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Vermont Women's Health Center v. Operation Rescue

159 Vt. 141, 617 A.2d 411 (1992)

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Vermont Women’s Health Center v. Operation Rescue

Vermont Supreme Court

159 Vt. 141, 617 A.2d 411 (1992)

Facts

Operation Rescue (defendant) was an anti-abortion group led by Michael McHugh. The Vermont Superior Court granted a temporary restraining order to Vermont Women’s Health Center (plaintiff) to keep Operation Rescue away from its building. Operation Rescue defied the temporary restraining order and protested at Vermont Women’s, so Vermont Women’s brought a civil-contempt action against Operation Rescue. The court found Operation Rescue in contempt and held it and its members jointly and severally liable for damages caused by Operation Rescue’s protest. The court also imposed attorney’s fees and a prospective coercive fine to discourage Operation Rescue from violating the court order again. Operation Rescue appealed to the Vermont Supreme Court, arguing that the damages imposed were unlawful.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Dooley, J.)

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