Federal Court Enjoins Kitsap County from Enforcing Trespass Order Banning MHB Client from Public Park

Posted by Tiffany Cartwright

On June 26, 2020, the federal district court for the Western District of Washington issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting Kitsap County from enforcing a Criminal Trespass Warning it issued to MHB client Robin Hordon prohibiting him from entering Mike Wallace Park in Kingston, Washington.

Kitsap County Sheriff's Deputies arrested Mr. Hordon on July 4, 2019, after he refused to remove signs that he displayed peacefully in a public park in an exercise of his First Amendment rights during a Fourth of July celebration.  In addition to arresting him, the deputies issued a "Criminal Trespass Warning" purporting to bar Mr. Hordon from the public park forever.  Mr. Hordon was given no opportunity to challenge the issuance of the warning. In issuing the temporary restraining order, the federal court found that Mr. Hordon was likely to prevail on his claim that the Criminal Trespass Warning violated his due process rights, and that he had suffered irreparable harm by the infringement on his First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

Mr. Hordon was asked to remove his signs based on a Port of Kingston rule purporting to forbid the display of signs in Mike Wallace Park without the permission of the Harbormaster.  Such a prior restraint on free speech in a public forum such as a park is unconstitutional, and the Port of Kingston rescinded its rule shortly after Mr. Hordon filed his lawsuit.

Mr. Hordon is represented by MHB attorneys Joe Shaeffer and Tiffany Cartwright.  Additional news coverage of the case can be found here:

"Kingston activist jailed over political signs claims port, sheriff's office violated his rights" - The Kitsap Sun 

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