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7th Circuit throws out Indiana curfew law

By The Associated Press
01.23.04

Editor’s note: Indiana’s curfew law was struck down for the third time on July 23 when U.S. District Judge John Tinder ruled that the measure infringed on parental rights. State lawmakers had revised the previous law after it was overturned by the 7th Circuit. The Indiana Civil Liberties Union challenged the revised statute, which took effect in March, on behalf of a woman who complained that it prohibited her 17-year-old daughter from being out late without adult supervision, even if she had given the teen permission to do so.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana's curfew law remains unconstitutional even after legislators rewrote the law to make it less restrictive, a federal appeals court ruled.

The Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 yesterday against the law, saying it interfered both with minors' First Amendments rights and with parents' rights to raise their children as they see fit.

Indianapolis police said they would immediately stop enforcing the law, which bans minors from being out past 11 p.m. on weeknights and 1 a.m. on weekends.

Staci Schneider, a spokeswoman for the Indiana Attorney General's Office, would not comment immediately on the ruling.

It was the second time in less than four years that a court had thrown out the state curfew law.

U.S. District Judge John Tinder struck down the law in July 2000, saying it was too restrictive and cramped the First Amendment rights of minors. The following year, the General Assembly passed a new law allowing minors to get out of a curfew violation if they were engaged in religious or free-speech or assembly activities with the permission of their parents.

The Indiana Civil Liberties Union argued the revised law was still too restrictive because it held protected activities to be a defense in court rather than a reason to prevent an arrest.

The court challenge grew out of the August 1999 arrest of 15-year-old Colin Hodgkins. The teen was arrested by Marion County Sheriff's officers while leaving a restaurant in the Indianapolis neighborhood of Broad Ripple three minutes after curfew.

The case, Hodgkins v. Peterson, will now be returned to the federal court in Indianapolis.


Previous
Indiana curfew law gets go-ahead
Federal judge refuses to issue preliminary injunction, saying ICLU failed to show 'realistic threat' that minors would be arrested when exercising their First Amendment rights. 11.07.01

Related

ACLU fights Kentucky city's curfew

Federal lawsuit targets ordinance barring anyone, including adults, from being out in public after midnight on weeknights, 1 a.m. on weekends. 10.03.02

Chicago police will enforce new curfew ordinance
Law revised to take First Amendment-protected activities into account, in response to 7th Circuit decision striking down curfew in Indiana. 03.21.04

Alaska high court upholds Anchorage curfew
Unanimous ruling finds municipality has 'compelling interest in protecting juveniles and curbing juvenile crime.' 05.17.04

Federal judge: Parents don't have right to dictate curriculum
Court throws out lawsuit that objected to discussions about gay families in public school classrooms. 02.26.07

Ind. city to fine teens, parents for curfew violations
Under Plymouth's new ordinance, which is tougher than state law, juveniles would be fined $10 for first offense and $25 for second, while their parents would be fined $50 for third. 06.11.08

ACLU claims Indianapolis police harassed homeless
Lawsuit alleges treatment of four homeless men violated their rights of free speech and protection from unreasonable searches. 06.13.08

Curfews, loitering & freedom of association


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