Penal Code 169 - Picketing Outside a Courthouse


Under Penal Code 169 PC, California law makes it a crime to picket or parade near a courthouse either to interfere with or obstruct the administration of justice, or to influence any judge, juror, witness, or officer of the court.

Specifically, 169 PC states that "any person who pickets or parades in or near a building which houses a court of this state with the intent to interfere with, obstruct, or impede the administration of justice or with the intent to influence any judge, juror, witness, or officer of the court in the discharge of his duty is guilty of a misdemeanor.”


There are several legal defenses that a person can raise if accused of picketing or parading in or near a courthouse. These include showing that an accused:

  • had no intent of wrongdoing;
  • was conducting a peaceful protest; and/or,
  • was arrested without probable cause.


A violation of this section is charged as a misdemeanor (as opposed to a California felony or an infraction). The crime is punishable by:

  • imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six months; and/or,
  • a maximum fine of $1,000.

Our California criminal defense attorneys will highlight the following in this article:

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If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime under California Penal Code 169, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation. We can be reached 24/7 at 855-LawFirm.

Legal References:

  1. California Penal Code 169 PC. 

  2. California Penal Code 19 PC.

  3. California Penal Code 405(a) PC.

  4. California Penal Code 405(b) PC.

  5. California Penal Code 409 PC.

  6. California Penal Code 416 PC.

  7. California Penal Code 19 PC.

  8. California Penal Code 404 PC.

  9. California Penal Code 405 PC.

  10. See same.

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