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Bernalillo County Commission Passes Ban on Picketing of Individual Residences


Bern Co LogoOrdinance will take effect Nov. 7

Bernalillo County Commissioners voted four to one on Tuesday to adopt an ordinance that will prohibit picketing that’s focused on a single household in the residential areas of unincorporated Bernalillo County.

The decision mirrors a similar ordinance that has been in force in the City of Albuquerque for a number of years.

“With the passage of this ordinance, people who live in Bernalillo County have the same protections enjoyed by residents of Albuquerque,” says Commission Chair Maggie Hart Stebbins. “All county residents have the right to feel safe and secure in their own homes.”

Earlier this year, a picketing incident occurred in the North Valley that targeted the home of a local physician.

That incident prompted Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins and Commission Vice Chair Debbie O’Malley to co-sponsor the ordinance.

O’Malley’s district includes the North Valley.

“I believe that individuals have a right to express themselves, but not at the expense of an individual’s right to the safe enjoyment of their home,” says O’Malley.

In Frisby v. Schultz (1988), the United States Supreme Court ruled that local governments may prohibit picketing focused on a single household.

The new Bernalillo County ordinance will take effect on Nov. 7, 2013.

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