Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs v. City of Fort Lauderdale, No. 19-13604 (11th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs (FLFNB), a nonprofit unincorporated association, advocates the message “that food is a human right, not a privilege.” FLFNB’s efforts include its weekly food sharing events in Fort Lauderdale’s downtown Stranahan Park, a location where the homeless tend to congregate. FLFNB does not serve food as a charity, but to communicate its message that "society can end hunger and poverty if we redirect our collective resources from the military and war.’ The Eleventh Circuit previously held FLFNB’s food-sharing to be expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment and remanded the issue of whether the city’s regulations violated the First Amendment. Fort Lauderdale Park Rules require city permission for social service food-sharing events in all Fort Lauderdale parks,
The district court entered summary judgment in favor of the city. The Eleventh Circuit reversed. The Rule commits the regulation of FLFNB’s protected expression to the standardless discretion of city permitting officials. It provides no guidance nor explanation of when, how, or why the city will agree. As applied to FLFNB’s protected expression, it violates the First Amendment. It is neither narrowly drawn to further a substantial government interest that is unrelated to the suppression of free expression, nor, as applied, does it amount to a reasonable time, place, and manner regulation on expression in a public forum.