ICP goes back to court!
So it looks like ICP goes back to court. Earlier today they filed the proper paperwork to move this case forward with Judge Cleland
DETROIT, MI — A federal appeals court on Thursday revived a lawsuit filed in Michigan by the Insane Clown Posse against the FBI.
A Detroit federal judge dismissed the complaint last year, but the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday reversed that decision, allowing the case to continue.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of performers Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope — whose real names are Joseph Bruce and Joseph Utsler — along with four ICP fans, claiming violations of “First Amendment rights to express their identity as Juggalos.”
Plaintiff Scott Gandy was forced to turn his Juggalo tattoo into a fish in order to apply to join the Army, “compelled to say ‘I like fish,’ instead of ‘I like ICP,'” his lawyer Saura Sahu said in a 2014 hearing,
The FBI’s 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment report described Juggalos as “a loosely-organized hybrid gang” that was “rapidly expanding into many US communities.” (View that full document here.)
Plaintiff Brandon Bradley claimed he’d been stopped, photographed and questioned by police in Sacramento, Calif. on three occasions after the FBI assessment because of his Juggalo tattoos and clothes.
U.S. Justice Department attorneys argued that the FBI report did not compel or condone any action by any agency, and did not label all Juggalos as gang members, claiming police agencies who have stopped, detained, searched or questioned Juggalos acted independently.
Cleland agreed in his order of dismissal, but the appeals court found that the plaintiffs sufficiently alleged “facts adducing that their injuries are fairly traceable to the Agencies’ actions.”
The panel of three appeals court judges found that the injuries claimed by the group were neither too speculative, nor too generalized for the case to continue.
“The Juggalos’ allegations that their First Amendment rights are being chilled are accompanied by allegations of concrete reputational injuries resulting in allegedly improper stops, detentions, interrogations, searches, denial of employment, and interference with contractual relations,” the appeals court found. (Full ruling here.)
“Stigmatization also constitutes an injury in fact for standing purposes… As required, these reputational injuries are cognizable claims under First Amendment and due process causes of action.”
The case will now go back to Cleland.