Legal group from Washington, D.C. to aid Occupy Chattanooga - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

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Legal group from Washington, D.C. to aid Occupy Chattanooga

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Larry Simpson, with Occupy Chattanooga, warms his hands at a fire in front of the Hamilton County Courthouse. Photo by Angela Lewis (TFP). Larry Simpson, with Occupy Chattanooga, warms his hands at a fire in front of the Hamilton County Courthouse. Photo by Angela Lewis (TFP).
CHATTANOOGA -

(Times Free Press) -- A team of Washington, D.C.-based lawyers is joining Occupy Chattanooga's attorney in the group's legal fight against the Hamilton County Commission in federal court.

Scott Michelman, a staff attorney for Public Citizen Litigation Group, said the American Civil Liberties Union contacted his organization about representing Occupy Chattanooga.

The county filed suit on Tuesday, asking a judge to declare that rules approved Jan. 4 that govern public use of county property are enforceable and that protesters camping on the lawn are violating them. The lawsuit is filed against Occupy and nine individually named defendants.

"It's pretty rare that the government actually sues people in an attempt to have a court declare its own law valid," Michelman said. "It's procedurally not appropriate. Ultimately, it's the responsibility of governments at all levels to be very careful in observing the constitutional rights of their residents."

Read more on the story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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