Case: Occupy Ft. Meyers v. City of Ft. Meyers

2:11-cv-00608 | U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida

Filed Date: Oct. 25, 2011

Closed Date: 2013

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On October 25, 2011, a group of citizens (Occupy Ft. Meyers) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida against the City of Fort Myers, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging that the defendant's municipal code unconstitutionally suppressed plaintiff's activities. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for a preliminary injunction to restrain enforcing certain portions of the code and to declare that such portions violated the rights to f…

On October 25, 2011, a group of citizens (Occupy Ft. Meyers) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida against the City of Fort Myers, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging that the defendant's municipal code unconstitutionally suppressed plaintiff's activities. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for a preliminary injunction to restrain enforcing certain portions of the code and to declare that such portions violated the rights to free speech, assembly and association, under the First Amendment.

Defendant had employed a code requiring a special permit-signed by the chief or authorized member of the police department-for every parade, procession or public open-air meeting. Around October 11, 2011, the plaintiff began organizing the Occupy Fort Myers movement and held political activities (e.g., rally, building tents and information booths) at Centennial Park to promote awareness of the influence of private money in the nation's political process. The plaintiff attempted to acquire a "Special Events" permit but was denied presumably due to lack of the required liability insurance policy. On October 20, 2011, the police department of the defendant began issuing citations to plaintiff for remaining overnight in the park. Subsequently, plaintiff filed this suit.

The plaintiff argued that defendant's code: (1) provided targeted regulation of political speech with uncontrolled discretion in City officials to approve or deny permits; (2) included vague language as to cause citizens to censor speech and conduct; and (3) included language suppressing citizens' liberty interest in lounging on public benches and places. The defendant contended in part that portions of the code-some of which were to be repealed-were not enforced and thus request for the preliminary injunction was moot.

On November 15, 2012, the District Court (Judge Steele) issued an order for preliminary injunction to some of the plaintiff's claims. On November 17, 2011, the defendant denied plaintiff's request for a permit, and around 11:00 pm, the police department demanded that the plaintiff leave the park or face arrest.

The plaintiff and defendant negotiated a settlement agreement. On March 4, 2013, the District Court (Judge Steele) dismissed the case with prejudice.

Summary Authors

David Cho (10/8/2014)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5059286/parties/occupy-fort-myers-v-city-of-fort-myers/


Judge(s)

Frazier, Douglas N. (Florida)

Steele, John E. (Florida)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Keesler, Jennifer Lucas (Florida)

Ross, Robert William Jr. (Florida)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Alley, Grant W (Florida)

Moriarty, Mark C.S. (Florida)

Potter, David C. (Florida)

Vaughan-Birch, Cody B. (Florida)

Judge(s)

Frazier, Douglas N. (Florida)

Steele, John E. (Florida)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Keesler, Jennifer Lucas (Florida)

Ross, Robert William Jr. (Florida)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Alley, Grant W (Florida)

Moriarty, Mark C.S. (Florida)

Potter, David C. (Florida)

Vaughan-Birch, Cody B. (Florida)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:11-cv-00608

Docket

March 26, 2013

March 26, 2013

Docket
1

2:11-cv-00608

Verified Complaint

Oct. 25, 2011

Oct. 25, 2011

Complaint
51

2:11-cv-00608

Transcript of Oral Argument Re: Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Oct. 31, 2011

Oct. 31, 2011

Transcript
47

2:11-cv-00608

Opinion and Order for Preliminary Injunction

Nov. 15, 2011

Nov. 15, 2011

Order/Opinion
48

2:11-cv-00608

Preliminary Injunction

Nov. 15, 2011

Nov. 15, 2011

Order/Opinion
49

2:11-cv-00608

First Amended Complaint

Nov. 21, 2011

Nov. 21, 2011

Complaint

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5059286/occupy-fort-myers-v-city-of-fort-myers/

Last updated Aug. 6, 2022, 3:18 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
47

OPINION AND ORDER granting in part and denying in part 10 Motion for preliminary injunction as set forth in the opinion. A separate preliminary injunction will be entered. Signed by Judge John E. Steele on 11/15/2011. (SVC)

Nov. 15, 2011

Nov. 15, 2011

RECAP
68

OPINION AND ORDER granting 66 Motion to extend time to respond to Plaintiffs' Motion for Final Partial Summary Judgment and Memorandum of Law 64 . The City of Fort Myers shall file a response to the Plaintiffs' Motion for Final Partial Summary Judgment 64 NO LATER THAN NOVEMBER 5, 2012. Signed by Judge John E. Steele on 5/3/2012. (SVC)

May 3, 2012

May 3, 2012

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Florida

Case Type(s):

Policing

Special Collection(s):

Occupy

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 25, 2011

Closing Date: 2013

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Unincorporated association of concerned citizens

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

City of Fort Myers (Fort Myers, Lee), City

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201

Constitutional Clause(s):

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Unknown

Nature of Relief:

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Voluntary Dismissal

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General:

Disparate Treatment

Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures

Affected Gender:

Female

Male