University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Hussein v. County of St. Louis PN-MO-0001
Docket / Court 4:14-cv-1410 ( E.D. Mo. )
State/Territory Missouri
Case Type(s) Policing
Speech and Religious Freedom
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
The ACLU filed this federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of Missouri on August 14, 2014, a few days after the police shooting of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, and during the days of protests that followed. The lawsuit was brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Missouri State ... read more >
The ACLU filed this federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of Missouri on August 14, 2014, a few days after the police shooting of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, and during the days of protests that followed. The lawsuit was brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the County of St. Louis, Missouri, and the City of Ferguson. The lawsuit claimed that people photographing and recording police actions in ‪Ferguson‬ have a First Amendment right to do so. The day after the case was filed, the parties reached a recorded agreement: ‬
Parties acknowledge and agree that the media and members of the public have a right to record public events without abridgement unless it obstructs the activity or threatens the safety of others, or physically interferes with the ability of law enforcement officers to perform their duties.
Agreement 1. This agreement substituted for a Temporary Restraining Order.

The ACLU filed a First Amended Complaint on November 12, 2014. This added a Due Process claim, alleging that defendants' interference with individuals who are photographing or recording at public places, but who are not interfering with law enforcement, fails to provide them with a reasonable opportunity to understand what conduct is prohibited, and "authorizes and encourages arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement." First Am. Compl. 6. On November 14, the ACLU also filed for a Preliminary Injunction.

On November 20 and 21, the plaintiff asked the court to approve consent judgments between the plaintiff and each of the three named defendants--the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the County of St. Louis, Missouri, and the City of Ferguson. On November 21, the District Court (Judge John A. Ross) granted all three orders.

The orders for the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the County of St. Louis permanently enjoin those institutions from "interfering with individuals who are photographing or recording at public places but who are not threatening the safety of others or physically interfering with the ability of law enforcement to perform their duties." See Order Granting Joint Mot. to Relief (as to Missouri State Highway Patrol); Order Granting Joint Mot. to Relief (as to County of St. Louis).

This differs from the language in the order directed at the City of Ferguson. That order provides that the City and its employees or agents
shall not enforce or threaten to enforce any rule, policy, or practice that grants law enforcement officers the authority or discretion to arrest, threaten to arrest, or interfere with any individual, including any member of the media or member of the public photographing or recording in public places unless that person is threatening the safety of others or physically interfering with the ability of law enforcement to perform their duties.
Order Granting Joint Mot. to Relief (as to City of Ferguson).

Although these orders resolved the case, the court specifically retained jurisdiction to enforce all three orders.

Greg in den Berken - 11/24/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) City of Ferguson
County of St. Louis
St. Louis Highway Patrol
Plaintiff Description An individual who has recorded the interactions of the police and demonstrators on public streets and sidewalks within the City of Ferguson and who would like to do so in the future.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2014 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2014
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)
4:14-cv-1410 (E.D. Mo.) 11/21/2014
PN-MO-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 08/14/2014
PN-MO-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Agreement 08/15/2014 (E.D. Mo.)
PN-MO-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint 11/12/2014
PN-MO-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Granting Joint Motion to Approve Consent Judgment as to Missouri State Highway Patrol] 11/21/2014 (E.D. Mo.)
PN-MO-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Granting Joint Motion to Approve Consent Judgment as to City of Ferguson] 11/21/2014 (E.D. Mo.)
PN-MO-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Granting Joint Motion to Approve Consent Judgment as to County of St. Louis] 11/21/2014 (E.D. Mo.)
PN-MO-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Ross, John Andrew (E.D. Mo.)
PN-MO-0001-0003 | PN-MO-0001-0004 | PN-MO-0001-0005 | PN-MO-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Doty, Grant R. (Missouri)
PN-MO-0001-0001 | PN-MO-0001-0006 | PN-MO-0001-9000
Rothert, Anthony E. (Missouri)
PN-MO-0001-0001 | PN-MO-0001-0002 | PN-MO-0001-0006 | PN-MO-0001-9000
Wilcox, Gillian R. (Missouri)
PN-MO-0001-0001 | PN-MO-0001-0006 | PN-MO-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Isaacson, Robert J. (Missouri)
PN-MO-0001-9000
Karr, Stephanie E (Missouri)
PN-MO-0001-9000
Layton, James R. (Missouri)
PN-MO-0001-9000
Shuman, Michael A. (Missouri)
PN-MO-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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