Court Roundup

New York
Lawsuit settled over cop seizure of Occupy books

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City has settled a lawsuit that accused it of violating the Constitution by raiding an Occupy Wall Street site, seizing 3,600 books and destroying what protesters called the People’s Library.
The books were taken Nov. 15, 2011, when police raided a Manhattan park where the Occupy group had gathered to protest income inequality. The lawsuit said books seized from Zuccotti Park included William Shakespeare classics and Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s autobiography.
Attorney Norman Siegel filed the lawsuit for the Occupy group last year. He said Tuesday the city and park owner Brookfield Properties have agreed to pay more than $230,000 to settle it.
A spokeswoman for the city’s Law Department says “sometimes cases are settled to avoid drawn-out litigation that bolsters plaintiff attorney fees.” Brookfield hasn’t responded to a telephone request for comment.

Woman accused of bank forgery of judge’s signature

VAN BUREN, Ark. (AP) — A Van Buren woman has pleaded not guilty to forgery charges after prosecutors accused her of using phony court orders to obtain thousands of dollars.
Van Buren police say Candace Holmes was the guardian of a certificate of deposit for her son to help offset medical bills. Police say a court order was required to withdraw money.
The Southwest Times Record reports the account had more than $38,000 in it in May 2007. Police say as of March 2013, the balance was $513.
Investigators say documents authorizing the withdrawals carried the signature of Circuit Court Judge Gary Cottrell. Police say the judge said he hadn’t authorized any withdrawals from the account since 2008.

Pastor accused of stalking faces delay of hearing

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The court hearing for a pastor accused of stalking the woman who opened an abortion clinic in Wichita has been delayed until next week.
Thursday’s hearing was reset for April 18.
Julie Burkhart, executive director of the Trust Women’s clinic has obtained a temporary protection-from-stalking order against Mark Holick. She is seeking to make it permanent.
Holick’s attorney has filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing Holick’s religious and political speech is protected by the First Amendment.
The abortion-rights group opened a clinic offering abortions and other medical services in the building where abortion provider George Tiller had his clinic before he was gunned down in 2009 in his church.
A court filing says Holick pointed a sign at Burkhart’s house that read, “WHERE’S YOUR CHURCH.”