Court: City Ignored Request

A federal appeals court stopped the city from evicting Occupy New Haven from the upper Green at the last minute Tuesday after the city never responded to a request to file a brief.

At least that’s what the court’s order suggests.

The court issued the order mid-day Tuesday. A lawyer for Occupy New Haven, the anti-corporate protest encampment that has been on the Green since October, asked the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to issue a stay to prevent the city from carrying out a dismantling and eviction of the encampment Tuesday. The eviction began; then the court granted the order, and the eviction stopped. (Read about the day’s events here.)

Click here to read the order. It says in part: ” Despite the Court’s request, appellees did not respond to the motion prior to noon today.  IT IS HEREBY ORDERED” that the stay was granted and a “motions panel” will hear arguments next week about whether the city can remove the protesters.

City Corporation Counsel Victor Bolden Tuesday afternoon said the government did respond to the request for a motion, as fast as it could.

Occupy’s motion seeking a stay of the eviction order wasn’t filed until 11:01 a.m. Tuesday, Bolden said. As the clock ticked toward a noon deadline to vacate the Green, the city received a call from the court at 11:20 asking if it would file a motion.

“We had been trying to draft something. It’s a very bizarre filing. You’re dealing with the second Circuit Court of Appeals, which is a very serious court.  Can you prepare something that is presentable for the Second Circuit Court in that span of time?” Bolden said in an interview Tuesday afternoon.

The city did get in a motion—at 12:04 p.m. And it gave the court a heads up “shortly before noon” that it was coming.

By then, the court had given Occupy’s lawyer, Norm Pattis, word that the stay had been granted.

(Update: Pattis provided the Independent with emails he sent the city’s outside counsel beginning at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday informing the city of the appeal and providing the actual motions being submitted. The city confirmed it received those emails.)

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posted by: NewHavenPatriot on April 10, 2012  4:58pm

And yet, after 12 p.m., on the Livestream, you can see that a bulldozer thing beat the hell out of the art installation in and around the orange tent. Would be interesting to see if that would be a violation of federal law…

posted by: nh104 on April 10, 2012  7:01pm

The city would not be in violation of the order because it was not “served” the papers until they were in the city’s hands. Upon receiving them the city stopped.

Any actions between noon and receiving the current ruling are were legal and covered by the prior ruling.

posted by: beyonddiscussion on April 10, 2012  7:08pm

That wasn’t much time to file, but when a judge says noon, he means noon, especially when eviction starts at noon. You would think that knowing Pattis was in New York, the city might have a brief ready to go, just in case, considering the case has already made the legal rounds. Seems like a planned stall to me. Removal went forward despite the city filing late. I hope city taxpayers don’t get stuck for this mess up too.