Brindley v. City of Memphis, No. 18-5753 (6th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Virginia Run Cove is a privately owned Memphis street that offers access to the parking lots of several businesses, including a Planned Parenthood clinic. It is described on county records as “common area” in a commercial development. Brindley sought a preliminary injunction requiring the city to let him stand near the entrance to this clinic and spread his pro-life message. He argued that Virginia Run Cove was a traditional public forum and that his exclusion from the street violated the First Amendment. The Sixth Circuit reversed the district court’s denial of his motion for a preliminary injunction. The Supreme Court has long held that public streets are traditional public fora. Even when a street is privately owned, it remains a traditional public forum if it looks and functions like a public street. Virginia Run Cove, which connects directly to a busy public thoroughfare, displays no sign of private ownership, and is used by the general public to access many nearby buildings, including the clinic, a gas station, a church, and a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, has all the trappings of a public street.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on July 24, 2019.