Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Sandy sets limits on protests in front of homes
Ordinance » Pickets must stay 100 feet from property.
First Published Sep 24 2013 07:02 pm • Last Updated Sep 25 2013 07:37 pm

Sandy » City Council members on Tuesday adopted an ordinance that bans pickets from assembling within 100 feet of the property line of their target’s home.

The decision came after Sandy resident Krista Dunn, the wife of PacifiCorp President and CEO Micheal Dunn, said that the couple’s home had been the site of at least a dozen protests. She said the pickets had frightened her and tried to block her car on two occasions.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"It has had a tremendous impact on my children," Krista Dunn added. "How would you feel about being harassed and targeted while sitting in your own home?"

Micheal Dunn said pickets have not demonstrated at his office or at the home of other company officials who live in communities with laws requiring them to stay 100 feet from residences.

The vote to approve the ordinance was 4-2, with council members Steve Fairbanks and Kristin Coleman-Nicholl dissenting. The two expressed concern that the law would merely move the protesters in front of someone else’s home, and Fairbanks suggested that other laws be enforced against demonstrators who harass their targets.

Fairbanks urged the council to delay a decision until Councilman Stephen Smith, who had been excused from the meeting, could be present. However, Councilman Dennis Tenney said the issue needed to be dealt with immediately.

"It’s a form of harassment that’s patently wrong," he said of some of the protests.

The ordinance will go into effect in about a week to 10 days, after the city officially publishes a summary of it. Violation of the law will be a class B misdemeanor, with a maximum punishment of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

A similar ordinance is in place in other Utah jurisdictions, including Salt Lake City, Holladay and Salt Lake County, where residents have been targeted by pickets outside their homes. In June, union coal miners protesting proposed changes in safety provisions at Deer Creek mine in Emery County held an informational picket outside the Dunn residence.

The precedent for the ordinances was set in Frisby v. Shultz, a 1988 U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld a Brookfield, Wis., ordinance banning picketing in front of a residence. The 6-3 decision, which stemmed from a challenge of the law by anti-abortion protesters, said that because the picketing was "speech directed primarily at those who are presumptively unwilling to receive it," the city had a substantial and justifiable interest in banning it.

story continues below
story continues below


Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.