2020 Georgia Code
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 11 - Offenses Against Public Order and Safety
Article 2 - Offenses Against Public Order
§ 16-11-34.2. Disorderly or Disruptive Conduct at Any Funeral or Memorial Service

Universal Citation: GA Code § 16-11-34.2 (2020)
  1. The General Assembly declares that the interest of persons in planning, participating in, and attending a funeral or memorial service for a deceased relative or loved one without unwanted impediment, disruption, disturbance, or interference is a substantial interest and the General Assembly further recognizes the need to impose content neutral time, place, and manner restrictions on unwanted acts carried out with the intent to impede, disrupt, disturb, or interfere with such funeral or memorial service.
  2. It shall be unlawful to engage in any disorderly or disruptive conduct with the intent to impede, disrupt, disturb, or interfere with the orderly conduct of any funeral or memorial service or with the normal activities and functions carried on in the facilities or buildings where such funeral or memorial service is taking place. Any or all of the following shall constitute such disorderly or disruptive conduct:
    1. Displaying any visual images that convey fighting words or actual or imminent threats of harm directed to any person or property associated with said funeral or memorial service within 500 feet of the ceremonial site or location being used for the funeral or memorial service at any time one hour prior to, during, or one hour after the posted time for said funeral or memorial service;
    2. Uttering loud, threatening, or abusive language or singing, chanting, whistling, or yelling with or without noise amplification including, but not limited to, bullhorns, automobile horns, and microphones, such as would tend to impede, disrupt, disturb, or interfere with a funeral or memorial service within 500 feet of the ceremonial site or location being used for the funeral or memorial service;
    3. Attempting to block or blocking pedestrian or vehicular access to the ceremonial site or location being used for a funeral or memorial service at any time one hour prior to, during, or one hour after the posted time for said funeral or memorial service; or
    4. Conducting a public assembly, parade, demonstration, or other like event, either fixed or processional, within 500 feet of the ceremonial site or location being used for a funeral or memorial service at any time one hour prior to, during, or one hour after the posted time for said funeral or memorial service.
  3. Any person who violates any provision of subsection (b) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(Code 1981, §16-11-34.2, enacted by Ga. L. 2006, p. 256, § 1/SB 606.)

Cross references.

- Restriction on registered offenders residing, working, or loitering within certain distance of child care facilities, churches, schools, or areas where minors congregate; penalty for violations; civil causes of action, § 42-1-15.

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2006, p. 256, § 2/SB 606, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: "This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2006, and shall apply to all offenses committed on or after such date."

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Standing to challenge constitutionality.

- Pursuant to cardinal rule of statutory construction of O.C.G.A. § 1-3-1(a), plaintiffs had no standing to challenge facial constitutionality of O.C.G.A. § 16-11-34.2(b)(2), (4), funeral picketing statute, because the plaintiffs admitted that the plaintiffs did not intend to impede, disrupt, or interfere with any funerals; thus, without mens rea, there was no real risk of being prosecuted and the plaintiffs had not been threatened with arrest. Hood v. Perdue, 540 F. Supp. 2d 1350 (N.D. Ga. 2008).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Fingerprinting required for violators.

- Those charged with offenses under O.C.G.A. § 16-11-34.2 are to be fingerprinted. 2007 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2007-1.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Actions by or against individuals or groups protesting or picketing at funerals, 40 A.L.R.6th 375.

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