Animal Rights Group Sues Morgan Co.
[Deseret News - comments at full story link]
An animal rights group has filed a lawsuit against Morgan County officials, saying a new county ordinance is unconstitutional and violates their rights to free speech.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court last week by the Salt Lake Animal Advocacy Movement, stems from a protest the group was planning for Nov. 28 in Morgan County. The group planned on holding "public demonstrations and protests on the public sidewalks and alongside public streets in areas which are part of the public rights of way in Morgan County," the lawsuit states.
A letter was sent outlining SLAAM's intentions to the Morgan City Council, and it received a response from Morgan Mayor Dean Pace asking that the group obtain a mass gathering permit from the Morgan County Sheriff's Office.
Within a month, the city passed an anti-picketing ordinance stating that "picketers would have to move away from the residences of the mink farmers," the lawsuit states. The group then filed for its mass gathering permit and was told by the sheriff's office that it would need to amend its planned route and pay for additional law enforcement on the day of the protest, said SLAAM spokeswoman Colleen Hatfield.