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Urlaub v. Village of Bellport (Challenging Village of Bellport’s refusal to allow peace group to conduct commemorative vigil)

This case resulted from the Village of Bellport refusing to allow a peace group to conduct a commemorative vigil. For more than 20 years, the South County Peace Group has participated in a Bellport town parade commemorating Hiroshima Day. However, in August 2006, the Village of Bellport refused to allow the members of the group to participate in the parade unless they secured an expensive insurance policy. Since the group could not afford the policy, they decided to conduct a peaceful vigil alongside the road on the day of the parade. Despite the fact that the vigil was conducted without incident, the Village authorities threatened to arrest the plaintiffs unless they secured the insurance policy for future activities.

On Aug. 18, 2006, the Suffolk County Chapter of the NYCLU filed a complaint on behalf of South County Peace Group in U.S. District Court. The complaint stated that the defendants violated the members’ First Amendment rights by refusing to allow them to protest freely. The complaint sought declaratory and injunctive relief that would allow them to conduct their vigils in future parades. A federal judge signed a stipulation and order of dismissal on Nov. 21, 2007 after the parties agreed to resolve the matter without further litigation. 

E.D.N.Y, Index No. 06-cv-05227 (direct) 

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