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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The appellants, Brazos Valley Coalition for Life Inc., Donald Parsons, Janice Eoff, Jim Donahue, Ismael Escobar, Renee Linder and Rosalinda Maldonado, had participated in organized protests at a Planned Parenthood in Bryan, where abortions are performed. The protests had consisted of, among other things, picketing with handheld signs and placing signs and flags in the grassy strip between the street and the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood. Ordinance 999 of the city of Bryan’s Sign Code declared it “unlawful for any person to erect, place, or maintain a sign in the City of Bryan” within a public right-of-way. The city took the position that the Sign Code forbade any sign that touched the ground, even a sign that was resting on the ground but being propped up by a protestor. The appellants brought suit against the appellee, the city of Bryan, seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, a declaratory judgment and damages based on their allegations that the city’s Sign Code was, among other things, unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The city then passed several changes to the Sign Code. Ordinance 1428 revised the Sign Code such that the placement of all signs (other than hand-held signs) in the public right-of-way, regardless of their content, was prohibited. Ordinance 1431, which carved out an exception for flags, defined a “flag” as a piece of fabric that contains colors, patterns, symbols or words that convey a noncommercial message. Ordinance 1443 preserved the general ban on placing signs (other than hand-held signs) in the public right-of-way, but excepted government signs and temporary safety signs, and noted: “One flag attached to a single free-standing pole, may be placed in the unimproved portion [i.e."grassy strip'] of the public right of way for every 10 linear feet of frontage, if placed by the owner of the property abutting the public right of way or with the consent of said owner.” The appellants were unsatisfied with the changes in the Sign Code and persisted in their suit against the city. Both parties filed motions for summary judgment. The trial court granted summary judgment to the city. The trial court also eventually awarded the city costs in the amount of $5,600.40, but denied the city attorney’s fees. The appellants sought review. HOLDING:Affirmed. Broadly speaking, appellants contend that the Sign Code is unconstitutional for three reasons: 1. the process for issuing permits is inadequate; 2. the distinction between on- and off-premises signs warrants strict scrutiny; and 3. it is impermissible to allow abutting private property owners to disallow a flag in the public right-of-way on the basis of the flag’s content. The trial court denied summary judgment to appellants and granted the same to the city largely on the ground that Ordinance 1443, which was enacted about two weeks after appellants filed their motion for summary judgment (but before the city filed its summary judgment motion), mooted appellants’ prospective claims because they were based on Ordinances 999, 1428 and 1431. The appellants, citing City of Mesquite v. Aladdin’s Castle Inc., 102 S.Ct. 1070 (1982), contend that their prospective claims were not mooted by Ordinance 1443 because there is no reason to believe that the city will not re-enact the offending ordinances once this litigation is concluded. The court disagrees and finds that Mesquite is distinguishable on its facts. In Mesquite, the city of Mesquite openly conceded at oral argument that it intended to re-enact the disputed ordinance as soon as the Supreme Court vacated the judgment for mootness. But the city of Bryan enacted Ordinance 1443 prior to the underlying district court judgment and the city sought summary judgment on the basis of that ordinance. Furthermore, the court finds that there is nothing whatever to suggest that the city intends to repeal Ordinance 1443 when this case is over. Therefore, to the extent that Ordinance 1443 addresses and resolves a claim directed at prior versions of the Sign Code, the court holds that such claim is moot. The court also holds that, to the extent that appellants assert on appeal that Ordinance 1443 is defective in severable respects that are unrelated and do not apply (and have not been applied) to activities in which appellants have alleged that they engaged in (or desire or desired or plan or planned to engage in), such arguments are not properly before the court and appellants lack at least prudential standing to raise them. The court states that it detects no overbreadth in the ordinance that is both real and substantial in relation to the ordinance’s plainly legitimate sweep so as to justify a facial challenge. The court then addresses appellants’ two challenges to the validity of the Sign Code that defines “flag”: first, that it did not define “noncommercial” and did not provide adequate procedural due process to preclude the city from removing signs it improperly deemed commercial; and, second, that its limitation of permitted flags to those placed or consented to by the adjacent property owner improperly permitted the property owner to make viewpoint specific distinctions that the city itself could not constitutionally make. The court holds that appellants’ first set of objections to the flag provisions � that Ordinance 1431 did not adequately define commercial (or noncommercial) and did not provide adequate procedural due process respecting determinations in that respect � is rendered moot by Ordinance 1443. Moreover, appellants’ brief on appeal does not specifically address those provisions of Ordinance 1443 or present any intelligible argument that they themselves are independently improper, and, in any event the court holds that they are not constitutionally deficient. Turning to appellants’ second set of objections � relating to the control by adjoining property owners over flags placed in the public right-of-way in front of their property � the court holds that the challenge, though not moot, fails on its merits. The regulation restricts where any flag may be placed, and the restriction imposed does not to any extent turn or depend on the content of what is displayed on the flag. The court therefore deems it content neutral for purpose of the rule that content neutral reasonable time, place and manner requirements are valid notwithstanding that their effect may in certain instances effectively limit speech. For such purposes, a regulation is generally content neutral if its restrictions on speech are not based on disagreement with the message it conveys. OPINION:Garwood, J.; Garwood, Garza, and Benavides, JJ.

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