Tag Archives: civil liberties

Domestic Violence Victims Screwed Over By PA Town’s “Three Strikes” Disorderly Behavior Ordinance

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Most folks would be happy if their neighbors got evicted after three different “disorderly behavior” instances in less than three months. No one wants to deal with that much partying, dog barking, or loud music, right? But a “three strikes” disorderly behavior ordinance in Norristown, Pennsylvania, is now being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union of PA because instead of just evicting noisy nuisance neighbors, it is being used to evict innocent domestic violence victims for calling the police for help.

The ACLU filed this week on behalf of Lakisha Briggs, a domestic violence victim who called the police last year when her ex-boyfriend assaulted her; they arrived and arrested him. But police also told Briggs that if they kept returning to the residence over disorderly behavior calls, she would get evicted. Not surprisingly, Briggs was afraid to call the police regarding future incidents — including the time her ex-boyfriend attacked her with a brick — over fear that she and her three-year-old child would become homeless. And yet after a June 2012 attack from her ex-boyfriend that had Briggs airlifted to the hospital, police of Norristown threatened to evict them from their home because neighbors had called to complain.  Keep reading »

Teenage Girl Suspended Because Of Nose Ring, Which She Says Is Part Of Her Religion

Ariana Iacono, a 14-year-old girl from North Carolina, is a member of the Church of Body Modification (as is her mother). While the Church of Body Modification doesn’t worship a God, its members adhere to a type of religion which involves tattooing or body piercings as a method of experiencing spirituality. While only 2 years old, the Church does have several thousand members and a code of beliefs. So when Ariana’s school suspended her for wearing a nose ring (which isn’t permitted in the school’s dress code, although it does allow adjustments for religious dress), she and her mother claimed it was an infringement of her First Amendment rights. Keep reading »

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