Long Island Gynecological Services v. Murphy (Protecting an abortion clinic from anti-choice trespassers)

Appellate Division, 2nd Dept., 748 N.Y.S.2d 776 (direct)

This case involves protecting a clinic against anti-choice trespassers, ending years of an unfair, judge-imposed religious exemption from the trespass law.

The NYCLU Reproductive Rights Project represented Long Island Gynecological Services, P.C. ("LIGS") in its struggle against anti-choice trespassers who harassed and intimidated clinic personnel. For years, the Nassau County district attorney refused to prosecute anti-choice trespassers as a result of his personal views, and an anti-choice judge created an unprecedented religious exception to the well-established criminal trespass law. Because of the DA's opinion and the judge's unprecedented ruling, the Nassau County Police Department forbade officers from arresting anti-choice trespassers on the private property outside the clinic building.

After the clinic and its patients were left without recourse to law enforcement, the RRP secured a permanent injunction excluding the trespassers from clinic property and ending the harassment of patients and staff. One of the defendants appealed the trial court's decision to the Appellate Division, Second Department. However, the Appellate Division upheld the permanent injunction on Oct. 21, 2002, effectively ending the anti-choice, religious exemption from the trespass law.

Status: 
Closed