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Lawsuits against SoCal cities claim ban on donation bins violate 1st Amendment

"Exploiting Charity"
Michael Coghlan

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You’ve seen them around: those giant colorful metal donation bins seeking clothing and shoes across the region.

Their sudden proliferation had led many cities to outright ban these bins. But according to the Los Angeles Times, a recent lawsuit won by the nonprofit Planet Aid against a ban put in place by a city in Michigan on free speech grounds might pave the way of their reappearance on the streets of Los Angeles and Orange counties.

The Massachusetts-based Planet Aid owns about 20,000 donation bins in the country, about 1,500 in Southern California.

Planet Aid has also filed similar suits against the cities of Alhambra, Corona, and Stanton.

PLANET AID, a Massachusetts nonprofit corporation v. CITY OF ST. JOHNS, MI, a Michigan municipal corporation


Larry Rosenthal, professor of law at the Chapman School of Law