Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 08/31/12
City of Atlanta Wins Occupy Atlanta Lawsuit
Judge rules no First Amendment violation
ATLANTA – The City of Atlanta today won the federal lawsuit Beasley vs. City of Atlanta, a case filed by Occupy Atlanta and six individual plaintiffs including Joe Beasley and State Senator Vincent Fort. The suit was based on the October 2011 arrests of Occupy Atlanta demonstrators who remained in Woodruff Park after the park closure time of 11:00 p.m. The Plaintiffs claimed that the City’s Park Closure Law, and the Executive Orders issued by Mayor Kasim Reed regarding the suspension and enforcement of the Park Closure Law, violate the Constitution’s First Amendment Free Speech protections.
The City filed a Motion to Dismiss the Plaintiffs’ lawsuit, presenting legal analysis that demonstrated the lawfulness of the Park Closure Law and Executive Orders, and showing that the Plaintiffs’ legal assertions were incorrect.
The Court agreed with the City. In a 62-page order Magistrate Judge Baverman of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Georgia granted the City’s Motion to Dismiss and dismissed with prejudice Plaintiffs’ suit in its entirety.
"Atlanta has a longstanding commitment to upholding the rights of people who are lawfully exercising their right to free speech and expression," said City Attorney Cathy Hampton. "The Court’s ruling affirms that Atlanta’s handling of the Occupy Atlanta demonstrations was consistent with that commitment."
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For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit http://www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @City_of_Atlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed.