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Attorney General’s Office files civil rights action to halt interference with the right to safe and effective delivery of healthcare
November 10, 2015
Augusta— Attorney General Janet Mills announced today that she has filed a complaint under the Maine Civil Rights Act against 26-year-old Brian Ingalls of Lisbon, Maine, for violating the rights of patients at a health care facility in Portland, Maine. The Attorney General’s complaint alleges that during a protest outside the Planned Parenthood facility on October 23, 2015, Ingalls was yelling towards the second floor of the facility so loudly that his voice interfered with the delivery of health services. According to the Complaint, Ingalls was warned by a Portland Police Officer to stop yelling, but he persisted in the behavior.
The Maine Civil Rights Act protects the right of any person to receive any sort of medical services without disruptions caused by loud noises. Specifically, the statute makes it a civil rights violation to intentionally make noise at such a volume that it can be heard within a building where medical treatment is provided, when the violator has been warned to cease making such noise and when he has the intent to interfere with the safe and effective delivery of health services.
“All patients have the right to receive medical services free of ‘the cacophony of political protests,’ in the words of the United States Supreme Court,” said Attorney General Mills. “While protestors have every right to say anything they want in a public area in the vicinity of a medical facility, they are not permitted to disrupt another citizen’s health care services.”
The Attorney General thanked the Portland Police Department for its cooperation in this case.