Occupy Louisville Applies For New Founder’s Square Permit

by Devin Katayama on January 9, 2012

At the request of the city, Occupy Louisville demonstrators are reapplying for a permit for Founder’s Square.

The Jefferson County Attorney’s office recently transferred a complaint on behalf of Occupy Louisville from the Circuit Court to the Western District Court of Kentucky. The city has remained silent on how it can regulate the undefined city space, which demonstrators have occupied since last November.

Chris Harrell is the group’s attorney. He said before the case is heard in federal court, the city and demonstrators will play out their administrative roles.

If the new permit for overnight camping in Founder’s Square is denied, demonstrators may ask for an appeal. If the appeal is denied, then the case could go before a federal judge, said Harrell.

If the case is heard in court, the fact that Founder’s Square is considered an undefined city space and not a park may come into play, he said.

“Because of that, the way that regulations are applied to it may be somewhat different than it would to a formal park. In that respect it may have some implications later on when we get into the right or the ability of the city to regulate the speech that occurs there,” said Harrell.

The city has agreed not to take any actions against demonstrators until the case is heard before a court. Harrell said if the city decides to allow overnight camping as part of the permit, that will also prevent the case from going to court.

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