Utah Administrative Code
The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).
NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since January 1, 2020, please see the codification segue page.
NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.
R23. Administrative Services, Facilities Construction and Management.
Rule R23-20. Free Speech Activities.
As in effect on January 1, 2020
Table of Contents
- R23-20-1. Purpose.
- R23-20-2. Authority.
- R23-20-3. Definitions.
- R23-20-4. Free Speech and Freedom of Assembly; In General.
- R23-20-5. Time, Place, and Manner of Free Speech Activities.
- R23-20-6. Expedited Appeals-Free Speech Activities.
- R23-20-7. Expedited Review of Free Speech Concern.
- Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment
- Notice of Continuation
- Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law
(1) The purpose of this rule is to:
(a) facilitate constitutionally protected free speech and assembly at state facilities and grounds.
(b) preserve the right of every person to exercise free speech and freedom of assembly as protected by the constitutions of the state of Utah and the United States subject to lawful time, place and manner rules regarding free speech activities necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare, including safety and security considerations, the rights of others to exercise free speech and freedom of assembly, and minimizing the disruption to governmental business;
(c) facilitate public assembly and communication between people;
(d) designate areas under the Managing Agency's control, for free speech activities as specified in this rule that are necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare, including safety and security considerations, the rights of others to exercise free speech and freedom of assembly, and minimizing the disruption to governmental business; and
(e) establish guidelines to facilitate constitutionally protected free speech activities and public assembly.
(2) This rule is intended to further the following governmental interests:
(a) to facilitate constitutionally protected free speech activities and public assembly;
(b) to provide for lawful time, place and manner rules regarding free speech activities necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare;
(c) to provide safety and security of all persons visiting or using state facilities and grounds;
(d) to minimize disruption to or interruption of the conduct of state business;
(e) to maintain unobstructed and efficient flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic between and within state facilities and grounds in order to provide safety and security of persons, emergency vehicle access, and assure accessibility to public services;
(f) to provide all persons their guaranteed right of free speech and freedom of assembly without harm or interruption; and
(g) to inform persons of their responsibilities regarding littering, damage to, and vandalism of state facilities and grounds.
This rule is adopted pursuant to the authority granted to the Board under Sections 63A-5-103 and 63A-5-204. The Managing Agency may adopt policies and procedures to implement this rule.
The definitions of rule R23-19-3 shall apply to this rule R23-20. In addition, the following definitions shall apply for purposes of this rule:
(1) "Free Speech" and "Freedom of Assembly" means the exercise of free speech and freedom of assembly as protected by the constitutions of the state of Utah and the United States.
(2) "Free Speech Activity" or "Free Speech Activities" means the use of an area of the state facilities and grounds for a demonstration, rally, leafleting, press conference, vigil, march or parade that is available for such activity under this rule, by one or more persons for constitutionally protected free speech or assembly.
(a) "Advanced Planned Free Speech Activity" means a free speech activity that can be reasonably scheduled in advance of its occurrence, such that the Managing Agency may lawfully require compliance with certain requirements as specified in this rule.
(b) "Short-Notice Free Speech Activity" means a free speech activity that arises out of, or is related to events or other public issued activities which cannot be reasonably anticipated far enough in advance of the occurrence to reasonably allow compliance with the requirements for an advanced planned free speech activity.
(3) "Demonstration" means the assembly of a group of individuals that join together to express a point of view openly.
(4) "Rally" means to hold an open gathering of a group of individuals of similar purpose to join together to express a point of view openly.
(5) "Leafleting" means the continuous unsolicited distribution of leaflets, buttons, handbills, pamphlets, flyers or any other written or similar materials indiscriminately to pedestrians or passers by.
(6) "Press Conference" is an organized formal assembly called by an individual or group to announce or express a point of view to the public utilizing the press and other media.
(7) "Vigil" means an assembly of an individual or individuals who come together to demonstrate their solidarity by an occasion or devotional watching or observance.
(8) "March" or "Parade" means the organized assembly of individuals who are celebrating or expressing a point of view while moving from one location to another.
(9) "Public Areas" are all areas of the state facilities and grounds open to the public.
Unless specifically regulated by this rule as to time, place or manner, all free speech and freedom of assembly may occur in all areas of the state facilities and grounds in any lawful form or manner as guaranteed by the constitutions of the state of Utah and the United States.
(1) Free Speech and Assembly Promoted and Encouraged. Free speech and freedom of assembly, as protected by the constitutions of the state of Utah and United States, is promoted and encouraged at state facilities and grounds. Free speech activities, as specifically defined in this rule, are subject to lawful time, place and manner rules regarding free speech activities necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare, including safety and security considerations, the rights of others to exercise free speech and freedom of assembly, and minimizing the disruption to governmental business.
(2) Subject to Facility Use Rules, Exception. Free speech activities shall be subject to R23-19-1 et seq., except that, in the case of conflict, the provisions of this rule R23-20 shall control.
(a) Free speech activities held outdoors may take place 24 hours a day subject to duration requirements specified in this rule.
(b) Free speech activities held indoors may take place during the hours such public areas are open to the public, generally between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(a) Health, safety and welfare restricted areas that may not be reserved for a free speech activity are the vehicular traveled portions of roads, roadways or parking lots, areas directly in front of or adjacent to parking garages' entrances or exits, paths of egress or access to emergency stairs and emergency egress hallways, areas under construction which are hazardous to non-construction workers, and those specific portions of the state facilities and grounds that contain storage, utilities and technology servicing the state facilities and grounds or other areas, which either must be available for prompt repair, are not open for public use or represent a danger to members of the public.
