Motion for Temporary Restraining Order


William Thomas, et. al.       |          C.A. No.________________
      Plaintiffs pro se,      |          Judge___________________
       v.                     |   APPLICATION FOR AN EXPEDITED   
                              |   TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER,   
The United States, et. al.    |      
      Defendants.             |        IN FORMA PAUPERIS



Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(b), and incorporating by reference paragraphs 17-28 of the Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, filed this date, plaintiff hereby moves this Court to issue a Temporary Restraining Order.

No regulations prohibit the exercise of First Amendment activities in the closed section of Pennsylvania Avenue. In this case the D.C.M.R. "failure to obey a police officer" regulation has been used to "vest() unbridled authority in the hands of the polic as to who they arrest or not arrest, or who they exclude or don't exclude. Decisions are made on a case by case basis, rather than according to a general rule" smf "members of the public have no way of knowing whether they might be in violation of the law, or how they may avoid violation, except by prior experience.... 'This does not provide for government by clearly defined laws, but for government by moment to moment decisions of a policeman, which is clearly unconstitutional'." United States v. Nicholson, 87 WDLR 1213, 1216; affr'md 263 A.2d 56 D.C. Appellate (1970).

"The critical question in balancing things is whether the manner of the expression is compatable with the normal activity


of the place at that time....." Graynard v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104, 116 (1971)

"The mere fact that speech is accompanied by conduct does not mean that speech could be surpressed under the guise of prohibiting the conduct.' Food Employees v. Logan Plaza, 391 U.S. 308, 323.

Clearly there has been a suspension of traffic regulations in the closed section of Pennsylvania Avenue, if police were enforcing regular traffic regulations they wouldn't be allowing the activity that is going on with roller skaters, and tour guides educating their audiences in the middle of the street.

Since tour guides are permitted to use the street to speak with impunity, and for monetary gain, educating their audiences about the number of bathrooms and elevators in the White House, certainly plaintiff must be allowed to use the same street to address the public on issues of broad public concern.


It is clear that the plaintiff has met the familiar standards for temporary relief set forth in Virginia Petroleum Jobbers Ass'n v. PPC, 259 F.2d 921 (DC Cir. 1958) and WMATA v. Holiday Tours, 559 F.2d 841 (DC Cir. (1977). First, there is a likelihood that plaintiff will prevail on the merits of the Complaint.

Second, if relief is not granted, plaintiffs will be irreparably injured in their efforts to exercise their freedom of expression free from continuing random, capricious, unjustifiable regulatory re-interpretation and enforcement. Suppression of


First Amendment exercise has been held to constitute "irreparable injury," Elrod v. Burns, 427 U.S. 347, 373 (1976), and to constitute "substantial ... damages." City of Watseka v. Illinois Public Action Council, 796 F.2d 1559, Summarily Affirmed by the Supreme Court, slip opinion 86-631, January 27, 1987.

Third, the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order will not harm the defendants. It will simply maintain the status quo by continuing to allow individuals the opportunity to target visiting dignitaries with Constitutionally-protected messages, a situation which has produced no substantial ill effects to the Government since at least as early as June 3, 1981.


The importance of free and open public spaces is well established.

"From time immemorial" parks have been recognized as "public forums." Hague v. C.I.O, 307 U.S. 496 (1939). In this circuit Lafayette Park has repeatedly been recognized as a "unique public forum." E.g., ERA v. Clark, 746 F.2d 1518, 1555 (1984); United States v. Sunrise, 707 f. Supp. 295 (1988).

At issue here is the baseline status quo. As President Clinton stated in announcing the new security measures, this is "the first time since the beginning of the Republic that this street has been closed."

"The right to speak freely and to promote diversity of ideas and programs is ... one of the chief distinctions that sets us apart from totalitarian regimes." Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 4 (1945); see also, United States v. Eichman 58 LW 4745


(1990); Texas v. Johnson, 109 S. Ct. 2533 (1989) Boos v. Barry, 485 U.S. 312 (1989); Airport Commissioners v. Jews for Jesus 482 U.S. 203 (1986); Brown v. Louisiana, 383 US l3l (l96l); Hague v. C.I.O., 307 U.S. 496 (1939); Spence v. Washington, 418 U.S. at 411 (1969); Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503; United States v. O'Brien, 391 U.S. 368 (1969); Cox v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 536, 551 (1965); Coates v. Cincinnati, 402 U.S. 611, 615; United States v. Grace, 461 U.S. 177; Carey v. Brown, 447 U.S. 455, (1980); Gregory v. Chicago, 394 U.S. 111, (1969); Jamison v. Texas, 318 U.S. 413 (1943); Thornbill v. Alabama, 310 U.S. 88 (1940).


"The extraordinary nature of these charges makes this an easy case. Whatever authority the Government may have to interfere with a group engaged in unlawful activity, and however it may be permitted to impede or deter rights of lawful association as a by-product of legitimate Government actions, it is never permissible to impede or deter lawful civil rights/political organization, expression or protest with no other direct purpose and no other immediate objective than to counter the influence of the target [expressor]." Hobson v. Wilson 737 F.2d 1, 27 emphasis in original, [substituting], see also, Dombrowski v. Pfister, 380 U.S. 479, 482.


WHEREFORE, plaintiff moves the Court to temporarily restrain defendants from arresting plaintiff for engaging in lawful First Amendment activities under color of D.C.M.R. "Failure to Obey a Police Officer," or such other or additional relief as the Court


might deem appropriate

A proposed Order is attached.

Respectfully submitted, May 30, 1995,

William Thomas, Plaintiff pro se
P.O. Box 27217
Washington, D.C. 20038
(202) 462-0757


On May 30, 1995, PRIOR TO FILING WITH THE CLERK OF THIS COURT, I caused copies of the accompanying Request for a Temporary Restraining Order to be served upon the office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia at 555 4th Street NW, Washington, D.C., and the Corporation Council for the District of Columbia.