Rosebrock is a veteran who objects to the failure of the VA to use a lawn outside of the Los Angeles Campus (LA Campus) of the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLA) for the benefit of veterans, and particularly homeless veterans. Since March 2008, Rosebrock and a group of like-minded veterans have protested weekly outside of the locked fence that surrounds the LA Campus lawn to draw public attention to the VA’s failure to use the lawn for veterans. Although neither VAGLA nor the VA has ever had a general policy of inconsistent enforcement of the prohibition on posting materials in § 1.218, VAGLA and its police force inconsistently enforced the regulation in response to these protests. In particular, over a period of at least eight months, VAGLA and its police failed to enforce the regulation when Rosebrock and his fellow protestors hung the American flag union up on the fence surrounding the LA Campus lawn, but enforced the regulation when the protestors hung the American flag union down on the fence. Based on the record before us, this inconsistent enforcement stopped on June 30, 2010, when a VAGLA associate director sent an e-mail to the VAGLA police instructing them to consistently enforce the prohibition in the regulation.
While the inconsistent enforcement was ongoing, Rosebrock filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, bringing a cause of action under the First Amendment, and seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. The district court ultimately granted summary judgment to Rosebrock with regard to declaratory relief, holding that the VA defendants violated Rosebrock’s First Amendment rights by engaging in viewpoint discrimination, but the district court denied Rosebrock any injunctive relief. Rosebrock v. Beiter, 788 F. Supp. 2d 1127, 1140–49 (C.D. Cal. 2011). One of the rationales given by the district court for denying injunctive relief was that the request for injunctive relief had been mooted by the June 30, 2010 e-mail instructing the VAGLA police to enforce § 1.218 consistently. Id. at 1143–45.
Judge(s): Jay S. Bybee
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Related Categories: Administrative Law , Constitutional Law , Government / Politics
|Circuit Court Judge(s)|
|Trial Court Judge(s)|
|Plaintiff Lawyer(s)||Plaintiff Law Firm(s)|
|Peter Eliasberg||ACLU Foundation of Southern California|
|Jessica Price||ACLU Foundation of Southern California|
|Hector Villagra||ACLU Foundation of Southern California|
|Defendant Lawyer(s)||Defendant Law Firm(s)|
|André Birotte Jr.||U.S. Department of Justice|
|Indira Cameron-Banks||U.S. Department of Justice|
|Leon Weidman||U.S. Department of Justice|