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Old 06-15-2011   #1
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Default Fan Codes of Conduct vs 1st Amendment

Amazing what some attornies will conjure up these days? Why don't we have a flag burning at the playing of the national anthem?

Code of fan conduct comes under legal attack

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Every NFL team has adopted a code of fan conduct, requiring ticket holders to refrain from certain behaviors — and reserving the right to eject them if they fail to comply. In San Diego, a judge has found that policy to conflict with the First Amendment.

Though the legal action doesn’t directly challenge the legality of the code of conduct, Judge Gale Kaneshiro previously threw out battery charges brought against a fan who allegedly punched and bit a security guard while the guard was trying to remove the fan for yelling obscenities and flashing the middle finger to other fans. The judge reasoned that the fan had a right under the First Amendment to express obscenities, and that the fan had a right to defend himself when the guard tried to physically force the fan to leave.

Bernie Wilson of the Associated Press reports that, on Friday, the fan’s lawyer will present a motion to the court requesting that the fan’s arrest record be expunged. City attorney Jan Goldsmith is opposing the motion.

The NFL has filed an affidavit in support of Goldsmith’s position. Specifically, NFL security chief Jeffrey Miller said that the code of conduct has reduced incidents at games, and that it has faced no other legal challenges.

“What this is about is, does the NFL have the right to evict fans who violate the code of conduct? If the answer is no, then this fellow and other fans can simply say, ‘No, I’m not leaving,’ and they can use violence to avoid eviction,” Goldsmith said.

The fan’s lawyer, Mary Frances Prevost, disagrees. “You can’t print something on a ticket and call it a contract,” Prevost said. “It’s not enforceable. To have a contract, you have to have an offer and acceptance. What if they said, ‘We want you to dance and do three cartwheels when you walk through the door?’ You wouldn’t have to if you didn’t want to.”

But even if it’s not a contract, and even if the purchase of the ticket doesn’t amount to an acceptance of all of its terms and conditions, a ticket to a sporting event constitutes a license to enter and remain at the stadium. The owner of the premises and/or the operator of the event have the ability to place reasonable restrictions on that license, especially when the behavior of one licensee can impact in a negative way the experience of another licensee.

Besides, most municipalities have one law or another that would prevent the yelling of obscenities and/or the repeated flashing of the middle finger in a public place. Freedom of speech relates to the expression of ideas and opinions, not the unrestrained articulation of profanities.

Hopefully, Judge Kaneshiro will see the light. Even more hopefully, no one else will get the bright idea to try to challenge a provision that helps the league attract more people to choose paying for a ticket over watching the game at home, where the only obscenities are uttered by a drunken uncle moments before he passes out on the couch.
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Old 06-15-2011   #2
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Default Re: Fan Codes of Conduct vs 1st Amendment

Really? Seriously? C'mon now. Guess I can just go screaming fire into a crowded theatre too, right? Why do they call it common sense when it is so uncommon?
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Old 06-16-2011   #3
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Default Re: Fan Codes of Conduct vs 1st Amendment

Oh no!

Now we're going to have some oleo "constitutionalist" come in here from 'blah blah' land and rant that that this is more evidence that we're "living in a police state", and then rattle off some more lame Thomas Jefferson quotes.
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Old 06-16-2011   #4
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Default Re: Fan Codes of Conduct vs 1st Amendment

As far as I'm concerned, the rules on the back of the ticket stubs should apply. You don't want to read them, fine; take your chances. You don't want to follow them, you shouldn't have bought the ticket.

Society has rules, or it wouldn't be society.
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Old 06-16-2011   #5
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Default Re: Fan Codes of Conduct vs 1st Amendment

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The fan’s lawyer, Mary Frances Prevost, disagrees. “You can’t print something on a ticket and call it a contract,” Prevost said. “It’s not enforceable. To have a contract, you have to have an offer and acceptance. What if they said, ‘We want you to dance and do three cartwheels when you walk through the door?’ You wouldn’t have to if you didn’t want to.”
What a stupid comparison by Mary Frances Prevost.
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Old 06-16-2011   #6
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Default Re: Fan Codes of Conduct vs 1st Amendment

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Originally Posted by gwallaia View Post
What a stupid comparison by Mary Frances Prevost.
She was probably a cheerleader in college and would still be able to fullfill such ticket requirements anyway.

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Old 06-16-2011   #7
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Default Re: Fan Codes of Conduct vs 1st Amendment

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Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
Oh no!

