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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Pasadena : Ballot Petitioning Restricted

January 16, 1986

A citizens group circulating petitions for a June ballot initative will be allowed to solicit signatures at the Plaza Pasadena shopping mall, but only under specific guidelines, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has ruled.

Citizens for Representative Government, which is circulating petitions to place an initative calling for a directly elected mayor on the June ballot, was barred from political activities at the mall during the holiday season under a temporary restraining order requested by the Plaza.

In a written opinion this week, Judge Warren Deering issued a subsequent restraining order against the group that allowed it to solicit signatures at the mall, but upheld the Plaza's right to establish regulations for such activities. Under the order, the group can only approach patrons "within a reasonable radius of (its) table" and may not impede traffic in the mall.

Attorney Chris Sutton, who represents the citizens group, said the order was a victory for his clients because it "enjoined us to do what we had planned to do anyway." Sutton has filed a counterclaim against the Plaza, seeking $100,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitative damages, contending that the mall violated the group's constitutional rights. Citizens for Representative Government must collect about 6,000 signatures by Jan. 20 to qualify its initative for the June ballot.

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