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CHESTER BRANCH v. CITY OF CHESTER

April 26, 1966

CHESTER BRANCH, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR the ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE
v.
CITY OF CHESTER, Pennsylvania, James H. Gorbey, Mayor, and Joseph M. Bail, Chief of Police



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LUONGO

 This action was brought by the plaintiff under 28 U.S.C.A. ยง 1343, claiming deprivation of certain rights, privileges and immunities secured by the Constitution of the United States by a certain ordinance of the City of Chester. The matter came on for hearing on plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction. By agreement, it was heard and is being disposed of as on final hearing for permanent injunction.

 Upon pleadings and proof, I make the following

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 1. Plaintiff is the Chester Branch, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, an unincorporated association whose principal office is at 1709 West Third Street, Chester, Pennsylvania.

 2. Defendants are the City of Chester, Pennsylvania, James H. Gorbey, Mayor of the City of Chester, and Joseph M. Bail, Chief of Police of the City of Chester.

 3. Ordinance No. 82-1955 was enacted by the City Council of Chester, Pennsylvania, on December 22, 1955, and is still in effect.

 4. Chester Ordinance No. 82-1955 provides, inter alia, that any person desiring to operate a sound truck on the streets of the City of Chester must first

 (a) obtain a permit;

 (b) pay a twenty-five dollar fee for each and every permit; and

 5. Permits are issued by the City Clerk upon presentation by the applicant of the certificate and payment of the fee set forth in Finding No. 4 without regard to the subject matter of the message to be delivered.

 6. Plaintiff, through its officers, applied for and received permits on at least three occasions to operate a sound truck on the streets of the City of Chester to publicize voter registration campaigns.

 7. Plaintiff would likely have used sound trucks more often than it did had the cost of the permits been less.

 8. Plaintiff intends to use sound trucks in the future to publicize voter registration campaigns. The frequency of such future use of sound trucks will be effected, in part, by the cost of the permits.

 9. Defendants have produced no evidence as to the relationship, or as to the reasonableness of the relationship, if any, between the twenty-five dollar fee imposed by Chester Ordinance No. 82-1955 and the cost of enforcing said ordinance.

 DISCUSSION

 Contending that Ordinance No. 82-1955 *fn1" of the City of Chester, Pennsylvania, regulating the use of sound amplifying equipment in streets and in public places violates the Constitution of the United States, plaintiff, National Association for the ...


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