Case: Waechter v. City of Saugatuck

1:14-cv-01291 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan

Filed Date: Dec. 17, 2014

Closed Date: 2015

Clearinghouse coding complete

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, 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 pl…

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. On June 17, 2015, Judge Jonker ordered the defendants to pay attorneys’ fees and costs of $30,000 to the ACLU. The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Robert Lake (6/1/2015)

Rachel Carpman (10/25/2018)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/7537288/parties/waechter-v-saugatuck-city-of/


Judge(s)

Jonker, Robert James (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Allen, Marc S. (Michigan)

Aukerman, Miriam (Michigan)

Moss, Kary L. (Michigan)

Steinberg, Michael J. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bogren, Michael S. (Michigan)

Judge(s)

Jonker, Robert James (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Allen, Marc S. (Michigan)

Aukerman, Miriam (Michigan)

Moss, Kary L. (Michigan)

Steinberg, Michael J. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bogren, Michael S. (Michigan)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

June 17, 2015 Docket
1

Complaint

Dec. 17, 2014 Complaint
12

Consent Judgment

March 27, 2015 Order/Opinion
16

Stipulated Order Regarding Attorneys' Fees and Costs Pursuant to 42b U.S.C & 1988

June 17, 2015 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/7537288/waechter-v-saugatuck-city-of/

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against All Defendants filed by Christopher Waechter, Gabriel Novak (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, Portions of Regulation)(Aukerman, Miriam) (Entered: 12/17/2014)

1 Exhibit A, Portions of Regulation

View on PACER

Dec. 17, 2014 PACER

(NON-DOCUMENT) ATTORNEY APPEARANCE of Michael J. Steinberg on behalf of plaintiffs Gabriel Novak, Christopher Waechter (Steinberg, Michael)

Dec. 17, 2014 PACER

RECEIPT: in the amount of $400.00, receipt number 0646-3071050; for filing fee (mkc)

Dec. 17, 2014 PACER
2

NOTICE that this case has been assigned to Judge Robert J. Jonker (ns) (Entered: 12/17/2014)

Dec. 17, 2014 PACER

SUMMONS NOT ISSUED ; none provided (ns)

Dec. 17, 2014 PACER

(NON-DOCUMENT) ATTORNEY APPEARANCE of Marc Sebastian Allen on behalf of plaintiffs Gabriel Novak, Christopher Waechter (Allen, Marc)

Dec. 17, 2014 PACER
3

PROPOSED SUMMONS to be issued re 1 (Aukerman, Miriam) (Entered: 12/17/2014)

Dec. 17, 2014 PACER
4

SUMMONS ISSUED as to defendants Jon Bender, Michael Clark, Kirk Harrier, Saugatuck, City of (ns) (Entered: 12/17/2014)

Dec. 17, 2014 PACER
5

SUMMONS returned executed; All Defendants (Aukerman, Miriam) (Entered: 01/05/2015)

Jan. 5, 2015 PACER
6

ANSWER to complaint 1 with affirmative defenses and jury demand by Jon Bender, Michael Clark, Kirk Harrier, Saugatuck, City of(Bogren, Michael) (Entered: 01/06/2015)

Jan. 6, 2015 PACER
7

ORDER setting Rule 16 scheduling conference: Rule 16 scheduling conference is set for 3/9/2015 at 04:00 PM at 699 Federal Building, Grand Rapids, MI before Judge Robert J. Jonker; status report due by 3/4/2015 ; signed by Judge Robert J. Jonker (Judge Robert J. Jonker, mil) (Entered: 01/06/2015)

Jan. 6, 2015 PACER
8

JOINT STATUS REPORT (Aukerman, Miriam) (Entered: 03/03/2015)

March 3, 2015 PACER
9

MINUTES of scheduling conference held before Judge Robert J. Jonker (Court Reporter: Glenda Trexler) (Judge Robert J. Jonker, mil) (Entered: 03/09/2015)

March 9, 2015 PACER
10

CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER: settlement conference set for 2/17/2016 at 2:00 PM at 584 Federal Building, Grand Rapids, MI before Magistrate Judge Hugh W. Brenneman Jr.; final pretrial conference set for 3/28/2016 at 3:00 PM at 699 Federal Building, Grand Rapids, MI before Judge Robert J. Jonker; jury trial set for 4/12/2016 at 8:30 AM at 699 Federal Building, Grand Rapids, MI before Judge Robert J. Jonker; signed by Judge Robert J. Jonker (Judge Robert J. Jonker, ymc) (Entered: 03/09/2015)

March 9, 2015 PACER
11

PROPOSED CONSENT DECREE by plaintiffs Gabriel Novak, Christopher Waechter (Aukerman, Miriam) (Entered: 03/26/2015)

March 26, 2015 PACER
12

ORDER approving consent decree 11 ; signed by Judge Robert J. Jonker (Judge Robert J. Jonker, mil) (Entered: 03/27/2015)

March 27, 2015 PACER
13

PROPOSED STIPULATION and ORDER Extending Time for Plaintiffs to Move for Attorneys' Fees and Costs by plaintiffs Gabriel Novak, Christopher Waechter (Aukerman, Miriam) (Entered: 05/22/2015)

May 22, 2015 PACER
14

ORDER granting STIPULATION 13 extending time for Plaintiffs to move for attorneys' fees and costs; signed by Judge Robert J. Jonker (Judge Robert J. Jonker, ymc) (Entered: 05/26/2015)

May 26, 2015 PACER
15

PROPOSED STIPULATION and ORDER regarding attorneys fees by plaintiffs Gabriel Novak, Christopher Waechter (Aukerman, Miriam) (Entered: 06/15/2015)

June 15, 2015 PACER
16

ORDER granting STIPULATION 15 regarding attorneys' fees and costs ; signed by Judge Robert J. Jonker (Judge Robert J. Jonker, ymc) (Entered: 06/17/2015)

June 17, 2015 PACER

State / Territory: Michigan

Case Type(s):

Speech and Religious Freedom

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 17, 2014

Closing Date: 2015

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Plaintiffs are two private individuals who wish to play music on the public sidewalks of Saugatuck and accept tips from passersby.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU of Michigan

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

City of Saugatuck, City

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Freedom of speech/association

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: $45,000

Order Duration: 2015 - None

Issues

General:

Sidewalks