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Judge suspends ordinance used to jail Ga. man who distributed religious tracts on public sidewalk

Court grants ADF motion for preliminary injunction
Published On: 10/18/2017

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — A Christian man arrested and jailed for distributing religious tracts on a public sidewalk in the city of Cumming won his bid Friday to suspend the law used against him.  ADF attorneys filed suit in August to challenge the constitutionality of the city’s “parade ordinance,” which police used to justify the arrest and jailing of Fredric Baumann.

“Mr. Baumann acted within his constitutional rights when he distributed religious literature on a public sidewalk.  His subsequent arrest for this constitutionally protected activity was similar to being treated as a second-class citizen.  We are pleased that he can now resume his activities, without fear of arrest, until this case is resolved,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman.

On April 22, Baumann distributed religious tracts on a public sidewalk outside the City of Cumming Fairgrounds.  Police officers told Baumann that he was in violation of a city ordinance requiring parade and demonstration organizers to obtain a permit prior to such activities.  Baumann was arrested and spent two days in jail.  He has not returned to his activities out of fear of arrest.

In his order, Senior District Court Judge William C. O’Kelley wrote that Baumann “has a substantial likelihood of prevailing on the merits of his claim that the city’s ordinance unconstitutionally infringes upon speech rights protected by the First Amendment.”

 

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

 

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