General Recap & Update (Spring 2007)

People’s Advocate v. Independent Citizen’s Oversight Committee (Calif.)—Suit for declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent expenditure of public funds for research focused on embryonic stem cells and cloning. Adverse ruling from trial court; appeal filed. Oral argument held February 2007. Decision pending.

Roe v. Planned Parenthood (Ohio)—Civil action for damages and injunctive relief filed against PP for performing abortion on 14-year-old girl in violation of Ohio law. Claims on behalf of girl and parents include violation of parental notice and consent statutes, informed consent statute, and law requiring reports in cases of suspected child abuse. PP’s motion to dismiss four of the claims was overruled, and PP unsuccessfully appealed that decision. Plaintiffs proceeded with discovery seeking redacted records of abortion on other minors. PP objected, but court ruled that records must be produced. PP has appealed that decision.

Pedigo v. Hershey (Calif.)—Amniocentesis detrimentally used on pre-born child with improper consent. Civil suit filed. Case proceeding in trial court.

O’Toole v. San Diego Community College District—Pro-lifer arrested and held for carrying sign on public college campus; he was released two days later, without having been cited. Claim filed and rejected. Plaintiff and defendants filed writ of petition to 4th District Court of Appeal of California. Court ruled that policy in effect at that time was probably unconstitutional (policy was amended after suit filed), but police officers were immune from liability.

Moreno v. Riverside Community College— Suit against public college for arrest of pro-lifers engaged in free speech activity. Discovery in process.

Logsdon v. Cincinnati Womens’ Services— Civil action in Ohio court for defamation and conversion against Cincinnati abortion clinic and clinic owner for interfering with sidewalk counselor’s pro-life signs and for false reports to police that led to two arrests. Clinic closed and clinic owner filed for bankruptcy and was granted final bankruptcy discharge. Plaintiff’s options under consideration.

Logsdon v. Hains (Ohio)—Federal civil rights lawsuit for damages filed against two Cincinnati police officers for arresting sidewalk counselor at abortion clinic and filing charges against him without probable cause. Police motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim granted. Appeal pending in the Sixth Circuit.

McCullough v. Long Beach Community College—Suit against public college for arrest of pro-lifers engaged in free speech activity. College’s motion for summary judgment defeated. College sought writ, which was granted, In unpublished 2-1 decision, court held that defendants were entitled to summary judgment.

People v. D’Alessio (Oakland)—Sidewalk counselor charged with interfering with a business by pro-abortion guard at Family Planning Specialist. Victory: Charges dismissed.

Storms, et al. v. CSU Los Angeles—Pro-lifers arrested for remaining on campus after being told they could only hold signs in a deserted area near campus police station. Charges dismissed. Civil rights action filed against university police officers.

Klein, et al. v. San Diego County et al.— Federal challenge to San Diego residential picketing ordinance. Decision pending from Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.

Mason v. Klaus (Long Beach)—Pro-lifers arrested for free speech activity on Cal State Long Beach campus after being told that they could not hold signs. Case settled.

Buchinger v. Santa Barbara City College—Pro-lifers arrested for remaining on campus and engaging in free speech activity. Complaint filed, motion to dismiss granted. Appeal to Ninth Circuit filed.

Moreno v. Los Gatos (Calif.)—Pro-lifers arrested for picketing and distributing literature on public sidewalk outside high school. Police told them they had to stay 1,000 feet from the school. No charges filed. Complaint for civil rights violation filed. Town has agreed to permanent injunction and payment of attorney fees. Appeal pending re statutory damages for plaintiffs.

FWHC v. Canfield (Chico)—the Feminist Women’s Health Center, an abortion clinic in Chico, obtained a Temporary Restraining Order against defendant James Canfield, based on a false accusation of a threat against the doctor. Hearing on the preliminary injunction was stayed to allow for a writ to be taken on evidentiary issues regarding the clinic’s “unclean hands” vis-à-vis lack of informed consent of women. That writ is now before the California Supreme Court.

Hollins v. Mt. Sinai (Cleveland, Ohio)— LLDF files amicus brief in opposition to the Ohio Supreme Court taking discretionary jurisdiction in the case as it relates to the issue that an attorney may not speak from the perspective of the unborn child in imminent danger of being harmed (e.g., “Please, please nurses. I’m a little baby. I want to play baseball. I want to hug my mother. I want to tell her that I love her. Help me. Please help me to be born.”) Court granted jurisdiction; parties and amici have filed briefs on the merits.

National Tax Limitation Foundation v. Westly (Calif.)—Suit challenging grants for training in embryonic stem cell research made pursuant to Prop 71, a California initiative providing $3 billion in funding for embryonic stem cell research. Grants violated Prop 71 in that University of California employees were permitted to vote on grants to UC.

Berkeley v. Blythe—Pro-lifer arrested for holding signs and literature on main plaza at UC Berkeley. Court appearance pending. Rader v. Akins (Calif.)—Pro-lifers arrested from quad area at Riverside Community College.

Rader v. Akins (Calif.)—Pro-lifers arrested from quad area at Riverside Community College.

Mason v. Sullivan (Calif.)—Pro lifers arrested from free speech area at Santa Barbara City College; lower court dismissed case; matter on appeal to Ninth Circuit.