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  • 15

    Plaintiffs Want Hazleton to Pay $2.4 M
    Immigration; Posted on: 2007-08-31 21:23:46 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    "Defendant's experimentation over the past year comes at a price."

    By Wade Malcolm, Staff Writer

    The attorneys who successfully challenged Hazleton's illegal immigration ordinance in federal court want the city to pay their legal fees and costs totaling close to $2.4 million.

    A 28-page petition filed in federal court Friday blames the city for driving up the fees for the attorneys pursuing the case, who represented several of Hazleton's Hispanic residents, landlords and community groups.

    Since passing the first ordinance of its kind in July 2006, the city passed at least three additional versions of the ordinance in an attempt to improve its chances of winning the lawsuit. The often unexpected changes made the case more labor intensive and expensive, the plaintiffs argue.

    "Hazleton has used this Court as its laboratory," the fee petition reads. "Defendant's experimentation over the past year comes at a price."

    U.S. District Judge James M. Munley declared the Illegal Immigration Relief Act unconstitutional in a 206-page opinion released July 26, ruling it violated due process rights and infringed on the federal government's sole authority to regulate immigration. In federal civil rights cases, prevailing plaintiffs can ask the judge to force the defendant to pay for their legal fees.

    News Source: citizensvoice.com

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