Morrison & Foerster LLP won injunctive relief for Ralphs and Food-4-Less, which are owned by retail supermarket giant The Kroger Company, in a case against activist group LaRouche Political Action Committee. The injunction granted yesterday by the Los Angeles Superior Court prevents the disruptive campaign activities of LaRouche from taking place on Ralphs and Food-4-Less premises.
Since June 2009, LaRouche volunteers have been campaigning against national healthcare policies in front of Ralphs and Food-4-Less locations, as well as other retailers and banks, armed with posters depicting President Barack Obama as a Nazi. In many cases, the volunteers accosted grocery store customers while blocking fire lanes and walkways, maintaining their right to do so on the basis of Robins v Pruneyard, the 30-year old California Supreme Court Case holding the California Constitution affords free speech rights on certain large-scale shopping malls.
In order to protect its clients' business, Morrison & Foerster argued that the Ralphs and Food-4-Less premises do not provide a public forum space for expressive activity equivalent to the locations in Pruneyard. The Court agreed and granted the preliminary injunction, barring activists from entering Ralphs and Food-4-Less premises, including those situated in retail strip developments.
Morrison & Foerster partner Timothy Ryan was the lead partner on the case, with assistance from associate Jacob Harper.