CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - One city in Ohio has begun to dismiss charges against some people arrested for violating curfew last week, will Cleveland do the same?
19 News is investigating whether Clevelanders arrested for the same reason will get any kind of leniency.
It’s up to each city to decide though how harsh to come down on those charged.
A lawsuit filed in federal court over Cleveland’s curfew seemingly got the ball rolling in terms of fighting curfew extensions and arrests in cities across the state.
“It showed the government that the citizens are ready to step up and tell them no more,” attorney Mark Ondrejech said.
Shortly after Cleveland’s curfew expired Friday, Ondrejech filed a similar suit in Columbus.
Because of it, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther says he consulted with the city’s law director and made the decision to rescind the city’s curfew, effective Saturday.
“I think that the City of Columbus recognized that the curfew had gone on for too long,” Ondrejech said.
Columbus’s city attorney then tweeted on Sunday night that his office has “already dismissed several curfew cases after completed review.”
“I haven’t seen anything from the City of Cleveland in that respect,” Ondrejech said.
A booking report shows Nearly 100 Clevelanders were taken into custody for “failure to comply” with the curfew last week.
Ondrejeach’s client Nicholas Hudnell is on this list. But, atfer two days in jail, he was let go and never officially charged.
It’s unclear how many others taken custody weren’t charged either.
However, we know there are several who do face charges because they were out on the streets of Cleveland during restricted hours.
A court records search reveals that the cases of at least two accused violators interviewed by 19 News remain active.
19 News Investigates reached out to the City of Cleveland’s law director.
We’re now waiting to hear whether prosecutors are or will be dismissing any of the remaining non-violent curfew violation charges.
Ondrejech said, “They need to do the right thing and not charge people who were just picked up on the curb. Maybe they are doing that, I don’t want to be unfair. It’s been a lot of activity, maybe they are evaluating each individual case right now and trying to decide what to do.”
We won’t know until the city responds, or until the accused violators appear in court at the beginning of next month.
We'll keep you updated either way.
Ondrejech says the lawsuit he helped file in Columbus was dropped when the city cancelled the curfew. The plaintiff in the case was a business owner, who simply wanted bars and restaurants to be allowed to reopen.
However, the lawsuit he filed against the City of Cleveland still stands, because he believes his client is due compensation for an unfair arrest.
Ondrejech says if anyone else feels they were arrested unfairly, they can reach him at 440-356-2700 ext. 3.