Judge Dismisses Occupy D.C. Lawsuit

Judge Dismisses Occupy D.C. Lawsuit Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/NLJ. Occupy D.C. camp at McPherson Square.
A federal judge in Washington on Wednesday dismissed one of the remaining civil lawsuits filed during the Occupy D.C. protests in 2011.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg found the pro se plaintiff, David Bloem, failed to serve the defendants. Bloem, along with other plaintiffs who have since left the case, sued U.S. Park Police officers over the removal of property from the round-the-clock Occupy D.C. protest in McPherson Square.
Bloem claimed the seized property was related to the protest and, as a result, police violated his constitutional rights.
A year ago, Bloem survived an earlier attempt by the government to dismiss the case. Boasberg found in February 2013 Bloem could pursue what’s known as a Bivens claim, which allows private individuals to sue federal employees for constitutional violations. He also rejected arguments by the U.S. Department of the Interior that the defendants should be entitled to immunity.
The parties entered into settlement talks shortly after the ruling, according to Boasberg, but they were unsuccessful.
“Shortly thereafter, on Valentine’s Day 2013, perhaps in the amicable spirit of the holiday, the parties indicated they were undertaking settlement negotiations,” Boasberg wrote. “These agreeable sentiments proved as evanescent as puppy love, however, and settlement efforts were abandoned when Bloem and his counsel parted ways, citing ‘irreconcilable differences.’”
Bloem was required to serve the unnamed individual defendants at the close of discovery, but failed to do so, Boasberg found.
Contact Zoe Tillman at ztillman@alm.com. On Twitter: @zoetillman.