OGDEN -- A Trece gang member is taking Ogden's gang injunction to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Isaac Rader is challenging his prosecution under, and the constitutionality of, the injunction against members of the Trece gang.
Enacted in September 2010, the injunction bans Trece members from associating together in public, being in the vicinity of drugs, alcohol or firearms and sets an 11 p.m. curfew for Treces.
The 300-plus page injunction logs Trece crimes dating back several years, including several homicides, numerous burglaries and assaults, drug trafficking and an auto theft ring.
The injunction filed by the Weber County Attorney's Office is the first of its kind in Utah, and one of only a few in place in the country, although they have been commonly used in California, and upheld by the courts, for 20 years.
Rader was one of the first gang members prosecuted under the injunction. He was arrested In October 2010 for violating the curfew and for publicly associating with other Treces. For the class B misdemeanor offense, filed in Ogden's Justice Court, he was fined and briefly jailed. He was arrested again under the injunction and an alcohol violation the next month and fined again.
Attorney Mike Studebaker has appealed Rader's case and challenged the injunction, so far unsuccessfully, in Ogden's 2nd District Court, the Utah Court of Appeals and the Utah Supreme Court.
Studebaker's Petition for Writ of Certiorari, as it is known, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, was mailed Tuesday.
Granting the writ would mean the court would agree to hear the case, after which motion filings and oral arguments would be scheduled.Just a decision on whether to grant the writ, which happens with only a small percentage of the requests made to the high court, can take months.
The appeal claims the injunction violates First Amendment and Fourth Amendment protections of free speech and search and seizure. Studebaker writes that the Utah Court of Appeals and the Utah Supreme Court erred in declining to even hear his appeals.
Close to 250 Treces, among a membership estimated at times to top 400, have been served with the injunction, required before it can be enforced. Scores of arrests have been made for failure to abate a public nuisance, as a violation of the ordinance is often worded, including several that led to felony charges for guns, drugs and other contraband found in a Trece member's possession.
"The provisions of the (injunction) were not only overarching in terms of geographical area, but also in prohibiting Mr. Rader from a vast and almost indefinable list of actions and associations," Studebaker wrote in the petition.
The injunction bans his client from "associating with alleged gang members for any purpose except attending churches and schools, from speaking or acting in ways that police deem annoying, harassing, or challenging ... prohibits Mr. Rader from possessing or even being in the presence of any firearms, alcohol, or controlled substances, whether legal or not, and criminalized the mere possession of anything that could be considered a graffiti tool such as a felt tipped marker or paint."
The injunction covers virtually all but a few blocks of Ogden, about 25 square miles.