Carl and Elaine Miles, hereinafter known as the Plaintiffs, are unemployed married couple living in Augusta Georgia. The Plaintiff’ have a talking cat, whose name is Blackie. The couple rely on Blackie’s ability as a talking feline to earn donations; these “donations” are then used by the couple to pay their assorted bills. The Plaintiff’s had openly solicited donations from passerby’s on major thoroughfares and streets located within the area of downtown Augusta. This occurred from approximate dates, May 15, 1981 – June 22nd, 1981. On June 22nd, 1981, the Plaintiffs were required by the City of Augusta, hereinafter known as the Defendants, to obtain a business license. The Plaintiff’s did not ever obtain a business license for their solicitation within the City of Augusta.
Cause(s) of Action:
1. The Plaintiff’s attack the ordinance known as Ordinance No. 5006, as being unconstitutionally vague and overbroad in contravention of the Due Process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S Constitution, and also of the Georgia Constitution.
2. The requirement of a business license prior to solicitation violates the Plaintiff’s First Amendment right of speech and association.
3. The requirement of a business license prior to solicitation violates the Plaintiff’s right to equal protection as stated in the Fourteenth Amendment.
Mouse Chasing, Fast Talking, Furry Feline, Heads to Court!
The case is still at the trial level, located at the U.S District Court, S.D Georgia, in the Augusta Division, therefore this is no additional judicial history to report. The trial court’s holding and opinion will be discussed below.
Whether under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, the C...
... middle of paper ...
...been violated. The judge elaborates on this argument by stating that the ordinance was not arbitrary in purpose, nor was it explicitly exhaustive in its listing of which businesses had to obtain a business license, but did however have a “catch-all” category instead. Both the defendants, and the Court found that the Plaintiff’s business of solicitation of donations to by standers on major avenues in downtown Augusta, for the performance of their talking feline fell within the catch-all category suggested in the ordinance. Their unequal taxation also did not violate their equal protection rights, nor did it render the ordinance as unconstitutionally broad or vague.
Based on these laws and facts stipulated above, the Court denied the Plaintiff’s motion for Summary Judgement. The Court did however, grant the Motion for Summary Judgement for the defendant on all issues.
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