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ACLU: Convictions Of Ogden Gang Members Were Unconstitutional

The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah filed a class action petition against a 2010 injunction against a street gang in Ogden. Weber County sued the gang, claiming they were a public nuisance. The court had no authority to make the injunction and convictions under it should be dropped, said John Mejia on Wednesday. Mejia is the legal director of the ACLU of Utah.

“Because that the court did not have power to issue that order in the first place, it violates people’s rights to continue to have a conviction on their records for disobeying that injunction,” he said.

The ACLU, in issuing the petition, is joined by the Richards and Brown law firm. Provisions in the injunction placed strict limits on activities of members and others suspected of being in the gang.

Some of the restrictions put in place by the injunction included an 11 p.m. curfew and penalties for gang members congregating in public. The state Supreme Court dissolved the injunction in 2013. According to Mejia, the convictions, however, still remain on the records of the accused.

“Even after the injunction was vacated and dissolved, your record still has that class B misdemeanor conviction on it,” he said.

Fifty people are known to have been convicted under the ruling.