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Occupy Tucson v. City of Tucson

2011 WL 6747860 (2011)

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Occupy Tucson v. City of Tucson

United States District Court, District of Arizona

2011 WL 6747860 (2011)

Facts

Occupy Tucson was a local version of the Occupy Wall Street movement that protested corporate influence in American politics beginning in September 2011. Occupy Tucson participants (plaintiffs) occupied a downtown Tucson park in October. The City of Tucson (defendant) mostly issued citations for violating a 1977 ordinance that prohibited overnight camping or using parks “for any political purpose” without a permit but also removed some participants. The participants moved to another downtown park in November and sued, claiming the ordinance was unconstitutional and that enforcement violated their First Amendment rights. The participants requested a temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction preventing enforcement, but the court promptly denied the motion. When someone else obtained a permit to use the park on December 28, a city-council staff person called a participant a week beforehand and warned that police planned to clear the park that night. The attorney for Occupy Tucson renewed the TRO motion to keep the police from forcibly clearing the park until the court could hold a hearing or the attorney had time to file a memorandum. The attorney certified that he had attempted to contact the city attorney, who had already filed another motion containing the arguments against a TRO. Because of the changed circumstances, the court considered the merits of the TRO request. Meanwhile, the participants had not actually sought a permit since the lawsuit started.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Jorgenson, J.)

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