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Maryland State Police Settle Pro-life Suit; agree to undergo First Amendment Training 

Press Release POSTED: 3/7/12
Contact: info @  

American Catholic Lawyers Association

attorneys secure settlement following mass arrest of pro-life advocates

March 7, 2012 - BALTIMORE — The Maryland Board of Public Works voted Wednesday to approve a settlement of lawsuits filed by attorneys with the American Catholic Lawyers Association (ACLA), The Thomas More Society, and the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of a group of peaceful pro-life advocates who were arrested  by State Troopers in Harford County, MD in 2008 for displaying pro-life signs passing motorists deemed offensive.  

Under the terms of the settlement, the Maryland State Police agree to refrain from making arrests under similar circumstances and to provide First Amendment training to all Troopers on the rights of citizens to demonstrate in public forums.  The settlement also requires the State of Maryland to pay compensation to each of the arrestees and attorneys’ fees.

“This settlement, reached during an appeal by the Troopers to the Fourth Circuit, follows a ruling by the lower court that our clients' rights were violated as a matter of law and that the trial would be to determine damages only," said Christopher A. Ferrara, ACLA's President and Chief Counsel, who represented seven of the arrestees.  “The settlement represents an important vindication of the First Amendment rights of pro-life advocates—not only in Maryland, but everywhere."

 ACLA is a Catholic religious organization which, since 1991, has been dedicated to the defense of the rights of Catholics in public discourse and in the Courts. ACLA attorneys have litigated cases on behalf of Catholics in state and federal courts across the country.

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