Judicial Opinions

The food sharing cases include over a dozen judicial opinions, some published and others not, in both state and federal courts—as well as some controversies that transpire only within the court of public opinion

Though perhaps marginal to mainstream legal scholarship, collectively the food-sharing cases show how some courts, including two circuits of the U.S. Courts of Appeal, have applied First Amendment jurisprudence, and related statutory rights, to protect those who hunger, as well as those who organize themselves to peaceably assemble and publicly share food. Some courts, however, have interpreted First Amendment Free Speech doctrines—particularly “expressive conduct” and “reasonable restrictions on the time, place, and manner” of speech—to deny constitutional protection to those who food-sharing activists.

Over the coming months, foodsharinglaw.net will archive and comment on these judicial opinions. The chart below, which I plan to update with pages for each case, derives from Appendix 1: The Litigated Food-Sharing Cases (listed chronologically), in Marc-Tizoc González, Criminalizing Charity: Can First Amendment Free Exercise of Religion, RFRA, and RLUIPA Protect People Who Share Food in Public?, 7 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 291, 343-44 (2017).

Case Name Date of Opinion Jurisdiction Citation
1. Armory Park Neighborhood Ass’n v. Episcopal Cmty. Servs. Aug. 29, 1985 Ariz. 712 P.2d 914 (Ariz. 1985)
2. Wilkinson v. Lafranz Jan. 11, 1991 La. 574 So. 2d 403
(La. Ct. App. 4 Cir. 1991)
3. McHenry v. Agnos (McHenry I) Jan. 19, 1993 9th Cir. 983 F.2d 1076
(unpublished table decision)
McHenry v. Jordan (McHenry II) May 30, 1996 9th Cir. 81 F.3d 169
(unpublished table decision)
4. W. Presbyterian Church v. Bd. of Zoning Adjustment of D.C.
(W. Presbyterian Church I)
Apr. 15, 1994 D.D.C. 849 F. Supp. 77
W. Presbyterian Church II Sept. 8, 1994 D.D.C. 862 F. Supp. 538
5. Daytona Rescue Mission, Inc. v. City of Daytona Beach May 12, 1995 M.D. Fla. 885 F. Supp. 1554
6. Stuart Circle Par. v. Bd. of Zoning Appeals of Richmond Nov. 26, 1996 E.D. Va. 946 F. Supp. 1225
7. Abbott v. City of Fort Lauderdale (Abbott I) June 14, 2000 Fla. No. CACE 99-003583(05 (Fla. Broward County Ct. 2001)
Abbott II May 2, 2001 Fla. 783 So. 2d 1213 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 4 2001)
8. Santa Monica Food Not Bombs v. City of Santa Monica June 16, 2006 9th Cir. 450 F.3d 1022
9. Sacco v. City of Las Vegas Aug. 20, 2007 D. Nev. 2007 WL 2429151
10. Pac. Beach United Methodist Church v. City of San Diego Apr. 18, 2008 S.D. Cal. 07-CV-2305-LAB-PCL
Order of Dismissal
11. First Vagabonds Church of God v. City of Orlando
(First Vagabonds Church of God I)
Mar. 31, 2008 M.D. Fla. 2008 WL 899029
First Vagabonds Church of God II Jun. 26, 2008 M.D. Fla. 2008 WL 2646603
  First Vagabonds Church of God III Sept. 26, 2008 M.D. Fla. 578 F. Supp. 2d 1353
  First Vagabonds Church of God IV Jul. 6, 2010 11th Cir. 610 F.3d 1274
  First Vagabonds Church of God V Apr. 12, 2011 11th Cir. 638 F.3d 756 (en banc)
12. Big Hart Ministries Ass’n, Inc. v. City of Dall. Nov. 4, 2011 N.D. Tex. 2011 WL 5346109
  Big Hart Ministries Ass’n Mar. 25, 2013 N.D. Tex. 3:07-CV-0216-P
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
  Big Hart Ministries Ass’n Mar. 28, 2013 N.D. Tex. 3:07-CV-0216-P
Final Judgment
13. Chosen 300 Ministries, Inc. v. City of Phila. Aug. 9, 2012 E.D. Pa. 2012 WL 3235317 Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
14. Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs v. City of Fort Lauderdale
(Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs I)
Sept. 30, 2016 S.D. Fla. 15-60185-CIV-ZLOCH Order on Motions for Summary Judgment
Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs v. City of Fort Lauderdale
(Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs I)
Oct. 3, 2016 S.D. Fla. 2016 WL 5942528
Final Judgment
Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs II Jan. 18, 2017 11th Cir. 2017 WL 1076817
Appellants’ Initial Brief
Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs II Aug. 22, 2018 11th Cir. 2018 WL 4000057
Eleventh Circuit Opinion