Issue Date: 09/16/2010
Contact: Nancy Suey Castles
U. S. COURT OF APPEALS DECISION ALLOWS ENFORCEMENT OF NON-SOLICITATION OF FUNDS POLICY AT LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa and airport officials are pleased with a mandate issued by the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifting a preliminary injunction, imposed in 1997, that allows Los Angeles Airport Police to begin enforcement of a Los Angeles City ordinance prohibiting solicitation and immediate receipt of funds in the terminals, parking areas, and adjacent sidewalks at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
“This is a huge step forward in ensuring the comfort and safety of the traveling public at LAX,” said Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey. “From now on, the traveling public will not have to worry about solicitors asking for money.”
With this decision, Los Angeles Airport Police will enforce the ordinance that was passed by the Los Angeles City Council on April 1, 1997, and upheld by the California Supreme Court on March 25, 2010, to prohibit the International Society for Krishna Consciousness of California, Inc. (ISKON) and other groups from solicitation and immediate receipt of funds in the terminals, parking areas, and adjacent sidewalks at LAX. On July 7, 2010, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the preliminary injunction, but ISKON requested a re-hearing en banc before the entire panel of judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which resulted in a stay of the enforcement of the court’s July 7 order. ISKON’s en banc request was denied. On Sept. 15, the court mandated its July 7 judgment become effective immediately.
Los Angeles Airport Chief of Police George R. Centeno said, “The recent lifting of the court injunction means Airport Police can immediately begin enforcing our City’s law. This ruling allows us to exercise a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to solicitors asking for immediate donations at LAX.”
Organizations still can distribute literature and speak to willing travelers. They also can seek financial support, as long as they do not request the immediate receipt of funds. Violators face a penalty of up to six months in jail or a fine of $1,000, if convicted.