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Pastor files lawsuit alleging violation of right to free speech

February 13, 2014
Maui Weekly

The Maui News - A Maui pastor and his wife are suing Maui County, alleging their free speech rights were violated when a police officer ordered them to leave as they were handing out religious materials on the sidewalk outside the Maui Fair last year.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii and the law firm of Davis Levin Livingston filed the lawsuit on behalf of Strat Goodhue and his wife, Doreen.

According to the lawsuit, a fair official told the couple to leave the sidewalk and grassy area adjacent to Kanaloa Avenue, and they moved to another area with less foot traffic.

When they returned the next day, fair officials again approached the Goodhues and ordered them to leave or be arrested. About 15 to 20 minutes later, after Pastor Goodhue said they wouldn't leave, a police officer ordered the couple to leave because of the fair's complaint.

"The police ordered us to leave, and we complied, but it just felt wrong," Strat said in a news release.

"The fact is that the sidewalk is public space, and under the First Amendment, all are free to express their opinions there," said attorney Matthew Winter.

"We have received the complaint, and we will be responding to it," Maui County spokesman Rod Antone said last week. "However, it is in litigation so we can't say anything further."

 
 

 

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