August 12, 2004


RACINE - When the City of Racine dismissed more than 400 municipal citations it had given people for attending a rave-like party, it was done to head off a possible class-action civil rights lawsuit.

In return for that, and other steps taken by the city, the American Civil Liberties Union agreed not to bring or help bring such a lawsuit against the city.

Jason Witheril was not part of that deal. . . .

Since the lawsuit was filed, the city tried to keep out as evidence the fact that it had dismissed 440 citations issued at the party. All those citations, save for Witheril's, were irrelevant to the lawsuit, the city claimed.

Packman disagreed, saying the mass issuance, and later dismissal, of citations is crucial to Witheril proving his civil rights were violated, and the city's liability for it.

More background here.