Author Topic: Dunwoody Code: Chapter 20: Assemblages in Public Places  (Read 1502 times)

Offline ethercat

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As some of you know, the scientology org located on North Shallowford is now considered to be within the City of Dunwoody, since Dunwoody has become its own city.  I've located the Dunwoody Code of Ordinances, which was not online when the change first took place.  It is here: http://dunwoodyga.gov/Government/Document/Resolutions_Ordinances.aspx

We have been obtaining a permit for protests since Dunwoody became a city and told us that a permit was required.  Last month, they told us we could apply for multiple dates throughout the year with one permit application and one payment of the fee.  This is great that we cut the red tape and expense for exercising our first amendment rights, but it hampers our ability to do unplanned protests. 

Based on my reading of the ordinance, I question whether we actually need a permit according to their regulations.  I've saved a PDF copy.

The document is 11 pages and most of it concerns Special Events, which are defined as requiring the use of city services which we don't, so I'm not going to paste the whole thing in here, but I'll post the parts I find of interest with regard to Events.  Specific wording that I question is in maroon, and my comments are in blue.  Please read the whole thing to get a complete understanding of the regulation and how it applies to us. Standard disclaimer applies, I am not a lawyer, etc...

Chapter 20: Assemblages in Public Places
Article 1: Generally
Section 1: Definitions
...
Event means any march, meeting, demonstration, picket line, procession, motorcade, rally, or gathering for a common purpose, consisting of persons, animals, or vehicles or a combination thereof upon or in the streets, parks, or other public grounds within the City that interferes with or has a tendency to interfere with the normal flow or regulation of vehicular traffic or that endangers or has the reasonable possibility of endangering the public's health, safety, or welfare.
...
(We do not interfere ... or endanger...)
...
Organization or group of private persons means a group of three or more persons, or their representatives, acting as a unit.
...
(If only two of us wanted to do a spontaneous protest, we don't need a permit.  Also, do we act as a unit?)
...
Section 3:
Exceptions
This Chapter shall specifically not apply to funeral processions; neighborhood parades, provided activities remain solely within the boundaries of such neighborhood; sporting events; school students going to or from classes or participating in properly supervised and sponsored activities; governmental entities acting within the scope of their functions; and other activities as provided for by law or regulation.
...
(Are protests adequately provided for by a state law or federal law?)
...
Article 2: Permits
Section 1: Required
Every person, organization, or group of private persons wishing to use public property or public roads in the City for an Event is required to obtain a permit from the City for the privilege of engaging in the Event within the City, unless such permit is prohibited under State law or the Event is otherwise protected from this requirement by Federal or State law.
...
(Is there a state law or federal law that protects protests/pickets from having a permit required?)
...

Input and discussion requested.  Thanks.
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Raven

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Re: Dunwoody Code: Chapter 20: Assemblages in Public Places
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2009, 16:59 »
so who do we talk to about this?  The city attorney, the current lady, or the police chief.

Offline anondemosthenes

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Re: Dunwoody Code: Chapter 20: Assemblages in Public Places
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2009, 16:57 »
I think the most interesting and useful part of this is that a permit is not required if it would infringe on a state or federal law.  If I'm not mistaken Constitutional rights are protected by federal law, IE the first amendment.  Requiring you to get a permit to exercise your first amendment right seems to be unconstitutional and therefor a direct infringement on federal law.

Offline mefree

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Re: Dunwoody Code: Chapter 20: Assemblages in Public Places
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2009, 17:21 »
Quote
so who do we talk to about this?  The city attorney, the current lady, or the police chief.

It seems like we would start with talking to the police?
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