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Judge tosses lawsuit for reversal of gang injunction charges

Judge tosses lawsuit for reversal of gang injunction charges

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OGDEN — Saying the statute of limitations has expired, a 2nd District Court judge tossed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging charges filed under Ogden's defunct injunction on alleged gang members.

In a hearing Tuesday, Judge Noel Hyde ruled there was no reason to overlook the fact that the petition, filed last fall seeking postconviction remedy from charges under the 2010 injunction, was filed 10 days too late.

"We're disappointed," said John Mejia, legal director for Utah's American Civil Liberties Union. "We felt like we had good arguments. … We were successful in a previous case that was essentially the same case, and so we have a lot of confidence that there's merit to it."

Second District Judge Michael Direda lifted misdemeanor convictions in June against 42-year-old Leland McCubbin, who was charged under the injunction.

The lawsuit filed by the ACLU and Daniel Lucero, one of the individuals who was charged under the injunction, was on track to be certified as a class-action lawsuit.

The ACLU estimates it could have applied to at least 50 people who faced misdemeanor charges after the injunction made it illegal for suspected members of the Ogden Trece street gang to assemble or carry weapons and graffiti tools.

The ban imposed an 11 p.m. curfew and included "driving, standing, sitting, walking, gathering or appearing together with any known member of Ogden Trece anywhere in public view or anyplace accessible to the public," with the exception of school, work or church situations, according to court documents.

The preliminary injunction was made permanent in August 2012 when a 2nd District Court judge ruled it necessary to abate gang activity in the area. Under the injunction, the 315 to 500 members of the gang were prohibited from gathering within a 25-square-mile "safety zone," which blanketed much of Ogden.

That injunction was overturned by the Utah Supreme Court on Oct. 18, 2013, paving the way for the ACLU's lawsuit. The petition, however, was filed Oct. 28, 2014, missing the one-year deadline. ACLU attorneys believed they had until Nov. 6, 2014 to file, Mejia said.

The ACLU is assessing options to appeal Tuesday's decision, Mejia said.

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McKenzie Romero

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