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Horizon Health Center v. Felicissimo

July 5, 1995

HORIZON HEALTH CENTER, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
ANTHONY J. FELICISSIMO, HELPERS OF GOD'S PRECIOUS INFANTS, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.



On appeal from Superior Court, Chancery Division, Hudson County.

Approved for Publication July 5, 1995

Before Judges Pressler, Landau and Newman. The opinion of the court was delivered by Landau, J.A.D.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Landau

LANDAU, J.A.D.

This appeal by defendants Anthony J. Felicissimo and Helpers of God's Precious Infants was taken from a September 21, 1994 order of the Chancery Division, Hudson County, that issued upon the New Jersey Supreme Court's remand for partial modification of a 1991 injunction which had imposed certain restrictions upon the manner and place of anti-abortion protests by defendants at a family-planning clinic operated by plaintiff Horizon Health Center in Jersey City.

We conclude that the modifications did not sufficiently comply with the Supreme Court's directions on remand. Exercising our original jurisdiction, R. 2:10-5, we affirm the order under review, subject to the further modifications set forth below.

I.

The underlying facts and history are extensively set forth in Horizon Health Center v. Felicissimo, 135 N.J. 126, 132-36, 638 A.2d 1260 (1994), affirming as modified 263 N.J. Super. 200, 204-11 (App. Div. 1993).

Finding that the injunction was content neutral, our Supreme Court noted that the trial court made specific findings thatdefendants had blocked the access of potential patients to the facility and disrupted street traffic, and that the purpose of the injunction is to allow defendants to express their views in "a manner that does not interfere with or disrupt the Center, its patients, or its staff." Id. at 142-43. In evaluating the reasonableness of the time, place, and manner restrictions of the injunction, the Court concluded that while an injunction was warranted, the manner restrictions required even more modification than had been provided by our opinion. Id. at 148-49. Specifically, for so much of paragraph one of the injunction as prohibited defendants

from gathering, parading, patrolling and picketing the property of [the] Center in such a manner as to disrupt, intimidate or harass the staff, employees or patients or persons accompanying patients of [the] Center and specifically from using obscene or abusive language or insults or epithets directed at [the Center]'s medical and executive staff or at patients or persons accompanying patients desiring to use their professional services and at their employees, and refrain from making loud accusations and shouting statements which are abusive at the aforesaid staff; physicians and/or patients and persons accompanying patients;

it substituted the following:

from screaming, chanting, singing, speaking, yelling, or producing noise in any other manner, in a volume that interferes with the provision of medical services within the Center.

[Id. at 149-50.]

The Court upheld the prohibition against defendants "from invading or trespassing upon the property of the [Center]...", and "from intentionally interfering with the flow of traffic into and out of [the] Center's premises by blocking and/or obstructing ingress into or egress from same." Id. at 150. Those restrictions, it was held, were "sufficiently narrowly tailored to serve the significant government interests of ...


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