US Supreme Court won't hear case on Ogden gang rules

Jun 5 2012 - 6:54am




OGDEN -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider a case challenging the consitutionality of the the injunciton that prohibits members of the Ogden Trece street gang from associating with each other.


The court announced on its website it had denied a petition submitted by Trece member Isaac Joseph Rader.

Mike Studebaker, who is Rader's attorney, said the Supreme Court's refusal to hear the case wasn't unexpected.

"We knew it was a long shot," he said. "Only 1 percent of cases get heard."

Deputy Weber County Attorney Chris Allred said Monday he wasn't surprised by the court's decision and believes the Injunction rests on solid legal ground based on existing case law.

The city and county argued the Rader case was not ready for the Supreme Court because the overall injunction has not received adequate review by the lower courts, Assistant City Attorney Mark Stratford said.

Police Lt. Scott Conley, who heads the Ogden Metro Gang Unit, said police were confident the arrest and prosecution of Rader were within the boundaries of the injunction.

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 members of the gang.

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.

Studebaker appealed Rader's case and challenged the injunction unsuccessfully in Ogden's 2nd District Court, the Utah Court of Appeals and the Utah Supreme Court.

Studebaker's then petitioined for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.

While the Supreme Court's denial means the end of the line for Rader's case, a trial on the legality of making the injunction permanent is scheduled to begin Monday in 2nd District Court in Ogden.

A federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the injunction is also possible, Studebaker said.

There are presently no plans to expand the scope of the injunction, said Allred.


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