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Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014

Federal Judge Rules Pro-Life Signs Can Be Displayed Outside Mich. Planned Parenthood Clinic

  • (Photo courtesy AFLC)
    Pro-life signs in an automobile activist Paul Dobrowolski parked in front of a Planned Parenthood facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
August 27, 2013|2:27 pm

A federal judge has entered a final order permitting the display of pro-life signs at a Michigan Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.

U.S. District Judge Gershwin A. Drain of the Eastern District of Michigan issued his order last week on behalf of Paul Dobrowolski in his suit against the city of Ann Arbor.

In the order, Ann Arbor agreed to pay Dobrowolski $50 in compensation for the fine he received for his display plus $7,000 in legal fees.

Dobrowolski was represented by the Michigan-based American Freedom Law Center, a self-described Judeo-Christian public interest law firm.

Robert Muise, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, told The Christian Post that the decision by Drain was the right result for the case.

"The ordinance was clearly unconstitutional facially and as applied. This is the proper and just outcome in this case," said Muise.

"The city stipulated to the order, knowing that its ordinance was unconstitutional. The order permanently enjoins the enforcement of the ordinance, requires the city to reimburse my client the $50 he had to pay in past ticket fines, and it requires the city to pay $7,000 in legal fees."

Muise also told CP that he did not expect any further legal action to occur regarding the Dobrowolski case.

"There should be no further issues with this ordinance--and I do not anticipate any. If there are, the city police will be in contempt of a federal order," said Muise.

In April, Dobrowolski filed a lawsuit against the city of Ann Arbor and Ann Arbor Chief of Police John Seto over a city code the pro-life activist believed violated his freedom of speech.

Dobrowolski regularly parked his automobile outside a Planned Parenthood facility, having pro-life signs displayed in the automobile's windows. Posters included "Abortion hurts Women," "Planned Parenthood 2300 Abortos Por Año," and a sign with contact information for a pro-life pregnancy facility that provides free ultrasounds.

Local media reported that Dobrowolski was twice ticketed last year for violating the city code against "parking a vehicle on a street for the purpose of displaying advertising."

In May, Judge Drain issued a "stipulating order" that allows an activist to display pro-life messages inside his car in front of Planned Parenthood's Ann Arbor facility.

Stephen K. Postema, attorney for Ann Arbor, told The Christian Post in an earlier interview the details of the stipulated order.

"The parties disagree on the merits of the lawsuit, but during the pendency of the lawsuit, the city has agreed not to take further action against this plaintiff under this specific ordinance. This is a routine order," said Postema.

"The city was just served a copy of the complaint and will enter an answer within the time allowed to answer. As to the merits, the city doesn't comment on matters in litigation."

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/federal-judge-rules-pro-life-signs-can-be-displayed-outside-mich-planned-parenthood-clinic-103130/