Case: Moratorium Now! v. Detroit 300 Conservancy

2:15-cv-10373 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Filed Date: Jan. 28, 2015

Closed Date: 2016

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On January 28, 2015, a group of private citizens who were prevented from protesting, circulating petitions, and handing out political fliers in Downtown Detroit’s Campus Martius Park filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan. The plaintiffs sued Detroit 300 Conservancy, the private company managing the public park; Guardsmark, the company hired to provide park security; and a Detroit City Police officer, under § 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by ACLU o…

On January 28, 2015, a group of private citizens who were prevented from protesting, circulating petitions, and handing out political fliers in Downtown Detroit’s Campus Martius Park filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan. The plaintiffs sued Detroit 300 Conservancy, the private company managing the public park; Guardsmark, the company hired to provide park security; and a Detroit City Police officer, under § 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by ACLU of Michigan, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that defendants’ attempts to prevent political protests in the public park violated their First Amendment rights to free speech.

On April 8, 2015, the city of Detroit agreed that it was a First Amendment issue and promulgated interim rules that would allow for people to exercise their free speech rights in city parks. Plaintiffs then filed an amended complaint, which acknowledged the new interim rules and withdraw the initial request for a preliminary injunction. However, the amended complaint stated that since the interim rules were merely temporary and could be rescinded at any moment, the plaintiffs still required a permanent solution.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss. On July 22, 2015, Judge Bernard Friedman agreed with the plaintiffs and denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss. He ruled that because the plaintiff’s complaint had been amended after the motion to dismiss, the motion was moot; additionally, the rules were only temporary, and the complaint still contained a cause of action for which the plaintiffs could receive relief.

On October 14, 2015, the case was moved before a Magistrate Judge and the parties ordered to conduct settlement conferences. The defendant then informed the court that the city of Detroit had planned some new ordinances that would address most of the relief that the plaintiffs sought in their complaint. On October 15, 2015, the court stayed the proceedings until a settlement conference could be had on or after November 24, 2015.

The parties conducted their settlement conference on December 1, 2015. They came to an agreement and settled on January 16, 2016, contingent on the approval of Detroit City Council. The Detroit City Council issued its ordinance. The ordinance rules include the acknowledgement that leafleting and demonstrations are exercises of First Amendment rights; that demonstrations of 45 or fewer people can be held in the park without a permit; that if an activist shows that they cannot afford the permit fees, the fees can be waived. At Campus Martius Park, only demonstrations of 25 or fewer people will be allowed to protest without a permit, and activists cannot use any structure or businesses inside the park for leafleting or demonstration purposes. The city also agreed to train its officers and agents in these rules, as well as requiring the park’s private management company to also train its agents in proper implementation and enforcement of those rules.

As of February 16, 2016, this case was closed.

Summary Authors

Kat Brausch (8/5/2016)

Virginia Weeks (10/23/2016)

People


Judge(s)

Friedman, Bernard A. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Hopkins, Christine (Michigan)

Merriweather-Tucker, Brooke A. (Michigan)

Moss, Kary L. (Michigan)

Steinberg, Michael J. (Michigan)

Sterling, Raymond J. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Fitzgerald, Erica L. (Michigan)

Gaabo, Eric B. (Michigan)

Glazek, Stephen E. (Michigan)

Hollowell, Melvin J. Jr. (Michigan)

Judge(s)

Friedman, Bernard A. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Hopkins, Christine (Michigan)

Merriweather-Tucker, Brooke A. (Michigan)

Moss, Kary L. (Michigan)

Steinberg, Michael J. (Michigan)

Sterling, Raymond J. (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Fitzgerald, Erica L. (Michigan)

Gaabo, Eric B. (Michigan)

Glazek, Stephen E. (Michigan)

Hollowell, Melvin J. Jr. (Michigan)

Wheaton, Jill M. (Michigan)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

Feb. 16, 2016 Docket
1

Complaint

Jan. 28, 2015 Complaint
23

Amended Complaint

April 30, 2015 Complaint

Settlement Agreement and Release

Jan. 26, 2016 Settlement Agreement

Ordinance

[No case name]

No Court

None Statute/Ordinance/Regulation

Resources

Title Description External URL

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link

Addition of Parties to CM/ECF: Plaintiffs Wallis Andersen, Cheryl LaBash, Thomas Michalak, Moratorium Now!. Reason: The party was not added to CM/ECF Plaintiff requests summons issued. (Steinberg, Michael) (Entered: 01/28/2015)

Jan. 28, 2015
1

COMPLAINT filed by All Plaintiffs against All Plaintiffs. Plaintiff requests summons issued. Receipt No: 0645−5001508 − Fee: &#036 400. County of 1st Plaintiff: Wayne − County Where Action Arose: Wayne − County of 1st Defendant: Wayne. [Previously dismissed case: No] [Possible companion case(s): None] (Steinberg, Michael) (Entered: 01/28/2015)

