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Park City Pays to Settle Rather than Engage in Hairy Lawsuit

Park City Pays to Settle Rather than Engage in Hairy Lawsuit

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PARK CITY, Utah (AP) -- This resort city agreed to pay $18,150, mostly legal fees, to settle a lawsuit with activists who said they were illegally banned from protesting outside a fur gallery during the Sundance Film Festival.

Members of the Utah Animal Rights Coalition were told to get off a Main Street sidewalk or be arrested Jan. 18, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Salt Lake City.

The protesters were directed to a demonstration area blocks away. "There you can exercise your First Amendment rights but you'll never be heard," said Brian Barnard, attorney for the group.

Park City admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to pay $500 to the group, $250 each to seven plaintiffs and $15,900 in legal fees. "They can deny they did nothing wrong, and I'll listen to that all the way to the bank," Barnard said.

Park City has pledged to review and possibly change its ordinances on free speech and assembly, city attorney Mark Harrington said.

------ Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune,

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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