Wright v. Incline Village General Improvement

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: 12-27-2011
  • Case #: 10-16043
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Milan Smith for the Court; Circuit Judge Hawkins and District Judge Kevin Duffy
  • Full Text Opinion

Privately-owned beach property, with access restricted to owners based on boundaries established in 1968, does not violate the First Amendment or the Equal Protection Clause.

Incline Village General Improvement District (Incline) restricts access to its beach property to renters or owners of real property within Incline's boundaries as the boundaries existed in the year 1968. Wright owns property within Incline's modern-day boundaries, but not within the 1968 boundaries, therefore Incline excludes Wright from beach access. Wright argued that the restriction violated the First Amendment and Equal Protection Clause. Wright filed for summary judgement, the district court denied the motion, and Wright appealed. The Ninth Circuit held that the beach property is not a traditional public forum and, at most, can be considered a limited public forum. The Court also held the restrictions are viewpoint neutral and reasonable. Finally, under rational basis review, the restrictions do not violate the Equal Protection Clause. AFFIRMED.

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