NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City guidelines limiting the variety of art and e-book vendors in 4 popular Manhattan parks are constitutional, a state appeals court dominated on Tuesday, overturning an injunction in opposition to the principles.
FILE PHOTO: A person sits on a bridge inside Central Park in New York City, U.S., July 5, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
In a 5-Zero choice, the appeals court rejected artists’ contentions that the boundaries protecting Central Park south of 86th Street, Battery Park, High Line Park and Union Square Park violated their free speech and equal safety rights below the state structure, and amounted to unlawful discrimination.
Lawyers for the artists didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
The Appellate Division choice got here 9 years after litigation started over guidelines adopted by town in July 2010 that capped the variety of vendors of “expressive matter” resembling work, pictures, leisure, newspapers and books.
These guidelines had been meant to fight congestion, improve parks’ magnificence and permit New Yorkers to benefit from the parks for recreation.
The metropolis’s Department of Parks and Recreation allowed vendors in the restricted areas to promote on a first-come, first-served foundation.
It capped the variety of vendors at 100, or 140 on days the Greenmarket in Union Square was not working, down from roughly 300 earlier than the principles took impact.
In Tuesday’s choice, Justice Barbara Kapnick referred to as the principles “an appropriate response to demonstrated concerns” concerning the vendors, and located no proof that the plaintiffs had been denied equal safety.
“The record supports defendants’ contention that there are many more opportunities for expressive matter vending than food and souvenir vending in the designated city parks,” Kapnick wrote.
Tuesday’s choice put aside a 2017 injunction in opposition to imposing the principles, and ordered that the lawsuit be dismissed.
“We are pleased the court agreed that these rules are fully consistent with the law and promote the health, safety and welfare of the public,” Nicholas Paolucci, a spokesman for town’s legislation division, mentioned in an e-mail.
In 2013, the federal appeals court in Manhattan rejected a problem to the principles below the U.S. Constitution, whose free speech clause is narrower than the clause in New York’s structure.
The case is Dua et al v New York City Department of Parks and Recreation et al, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 1st Department, No. 8291.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Tom Brown and Marguerita Choy