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Miller v. City of St. Paul

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

May 23, 2016

David Miller, Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
City of St. Paul; Thomas Smith, in his official capacity as Chief of Police for City of St. Paul Police Department; Patricia Englund, individually and in her official capacity as Patrol Commander for the City of St. Paul Police Department, Defendants - Appellees

         Submitted March 17, 2016.

          Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - Minneapolis.

         For David Miller, Plaintiff - Appellant: Nathan Kellum, Center For Religious Expression, Memphis, TN; Stanley N. Zahorsky, Zahorsky Law Firm, Edina, MN.

         For City of St. Paul, Thomas Smith, in his official capacity as Chief of Police for City of St. Paul Police Department, Patricia Englund, individually and in her official capacity as Patrol Commander for the City of St. Paul Police Department, Defendants - Appellees: Portia Michelle Hampton-Flowers, City of Saint Paul, Saint Paul, MN.

         Before MURPHY, BEAM, and GRUENDER, Circuit Judges.

          OPINION

Page 504

          MURPHY, Circuit Judge.

         David Miller brought this action against the City of St. Paul, its police chief, and police officer Patricia Englund, alleging violations of his First Amendment right to engage in religious speech at the 2014 Irish Fair. Miller also sought a preliminary injunction to enjoin similar violations at future Irish Fairs. The district court denied Miller's preliminary injunction motion

Page 505

and dismissed his complaint after concluding that he lacked standing to pursue his claims. Miller appeals. We affirm in part and reverse and remand in part.

         I.

         The Irish Fair of Minnesota (IFM) is a private nonprofit organization which organizes the annual Irish Fair, a three day event celebrating Irish culture. The fair takes place at Harriet Island Regional Park (Harriet Island), a public park in St. Paul, Minnesota. IFM obtains permits from the city allowing it to host the fair, which is open to the public free of charge. Harriet Island remains a public park during the fair.

         The city's administrative regulations governing permits for the use of Harriet Island require a security plan to be submitted sixty days before an event. St. Paul patrol commander Patricia Englund drafted the security plan for the 2014 Irish Fair, which was implemented by off duty St. Paul police officers. The plan contained a list of " prohibited items" which included signs. In addition, IFM's policies and procedures limited solicitation by vendors and prohibited the distribution of " merchandise, promotional items or materials" at the fair.

         Miller is an evangelical Christian who planned to share his religious views at the 2014 Irish Fair by carrying signs, distributing literature, open air preaching, and initiating conversations with passersby. On August 9, 2014 he and a few friends met outside the fair entrance, carrying signs and planning to express their shared religious views. Before they entered the fairgrounds, however, they were approached by ...


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