The American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire (ACLU-NH) defended several protestors charged with violations of a curfew ordinance and criminal trespass when they set up a twenty-four hour occupation of Veteran’s Park in Manchester. The ACLU-NH filed a Motion to Dismiss the charges, arguing that the application of the curfew and trespass laws to the peaceful protest violated the Defendants’ rights to free speech, assembly, and revolution under the New Hampshire Constitution. After a full day hearing, the trial court denied the motion.
Those protesters who were convicted of criminal trespass appealed their case to a jury which found them guilty.
Those protesters who were impacted by the trial court’s denial of the motion to dismiss the curfew-violation charge — a charge which does not involve a jail sentence — have appealed to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. The ACLU-NH’s appellant brief before the Supreme Court can be found here.
In a decision issued on August 8, 2014, the Supreme Court concluded that the criminal trespass convictions did not violate the First Amendment.