Settlement reached in case arising from 2010 Ogden gang injunction
Relief for Targets of Gang Injunction
Bringing partial closure to one of the ACLU of Utah’s longest-running lawsuits, a settlement reached in late February cleared up claims against Ogden City stemming from the application of a 2010 injunction against two alleged members of the Trece gang.
The settlement resolved the lawsuit in a manner favorable to both sides.
Beginning in 2010, Ogden police began enforcing an anti-gang injunction over large swaths of the city. The injunction gave affected individuals an 11pm curfew and prevented them from associating with “known” gang members in public, including friends and family members. Hundreds of people were impacted by the injunction. The ACLU of Utah challenged the injunction as unconstitutional, citing its overbroad definitions of “gang membership” that could apply to almost any Ogden resident.
In March 2014 the Utah Supreme Court struck down the injunction after ruling that law enforcement agencies didn’t properly serve summons to the gang. Plaintiffs settled their case against Ogden City in February. Plaintiffs’ claims against Weber County defendants are still moving forward.
A lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Southern California resulted in 7,000 people being freed from gang injunctions after a federal judge ruled in March that Los Angeles violated their rights to due process by not letting them challenge the civil restraining orders in court. Los Angeles had been applying gang injunctions since the 1980’s.
“Because the gang injunction was never legally enforceable, we sued on behalf of two individuals who were convicted and punished for violating it,” said John Mejia, Legal Director of the ACLU of Utah. Those punishments, he added, were Class B Misdemeanors that could include jail time and up to a $500 fine. ◄
This article was first published in the Liberty Reporter: 2018 Spring Newsletter >>