Jan. 28, 2015
2

MOTION Preliminary Injunction by All Plaintiffs. (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit 1 − CM Photo, # 3 Exhibit 2 − About Campus Martius, # 4 Exhibit 3 − D300 Agreement, # 5 Exhibit 4 − Park Rules, # 6 Exhibit 5 − LaBash Declaration, # 7 Exhibit 6 − Michalak Declaration, # 8 Exhibit 7 − WIB Flyer, # 9 Exhibit 8 − Petition, # 10 Exhibit 9 − Mandell Declaration, # 11 Exhibit 10 − About Det Gathering Place) (Steinberg, Michael) (Entered: 01/28/2015)

Jan. 28, 2015
3

NOTICE of Appearance by Brooke A. Merriweather−Tucker on behalf of All Plaintiffs. (Merriweather−Tucker, Brooke) (Entered: 01/28/2015)

Jan. 28, 2015

Addition of Parties to CM/ECF: Plaintiff Joan Mandell. Reason: The party was not added to CM/ECF when e−filing 2 MOTION Preliminary Injunction , Addition of Parties, 1 Complaint, 3 Notice of Appearance (Steinberg, Michael) (Entered: 01/28/2015)

Jan. 28, 2015
4

SUMMONS Issued for *Heather Badrak, Detroit 300 Conservancy, Robert F. Gregory, Guardsmark, LLC, Sergeant Thomas Taylor* (TMcg) (Entered: 01/29/2015)

Jan. 29, 2015

A United States Magistrate Judge of this Court is available to conduct all proceedings in this civil action in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 636c and FRCP 73. The Notice, Consent, and Reference of a Civil Action to a Magistrate Judge form is available for download at http://www.mied.uscourts.gov (TMcg) (Entered: 01/29/2015)

Jan. 29, 2015
5

NOTICE of Appearance by Christine Hopkins on behalf of All Plaintiffs. (Hopkins, Christine) (Entered: 01/30/2015)

Jan. 30, 2015
6

SCHEDULING ORDER AND NOTICE OF HEARING re 2 MOTION Preliminary Injunction filed by Moratorium Now!, Wallis Andersen, Thomas Michalak, Cheryl LaBash. Signed by District Judge Bernard A. Friedman. (MVer) (Entered: 02/09/2015)

Feb. 9, 2015
7

NOTICE of Appearance by Jill M. Wheaton on behalf of Heather Badrak, Detroit 300 Conservancy, Robert F. Gregory. (Wheaton, Jill) (Entered: 02/13/2015)

Feb. 13, 2015
8

NOTICE OF HEARING on 2 MOTION Preliminary Injunction . Motion Hearing set for 3/27/2015 09:00 AM before District Judge Bernard A. Friedman HEARING TO BE HELD AT THE WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY LAW BUILDING (MVer) (Entered: 02/17/2015)

Feb. 17, 2015
9

CERTIFICATE of Service/Summons Returned Executed. Robert F. Gregory served on 2/10/2015, answer due 3/3/2015. (Steinberg, Michael) (Entered: 02/18/2015)

Feb. 18, 2015
10

CERTIFICATE of Service/Summons Returned Executed. Guardsmark, LLC served on 2/9/2015, answer due 3/2/2015. (Steinberg, Michael) (Entered: 02/18/2015)

Feb. 18, 2015
11

STIPULATION AND ORDER EXTENDING TIME TO FILE RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION TO MARCH 2, 2015. Signed by District Judge Bernard A. Friedman. (MVer) (Entered: 02/20/2015)

Feb. 20, 2015
12

CERTIFICATE of Service/Summons Returned Executed. Sergeant Thomas Taylor served on 2/6/2015, answer due 2/27/2015. (Steinberg, Michael) (Entered: 02/23/2015)

Feb. 23, 2015
13

NOTICE of Appearance by Eric B. Gaabo on behalf of Sergeant Thomas Taylor. (Gaabo, Eric) (Entered: 02/24/2015)

Feb. 24, 2015
14

ORDER modifying briefing schedule re 2 MOTION Preliminary Injunction filed by Moratorium Now!, Wallis Andersen, Thomas Michalak, Cheryl LaBash. Signed by District Judge Bernard A. Friedman. (CMul) (Entered: 03/03/2015)

March 3, 2015
15

NOTICE by All Plaintiffs That They Are Not Seeking Preliminary Injunctive Relief From Guardsmark Defendants (Steinberg, Michael) (Entered: 03/10/2015)

March 10, 2015
16

STIPULATION AND ORDER re 1 Complaint, Signed by District Judge Bernard A. Friedman. (CMul) (Entered: 03/13/2015)

March 13, 2015
17

NOTICE by All Plaintiffs Notice of Withdrawal of Preliminary Injunction Motion (Merriweather−Tucker, Brooke) (Entered: 03/16/2015)

March 16, 2015
18

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE: Stephen E. Glazek appearing on behalf of Guardsmark, LLC (Glazek, Stephen) (Entered: 04/09/2015)

April 9, 2015
19

MOTION to Dismiss by Guardsmark, LLC. (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits, # 2 Exhibit A, # 3 Exhibit B, # 4 Exhibit C, # 5 Exhibit D, # 6 Exhibit E) (Fitzgerald, Erica) Modified on 4/27/2015 (CMul). (Entered: 04/09/2015)

