LINCOLN, NE (CelebrityAccess) — A federal judge ruled in favor of the city of Lincoln in a lawsuit brought by a man who alleged that his civil rights were infringed after he was arrested for trespassing while distributing religious literature outside of Pinnacle Bank Arena.
According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp granted the city's request for summary judgment, ending Larry Ball's lawsuit.
The suit was brought by 78-year-old Larry Ball after 2014 incident he was arrested and convicted of trespassing found guilty of two misdemeanor trespassing counts and fined $100 plus court costs while distributing flyers. Ball maintained that he was on a public sidewalk where distributing flyers should be protected as free speech. But the city said the area was quasi-public, as it was contracted to private tenants.
“We are disappointed that the court failed to uphold our client’s highly protected and deeply valued free speech and religious expression rights," American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Danielle Conrad told the Lincoln Journal-Star. "… We also renew our call to Mayor Chris Beutler and to the Lincoln City Council to seize this opportunity to establish an appropriate policy that protects all Nebraskans' free speech and religious expression rights in the public space surrounding the Pinnacle Bank Arena." – Staff Writers