(Added by Ord. No. 170,517, Eff. 5/19/95.)
(a) Definitions. Notwithstanding any other definitions of the words defined herein, the words defined herein shall have the following meanings for the purposes of this ordinance:
(1) “Appurtenant parking facilities” shall mean any parking lot or structure that is the primary and posted place for the parking of the vehicles of health care providers and members of the public using any medical facility, including any driveway apron which permits vehicular access to such parking lot or structure.
(2) “Client of a medical facility” shall mean any individual who utilizes or attempts to utilize the services of a medical facility and who, by reason of such actual or attempted utilization, becomes the focus or object of any unlawful interference.
(3) “Congregation” shall mean any assembly, for the purposes of parading, patrolling or otherwise demonstrating, of three or more individuals.
(4) “Connecting pedestrian access” shall mean any sidewalk or street crosswalk directly connecting a medical facility to its appurtenant parking facilities.
(5) “Health care provider” shall mean any individual who owns, operates, supplies, or is employed at any medical facility, whether on a permanent, temporary, occasional or incidental basis, including any volunteer who facilitate the delivery of medical services at the invitation of the health care providers responsible for operating the medical facility.
(6) “Medical facility” shall mean any hospital, medical clinic, medical office or other facility at which lawful, professional medical services, diagnoses and/or counseling are delivered to members of the public.
(7) “Medical services” shall means any and all services related to the determination, diagnosis, monitoring or treatment of the medical condition or status of an individual, including, without limitation, any counseling, referral, diagnostic, laboratory, clinical or surgical services.
(8) “Peace or security” shall mean the conditions necessary to conduct the normal operations of a medical facility, taking into account (1) the effect of activities on ingress and egress readily available to members of the public seeking medical services, (2) any noise, diversion or disturbance affecting a medical facility, and (3) any other effects on the operations that unreasonably jeopardize the health and safety of the members of the public seeking medical services.
(9) “Person” shall mean any individual, organization or association.
(10) "Residential dwelling" means any permanent building being used by one or more occupants for nontransient residential uses. (Added by Ord. No. 187,192, Eff. 9/29/21.)
(11) "Targeted" means picketing activity that is targeted at a particular Residential dwelling and occurs in front of the Residential dwelling or proceeds on a course or route in front of or around that particular Residential dwelling. (Added by Ord. No. 187,192, Eff. 9/29/21.)
(b) Prohibition Against Intentional Interference with the Normal Operations of a Medical Facility. Any person, acting alone or in concert with others, who intentionally acts in any manner that threatens or disturbs the peace or security of any medical facility by threatening to interfere or actually interfering with (1) the normal operations of a medical facility, (2) the lawful activities of a client of a medical facility, or (3) the lawful activities of a health care provider attempting to provide medical services shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit any peaceful expressive conduct, including protesting, picketing, demonstrating, or distributing pamphlets near a medical facility so long as such conduct does not interfere with the normal operations of the medical facility.
(c) Police Authority to Order Dispersal of Violative Congregation. The police are hereby authorized to order the immediate dispersal of any congregation that is directed at, and threatens or violates the peace or security of, a medical facility. In determining whether a congregation threatens or violates the peace or security of the medical facility, the police shall take into account the effects upon the normal operations of medical facilities, including, but not limited to, (1) the effect of activities on ingress and egress readily available to members of the public seeking medical services, (2) any noise, diversion or disturbance affecting a medical facility, and (3) any other effects on the operations that unreasonably jeopardize the health and safety of the members of the public seeking medical services.
Any order to disperse issued by police pursuant to this subsection shall include a statement indicating substantially each of the following:
(1) That the congregation has threatened or violated the peace or security of a medical facility;
(2) That the congregation is not protected by the constitutional right of the people peaceably to assemble in that its actions are unlawful; and
(3) That each member of the congregation, and all persons acting in concert with such congregation, must, under penalty of arrest and prosecution, immediately disperse and cease to congregate within fifty (50) feet of (1) the medical facility, (2) its appurtenant parking facilities, and (3) any connecting pedestrian access, and within four hours of such order to disperse or before such later time that the police proclaim to be necessary to protect the peace and security of the medical facility.
(d) Failure To Disperse or Subsequently Reassembling Following An Order From The Police To Disperse. Any person who is part of any congregation acting within fifty (50) feet of (1) any medical facility, (2) its appurtenant parking facilities, or (3) any connecting pedestrian access who refuses to disperse after having been reasonably ordered to do so by the police shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. In addition, any individual members of that congregation, or any other persons willfully acting in concert with such congregation, who reassembles within the same area within four hours of such order or before such later time that the police proclaim to be necessary to protect the peace and security of the medical facility, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(e) Targeted residential picketing prohibited. (Amended by Ord. No. 187,192, Eff. 9/29/21.) No person shall engage in Targeted picketing activity at or within 300 feet of the Targeted Residential dwelling. This subsection does not and shall not be interpreted to preclude picketing in a residential area that is not Targeted at a particular Residential dwelling.
Any person who is aggrieved by an act prohibited by this subsection may bring an action for damages, injunctive and/or declaratory relief, as appropriate, in a court of competent jurisdiction against any person who has violated, has conspired to violate, or proposes to violate the provisions of this subsection. Any aggrieved person who prevails in such an action shall be entitled to recover from the violator those damages, costs, attorneys' fees, and such other relief as determined by the court. In addition to all other damages or relief, the court may award to the aggrieved person a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation of this subsection. The remedies provided by this subsection are in addition to any other legal or equitable remedies may have and are not intended to be exclusive.
(f) Penalties for Violation; Misdemeanor. Any person convicted of willfully violating Subsection (b), (d) or (e) of Section 56.45 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 and/or shall be sentenced to imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed six months.
(g) Coexistence with Injunctive Relief for Specific Deprivations of Protected Rights. Nothing herein is intended to abridge, circumscribe or otherwise affect the rights of any person to pray for and obtain injunctive relief for the deprivation of protected rights.
(h) Severability of Provisions. If any severable provision or provisions of this ordinance or any application thereof is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the ordinance that can be given effect notwithstanding such invalidity.
(i) Urgency Clause. The City Council finds and declares that this ordinance is required for the immediate protection of the public peace, health and safety. This ordinance will prevent interferences with the operations of medical facilities, assure the efficient and expedient delivery of medical services to persons seeking treatment, and protect the well-being, tranquillity and privacy of individuals in their personal residences.
This ordinance is necessary to assure the efficient and expedient delivery of medical services and protect the peace and security of medical facilities and to safeguard the peace and privacy of individuals’ homes. Therefore, this ordinance shall become effective upon publication pursuant to Section 281 of the Los Angeles City Charter.