San Bernardino, California — December 28, 2015. The San Bernardino Courthouse in California has entered into a settlement agreement with CRE client, Mark Mante, allowing him to share his Christian faith on public ways near the county’s courthouses.
From 2007 to 2012, Mante stood on public ways outside the historic San Bernardino Courthouse to share his faith. But suddenly in 2012, a Deputy Sheriff stopped Mante and told him a Court Order prohibited Mante from sharing his Christian viewpoints in public places near any county courthouse, including the historic courthouse as well as the new Justice Center, threatening him with $1,500.00 in fines each time he conveyed his beliefs.
On Mante’s behalf, CRE filed a lawsuit against the courthouse and secured a preliminary injunction from federal court, which found the ban on religious speech on public ways constitutionally dubious and allowed Mante to resume sharing the gospel while the case continued. Following this ruling, the courthouse agreed to settle the case, rescinding the portion of the Court Order banning Mante’s speech on public ways. Mante is now free to share his beliefs with others.
“This is an encouraging victory,” said CRE Chief Counsel Nate Kellum. “Like everyone else, Mante has the right to express his beliefs in public places. Justice was done at the courthouse today.”