Appellate Team Wins Precedential Decision in the Court of Appeals on Free Speech Case
Appellate attorneys Janet Schroer and Taylor Lewis won an appeal for the City of Springfield from two judgments based on a trial court’s finding that an anti-abortion protester violated City of Springfield noise ordinance, resulting in fines. In City of Springfield v Kellim, 324 Or App 614 (2023), the Court of Appeals rejected the protester’s arguments on appeal that he was improperly convicted based on his exercise of his constitutional rights to free speech under both the U.S. Constitution, the First and Fourteenth Amendments and the Oregon Constitution, Article I section 8. The court found that the protester’s “as applied” arguments failed, as the City is permitted to impose reasonable restrictions on the time, place or manner of protected speech, provided the restrictions are justified without reference to the content of the regulated speech, are narrowly tailored to serve significant governmental interest, and leave open alternative channels for communication of the information. The court found ordinance in question met this test.
Further, the court rejected the protester’s arguments that the ordinance was void for vagueness, and his overbreadth facial challenge to the ordinance, thereby affirming the protester’s convictions.