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Courthouse Files Order to Restrict Demonstrations…Again

Five Nevada County judges signed a general order dated November 1st 2011. The order was a notice to all persons entering the courthouses in Nevada County to prohibit defined activities within the courthouse. The notice comes in response to a letter from the ACLU that said they had been contacted by individuals who were handing out information regarding family court reform and that they had been allowed to do it for months and were suddenly told to leave the courthouse unexpectedly. Court Director Sean Matroka sees the situation differently.

“I think the reason the ACLU chose to take any action was because they were told that that activity had been going on inside the courthouse for months, which is simply not true. The activity had been going on outside the courthouse on the front steps. But if we were at all aware that it was going on inside the courthouse we would have stopped it. To my knowledge and that of a couple of dozen people who work here that I questioned on the subject, nobody has ever seen them do this inside the courthouse.”

Matroka says there has always been a policy to ban demonstrations inside the court house that could disrupt or interfere with court business and to remain neutral, free of actual or perceived partiality in any debate. This order was to reiterate the courts view and the view of most courts to not allow demonstrations inside a courthouse. The order also states that violations of the order may result in sanctions in amounts up to $15 hundred dollars and or prosecution for criminal violations.

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