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Gray v. Kohl

United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
568 F. Supp. 2d 1378 (2008)


Facts

The Florida School Safety Zone Statute (Act) prohibited certain conduct within 500 feet of school property. Section 2(b) prohibited a person from entering or staying in the protected zone during certain hours unless the person had legitimate business. Section 2(c) prohibited a person without legitimate business from staying in the protected zone after a school official asked the person to leave. School officials could only ask a person to leave if they reasonably believed that the person was going to engage in criminal conduct or harass students. A violation of either section was a second-degree misdemeanor. On January 19, 2007, Thomas Gray (plaintiff) led fellow members of a religious organization into the protected zone around Key Largo School to distribute Bibles. Following the religious organization’s protocol, Gray informed the local police department of the intended distribution two weeks before the distribution, notified a school official shortly before the distribution began, and instructed fellow members to remain on the public path across from the school during the distribution. After the distribution began, multiple members were arrested by an officer at the direction of Sheriff Richard Roth (defendant) and charged with violating the Act. Gray stopped distributing Bibles and, in April 2007, brought suit against State Attorney Mark Kohl (defendant) and Roth, alleging that the Act was unconstitutionally vague and therefore violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Roth moved for summary judgment.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Moore, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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