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Torts Keyed to Prosser
Snyder v. Phelps
Citation:562 U.S. 443, 131 S.Ct. 1207, 179 L.Ed.2d 172
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Fred Phelps (co-defendant) founded the Westboro Baptist Church (co-defendant) upon the belief that God is intolerant of homosexuality. The church frequently communicated its views by picketing, especially at military funerals. The church picketed at the funeral of Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, using signs like “America is Doomed” and “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.” The church notified the authorities in advance of its intent to picket, complied with police instructions, and picketed on public land adjacent to the funeral. The funeral procession passed within 200 to 300 feet of the picket site, and Snyder’s father (plaintiff) only saw the tops of the picket signs. Snyder’s father filed suit against Phelps and the church for various tort claims, including intentional infliction of emotional distress.
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