ACLU Wins Gang Injunction Suit, but Ruling Won’t Affect San Juan, S.C.

Jenna Chandler (San Juan Capistrano Patch) | May 12, 2011

San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano will be unaffected by a recent ruling that found Orange County authorities violated the constitutional rights of dozens of suspected gang members by enforcing a gang injunction, an assistant district attorney told Patch Thursday.

The ruling is believed to be the first federal court decision regarding gang injunctions. Orange County Assistant District Attorney John Anderson, who supervises the gang unit, said the ruling only covers the approximately 50 people in the lawsuit, so its reach is minimal.

“Your communities can rest assured that the injunctions in place will remain in place and that the D.A. and sheriff will continue to make the communities a safer place,” Anderson told Patch.

U.S. District Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank’s ruling Tuesday settles a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Southern California in September 2009. The ACLU argued that that gang injunctions violated due process rights because when defendants challenged a temporary injunction, their cases were dismissed but they were then named in a permanent injunction.

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