April 9, 2015
20

STIPULATION AND ORDER of partial dismissal and termination of defendants Guardsmark, LLC, Gene Doe and John Doe Signed by District Judge Bernard A. Friedman. (CMul) (Entered: 04/13/2015)

April 13, 2015
21

STIPULATION AND ORDER re 1 Complaint, Signed by District Judge Bernard A. Friedman. (CMul) (Entered: 04/15/2015)

April 15, 2015
22

NOTICE TO APPEAR: Status Conference set for 4/28/2015 10:00 AM before District Judge Bernard A. Friedman (CMul) (Entered: 04/15/2015)

April 15, 2015

TEXT−ONLY NOTICE: Hearing on April 28, 2015 is Cancelled re 22 Notice to Appear (CMul) (Entered: 04/27/2015)

April 27, 2015
23

AMENDED COMPLAINT filed by All Plaintiffs against All Defendants. NO NEW PARTIES ADDED. (Merriweather−Tucker, Brooke) (Entered: 04/30/2015)

April 30, 2015
24

STIPULATION AND ORDER re 19 MOTION to Dismiss Signed by District Judge Bernard A. Friedman. (CMul) (Entered: 05/04/2015)

May 4, 2015
25

STIPULATION AND ORDER holding case against certain defendants in abeyance Signed by District Judge Bernard A. Friedman. (CMul) (Entered: 05/11/2015)

May 11, 2015
26

RESPONSE to 19 MOTION to Dismiss filed by All Plaintiffs. (Merriweather−Tucker, Brooke) (Entered: 05/11/2015)

May 11, 2015
27

NOTICE by Guardsmark, LLC OF RELIANCE ON MOTION TO DISMISS (Fitzgerald, Erica) (Entered: 05/13/2015)

May 13, 2015
28

REPLY to Response re 19 MOTION to Dismiss filed by Guardsmark, LLC. (Fitzgerald, Erica) (Entered: 05/28/2015)

May 28, 2015
29

Notice of Determination of Motion Without Oral Argument re 19 MOTION to Dismiss (CMul) (Entered: 06/04/2015)

June 4, 2015
30

NOTICE by All Plaintiffs re 26 Response to Motion Notice of Supplemental Authority (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Slip Opinion) (Merriweather−Tucker, Brooke) (Entered: 06/05/2015)

June 5, 2015
31

SUPPLEMENTAL BRIEF re 30 Notice (Other) RESPONSE TO PLAINTIFFS' NOTICE OF SUPPLEMENTAL AUTHORITY filed by Guardsmark, LLC. (Fitzgerald, Erica) (Entered: 06/17/2015)

June 17, 2015
32

ORDER denying 19 Motion to Dismiss. Signed by District Judge Bernard A. Friedman. (CMul) (Entered: 07/22/2015)

July 22, 2015
33

STIPULATION AND ORDER to hold all defendants in abeyance re 25 Stipulation and Order Signed by District Judge Bernard A. Friedman. (CMul) (Entered: 08/03/2015)

Aug. 3, 2015
34

ORDER EXTENDING STAY Signed by District Judge Bernard A. Friedman. (CMul) (Entered: 09/03/2015)

Sept. 3, 2015

Minute Entry for proceedings before District Judge Bernard A. Friedman: Telephonic Status Conference held on 10/14/2015 (CMul) (Entered: 10/14/2015)

Oct. 14, 2015
35

ORDER REFERRING OTHER MATTERS to Magistrate Judge Whalen : Settlement Conference to be scheduled after 11/24/2015 Signed by District Judge Bernard A. Friedman. (CMul) (Entered: 10/14/2015)

Oct. 14, 2015
36

NOTICE TO APPEAR: Settlement Conference set for 12/1/2015 at 01:30 PM before Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen . (THac) (Entered: 10/15/2015)

Oct. 15, 2015
38

NOTICE of Appearance by Gerald D. Wahl on behalf of Wallis Andersen, Cheryl LaBash, Joan Mandell, Thomas Michalak, Moratorium Now!. (Wahl, Gerald) (Entered: 11/25/2015)

Nov. 25, 2015

Minute Entry for proceedings before Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen: Settlement Conference held on 12/1/2015. Disposition: CASE SETTLED/CONTIGENT ON CITY OF DETROIT'S APPROVAL − CITY COUNCIL MEETING IS ON 01/05/2016. (Court Reporter Digitally Recorded) (CCie) (Entered: 12/01/2015)

Dec. 1, 2015
39

STIPULATED ORDER DISMISSING CASE Signed by District Judge Bernard A. Friedman. (CMul) (Entered: 02/16/2016)

Feb. 16, 2016

State / Territory: Michigan

Case Type(s):

Speech and Religious Freedom

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 28, 2015

Closing Date: 2016

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Protesters who had been prevented from exercising their First Amendment Rights at Detroit's Campus Martius Park.

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 Detroit, City

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Parks

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Freedom of speech/association

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:

Private Settlement Agreement

Amount Defendant Pays: 28500

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief request withdrawn/mooted

Issues

General:

Sidewalks