Courthouse Urgency Ordinance Challenged in Lawsuit

Press release from the Occupy Civil Liberties Working Group:

LAWSUIT CHALLENGES ORDINANCE

A lawsuit challenging Humboldt County’s urgency ordinance was filed May 24, 2012 by Janelle Egger with the 9th Circuit Federal Court in San Francisco. Yesterday afternoon Robin Donald visited the Humboldt County Courthouse and served the summons and Complaint. Both are members of the Occupy Civil Liberties Working Group.

In her suit, Egger points out that the March 27 ordinance imposed restrictions on the area in front of the courthouse that is a traditional public forum where free speech and assembly are constitutional protected. The suit asks the Court to declare the ordinance unconstitutional, remove the restrictions from the Humboldt County Code and monitor the planned enactment of a countywide ordinance. The court filing fees for the suit were provided by the Humboldt Civil Liberties Defense Fund.

Along with other demonstrators, she was arrested by Sheriff’s deputies on April 8th for being present on the Courthouse grounds after 9:30 PM. “We can not allow our government to restrict our right to peacefully exercise our First Amendment rights,” says Egger.

The courthouse grounds have been consistently used as a protest site over the years by such groups as the Veterans for Peace, California Teacher’s Association, the Women in Black, California Nurses Association, the Tea Party and the Buddhist Peace Fellowship.

“There was not a problem until the County and Eureka Police Department decided they were going to impose new rules on Occupy Eureka back in November.” Egger was active with Occupy Eureka from early November until her arrest. Since then she has committed her time to restoring First Amendments rights that were restricted under the urgency ordinance.

Egger, who lives in Fortuna with her husband where they raised two children, has lived in Humboldt County since 1973.

Occupy Civil Liberties Working Group sponsored the March 24th Stand Up & Shout Out Forum To Protect and Restore Our First Amendment Rights.

The text of complaint is available online at:
PACER https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cand/index.html
or at https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-uTx6HuabZ7M255WldBbjNXLVk

The march 27, 2012 agenda board report is available online at:
https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-uTx6HuabZ7TmE4UmJTdEl2T3c

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Courthouse Urgency Ordinance Challenged in Lawsuit

  1. "Henchman Of Justice"

    Good Luck as any “fair-minded” individual would concede that existing laws were quite applicable and effective to squelch the Occupy riff-raff. Unfortunately, in the haste and daze of confusion and political pressure by the monied interests upon the elected, majority supervisors and staff concocted an ordinance which, by its very manifestation, challenges the very existence of current laws that went unenforced AND ALL THOSE OTHER reasons USED BY STAFF HEADS to spend or not spend money on any given law or code enforcement opportunity. SImply knowing an individual in Kindergarden is guilty of the misdeed, but blaming the whole classroom WHEN the whole classroom is seperate moving parts, ears, eyes, etc… is suspect. Using a few individuals overall as “excuse” tools to enact a suffocating ordinance that denies Veterans (no less the fact that vets spilled blood for the right to protest) the opportunity to protest is despicable and puts into question which heavy hitters in the community put the heat on the supes to pass such an ordinance. Had the same amount of supe and staff time went into demanding that the Sheriff and EPD do their job, alas……ordinance avoided. Tens of Thousands of Dollars during an election campaign spells-out partly what that heavy hitter list could contain. Anyhow, as reported by local media, the Sheriff told supes he would not do his job, so I would assume next election, that abdication of duty and political posturing shall be a talking point no less. We’ll see. – HOJ

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