US District Court Grants Temporary Restraining Order In Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Washington State Patrol
December 8, 2011.
At 1 PM on December 6, U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Bryan granted a temporary restraining order that immediately suspends the Washington State Patrol’s policy of banning demonstrators from the state capitol campus and surrounding parks.
This is a class action lawsuit.
Successfully seeking the order was lead plaintiff Mark Taylor-Canfield, representing a class of people to whom the Washington State Patrol have issued or may issue these unqualified banishments. This class includes Occupy Seattle participants who were banned and/or arrested while attending demonstrations at the state capitol in Olympia.
The restraining order will be in effect until January 5th. During this time Taylor-Canfield and Occupy protesters who received the trespass warnings will be allowed onto the state capitol campus property and surrounding parks to attend the ongoing demonstrations taking place during the current special legislative session.
The temporary restraining order does not affect ongoing criminal proceedings against protestors arrested at the Capitol for defying the bans.
Taylor-Canfield and his attorneys have argued that the “Trespass Warnings” being issued by the Washington State Patrol are a violation of the First and the Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution.
They maintain that placing restrictions on people’s freedom of movement in this way violates their constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of petition, and in Taylor-Canfield’s case, freedom of the press. The attorneys are also arguing that the bans have been forced on people without due process of law – a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Judge Bryan has scheduled another hearing for January 5th. At that time the court will consider the plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction.