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California Mall Goes All Paul Blart, Tries to Ban Non-Mall-Related Discussions

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Gavin Farnam is certainly a man who follows his mother's advice. Don't run with scissors. Be sure to eat your greens. Stop or you'll go blind. But, above all, the senior general manager of the Westfield Galleria in Roseville, California took one word of warning to heart and tried to enforce the matter at his mall: Never, ever talk to strangers.

Following an incident where a pastor was arrested on mall grounds for discussing his religion to strangers, owners of the Galleria decided that any non-mall-related discussion between unintroduced mall patrons was prohibited. In fact, such interaction would require a special permit to be reviewed and approved by mall security four days in advance.

Denny Walsh at the Sacramento Bee reports on a few of the off-limit topics:

"Weather is a no-no, unless one is intuitive enough to observe how it may be affecting the size of the crowd at the mall. Teenagers who use the common areas for social gatherings, not necessarily limited to contemporaries they already know, are out of luck. Should someone stop you and ask directions to Sutter-Roseville Medical Center, you would be well advised to blow them off, lest your humanitarian instincts lead you astray."

Unfortunately for the Farnam and other members Galleria management, a California state appellate court found the measure to be in violation of a pesky clause under the First Amendment and was ruled unconstitutional.

In response, Katy Dickey -- a spokesperson for the Galleria -- voiced the mall's frustration with allowing a society to progress.

"We are disappointed that the court … determined that the rules in question did not satisfy the required legal standard for reasonable time, place and manner restrictions. We are reviewing the court's decision and will consider our options … including appeal to the California Supreme Court."

Good luck with that, Katy.

Incidentally, as an average citizen, I'm interested in accusing Galleria employees of sexual harassment without "due process" and have them incarcerated without a "trial." Any chance of working that in to your case as well?
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