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NOW v. OPERATION RESCUE

June 25, 1993

NOW, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
OPERATION RESCUE, et al., Defendants.


Oberdorfer


The opinion of the court was delivered by: LOUIS F. OBERDORFER

This matter has been before the Court for a Preliminary Injunction, citations for contempt for violation of that injunction, entry of a Permanent injunction, and a Revised Permanent Injunction issued on July 31, 1990, as modified by Orders filed September 25, 1990 and January 16, 1992 ("the Injunction"). That Injunction enjoined defendants from blockading certain sites in Washington, D.C., at which family planning and abortion services were provided.

 Most recently, findings of fact and conclusions of law filed in a Memorandum dated March 16, 1993, an Order filed that date, and an Order filed April 8, 1993, with respect to Patrick Mahoney (copies of which are attached hereto) declared that certain named defendants had violated the Injunction and were in contempt of Court, and entered money judgments in stated amounts in aid of coercing compliance by defendants other than Patrick Mahoney.

 Thereafter, a Notice dated March 30, 1993, found that those defendants have continued to violate those Orders and have frustrated plaintiffs' efforts to execute on those judgments. Stating that further measures, such as the imposition of a peace bond, might be required to compel compliance with the Injunction, the Notice directed a copy of the Order to the United States Attorney

 
as a request that he determine and advise the Court, before or at the April 23 hearing, as to the authority and capability of his office and various arms of the Department of Justice, including the United States Marshal Service and the Bureau of Prisons, to see to it that the Court's Orders are faithfully executed. See U.S. Const. art. II, § 3.

 Notice dated March 30, 1993, at 2. Although an Assistant United States Attorney addressed the Court at the end of a hearing on June 22, 1993, the United States has not yet responded meaningfully to the foregoing request.

 At the June 22 hearing, counsel for both parties stated that each would prefer that the Court enforce its Orders and Judgments through criminal contempt proceedings rather than through a peace bond. Fed. R. Crim. P. 42(b); see also Young v. United States, 481 U.S. 787, 95 L. Ed. 2d 740, 107 S. Ct. 2124 (1987).

 In light of all the foregoing, an accompanying Order supplements the March 16 judgments by ordering the contemnors to pay the money amounts adjudged against them on or before August 1, 1993, with the expectation that any violation of this Order, by nonpayment or otherwise, will result in reference of such a violation, and any other violation appropriate for criminal contempt proceedings, to the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia for prosecution pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 42(b).

 Meanwhile, on April 14, 1993, defendants appealed this Court's contempt Order of March 16, 1993 and Judgment of March 31, 1993 (nunc pro tunc to March 16, 1993). Appeal of the underlying Injunction also is pending before this Court of Appeals. Therefore, it is appropriate to modify the March 16, 1993 Order and March 31, 1993 Judgment to provide that defendants shall pay the money judgments owed plaintiffs and/or the payments here ordered to the Clerk of this Court for deposit by her into the Court Registry Investment System, to be held there until there has been a final judgment and further Order of Court, instead of directly to plaintiffs as originally contemplated by the March 16 Order and March 31 Judgment.

 A subsequent Memorandum will address other pending issues addressed at the June 22, 1993 hearing, including the First Amendment implications of the Injunction.

 Date: June 25, 1993

 Louis F. Oberdorfer

 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 ORDER - June 25, 1993, ...


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