California Pro-Life Advocates Wait for Cypress Officials to Decide on Lawsuit
by Steven Ertelt
June 10, 2008
Cypress, CA (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life advocates in California are waiting on city officials in the Los Angeles suburb of Cypress to determine whether it will settle a lawsuit. Members of the Survivors, a pro-life group for young adults, filed the suit after Cypress College squelched their free speech last year.
Members of the team were arrested for criminal trespass but the Orange County District Attorney’s Office dismissed all charges against the pro-life advocates.
The presiding judge went one step further and declared the team "factually innocent" and ordered that the record of the arrest be erased from the Department of Justice criminal records database.
A civil lawsuit is currently pending against Cypress College for the 2007 arrest seeking $20,000 for each of the three people arrested and $25,000 each from the city, college and college district.
Members of the Cypress City Council met on Monday night in a closed session to discuss the lawsuit but the Orange County Register indicated they did not announce a decision.
City Attorney William Wynder told the newspaper the case may head to court.
‘We believe that we will get out of this case," he said. "We are going to argue that the city was not liable in making a false arrest."
Life Legal Defense Foundation attorney Allison Aranda has gotten involved in the case and she told LifeNews.com that more must be done to get Cypress officials to understand that free speech can’t be limited.
"We must do something to prevent college administrators and officials from blatantly violating the Constitutional rights of young people on public school campuses simply because the administration disagrees with the message these young people speak," she said.
"It is clear from the facts of both cases that the sole objective of the Cypress College administration is to silence the pro-life message being shared on their campus," Aranda added.
She urged pro-life advocates to make it clear to officials at other colleges and universities that stopping free speech rights is not allowed.
During the arrests, Survivors members said campus police indecently frisked three of the pro-life women and placed them in the back of squad cars for an hour before charging them with a crime.
ACTION: Contact Cypress College president Michael J. Kasler at (714) 484-7308 or email [email protected].