Now we're going to have some oleo "constitutionalist" come in here from 'blah blah' land and rant that that this is more evidence that we're "living in a police state", and then rattle off some more lame Thomas Jefferson quotes.
Since you like to link debate fallacies from Wikipedia, look up "straw man". There's a huge difference, both in degree and philosophy, between cops busting in on some unsuspecting family in the middle of the night and gunning him down vs. apprehending some misbehaving jackass at a game. Now if the cops had apprehended him, tased him, cuffed him, and then proceeded to beat him to death, we'd be damn sure talking about police state action. It's typical that you can't seem to grasp the very stark difference.

The only part of this story worth considering is the "contract" entered into by using the ticket, especially when you consider some of the crazy crap they started putting into Fan Conduct Policies (things like you can't stand in the Bull Pen if it disturbs another fan).
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Old 06-16-2011   #8
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Default Re: Fan Codes of Conduct vs 1st Amendment

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Originally Posted by eriadoc View Post
There's a huge difference, both in degree and philosophy, between cops busting in on some unsuspecting family in the middle of the night and gunning him down vs. apprehending some misbehaving jackass at a game.
More importantly there is a gigantic legal difference. Cops busting in = government action. Chucking a jackass from a game, i.e. private property = not government action. To make a 1st amendment claim you have to show some sort of government action.
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Old 06-16-2011   #9
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Default Re: Fan Codes of Conduct vs 1st Amendment

It's private property. Kick the jackass out. I don't see how the judge arrived at his decision.
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Old 06-16-2011   #10
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Default Re: Fan Codes of Conduct vs 1st Amendment

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Originally Posted by eriadoc View Post
Since you like to link debate fallacies from Wikipedia, look up "straw man". There's a huge difference, both in degree and philosophy, between cops busting in on some unsuspecting family in the middle of the night and gunning him down vs. apprehending some misbehaving jackass at a game. Now if the cops had apprehended him, tased him, cuffed him, and then proceeded to beat him to death, we'd be damn sure talking about police state action. It's typical that you can't seem to grasp the very stark difference.

The only part of this story worth considering is the "contract" entered into by using the ticket, especially when you consider some of the crazy crap they started putting into Fan Conduct Policies (things like you can't stand in the Bull Pen if it disturbs another fan).
Next time you're in Wikipedia, look up the word "bait".

I knew it wouldn't take long, you old negative-repper, you.
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Old 06-16-2011   #11
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Default Re: Fan Codes of Conduct vs 1st Amendment

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Next time you're in Wikipedia, look up the word "bait".
So you're admitting that you're a troll? Even better.
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Old 06-16-2011   #12
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Cool Re: Fan Codes of Conduct vs 1st Amendment

I didn't read that more than a few sentences. In a stadium, you are a licensee. They can revoke that license at any time for any reason. I think that is even in frin print on the back of the ticket.

Once it is revoked, you are trespassing.

Case over. Some lawyers make me sick. Yes, I am a lawyer.
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Old 06-16-2011   #13
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Default Re: Fan Codes of Conduct vs 1st Amendment

I wonder if the Vancouver fans read their tickets.

Vancouver riots have Canadians blushing
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Old 06-16-2011   #14
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Default Re: Fan Codes of Conduct vs 1st Amendment

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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
More importantly there is a gigantic legal difference. Cops busting in = government action. Chucking a jackass from a game, i.e. private property = not government action. To make a 1st amendment claim you have to show some sort of government action.
Is San Deigo's stadium owned privately or publically?
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Old 06-16-2011   #15
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Default Re: Fan Codes of Conduct vs 1st Amendment

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Is San Deigo's stadium owned privately or publically?
Who gets the profits?

OK, OK ... I'm just stirring the pot now.
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Old 06-16-2011   #16
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Default Re: Fan Codes of Conduct vs 1st Amendment

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Originally Posted by Yankee_In_TX View Post
I didn't read that more than a few sentences. In a stadium, you are a licensee. They can revoke that license at any time for any reason. I think that is even in frin print on the back of the ticket.

Once it is revoked, you are trespassing.

Case over. Some lawyers make me sick. Yes, I am a lawyer.
Well that put an end to that argument
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Old 06-16-2011   #17
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Default Re: Fan Codes of Conduct vs 1st Amendment

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Originally Posted by ArlingtonTexan View Post
Is San Deigo's stadium owned privately or publically?
Don't know but it should be irrelevant because if it is publicly owned then the team is leasing it for a private event. Whether or not you are there is between you and the event sponsor which is a private entity.
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