American Civil Liberties Union

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union is siding with the Washington Redskins in a court battle over the team's name.

The ACLU filed papers last week supporting the team's position that canceling the Redskins trademark violates the team's free-speech rights.

A federal panel ruled last year the trademark should be canceled, but the team is challenging that decision in federal court in Alexandria.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Civil liberties lawyers are applauding Virginia's registrar of vital records for outlining new procedures to ensure the children of same-sex married couples are properly recorded by hospitals.

Registrar Janet M. Rainey outlined the procedures in a late January letter.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia said the change is important to ensure that the children of same-sex married couples have the same legal protections as all married couples.

Dover Police Website

If you shoplift in Dover expect to your arrest photo to getting posted on line for the public to see.

That’s the program, which Dover police say, has seen a 19 percent drop in such crimes since it began in August of last year.

It’s called, ”Shoplifter Notification Program."

Cpl. Mark Hoffman with the Dover Police Department believes that the pilot program will show up in other jurisdictions.

A major decline in such crimes occurred around the holiday season one of the busiest times for shoplifting.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A regional law enforcement initiative to gather and store personal telephone data collected in criminal investigations is drawing attention in Virginia.

The American Civil Liberties Union has raised concerns about the legality of the agreement involving five Hampton Roads localities. ACLU of Virginia lawyer Robert Poggenklass said Monday that the agreement allows one agency to share legally obtained telephone data with a second agency, which doesn't have to get a warrant.

Delaware Department of Correction

Lakisha Short is a transgender who is serving a 55 year sentence in Delaware state prison.

Now, the American Civil Liberties Union is helping her get her name changed to Kai – a request that has been denied by two courts.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that court documents says the 34-year old Short self-identifies as a male and wants to be known by the more masculine name of Kai as a first step.

Delaware state law only allows a name change for a sincerely held religious belief not for gender identification.

Smyrna Police Face Second Lawsuit

Oct 9, 2014
smyrnapolice.org

A second lawsuit has been filed against the Smyrna Police Department.

This time it alleges that two people were wrongfully arrested by the police.

The American Civil Liberties Union says the incident occurred in December of 2013 involving a Smyrna High School student who was struck by another for speaking Spanish.

The suit claims that both students were arrested in retaliation for the mother of the student and the student expressing concerns to the department about bullying.

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SMYRNA, Del. (AP) - A town police department is facing a lawsuit over its ticket-writing policies after the Delaware American Civil Liberties Union said police wrongly ticketed a driver who flashed his headlights to warn fellow motorists of a speed trap.
    
The Delaware ACLU says the flashing-headlights ticket is one among several violations by the Smyrna Police Department, including an allegation that Smyrna police improperly arrested a man for cursing at an officer.
    

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the city of Dover and one of its police officers on behalf of a man who claims he was assaulted by the officer.

The lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in Wilmington alleges that Cpl. Thomas Webster repeatedly struck Lateef Dickerson without provocation, knocking him unconscious, after responding to a disturbance at a local gas station in August 2013.

The lawsuit says the 30-year-old Dickerson, who has a long criminal history, suffered a broken jaw and facial cuts.

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A group of Wilmington and New Castle County leaders are calling on the Delaware Department to open up about who is being suspended from school and why.

The Coalition for Fairness and Equity in Schools says there is a disproportionate number of African American, Hispanic and special-needs students, who are being sent home.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that they say this is setting those students up for social failure and potentially prison.

The leaders say these suspensions put student behind academically and affect their interest in school.

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union says a state senator is seeking to limit local police involvement in immigration enforcement.

The ACLU says Democrat Victor Ramirez of Prince George's County is announcing the legislation Tuesday in Hyattsville. A Ramirez staff member said Monday that details of the bill were still being ironed out.

The ACLU says the Maryland Trust Act will restore community trust in local law enforcement.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union has agreed to settle a federal lawsuit challenging a Dover ordinance that prohibits sex offenders from living within 500 feet of day care centers.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit in February on behalf of Michael A. Justice, a registered sex offender who began living at his mother's apartment before the ordinance was adopted.

The ACLU said in a statement Tuesday that because the city has added a grandfather clause to the ordinance and Justice can stay in his home, there's no need for a court ruling.

PBF Energy

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union and Sierra Club are challenging how state environmental officials handled a recent public hearing regarding the Delaware City oil refinery.

The groups complained to the attorney general's office Tuesday about a June 4 hearing regarding the refinery's permit renewal application.

Maryland News Connection

A new report from the American Civil Liberties Union found that African Americans in Maryland are almost three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites.

Maryland News Connection reporter Allison Burns has the story:

ACLU Vs. Ocean City

Apr 12, 2013
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The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Ocean City.

Their client, William Hassay Jr., a violinist, is asking for monetary damages for losses he suffered when he stopped playing because of the resort’s noise ordinance.

In his complaint Hassay says he had earned around $25-thousand each summer from tourist tips but was forced to perform in “ less lucrative settings” last summer.

This, he said, produced a significant loss of income.

doc.delaware.gov

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed for a court order to enforce reforms in Delaware prisons claiming the Department of Corrections has failed to follow through on its promises to protect female prisoners from sexual assault.

The legal action comes five years after a female prisoner reported being raped by a prison guard.

That resulted in a year and a-half of civil lawsuits brought with the help of the ACLU which resulted in a settlement.

The agreement required the Corrections Department to carry out a series of reforms at the Baylor Women’s Institution.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Officials from the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland are urging lawmakers to oppose legislation that will allow police to obtain cell phone tracking information without a search warrant.

The civil liberties group will testify in front of the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday at 1 p.m.

ACLU officials say that law enforcement should obtain a search warrant based upon probable cause before accessing this information.

According to the ACLU, mobile phones register their location with cell phone networks several times a minute.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's highest court has ruled police must release files relating to how authorities investigate racial profiling.

The Maryland Court of Appeals released the decision on Thursday.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and the Maryland State Conference of the NAACP have contended the Maryland State Police must turn over the record. Police have argued the documents are personnel records that are exempt from disclosure under Maryland's public information law.

They’re called automatic license plate readers.

And they’re used by police and state agencies.

But the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland has joined affiliates from 35 other states who want a better explanation from authorities on how the information is used.

The ACLU of Maryland says the state has reported more than 320 license plate readers in use.

The civil liberties organization says the data is potentially stored indefinitely after it is gathered from cameras mounted on patrol cars or stationary objects along roads.

 

            The Salisbury City Council will take up proposed redistricting plans this evening during its work session.

            The American Civil Liberties Union has threatened that the city could face litigation.

            Last week, the Council told the City Attorney to work with the ACLU on the issue.

            Meredith Curtis, with the ACLU, told the Salisbury Daily Times that the organization would not go beyond saying that they are in discussions with the city.

 

          The Salisbury City Council is set to take up proposals at its work session tonight to redraw district lines that could see the end of the at-large District 2.

            Council President Terry Cohen emphasized that the council body has not taken a position on any proposals or comments set forth by city staff or the public.

            Mayor Jim Ireton has offered three plans one of which would provide for only five council districts two of which would be majority minority districts.