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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Pasadena : Mall Ordered to Ease Rules

February 16, 1989

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has declared her intention to issue a preliminary injunction requiring Plaza Pasadena to ease restrictions on political activities in the mall.

Judge Miriam Vogel agreed with several objections to Plaza Pasadena rules raised by attorney Dale Gronemeier, who represents the Democratic Party of the San Gabriel Valley and a citizens group that campaigned in 1986 for a special election in Pasadena to establish a strong-mayor form of government. The Democrats and the citizens group claim they were illegally restricted from circulating petitions and conducting political activities in the mall.

The case, which began three years ago, has produced a series of court decisions that have upheld some restrictions on political activities and have struck down others.

Last week, attorneys for the plaintiffs and for the Hahn Co., which operates the mall, returned to court to argue over the mall's latest rules on political activities. Vogel said some of Plaza Pasadena's new regulations were too restrictive. For example, although Plaza Pasadena might be justified in banning political activities during some shopping periods, she said, a ban from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day is not justified.

Vogel instructed Gronemeier to prepare a preliminary injunction based on her rulings. Attorney Thomas Leanse, who represents the Hahn Co., said he cannot advise his client whether to appeal the decision until the preliminary injunction is written and issued. In the meantime, he said, Plaza Pasadena will continue to enforce its existing rules. In addition to ruling against Plaza Pasadena on most of the contested regulations, Vogel ordered the Hahn Co. to pay Gronemeier's law firm $110,000 as an interim award for legal work on the case.

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