Judge upholds city of Cleveland’s curfew enacted following destructive protests; but rules that it can’t be extended again

Updated: Jun. 4, 2020 at 3:21 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A judge’s ruling is upholding the city of Cleveland’s curfew introduced following the weekend’s protests over the death of George Floyd, but is not allowing officials to extend it again past Friday.

The city of Cleveland released a statement regarding the court’s decision:

The overnight curfew for the downtown area and a portion of Ohio City will be enforced to June 5.

  • Restricted area will be OPEN from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Restricted area will be CLOSED from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

A Northeast Ohio attorney challenged the city’s curfew with a lawsuit, claiming it violates the rights of residents.

As a result of our efforts, any other curfews must be based upon new information – not the events of May 30-early hours of May 31, 2020 -- and the city of Cleveland is on notice that we stand ready to challenge any further curfew orders that do not meet the appropriate legal standard for imposing a curfew.

According to the ruling, the city of Cleveland cannot extend the curfew again unless it is legally appropriate; a win for the attorney who filed the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also alleged that Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson did not have the legal authority to institute a curfew.

Ohio law requires more than a proclamation from the mayor for municipalities to pass ordinances to set curfews, according to 19 News Investigates.

The lawsuit details the stressful week of a Cleveland State law student, thrown in jail Sunday.

Nicholas Hudnell says he was attempting to get home, out of downtown.

He says he was unaware that the curfew had been extended to include daytime hours, because no one blocked him from coming in to the city to retrieve his car.

He'd left in a garage overnight because he flat while he was at the peaceful part of Saturday's protests.

He quickly discovered though that AAA couldn’t come help him, and Ubers couldn’t reach him either.

He says he started to walk toward Cleveland State to see if a friend could pick him up there.

That's when an officer first stopped him.

“He said as long as I kept walking where I was, I would hit 18th street and that’s where the barriers end,” Hudnell said.

But, before he made it there a different officer arrested him on East 13th Street.

“I was infuriated,” he said.

Hudnell says he spent the next two days in jail.

But why?

Hudnell says was released without having to go before a judge or post bail.

There are still no charges listed against him in Cuyahoga County Court or Cleveland court records.

19 News investigators discovered that Hudnell may be one of dozens in this situation.

Despite his absence in the court records, his name is listed on this weekend’s jail booking report.

It says he was taken into custody for violating “local ordinances.”

There are 68 others listed, facing the same charge.

The lawsuit originally was seeking to end the city’s curfew immediately.

Even though a federal judge ruled Thursday that the city can keep it’s current curfew in place through Friday morning, Hudnell’s attorney.. Mark Ondrejech says that does not mean the lawsuit has been dropped.

Instead he says today’s court outcome was a victory... because the judge also ordered officials not to put out another curfew without new information.

If anyone else has been negatively affected by the curfew, you can contact Ondrejech at 440-356-2700 ext. 3.

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