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Court says California shopping mall's strangers conversation policy illegal

Monday, August 16, 2010

ROSEVILLE, Calif. -- A Northern California appeals court has struck down a shopping mall's policy barring people from approaching strangers to chitchat.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal this week said the rules at Roseville's Westfield Galleria violate the California Constitution's free speech guarantee.

The mall prohibited people in its common areas from approaching people they didn't know to talk unless the conversation was about business involving the mall or its tenants. The case arose after mall officials issued a citizen's arrest of a 27-year-old pastor who tried to talk about his faith.

The appeals court says the policy effectively bars shoppers from chatting about the weather or offering directions.

A spokeswoman for Westfield says the mall is considering appealing to the California Supreme Court.

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Most of us go to the mall to purchase something and others just want to save someone's soul. I do not want to be bothered by preachers or bums at the mall or anywhere. Taking the tax exempt status away from churches and so called preachers would be a better way to stop public preaching.

Removing that tax exemption would also increase tax revenue for all areas in the country and then there may not be so many people getting a free ride from the tax payers in the country.

-- Posted by SunRay on Mon, Aug 16, 2010, at 10:32 AM

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