JUDGE BARS SOLICITORS AT WAL-MART
Byline: Kristin Young
LOS ANGELES — A Southern California judge handed down a temporary restraining order late Monday barring a Riverside, Calif. church from haphazardly setting up tables and soliciting in front of Wal-Mart stores.
Since the beginning of the year, the Bentonville, Ark.-based discounter has filed as many as 10 suits in the state against the 1,000-member Missionary Church of the Disciples of Jesus Christ, seeking to keep church members from blocking doors or violating other policies. The suits recently were consolidated into one case that’s currently wending its way through the San Bernardino County Superior Court.
“It’s a victory for us,” said Tyrone Maho, Wal-Mart’s attorney, in reference to the order. “If the church wants to petition, they must follow Wal-Mart’s policies and rules.”
Court papers obtained by WWD said the church members can no longer block entrances and exits to Wal-Mart stores, must stand no closer than 15 feet from entrance and exit doors and can ask for donations only with canisters, not tables. In addition, the church must ask Wal-Mart five days in advance of its intent to solicit and must limit its presence at a particular store to three consecutive days and a total of 14 days per calendar year.
A hearing, which could decide whether the church has a right to have any access to Wal-Mart property, has been scheduled for Aug. 28.