The city won its battle to ban double-deck newsracks from sidewalks when the state Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the city's requirement that newsracks not exceed four feet in height.
The requirement had been challenged by Paul Duffy, a distributor of sexually oriented newspapers who sued the city in 1984, contending that purchasing single-deck newsracks would double his expenses and that the 1977 ordinance violated his First Amendment rights to sell newspapers, City Atty. Michael H. Miller said. Duffy had 18 double-deck newsracks at eight locations in the city, Miller said.
However, Miller said, the ruling last week held that the ordinance was enacted for public safety and aesthetic reasons, not to control the content of the publications in them, Miller said. The court also said Duffy had failed to prove that his rights had been violated or that single-deck newsracks are more expensive, Miller said.
Miller said the ruling is the first in the state to sustain a city's right to establish height requirements for newsracks.