Lloyd Corp., Ltd. v. Tanner
407 U.S. 551 (1972)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Lloyd Corp., Ltd. v. Tanner, 407 U.S. 551 (1972)

Lloyd Corp., Ltd. v. Tanner

No. 71-492

Argued April 18, 1972

Decided June 22, 1972

407 U.S. 551

Syllabus

Respondents sought to distribute handbills in the interior mall area of petitioner's large privately owned shopping center. Petitioner had a strict no-handbilling rule. Petitioner's security guards requested respondents under threat of arrest to stop the handbilling, suggesting that they could resume their activities on the public streets and sidewalks adjacent to but outside the center, which respondents did. Respondents, claiming that petitioner's action violated their First Amendment rights, thereafter brought this action for injunctive and declaratory relief. The District Court, stressing that the center is "open to the general public" and "the functional equivalent of a public business district," and relying on Marsh v. Alabama,326 U. S. 501, and Amalgamated Food Employees Union v. Logan Valley Plaza,391 U. S. 308, held that petitioner's policy of prohibiting handbilling within the mall violated respondents' First Amendment rights. The Court of Appeals affirmed.

Held: There has been no dedication of petitioner's privately owned and operated shopping center to public use so as to entitle respondents to exercise First Amendment rights therein that are unrelated to the center's operations, and petitioner's property did not lose its private character and its right to protection under the Fourteenth Amendment merely because the public is generally invited to use it for the purpose of doing business with petitioner's tenants. The facts in this case are significantly different from those in Marsh, supra, which involved a company town with "all the attributes" of a municipality, and Logan Valley, supra, which involved labor picketing designed to convey a message to patrons of a particular store, so located in the center of a large private enclave as to preclude other reasonable access to store patrons. Under the circumstances present in this case, where the handbilling was unrelated to any activity within the center and where respondents had adequate alternative means of communication, the courts below erred in holding those decisions controlling. Pp. 407 U. S. 556-570.

446 F.2d 545, reversed and remanded.

Page 407 U. S. 552

POWELL, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and WHITE, BLACKMUN, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. MARSHALL, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which DOUGLAS, BRENNAN, and STEWART, JJ., joined, post, p. 407 U. S. 570.

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