OGDEN -- A judge is being asked to suspend the Ogden Trece injunction he signed into law while the injunction is challenged on appeal.
A first for Utah, the injunction now in place for two years bans members of Ogden Trece, the city's oldest gang, from associating in public or even being in the vicinity of guns, drugs or alcohol in public. It also sets an 11 p.m. curfew for Trece's estimated 300-plus members.
In motions filed this month, David Reymann, cooperating attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, asks 2nd District Judge Ernie Jones to suspend the injunction while the Utah Supreme Court reviews it.
ACLU and Trece lawyers claim the injunction is riddled with constitutional flaws.
The motions represent the fourth time Jones has been asked to shelve the injunction by its opponents, which he has so far declined to do.
The first came in September 2010 when Jones first approved the injunction in its preliminary form.
That was followed in November 2010 with another suspend-pending-appeal request when opponents challenged the logistics of how Treces were being served with the injunction to the Utah Supreme Court.
The supreme court rebuffed that challenge. Treces have to be served the injunction before they can violate it.
The last request for Jones to essentially reverse himself came in June in the weeklong trial of the injunction required to make it permanent.
After hearing the trial, Jones ordered the injunction permanent on Aug. 20, calling it a more effective tool than traditional law enforcement.
Reymann, of Salt Lake City, joined by Ogden lawyers Randy Richards and Mike Studebaker, who represent individual Treces, and the ACLU, filed formal notice of appeal Sept. 12.
"Caution is warranted whenever fundamental rights are restricted by the government," reads Reymann's motion seeking to suspend the injunction while the Utah high court inspects it. That inspection is expected to take a year.
"Gang-related crime is not a new issue in Ogden, and there is no reason the time-tested tools of law enforcement will not suffice pending the appeal of this matter. This court should ensure that the Utah Supreme Court has a meaningful opportunity to review this matter by suspending the injunction pending appeal."
Police and prosecutors say the 200-plus arrests under the injunction have led to a slump in gang activity, most dramatically regarding graffiti, and caused other Ogden gangs to worry they may be the next target of an injunction.
But Trece lawyers have called the crime-rate numbers statistically inconclusive.
Critics have called the injunction unconstitutionally "overbroad" with definitions of a gang member loose enough to fit almost any Ogden citizen.
They say it is possible to be named to the Ogden Metro Gang Unit's gang database and subject to the injunction without being convicted of a crime.