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Civil Rights Victory Obtained in Federal Court Suit Filed Against the City of Austin,Texas

On behalf of two Occupy Austin members, Rudy Sanchez and Kris Sleeman, Yetter Coleman partnered with the Texas Civil Rights Project to stop enforcement of a City of Austin policy that banned protestors, under the threat of criminal trespass charges, for as much as one year from returning to City Hall.  Bans were issued to anyone arrested, regardless of the validity of the charges against them, and even to some who were never arrested but simply violated city administrative rules for use of the plaza.

After a preliminary injunction was sought in November 2011, U.S. District Court Judge  Lee Yeakel asked the parties, instead, to prepare for a trial one month later.  On September 27, 2012, Judge Yeakel  issued his ruling which agreed with our arguments that the city’s policy is facially unconstitutional, and the policy deprived Sanchez and Sleeman of their First Amendment right to free speech, as well as their right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Ryan Bates led the trial team, which included Anna Rotman, and  Jim Harrington and Brian McGiverin of the Texas Civil Rights Project. Read the Final Judgment and Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.