Flyers, Hand-bills, Stickers, Cards

Flyers/ Hand-bills/ Stickers / Cards
by Sue Basko

A mainstay of protesters is passing out flyers.  This blog tells about the laws in the City of Los Angeles.  Please check the municipal code of the place where you plan to pass out flyers.  In addition to laws similar to those below, most places prohibit passing out any flyers with any racist content.  This might also be a hate crime or a violation of a Human Rights ordinance or of a State constitution. Passing out flyers that talk about a specific person might be defamation or invasion of privacy.  If you plan to do something like that, you should consult first with a lawyer.  Free speech is not unlimited and comes with many great responsibilities.
PASSING OUT FLYERS/ HAND-BILLS: In the Los Angeles Municipal Code, flyers are called hand-bills. Stickers and cards are also subject to the same laws. In this post, when it says Flyer or hand-bill, it is referring to flyers, hand-bills, stickers, cards, pamphlets, brochures, or any other such item that will be distributed.

All flyers must have printed on their face the name and address of the person that caused the flyer to be distributed. When distributing flyers in a park, you are required by law to pick up and remove all flyers from your group that have been dropped or left behind by anyone. When distributing flyers on the street, you must pick up all flyers that have been dropped within 100 feet. That includes all flyers from your group.

L.A. Municipal Code Sec 28.01.1 (c) states: No person shall distribute any hand-bill on public property:
(1) on the roadway, center divider or median of a street;
(2) to any person in an unparked vehicle;
(3) within ten feet of an entrance to a building;
(4) within ten feet of a marked or unmarked crosswalk;
(5) along or within ten feet of a construction fence; or
(6) on any portion of a driveway.

In addition, Los Angeles law also prohibits distribution of any handbill/ flyer in any library. Also, you cannot trespass onto any LAUSD school property to pass out flyers. Also, no flyers may be placed onto parked cars or thrown onto porches. If a building or apartment has posted a sign saying "No Advertising," you may not distribute flyers unless you have written permission of the owner or person in charge.

In Los Angeles, it is also illegal to attach or affix any flyer or sticker, etc, to any public property, such as a tree, bench, pole, bridge, etc.   Anyone doing so may be charged for the damages and repair.