December 21, 2018 Feature

Court Rules City of Charlottesville Had Standing to Bring Injunctive and Declaratory Actions against Planned Demonstrations by Unite the Right; Case Now Settled

By Marilyn J. Harbur

On July 7, 2018, Judge Richard E. Moore in the Virginia state trial court denied the defendants’ pretrial demurrers to the complaint filed by Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP) as to the City of Charlottesville and some of the other plaintiffs, including the Downtown Business Association.1 The amended complaint sought an injunction and declaratory judgment against numerous groups, organizations, and individuals to keep any non-state-sanctioned militia or paramilitary groups from appearing as such in the City of Charlottesville for a civil disturbance on August 12, 2018, or at any other time. The complaint relied on the “strict subordination” clause of Article I, Section 13 of the Virginia Constitution; the anti-paramilitary statute;2 the falsely assuming the role of law enforcement statute;3 and common law public nuisance.

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