CALCRIM No. 2681. Disturbance of Public Meeting (Pen. Code, § 403)
Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2020 edition)Download PDF
2681.Disturbance of Public Meeting (Pen. Code, § 403)
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with (disturbing/ [or]
breaking up) a public meeting [in violation of Penal Code section 403].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
1. The defendant intentionally committed acts that violated (implicit
customs or usages of/ [or] explicit rules for governing) a public
2. The defendant knew or reasonably should have known that (his/
her) acts violated those (customs[,]/ [or] usages[,]/ [or] rules);
3. The defendant’s acts substantially [and unlawfully] interfered
with the conduct of the meeting.
You may not find the defendant guilty of this crime unless you find that
the defendant’s acts themselves, not the message or expressive content of
the acts, substantially interfered with the conduct of the meeting.
[When deciding whether the defendant knew or reasonably should have
known that (his/her) acts violated the (implicit customs or usages of/ [or]
explicit rules for governing) the meeting, you may consider whether
someone warned or requested the defendant to stop (his/her) activities.]
New January 2006; Revised February 2012
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction defining the elements of the
On request, give the bracketed sentence that begins with “When deciding whether,”
if the meeting did not have explicit rules of governance. (In re Kay (1970) 1 Cal.3d
930, 945 [83 Cal.Rptr. 686, 464 P.2d 142].)
Do not give this instruction if the disturbance occurs at a religious meeting covered
by Pen. Code, § 302 or at a meeting where “electors” are “assembling” pursuant to
Elec. Code, § 18340. The court will need to draft separate instructions for those
• Elements. Pen. Code, § 403; In re Kay (1970) 1 Cal.3d 930, 941-943 [83
Cal.Rptr. 686, 464 P.2d 142].
• First Amendment Limitations on Statute. In re Kay (1970) 1 Cal.3d 930,
941-942 [83 Cal.Rptr. 686, 464 P.2d 142].
• Must Be Public Meeting. Farraher v. Superior Court (1919) 45 Cal.App. 4, 6
[187 P. 72].
• No Clear and Present Danger Requirement. McMahon v. Albany Unified School
Dist. (2002) 104 Cal.App.4th 1275, 1287-1288 [129 Cal.Rptr.2d 184].
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against Public
Peace and Welfare, § 60.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 144, Crimes
Against Order, § 144.21 (Matthew Bender).
CRIMES AGAINST GOVERNMENT CALCRIM No. 2681