The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, announced today that a federal lawsuit it brought on behalf of Dr. Monica Miller, a pro-life activist, against the Detroit Police Department, was settled after the Detroit Police Department acknowledged in court that citizens have a right to peacefully protest on public sidewalks. As part of the court settlement, the ticket against Dr. Miller was dismissed with prejudice and the City of Detroit agreed to pay costs to the Thomas More Law Center in the amount of $1,593.00.
The Law Center filed the lawsuit in the Detroit Federal District Court in September 2006, after the Detroit police issued Dr. Miller a ticket, told her to go home, and threatened her with arrest while she was engaging in peaceful pro-life activities.
At the time, Dr. Miller and others were engaged in a peaceful counter-demonstration near a pro-life pregnancy center that was being picketed by pro-abortion protestors. Miller called for police assistance when she witnessed pro-abortion protestors assaulting a pro-life protestor. When the police arrived, they told Dr. Miller she had to march in a circle in the same area as pro-abortion demonstrators and that her pro-life poster violated Detroit’s sign ordinance. When Miller objected, she was ticketed for violating the sign ordinance and “failing to obey a lawful order.”
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center commented, “Monica Miller is one of those courageous Christian women imbued with the spirit of the Gospel and unafraid to proclaim her pro-life convictions regardless of the situation.”
Brandon Bolling, the Law Center’s attorney who represented Dr. Miller before the Federal District Court, commented, “Dr. Miller is pleased that the Law Center was able to protect her First Amendment rights to protect life. Our lawsuit put the Detroit Police Department on notice that there are consequences for disregarding the First Amendment rights of those who speak out on behalf of the unborn.”