California mall forbids talking to strangers

August 15, 2010

Owners of a mall in Roseville don’t like strangers speaking to each other, unless it is about commercial enterprises in the mall, and penned rules prohibiting strangers from conversing. [SacramentoBee]

The rules forbid peaceful, consensual, spontaneous conversations between strangers about any topic not commercially related to the Westfield Galleria mall. According to the rules, an application for third party access must be filled out and approved prior to engaging in a conversation.

After a 27-year-old pastor filed a lawsuit against the mall seeking monetary damages for false imprisonment, assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, malicious prosecution, and a general violation of his civil rights after he was arrested for speaking to strangers, the Third District Court of Appeals ruled the mall’s policies are unconstitutional.

Matthew Snatchko refused to stop talking with three strangers who had agreed to talk to him about subjects that included his faith.

A security officer ordered Snatchko to stop talking to the strangers or to take the conversation outside. The security officer made a citizen’s arrest, handcuffed the youth pastor and turned him over to Roseville police.

Snatchko was booked into jail and then released. After he appeared in court for his arraignment, all charges were dropped.

Snatchko is suing for an unspecified amount.


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7 Comments

  1. The Gimlet Eye says:

    Seems incredible that anyone could possibly even entertain the idea that they could get away with something like this. Yet here is an example of it. Tyrannical thoughts gone viral. There is more to this stuff than meets the eye. Do I sense a trend in the abuse of civil rights?

    (6) 6 Total Votes - 6 up - 0 down
    • CaptainJack says:

      Erm, isn’t the mall private property? The 1st amendment covers what you say on public property. A private property owner has the right to refuse anyone to be on their property for any reason. Was it something to do with the fact that the security guard made an arrest when no crime had been committed, simply a violation of a rule that should have resulted in expulsion form the property?

      It seems to me the rule was made to stop begging, loitering and people selling stuff that aren’t renting space at the mall. What kind of pastor is he who knowingly broke a rule of the establishment he was in even after being asked to stop?

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. ososkid says:

    Wait a minute… I thought the free market would protect my rights and freedoms, but here they are only allowing me to talk about commerce

    Looks like this is a case for a government based civil justice system. hmmmmm

    (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  3. SLORider says:

    Roseville also charges outsiders if you get in a car crash there. A horrible city.

    (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down
  4. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    This is 2010!!???? Unbelievable!

    (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
  5. whatisup says:

    What can you say to a story like this? Clearly a new generation who are ignorant of the obvious are now being put into management positions throughout corporate America. They know not the rule of law or common decency. Law enforcement seems to have become affected by the same phenomenon.

    (18) 18 Total Votes - 18 up - 0 down

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