The state has filed a civil complaint against a Lisbon man who was yelling last month at a Planned Parenthood office in Portland.

Attorney General Janet Mills wrote Tuesday in a statement that her office filed a complaint in Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland under the Maine Civil Rights Act against Brian Ingalls, 26, for violating the rights of patients at a health care facility.

The complaint says that during a protest outside the facility on Oct. 23, Ingalls was yelling toward the second-floor office so loudly that his voice could be heard in the examination and counseling rooms and interfered with the delivery of health services.

Ingalls was shouting about “murdering babies, aborted babies’ blood and Jesus,” the complaint says.

Local police warned Ingalls, according to the complaint, “but he persisted in the behavior,” the statement says.

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,” according to Mills’ statement.

“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,” Mills said. “While protesters 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.”

Mills’ office is seeking an injunction against Ingalls that would prevent him from being within 50 feet of all Planned Parenthood facilities, including the 443 Congress St., Portland, location.

It also would bar him from “intentionally engaging in any conduct with the intent to jeopardize the health of persons receiving health services at a Planned Parenthood facility.”

The Portland Police Department cooperated with the Maine Attorney General’s Office in research for the civil action.

Several weeks before Ingalls protested at the Planned Parenthood facility, U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Torrensen had ruled that the city’s 39-foot no-protest buffer zone around the clinic was an unconstitutional violation of protesters’ right to free speech. She further ordered the city to pay plaintiffs $1 each, and also to reimburse them $56,000 in attorneys’ fees.

Torrensen’s ruling was directly tied to the June 2014 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that buffer zones around clinics in Massachusetts violated protesters’ First Amendment rights.


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