(b) In order to protect the public health, safety and welfare and allow for public accessibility to and the conduct of state business, a demonstration, rally, parade, march or vigil may only be conducted on the public areas of the grounds and not inside the facilities.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this rule, there is no registration requirement for free speech leafleting. In order to protect the public, health, safety and welfare and allow for public accessibility to and the conduct of state business, free speech activity leafleting, as defined in this rule, is allowed at state facilities and grounds in the areas open to the public, without interference from state security, provided that it is done in a non-aggressive manner and does not prevent other individuals from passing along sidewalks and through doorways. The state is allowed to enforce any and all applicable statutes and ordinances regarding blocking public sidewalks, blocking hallways, disorderly conduct, blocking entrances to public buildings, garage entries, assault, battery and the like consistent with the requirements of the constitutions of the state of Utah and the United States. Leafleting is not allowed by placing leaflets on vehicles on the state facilities and grounds.
(a) Registration and Scheduling.
(i) All free speech activities shall comply with the following requirements, except that leafleting shall not be subject to any registration requirements.
(ii) An advanced planned free speech activity shall register as soon as reasonably possible, but not less than seven (7) days in advance of the free speech activity by registering with the Managing Agency.
(iii) Persons registering will provide the following information: the name of the sponsoring organization; the name and contact information of a contact person or agent; the type of free speech activity; the date, time and duration of the free speech activity; the public area requested for use; the number of anticipated participants; and a list of equipment and services to be used in connection with the free speech activity. Registration shall be on a standard form prepared by the Managing Agency.
(iv) If a person or group fails to register due to a short-notice free speech activity, they may still conduct the free speech activity provided it does not create a problem of public safety or interfere with the time and location of a previously scheduled free speech activity in the same public area and meets all the other requirements of this rule. In the case of such problem of public safety or interference, the Managing Agency will coordinate with the applicant in reasonable efforts to find an alternative reasonable time or location.
(i) The scheduling assignment of public areas shall be made on a first-come, first-serve basis.
(ii) In the case of scheduling conflicts, first priority in the use of the public areas shall be given to government business and/or state sponsored activities where the authorized governmental official is reserving the public area for an expressed governmental or state need. Free speech activities shall be given priority over community service, commercial and private activities. In the case of such problem of public safety or interference, the Managing Agency will coordinate with the applicant in reasonable efforts to find an alternative reasonable time or location.
(iii) No group or individual will be denied access to or use of a public area unless the proposed free speech activity violates this rule, applicable law, conflicts with a scheduled state sponsored activity, or conflicts with the time and location of a previously scheduled free speech activity.
(c) Consistent with the protections of the Utah and United States constitutions in order to preserve the free speech rights of others, outbursts or similar actions which disrupts or is likely to disrupt any government meeting or proceeding, is prohibited.
(1) Claims eligible for expedited appeal. The following determinations of claims regarding a free speech activity may be appealed as provided below:
(a) A determination by the Managing Agency that a proposed event or activity is a commercially related special event and not exempted as a free speech activity;
(b) A claim by an applicant that the Managing Agency's denial, or condition of approval, of a proposed route, time or location for a free speech activity constitutes a violation of this rule or an unlawful time, place or manner restriction; or
(c) Any other claim by an applicant that any action by the state regarding the proposed free speech activity impermissibly burdens constitutionally protected rights of the applicant, sponsor, participants or spectators.
(2) Process for Expedited Appeal:
(a) The State acknowledges an obligation to process appeals regarding a free speech activity promptly so as to not unreasonably inhibit or unlawfully burden constitutionally protected activities. Any time limit stated below may be lengthened if agreed to by the appellant and the Managing Agency.
(i) As soon as reasonably possible, but no later than two (2) working days after receipt of a completed registration, the Managing Agency shall issue a determination, which may include lawful conditions, or notice of denial of the registration application.
(b) The Managing Agency may deny the requested activity if:
(i) the requested activity does not comply with the applicable rules;
(ii) the registrant attempts to register a free speech activity, but the Managing Agency determines that it is a commercial activity;
(iii) the event would disrupt, conflict or interfere with a state sponsored activity, a time or place reserved for another free speech activity, the operation of state business, and such determination is in accordance with applicable constitutional provisions; and/or
(iv) the event poses a safety or security risk to persons or property and such determination is in accordance with applicable constitutional provisions.
(c) The Managing Agency may place conditions on the approval that alleviates such concerns and such conditions are in accordance with this rule and applicable constitutional provisions.
(i) If the applicant disagrees with a denial of the request or conditions placed on the approval, the applicant may appeal the Managing Agency's determination by delivering the written appeal and reasons for the disagreement to the Managing Agency.
(ii) Within three (3) working days after the Managing Agency receives the written appeal, the Managing Agency may modify or affirm the determination.
(iii) If the matter is still unresolved after the issuance of the Managing Agency's reconsideration determination, the applicant may appeal the matter, in writing, within ten (10) calendar days to the Executive Director of the Department of Administrative Services who will determine the process of the appeal and provides for a determination within five (5) working days.
(e) If the applicant for a free speech activity needs a more expeditious process of an appeal, upon written request of the applicant, the Attorney General or designee may advise the Executive Director of the Department of Administrative Services or the Managing Agency of the need to make an immediate consideration of the appeal.
If any person claims to be inhibited from the exercise of constitutionally protected free speech by a public officer, officer or other person at any state facilities and grounds, such person is advised to promptly notify the Managing Agency. The Managing Agency will then take reasonable steps in an attempt to resolve the matter.
rally, free speech, assembly
June 7, 2007
February 1, 2017
For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R23, please contact the promulgating agency (Administrative Services, Facilities Construction and Management). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.