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New York State National Organization for Women v. Terry

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
159 F.3d 86 (2d Cir. 1998)


On April 25, 1988, New York State National Organization for Women (NOW) (plaintiff) filed a motion seeking an injunction to prevent Terry (defendant) and several antiabortion organizations from blocking access to medical facilities that provided abortions and from harassing medical staff and patients during protests planned for the following week. The court granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) on April 28 and again on May 2, prohibiting Terry and the other defendants from demonstrating in front of the facilities. The defendants violated both orders, and the case was removed to federal court, where the district judge issued another TRO. The TRO included coercive fines of $25,000 for each day that the defendants violated the order. Despite the existence of TRO, the defendants again protested in front of medical facilities. In the face of the defendants plans to protest yet again, the court issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants from obstructing the entrance to the facilities and from harassing the staff and patients. When the defendants violated the injunction, the court imposed the coercive fines. The defendants appealed, triggering several other appeals in this case on the issue of fines. On remand, the trial court modified the injunction to include a purge clause, finding that if the defendants did not comply with the conditions in the order that they would be liable for the fines. The defendants appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Leval, J.)

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