Occupy L.A. protesters gone, so judge rejects restraining order
A federal judge on Wednesday rejected as "moot" the request by Occupy L.A. demonstrators for a temporary restraining order to prevent police from disbanding their encampment on the grounds of City Hall.
The protesters' petition for court intervention was e-filed late Tuesday and didn't reach the chambers of U.S. District Judge George H. King until 8 a.m. Wednesday, the judge said in denying the request.
"In the interim, all participants in Occupy Los Angeles were removed from City Hall park by the Los Angeles Police Department," King said in the one-page order. "Given last night's events, plaintiffs' requested relief is no longer applicable. Accordingly, plaintiffs' application is hereby denied as moot."
About 300 people were arrested early Wednesday and police evicted protesters from the tent city that had been set up outside City Hall for nearly two months.
A lawyer for the protesters, Carol Sobel, did not immediately return a phone call asking why the petition was filed overnight, instead of accompanying the group's Monday lawsuit alleging that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's deadline for dismantling the camp was a violation of protesters' free-speech rights.
Sobel said Tuesday that the court wasn't obliged to respond expeditiously to the constitutional rights complaint.
--Carol J. Williams
Photo: Sanitation workers clean up outside City Hall. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times