SALT LAKE CITY -- Attorneys representing members of Ogden Trece and the American Civil Liberties Union filed petitions Monday with the Utah Supreme Court seeking an immediate appellate review of a street gang injunction imposed by a judge last week.
The ACLU of Utah also requested that the Supreme Court block Weber County from enforcing the injunction until after the appeal is decided.
The injunction meant to sweep Ogden's oldest gang off the street formally went into effect Sept. 27 as 2nd District Court Judge Ernie Jones declared the gang a public nuisance.
Jones was responding to the 331-page injunction proposed by Smith's office that lists Trece activities -- everything from murder to graffiti -- over the past three to five years.
The injunction, now a court order, bans Treces from associating in public, being around guns, drugs and alcohol, and staying out past 11 p.m. Gang members have to be served a copy of the order before they can be found in violation of it.
The ACLU contends the injunction applies to anyone identified by law enforcement, in its own discretion and with no judicial oversight, to be a member of Trece.
"Law enforcement certainly has an interest in stopping gang-related crime," Darcy Goddard, legal director for the ACLU of Utah, said in a prepared statement. "But there is no evidence here or elsewhere that so-called gang injunctionsare actually effective long-term. Nonetheless, in exchange for the County's tenuous and unsupported promise of the possibility of 'reduced crime,' this injunction criminalizes a wide range of otherwise legal and constitutionally-protected activity, for literally hundreds of people, without any judicial determination that these individuals are, in fact, members of a 'gang,' or that they have committed any crime."
David Reymann, an attorney cooperating with the ACLU in the appeal, agrees
"Courts have widely recognized that the unjustified deprivation of First Amendment freedoms causes irreparable injury to those whose liberty is infringed," he said in a prepared statement. "This unprecedented and draconian order, which will cause countless arrests and violations of fundamental rights, should not be enforced until the Utah Supreme Court has the opportunity to review its dubious constitutional basis."
Click here to view all of the papers filed by the ACLU of Utah with the Utah Supreme Court in the Ogden Trece case.