Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins Case Brief

Summary of Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins

Plaintiff/Appellees: High school children

Defendant/Appellant: Pruneyard Shopping Center

Facts: Defendants (D) own a large shopping mall. They have a policy to no permit any visitor or tenant to engage in any publicly expressive activity, including the circulation of petitions, that is not directly related to its commercial purposes. Plaintiffs (P) were high school students who came to the shopping mall to collect signatures for an appeal against UN’s policy against Zionism. D’s security guard told P to move to the public sidewalk. P brought this suit.

P’s argument: The mall was open to public and they have constitutional right to conduct such peaceful services.

D’s argument: The mall is open to public, but it is still privately owned. They have the property right to exclude.

Procedure: California Superior Court ruled for D. Held that P can use many other adequate channels to achieve their goals. The California Ct. of Appeals affirmed. California Supreme Court reversed and ruled that California Constitution gives P the right to conduct such activities in shopping malls. D appeals and argues that his 5th and 14th Amendment rights are violated.

Rationale: D first relies on Lloyd Corp. v. Tanner to argue that in that case the court ruled that even if property open to public, it still has its private nature and D in that case was allowed to exclude P. But in that case the state had no statue or Constitutional that gave P the right to conduct such activities. But in this case there are such rights under the California Constitution. D further argues that right to exclude other underlies the Fifth Amendment guarantee against taking of property without just compensation. But in this case, the rendering of the right to conduct peaceful activities to P does not mount up to the takings doctrine. Takings happens when government’s actions has severe economic impact or interference with reasonable investment-backed expectations. Here, P were conducting peaceful activities and their activities had no impact on business. So to allow such activities on D’s property does not mount to taking. D’s argument that they have been denied of property without due process of law is also not convincing. Here, California’s provision not unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious and therefore not violation of Due Process Clause.

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