Pro-life protestors in West Palm Beach, FL remain prohibited from using amplified sound within one hundred feet of any health care facility after losing an appeal in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on August 6th, 2014. See Pine v. City of W. Palm Beach, FL, No. 13-15011, 2014 WL 3844110, at *1 (11th Cir. Aug. 6, 2014). However, the Eleventh Circuit carefully crafted its opinion to deny only the protestors' preliminary injunction request, which leaves the door open for further litigation. Pine, 2014 WL 3844110, at *12.
West Palm Beach's "Sound Ordinance" states: No person shall shout or, cause to be produced, or allow to be produced, by any means, any amplified sound, including a loudspeaker, drum, radio, phonograph, stereo set, tape or CD player, television, sound amplifier, or other electronic audio instrument or device that produces or reproduces amplified sound on any public street or sidewalk or from private property within 100 feet of the property line of a property housing a health care facility or any other institution reserved for the sick or infirmed, provided that the public streets or sidewalks adjacent to such facilities shall be clearly marked by conspicuous signs identifying those areas.
Id. at *3. The constitutionality of the "Sound Ordinance" was challenged by pro-life protestors. Id. The district court denied the protestors' motion for a preliminary injunction, holding that a substantial likelihood of success on the merits was not shown because the restraints imposed are reasonable restrictions on the time, place, and manner of the speech. Id.
The Eleventh Circuit agreed the ordinance imposed reasonable restrictions on the time, place, and manner of protected speech because it is content neutral, is narrowly tailored to protect citizens from unwelcome noise which may adversely affect their health treatment, and leaves open other forms of speech. Id. at 4, 10.
Although the "Sound Ordinance" survived a motion for a preliminary injunction, the opinion reiterated that "this matter is before the Court only on the question of the 'extraordinary and drastic remedy' of a preliminary injunction." Pine, 2014 WL 3844110, at *12. Consequently, further litigation is likely as pro-life protestors may challenge the ordinance's constitutionality.