Want to talk to strangers at the mall? Well, you better be talking about the mall itself or get a permit ... at least that's what the owners of the Westfield Galleria at Roseville, California, want:
They even had rules to enforce that behavior, but a state appellate court has starkly declared that the mall's attempt to regulate conversation is unconstitutional. [...]
The specific rule at issue prohibits a person in the center's common areas from "approaching patrons with whom he or she was not previously acquainted for the purpose of communicating with them on a topic unrelated to the business interests" of the mall or its tenants.
The court struck down the shopping mall rule:
The appellate court's opinion dealt one way or another with possible conversations that the rules would prohibit:
Weather is a no-no, unless one is intuitive enough to observe how it may be affecting the size of the crowd at the mall. Teenagers who use the common areas for social gatherings, not necessarily limited to contemporaries they already know, are out of luck. Should someone stop you and ask directions to Sutter-Roseville Medical Center, you would be well advised to blow them off, lest your humanitarian instincts lead you astray.