the restrictions outlined in the Order Granting Temporary Restraining Order were in violation of the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.
Holdings: The Court found that the ex parte TRO was issued in violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Rule 65 of the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure and reversed.
Justice Golden delivered the opinion for the court.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Summary of Decision April 10, 2012