Ban on Photographing Children in Parks Struck Down,
From today’s Eighth Circuit opinion in Ness v. City of Bloomington, by Judge Steven Colloton (joined by Judges Roger Wollman & Jonathan Kobes):
In 2011, the Bloomington City Council approved a conditional use permit for the Al Farooq Youth and Family Center to operate a school, day care, and place of assembly at a property adjacent to a public park called Smith Park. A joint use agreement governs the sharing of parking facilities between the City and the Center, and allows the Center to use Smith Park for its programs. A charter school, Success Academy, opened on the Center’s property in 2017. The school uses Smith Park for recess.
Ness is a Bloomington resident who lives in the Smith Park neighborhood. She describes herself as the “point person” for delivering neighborhood concerns to the City about the Center’s alleged violations of its agreements related to use of the park and the parking spaces surrounding the park. Ness records videos and takes photographs from public sidewalks and streets around the park, the driveways of homes across the street from the park, and within the park itself. She documents her concerns by posting the photographs and videos on a Facebook page and an internet blog….
[I]n October 2019, the City Council approved an ordinance proscribing the photography and recording of children in city parks. The ordinance provides that in city parks, “[n]o person shall intentionally take a photograph or otherwise record a child without the consent of the child’s parent or guardian.” A violation is punished as a petty misdemeanor.
Ness sued; the Eighth Circuit declined to consider he challenge to the Minnesota harassment statute, because that statute had been narrowed in the meantime by the Legislature
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