Chief Sponsor: Kim F. Coleman

Senate Sponsor: Todd Weiler


8     General Description:
9          This bill enacts provisions related to expressive activity at an institution of higher
10     education.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This bill:
13          ▸     defines terms;
14          ▸     designates outdoor areas of campuses at institutions of higher education as
15     traditional public forums;
16          ▸     creates requirements for institutions of higher education related to expressive
17     activity;
18          ▸     creates a cause of action related to a violation of expressive rights at an institution
19     of higher education; and
20          ▸     enacts other provisions related to expressive activity at an institution of higher
21     education.
22     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
23          None
24     Other Special Clauses:
25          None
26     Utah Code Sections Affected:
27     ENACTS:

28          53B-27-101, Utah Code Annotated 1953
29          53B-27-102, Utah Code Annotated 1953
30          53B-27-201, Utah Code Annotated 1953
31          53B-27-202, Utah Code Annotated 1953
32          53B-27-203, Utah Code Annotated 1953
33          53B-27-204, Utah Code Annotated 1953
34          53B-27-205, Utah Code Annotated 1953

36     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
37          Section 1. Section 53B-27-101 is enacted to read:

Part 1. General Provisions

40          53B-27-101. Title.
41          (1) This chapter is known as the "Campus Individual Rights Act."
42          (2) This part is known as "General Provisions."
43          Section 2. Section 53B-27-102 is enacted to read:
44          53B-27-102. Definition.
45          As used in this chapter, "institution" means an institution of higher education listed in
46     Section 53B-1-102.
47          Section 3. Section 53B-27-201 is enacted to read:
Part 2. Campus Free Expression Act

49          53B-27-201. Title.
50          This part is known as the "Campus Free Expression Act."
51          Section 4. Section 53B-27-202 is enacted to read:
52          53B-27-202. Definitions.
53          As used in this part, "expressive activity" includes:
54          (1) peacefully assembling, protesting, or speaking;
55          (2) distributing literature;
56          (3) carrying a sign; or
57          (4) circulating a petition.
58          Section 5. Section 53B-27-203 is enacted to read:

59          53B-27-203. Expressive activities at an institution.
60          (1) An outdoor area of an institution's campus is a traditional public forum.
61          (2) An institution may maintain and enforce reasonable time, place, or manner
62     restrictions on an expressive activity in an outdoor area of the institution's campus, if the
63     restrictions:
64          (a) are narrowly tailored to serve a significant institutional interest;
65          (b) are based on published, content-neutral, and viewpoint-neutral criteria; and
66          (c) leave open ample alternative channels for communication.
67          (3) Subject to Subsection (2), an institution may not prohibit:
68          (a) a member of the institution's community or the public from spontaneously and
69     contemporaneously assembling in an outdoor area of the institution's campus; or
70          (b) a person from freely engaging in noncommercial expressive activity in an outdoor
71     area of the institution's campus if the person's conduct is lawful.
72          (4) This part does not apply to expressive activity in an area on an institution's campus
73     other than an outdoor area.
74          Section 6. Section 53B-27-204 is enacted to read:
75          53B-27-204. Cause of action.
76          (1) The following persons may bring an action in a state court of competent jurisdiction
77     to enjoin a violation of this part or to recover compensatory damages, reasonable court costs, or
78     reasonable attorney fees:
79          (a) the attorney general; or
80          (b) a person claiming that the person's expressive rights, as described in this part, were
81     violated.
82          (2) In an action brought under this part, if the court finds a violation of this part, the
83     court:
84          (a) shall enjoin the violation;
85          (b) shall, if a person whose expressive rights were violated brought the action, award
86     the person:
87          (i) at least $500 for an initial violation; and
88          (ii) $50 for each day the violation continues after the initial violation; and
89          (c) may award a prevailing plaintiff:

90          (i) compensatory damages;
91          (ii) reasonable court costs; or
92          (iii) reasonable attorney fees.
93          (3) Notwithstanding Title 63G, Chapter 7, Governmental Immunity Act of Utah, an
94     institution that violates this part is not immune from suit or liability for the violation.
95          Section 7. Section 53B-27-205 is enacted to read:
96          53B-27-205. Statute of limitations.
97          (1) Except as provided in Subsection (3), an action under this part may not be brought
98     later than one year after the day on which the cause of action accrues.
99          (2) Each day that a violation continues after an initial violation, and each day that an
100     institution's policy in violation of this part remains in effect, shall constitute a continuing
101     violation of this part.
102          (3) For a continuing violation described in Subsection (2), the limitation described in
103     Subsection (1) shall extend to one year after the day on which the most recent violation occurs.

Legislative Review Note
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel