August 09, 2014
Fayetteville, N.C. – August 8, 2014. Yesterday, a federal judge sitting in the Eastern District of North Carolina cleared the way for Tom Price and Bill Legg to hand out evangelism-based materials to those willing to receive them. In accordance with a consent order, the Court entered a final judgment in favor of Price and Legg, sought on their behalf by the Center for Religious Expression (CRE) and against the City of Fayetteville, granting declaratory relief, injunctive relief, and nominal damages, stipulating that Price and Legg “shall be permitted to distribute religious literature at private festivals that are free, open to the public, and held on public ways with the City of Fayetteville.”
Price and Legg had been stopped by city police officers from distributing literature during the Dogwood Festival and Independence Day Concert, both free events occurring downtown on public ways. In their lawsuit, Price and Legg challenged city policy that let festival organizers eliminate disfavored speech and ban literature distribution on public property.
Nate Kellum, Chief Counsel with CRE, discussed the importance of the judgment: “Price and Legg only want to hand out gospel tracts, while standing off to the side, so as not to get in anyone’s way. Leafleting is a vital means of communication for them, critical to the gospel message they want to convey.” Kellum added: “The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the freedom to leaflet in public areas. We’re thankful for this judgment that acknowledges this fundamental right.”
The judgment takes effect immediately and will allow Price and Legg to distribute literature at all future festivals in Fayetteville.