University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Waechter v. City of Saugatuck FA-MI-0016
Docket / Court 1:14-cv-01291 ( W.D. Mich. )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Speech and Religious Freedom
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Michigan ACLU
Case Summary
On December 17, 2014, two street musicians filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the City of Saugatuck, Michigan. The plaintiffs, ... read more >
On December 17, 2014, two street musicians filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the City of Saugatuck, Michigan. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU, sought injunctive relief and compensatory damages, claiming that the City's application of the Saugatuck Public Entertainment Ordinance (Ordinance) to the plaintiffs was unconstitutional. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that criminalizing the act of playing music on a public sidewalk without a permit is a prior restraint on expression that violates the First Amendment. The plaintiffs also claimed that the Ordinance violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, as it does not provide them with fair notice that the Ordinance, which prohibits performances on the streets of Saugatuck without a permit, applies to individual street musicians.

On March 27, 2015, upon stipulation and consent of the parties, the Court (Judge Robert J. Jonker) entered an order:
  • Permanently enjoining the City from enforcing the Public Entertainment Ordinance against the plaintiffs and other individual street performers who wish to perform on the public sidewalks in Saugatuck, including against individual street performers who accept tips from passersby;
  • Permanently enjoining the City from requiring the plaintiffs or other individual street performers to obtain a permit if they wish to perform on the public sidewalks in Saugatuck;
  • Awarding each plaintiff $7,500; and
  • Reserving for resolution between the parties the issue of attorneys' fees to be paid to the plaintiffs.
On May 26, 2015, the Court entered an order granting the plaintiffs an extension until June 2, 2015 to file a motion for attorneys' fees and costs. As of June 1, 2015, the case is ongoing.

Robert Lake - 06/01/2015


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Sidewalks
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) City of Saugatuck
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are two private individuals who wish to play music on the public sidewalks of Saugatuck and accept tips from passersby.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Michigan ACLU
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2015 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
1:14-cv-01291-RJJ (W.D. Mich.) 05/26/2015
FA-MI-0016-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 12/17/2014
FA-MI-0016-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Judgment 03/27/2015 (W.D. Mich.)
FA-MI-0016-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Jonker, Robert James (W.D. Mich.)
FA-MI-0016-0002 | FA-MI-0016-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Allen, Marc S. (Michigan)
FA-MI-0016-0001 | FA-MI-0016-0002 | FA-MI-0016-9000
Aukerman, Miriam (Michigan)
FA-MI-0016-0001 | FA-MI-0016-0002 | FA-MI-0016-9000
Moss, Kary L. (Michigan)
FA-MI-0016-0001
Steinberg, Michael J. (Michigan)
FA-MI-0016-0001 | FA-MI-0016-0002 | FA-MI-0016-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bogren, Michael S. (Michigan)
FA-MI-0016-0002 | FA-MI-0016-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -