People of the State of New York v. Griepp, No. 18-2454 (2d Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The Attorney General of the State of New York (OAG) appealed the district court's order denying it a preliminary injunction against defendants relating to their protest activities in violation of the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), the New York Clinic Access Act (NYSCAA), and the New York City Clinic Access Act (the City Act). Defendants appealed from the district court's order denying the OAG a preliminary injunction, challenging the district court's conclusion that FACE and its analogs are not facially unconstitutional and arguing that the City Act's follow-and-harass and clinic-interference provisions are void for vagueness. Defendants also challenged the district court's conclusions that the OAG has parens patriae standing to sue under the City Act and that Defendant George violated FACE, NYSCAA, and the City Act by physically obstructing patients.
The Second Circuit vacated and remanded in part, concluding that the district court made certain improper evidentiary and credibility rulings, relied on clearly erroneous factual findings in assessing the OAG's physical obstruction claims, erred in its interpretation of the FACE statute and its state and local analogs, and abused its discretion in finding no irreparable harm. The court affirmed as to the remainder. In regard to the cross-appeal, the court affirmed the district court's conclusion that Defendant George violated FACE, NYSCAA, and the City Act by physically obstructing patients; the statutes do not violate the First Amendment; and the OAG has parens patriae standing to sue under the City Act.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on August 26, 2021.