Teesdale v. City of Chicago

The Church holds a festival, open to the public, without charge, and obtains a Chicago permit to close portions of streets to vehicles. For the 2008 festival, the parish used a team of paid security guards and volunteer off-duty police officers (parishioners), headed by Kolasinski, a parishioner and Chicago police officer. Members of another church (Garfield) attended the festival to conduct ministry. Its pastor (Teesdale) carried a bullhorn; others carried signs with Scripture verses. The group distributed gospel tracts. Kolasinski, off-duty, wearing a shirt that read “St. Symphorosa Police,” told Teesdale that he could not use a bullhorn or distribute literature without permission. Teesdale attempted to use the bullhorn. Kolasinski handcuffed Teesdale and stated that he was under arrest. Police arrived 30 minutes later. Teesdale was arrested for trespass, a charge eventually dismissed. Teesdale, and others alleged violations of First and Fourth Amendment rights and sought to enjoin the city from preventing attendance at future festivals. A court order permitted Garfield members to enter the festival during specific hours with limitations on the size of signs and a prohibition on sound-enhancement. The 2009 festival passed without incident. The court ruled in favor of the city, but found that First Amendment rights at future festivals were threatened by official policy. The Seventh Circuit remanded that holding for dismissal, based on lack of standing. View "Teesdale v. City of Chicago" on Justia Law