Neal Augenstein, wtop.com
WASHINGTON — The National Park Service has to give Occupy DC protesters 24 hours notice if it plans to evict them from McPherson Square, a federal judge ruled.
U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg issued the ruling in a hearing prompted by the filing of a civil lawsuit by Occupy DC protester Brett Henke, who was involved in the day-long Sunday standoff.
Henke’s attorney filed the suit to permanently prevent the Park Service from closing off the park or removing the tent city, which has occupied the K Street NW square since Oct. 1.
Boasberg’s ruling requires the Park Service to provide one day’s notice if it intends to enforce its regulations prohibiting camping or sleeping in McPherson Square.
Boasberg ruled barring an emergency, the government should not restrict access to McPherson Square or tamper with the protesters’ tent city.
Park Police cordoned off a portion of the Square Sunday after protesters erected a wood-frame structure in the park.
Henke’s lawsuit seeks to protect his First Amendment rights to free expression and association, and Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
In denying Henke’s motion for a temporary restraining order, Boasberg scheduled a Jan. 31 hearing on the merits of the suit.
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