Updated at 4:21 p.m.
Protesters with the Occupy D.C. movement in McPherson Square have asked a Washington federal judge to bar U.S. Park Police from seizing tents and other property while their lawsuit is pending.
Following a confrontation between Park Police and the demonstrators in early December, an attorney advising the protesters, Washington solo practitioner Jeffrey Light, filed suit against the Park Police in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Light moved for a temporary restraining order, but, instead, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg brokered an agreement Dec. 5 where the Park Police agreed not to move any Occupy D.C. demonstrators or their tents without first giving 24-hour notice to the court, absent exigent emergency circumstances.
Today, Light filed an amended complaint (PDF) against the Park Police as well as a motion for a preliminary injunction (PDF). The motion was filed one day after the Jan. 3 deadline, but Boasberg granted Light's request for an extension (PDF) of time.
The National Park Service has so far allowed Occupy D.C. to stay in McPherson Square, but has said that they reserve the right to enforce an anti-camping rule. That rule, as it related to protests, was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1984 ruling, Clark v. Community Creative Non-Violence.
In the motion, Light doesn’t challenge the National Park Service ordinance, but rather argues that Park Police shouldn’t be able to seize tents and property even if some protesters are found sleeping in violation of the rule.
The lawsuit claims that by seizing any tents or other property, Park Police would violate the demonstrators’ Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.
The government has until Jan. 17 to respond to the motion. A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 31.