Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Lloyd Corp. v. Tanner case brief

Lloyd Corp. v. Tanner case brief summar
407 U.S. 551 (1972)

Appellant privately owned shopping center sought review of the decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which upheld the grant of an injunction preventing the shopping center from prohibiting the distribution of handbills by appellee Vietnam War protesters on its property.


  • The shopping center desired to prevent the distribution by the protesters of handbill invitations to a meeting to protest the draft and the Vietnam War. 
  • The district court found a First Amendment right to distribute handbills in the shopping center, and issued a permanent injunction restraining it from interfering with such right. 
  • The appellate court affirmed. 
  • Before the Supreme Court the shopping center claimed that the decision violated the rights of private property protected by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. 
  • There were no public streets or sidewalks within the shopping center, which was enclosed and entirely covered except for the landscaped portions of some of the interior malls where the distribution occurred. 
  • Although the stores closed at customary hours, the malls were not physically closed, as pedestrian window-shopping was encouraged. 
  • The shopping center always had a strictly enforced policy against the distribution of handbills within its malls.

The Supreme Court held that there had been no dedication of the privately owned shopping center to public use as to entitle the protesters to exercise therein the asserted First Amendment rights.


The court held that because the private property did not lose its private character merely because the public was generally invited to use it for designated purposes, the protesters did not acquire a right to exercise their asserted First Amendment rights therein. Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment and remanded the case to the court of appeals with directions to vacate the injunction.

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