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Picketing in front of restaurant Other Criminal Charges & Offenses

Discussion in 'Criminal Charges' started by fsn2, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. fsn2

    fsn2 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    Hello.

    Example: I go to Mc Donalds and stand directly in front of the restaurant/ fast food place on the public sidewalk and/or public street, holding a sign that states "Deep Fried IS Toxic Fried". Mc Donalds is a good example because each store is a franchisee owned store, and it is a restaurant, as in the real life situation. The comparison is basically identical.

    Are my actions illegal or am I covered under the 1st Amendment? I feel I am covered by The Constitution, but then I read in Wiikipedia's 1st Amendment to the Constitution:

    "It is a common misconception that the First Amendment prohibits anyone from limiting free speech, including private, non-governmental entities. It is only applicable to state actors."

    Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    What you describe, assuming there are no other significant details and you were not obstructing entrances or violating any other local ordinances, is not illegal.
     
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  3. fsn2

    fsn2 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you. There is at least one significant detail. I used to work there and I was fired, therefore, maybe my actions could be considered "rebellious" or of the like. Sidenote question: "Despite the common misconception that the First Amendment prohibits anyone from limiting free speech, the text of the amendment only prohibits the federal government, along with the states and local governments, from doing so."

    Is the local police department in a county or large city, like NYC, considered to be "state or local governments"? If yes, and they were to tell me to leave or be arrested, it would seem that they would be violating my first amendment rights. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  4. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Circumstances matter. It's not possible to carve an answer in stone to a hypothetical. We do have a NY police officer who posts here - he may have some insight.

    But I have a question - what do you hope to accomplish?
     
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  5. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Millions of people get fired and don't act like idiots by picketing their former employers.

    Get over it and get on with your life.

    You make about as much sense as the guy who wants to post pictures of his ex-girlfriend.

    Is it illegal to post/publish realistic drawing/artwork of my ex-girlfriend?

    If you want answers to your hypothetical question I suggest you read the actual First Amendment and then go to google scholar and research case decisions that relate to your question.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
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  6. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Just in case you are not aware...OP is nsf from down the street. ;)
     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Didn't. But no surprise.
     
  8. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I didn't either. But that's okay, he hasn't answered my question over there, either.
     
  9. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    You mean me? ;)

    Your hypothetical question/scenario doesn't have an easy answer since all the minor details matter.

    I agree with AdjusterJack - grow up and get over it. You'd spend your time better by looking for another job instead of picketing a business for no reason.
     
  10. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    If I drove by a hypothetical someone standing on the sidewalk in front of McDonald's holding such a sign, my thoughts would not turn to rebellion. No, I can assure you that the first sound out of my mouth would be that of laughter, followed by "what a moron."
     
  11. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    According to his/her posting elsewhere OP has a Masters in Psychology.
     
  12. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    And she was working at McDonald's? Doesn't say much for a psychology degree. I had a girlfriend a long time ago who had a psychology degree. She was a counter girl at Avis.
     
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  13. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I know lots and lots of people with Masters and even PhD's in various subjects. Doesn't mean they're not in the wrong.
     
  14. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps I'm wrong...but I just kinda thought that a Masters could get you a better job than fast-food.
     
  15. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    That's a point, too.
     
  16. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    I occasionally have one. ;)
     
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  17. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Yes.
    If they tell you to leave they may believe that you are committing trespass, loitering, disturbing the peace, or some other offense. Usually what happens is that they ask you to leave or suggest that you leave, carefully doig so in a way that they can say you agreed to leave voluntarily.
    In order to compel you to leave against your will you would have to be committing some offense. I don't know if you are or not, but it doesn't sound like it. If you are told to leave you can ask if you are suspected of committing an offense. If they say no then you can decline. If they say yes then you might risk citation or arrest if you remain.
    I highly doubt the police really care if you are there or not- they just want to resolve the problem in a manner that causes complaints to stop.
     
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  18. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    they also made of point of saying (over in the other 'hood) they have won an umemployment case/lawsuit that took 3 years(?), an EEOC case, a WC case and something else ....seem a bit farfetched for someone working at a chain restaurant..... sounds angry that there is nothing to sue this one for.
     
  19. fsn2

    fsn2 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    MM: First off, thank you for answering my question directly! I was 99% sure that the answer was yes after reading Wikipedia's "1st amendment to the constitution - Private Action". But it is very nice to have you confirm it! Thank you.

    Yes, if the police asked me to leave, I would immediately ask them if I was breaking the law in any way. If they said yes, I would ask them how. If they seemed content to arrest me if I didn't leave, I would leave, to diffuse the situation for the time being. But I would come back the next day in a way whereby I was no longer breaking the law (ie: loitering/ trespass). However, while researching "picketing" and "freedom of speech", I did come across those topics and will look into them further before going there.

    I do have 2 simple (most likely) questions, 1, regarding, ironically, what we both mentioned above, "trespass". The 2nd could be about either trespass, or more likely, if they wanted to say that I was trying to injure them from a monetary or reputation standpoint.

    1) Let's say, standing on the public sidewalk, not committing any offense, is legal. But what if I were on that sidewalk and a group of people needed to walk past me and I stepped either onto the grass between the sidewalk and the curb, or, I stepped onto their private property, like the lawn in front of the restaurant that they care for. Even if I am just on there for 5-10 seconds, and let's say they videotaped me doing that, how likely is it that they would have a "valid basis" for filing a charge of trespass given that I am obviously not there for the purpose of being a "customer"? Truly, this concerns me 99% more than the police being called for general purposes related to me being there with my sign.

    2) From a technically legal perspective, how much of a difference does it make if I am standing on the public sidewalk in front of their building versus standing next door on the public sidewalk of the next building over? Simply, would they have just as strong of a claim that I was "willfully and maliciously carrying on certain activities designed to injure management"? I'm 'assuming' that they wouldn't have a legitimate complaint for trespassing or loitering if I am not on their property (assuming they did when I was directly in front of their store, hypothetically speaking).

    Again, thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  20. fsn2

    fsn2 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    M, yes I did.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019

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