University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Hill v. Stanek PN-MN-0003
Docket / Court 11-cv-03542 ( D. Minn. )
State/Territory Minnesota
Case Type(s) Policing
Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection Occupy
Case Summary
On December 7, 2011, a political activist and supporter of Occupy Minnesota filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota under § 1983 against the County of Hennepin. The plaintiff, represented by a public interest law firm, asked the court for injunctive relief revoking ... read more >
On December 7, 2011, a political activist and supporter of Occupy Minnesota filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota under § 1983 against the County of Hennepin. The plaintiff, represented by a public interest law firm, asked the court for injunctive relief revoking the notice of trespassing and permitting the plaintiff to enter government property without interference, and for compensatory and punitive damages, claiming that the defendants had arrested her without probable cause on account of her political activism. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that she was a legal observer for an Occupy Minnesota protest standing on a public sidewalk outside a government building when the defendants arrested her for trespassing.

Two days prior to the incident in dispute, security for the Hennepin County government building served a "trespass notice" upon the defendant resulting from writing political slogans in chalk on government property. The notice barred the plaintiff from Hennepin County government property for 365 days, or until the notice was resolved on appeal to the security manager. Two days later, while the plaintiff was serving as a legal observer for the National Lawyers Guild, Hennepin County security guards approached her and told her that she could not enter the property because of her prior trespass notice. She claimed that at that moment, two deputy sheriffs arrived and placed her under arrest for trespassing. She spent seven hours in county jail before she was released on bail. She was charged with trespass, but the prosecution dropped the charge at the plaintiff's second court appearance.

On January 18, 2012, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed her case, because she had reached a settlement with the defendants. According to news reports, the defendants agreed to pay the plaintiff $15,000 and revoked her ban from government property. In return, the plaintiff agreed not to chalk or otherwise deface government property. Additionally, the defendants agreed to change their policy for appeals from bans from county government property. Now, if the county wants someone barred from the property for longer than 45 days, that person can appeal and must get a hearing within 10 days. If the hearing official agrees with the trespass order, she must issue a written decision justifying her action.

Nick Kabat - 04/13/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
False arrest
Over/Unlawful Detention
Pattern or Practice
Sidewalks
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Hennepin County
Hennepin County
Plaintiff Description Political activist and supporter of Occupy Minnesota
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program )
Citation: 82 Fordham Law Review 3189 (2014)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Panopticism for Police: Structural Reform Bargaining and Police Regulation by Data-Driven Surveillance
By: Mary D. Fan (University of Washington)
Citation: Forthcoming, 87 Washington L. Rev. __ (2012).
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?
Written: Nov. 13, 2015
By: Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich (Frontline/Post)
Citation: Washington Post (Nov. 13, 2015)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
0:11−cv−03542 (D. Minn.) 01/26/2012
PN-MN-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Verified Complaint 12/07/2011
PN-MN-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Graham, Jeanne J. (D. Minn.) [Magistrate]
PN-MN-0003-9000
Montgomery, Ann D. (D. Minn.) [Magistrate]
PN-MN-0003-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Kushner, Jordan S. (Minnesota)
PN-MN-0003-0001 | PN-MN-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Beitz, Toni A (Minnesota)
PN-MN-0003-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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