Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Tuesday, September 24, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 51° Partly Cloudy
News >  Washington

Lawsuit targets petition restrictions at state fairgrounds

Associated Press

SEATTLE – A man said the city of Puyallup violated his constitutional rights when police barred him from collecting signatures for initiative petitions on a public sidewalk outside the Washington State Fairgrounds.

Roy Ruffino sued the city in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Monday. He said Puyallup police enforcing a “pedestrian safety zone” outside the Washington State Spring Fair in April barred him from collecting signatures and threatened to arrest him if he didn’t leave.

The lawsuit said City Manager Kevin Yamamoto regularly issues executive orders that nothing hinder people walking into the fairgrounds for major events. The orders don’t mention signature gathering but police have interpreted them to bar signature gathering.

Ruffino said that’s a violation of his rights to free speech and initiative under the state and federal constitutions. Brenda Fritsvold, a spokeswoman for the city manager’s office, said the city is reviewing the lawsuit.

Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.

You have been successfully subscribed!
There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email