Victory in a food-sharing case! (No, not ours*)A preliminary victory has been won in a lawsuit against the city of Dallas, challenging an ordinance that severely restricts locations where groups can share food, prohibiting many groups from providing food in locations where they have served homeless individuals for years.
Violators face arrest and fines up to $2,000.
U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis has denied in part the City of Dallas' motion to dismiss claims. The court refused to the plaintiffs' claims related to free exercise of religion, equal protection, vagueness, and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act. While the court is allowing the plaintiffs to move forward with these claims, the court dismissed the plaintiffs' other claims related to freedom of speech, freedom of association, and the right to travel.
"We are very pleased with the court's decision to allow the plaintiffs to move forward with their case," said Tulin Ozdeger, civil rights director of the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty. "Instead of penalizing groups trying to help meet the growing need in Dallas, the City should be looking toward ways to work with those who want to help."
* The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear oral argument in First Vagabonds Church of God v. City of Orlando in December.