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Lopez v. Town of Cave Creek, Arizona

In September 2007, the town of Cave Creek, Arizona passed an anti-solicitation ordinance targeting day laborers, who often seek work in traditional public areas subject to constitutional protection, such as sidewalks. The Cave Creek ordinance prohibited a person on or adjacent to a street, including on sidewalks, from soliciting or attempting to solicit employment, business, or contributions from occupants of moving or parked vehicles.

In March 2008, MALDEF challenged the ordinance in U.S District Court for the District of Arizona in Phoenix on behalf of day laborers in Cave Creek. MALDEF argued that the town’s ordinance, which is a content-based restriction on free speech, violated the First Amendment free speech rights of persons who wish to express their availability for work in public areas in the Town of Cave Creek. The case was filed along with the ACLU Foundation Immigrants’ Rights Project and the ACLU Foundation of Arizona.

In June 2008, U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn O. Silver issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the town of Cave Creek from enforcing its anti-solicitation ordinance on the grounds that the ordinance is a content-based restriction on free speech, and as such it unconstitutionally infringes the free speech rights of day laborers from seeking work in traditional public forums in the Town of Cave Creek.

In August 2008, the parties stipulated to a permanent injunction of the ordinance, which permanently enjoins the Town from enforcing its anti-solicitation ordinance against day laborers or anyone else who wishes to exercise their First Amendment free speech right to seek employment in public fora in Cave Creek.