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Case Name North Baton Rouge Matters v. City of Baton Rouge PN-LA-0005
Docket / Court 3:16-cv-00463-JWD-RLB ( M.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Policing
Speech and Religious Freedom
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On July 13, 2016, organizations whose members have participated in and witnessed protests in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in response to the death of Alton Sterling, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. Represented by private counsel, the ACLU of Louisiana, ... read more >
On July 13, 2016, organizations whose members have participated in and witnessed protests in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in response to the death of Alton Sterling, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. Represented by private counsel, the ACLU of Louisiana, and the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice, the plaintiffs sued the City of Baton Rouge under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violating their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, as well as rights arising from the Louisiana Constitution. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants and their high-ranking policymaking officials intentionally developed and implemented customs, practices, and/or policies under which protestors were detained, harassed, threatened, dispersed, and charged for allegedly obstructing vehicular traffic on public streets, even when the protestors were engaged in no actual obstruction and created no risk to pedestrian or traffic safety. The plaintiffs further claimed that the defendants' actions deprived the plaintiffs of a reasonable opportunity to understand what conduct was criminal.

On July 14, 2016, the plaintiffs moved for an emergency temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction. A motion hearing was set for July 28, 2016, but the parties filed a joint motion to continue on July 20, 2016, which was granted. All of the previously fixed dates were thus vacated.

On July 27, 2016, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss with prejudice the plaintiffs' complaint with respect to the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney. After the plaintiffs advised the district court that they would not oppose this motion to dismiss in a August 4, 2016 telephone conference, U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles granted the defendant's motion to dismiss on August 8, 2016. The case against the remaining defendants, however, would continue.

On December 5, 2016, Judge deGravelles granted a joint motion to dismiss the case. The parties had come to a Memorandum of Understanding, which recognized "the rights of all persons to assemble and engage in the public for the purpose of peaceful public discourse and protest," and stipulated that the law enforcement parties would make every effort to ensure reasonable alternatives were available if protesters disturbed other parties. Both parties maintained the right to return to the court if the Memorandum was violated.

The case is now closed.

Saeeda Joseph-Charles - 11/24/2016
Lisa Limb - 03/23/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Excessive force
False arrest
Sidewalks
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) City of Baton Rouge
Plaintiff Description Organizations whose members have participated in and witnessed protests in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in response to the death of Alton Sterling
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Voluntary Dismissal
Filing Year 2016
Case Closing Year 2016
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:16-cv-00463-JWD-RLB (M.D. La.)
PN-LA-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/06/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PN-LA-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/13/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Free Speech Activities in the City and Parish of East Baton Rouge [ECF# 28-1]
PN-LA-0005-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/05/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 29] (E.D. La.)
PN-LA-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/06/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Bourgeois, Richard L. (M.D. La.) [Magistrate]
PN-LA-0005-9000
DeGravelles, John Wheadon (M.D. La.)
PN-LA-0005-0002 | PN-LA-0005-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Atri, Sima (Louisiana)
PN-LA-0005-0001 | PN-LA-0005-9000
Hamilton, Bruce Warfield (Louisiana)
PN-LA-0005-9000
Harrison, Justin Paul (Louisiana)
PN-LA-0005-9000
Sirmon, Candice C. (Louisiana)
PN-LA-0005-0001 | PN-LA-0005-9000
Wilson, Ronald L. (Louisiana)
PN-LA-0005-0001 | PN-LA-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Brustowicz, Celeste (California)
PN-LA-0005-9000
Humphrey, Courtney King (Louisiana)
PN-LA-0005-9000
Knightshead, Tedrick K. (Louisiana)
PN-LA-0005-9000
Lee, Dale R. (Louisiana)
PN-LA-0005-9000
Morris, Deelee (Louisiana)
PN-LA-0005-9000
Philips, Harry Joseph Jr. (Louisiana)
PN-LA-0005-9000
Rome, Alan G (Louisiana)
PN-LA-0005-9000

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