Lloyd Corp., Ltd. v. Tanner

407 U.S. 551 (1972)


Lloyd (P) owns a retail-shopping mall of about 50 acres bounded by four public streets. P owns all the land and buildings within the shopping center except for the public streets and sidewalks. There are 60 commercial tenants. Some of the stores open directly on the outside public sidewalks. There are no public streets or public sidewalks within the building complex, which is enclosed and entirely covered except for the landscaped portions of some of the interior malls. The distribution of handbills occurred within the mall. The center is open to the public with considerable effort being placed on attracting customers and customer goodwill in the community. Groups and organizations are permitted by invitation or by advance arrangement to use the mall’s auditorium and other facilities. Rent is charged for use of the auditorium except for civil and charitable organizations. The mall also allows limited use of facilities to solicit charitable donations. P had forbidden political speech except for presidential candidates and has not allowed all who want to solicit donations to use the facilities. Tanner (D) distributed a handbill inviting people to a Resistance Community meeting to protest the draft and the Vietnam War. It was made by five young people, and they did so in an orderly and quiet manner with no littering. One mall customer complained. Mall security told them to leave and distribute literature on the public sidewalks adjacent to the center but outside the complex. D left to avoid arrest. This suit was instituted to seek declaratory and injunctive relief. The District Court found that it is 'the functional equivalent of a public business district.' It issued a permanent injunction restraining D from interfering with such right. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed.