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H.B. 131

This document includes House Committee Amendments incorporated into the bill on Wed, Feb 9, 2005 at 11:04 AM by ddonat. -->              1     





Sponsor: Douglas C. Aagard

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill modifies the Criminal Code to provide penalties for persons that block or
             10      hinder access to health care facilities or places of worship.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    provides that knowingly preventing or impeding passage to a health care facility or
             14      place of worship is a class B misdemeanor;
             15          .    provides that knowingly approaching within eight feet of a person for the purpose of
             16      passing out literature, displaying an object, or engaging in protest or counseling
             17      without the other person's consent is a class B misdemeanor if the person is within
             18      100 feet of an entrance door to a health care facility or place of worship;
             19          .    permits recovery of civil damages and injunctive relief against a person who
             20      violates the above provisions or who incites another person to violate the above
             21      provisions;
             22          .    permits local political subdivisions to adopt different ordinances or regulations
             23      provided that they are at least as restrictive as the above provisions; and
             24          .    provides that an action for recovery of civil damages or injunctive relief is not
             25      dependent upon a person's conviction of the above provisions.
             26      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             27          None

             28      Other Special Clauses:
             29          None
             30      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             31      ENACTS:
             32          76-9-108, Utah Code Annotated 1953
             34      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             35          Section 1. Section 76-9-108 is enacted to read:
             36          76-9-108. Preventing or interfering with passage to and from a health care facility
             37      or place of worship -- Civil penalties and injunctive relief.
             38          (1) As used in this section:
             39          (a) "Health care facility" means general acute hospitals, specialty hospitals, home
             40      health agencies, hospices, nursing care facilities, residential-assisted living facilities, birthing
             41      centers, ambulatory surgical facilities, small health care facilities, abortion clinics, facilities
             42      owned or operated by health maintenance organizations, end state renal disease facilities, and
             43      any other health facility that the Health Facility Committee created in Section 26-1-7
             44      designates by rule.
             45          (b) "Place of worship" means a church, temple, synagogue, mosque, or other building
             46      set apart primarily for the purpose of worship in which religious services are held.
             47          (2) (a) A person is guilty of preventing or impeding passage to a health care facility or
             48      place of worship if the person H. intentionally or .H knowingly obstructs, detains, hinders,
             48a      impedes, or blocks
             49      another person's entry to or exit from the health care facility or place of worship.
             50          (b) A person who violates Subsection (2)(a) is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
             51          (3) (a) A person is guilty of unlawfully interfering with passage to a health care facility
             52      or place of worship if, within a radius of 100 feet from any entrance door to a health care
             53      facility or place of worship, the person H. intentionally or .H knowingly approaches within
             53a      eight feet of another
             54      person for the purpose of:
             55          (i) passing a leaflet or handbill;
             56          (ii) displaying a sign or object; or

             57          (iii) engaging in oral protest, education, or counseling with the other person.
             58          (b) Subsection (3)(a) does not apply if the other person consents to the approach.

             59          (c) A person who violates Subsection (3)(a) is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
             60          (4) Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit a local political subdivision
             61      from adopting a law, regulation, or ordinance that is at least as restrictive as the provisions of
             62      this section.
             63          (5) In addition to the penalties set forth in Subsections (2)(b) and (3)(c), any person
             64      who violates the provisions of this section or incites another person to violate this section shall
             65      be subject to:
             66          (a) injunctive relief; and
             67          (b) a civil action for the recovery of:
             68          (i) actual damages;
             69          (ii) costs and attorney fees; and
             70          (iii) if the court determines that the circumstances are appropriate, punitive damages.
             71          (6) A conviction for criminal violation of a provision of this section is not a condition
             72      precedent to maintaining a civil action or a request for injunctive relief under Subsection (5).

Legislative Review Note
    as of 1-31-05 3:02 PM

Based on a limited legal review, this legislation has not been determined to have a high
probability of being held unconstitutional.

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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