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State Court Petition - Filing Copy

State Court Petition - Filing Copy

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Published by aselk
Occupy Dallas applied for temporary restraining order Nov. 9, 2011, from a city threaten to evict them
Occupy Dallas applied for temporary restraining order Nov. 9, 2011, from a city threaten to evict them

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Published by: aselk on Nov 10, 2011
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11/10/2011

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CAUSE NO:_____________________ 
 Jennifer Florence Dawson, James Reagan Clark, JaredSchiffner,
individually and on behalf of others similarly situated 
,Plaintiffs, v.City of Dallas,Defendant.
§
 
§
 
§
 
§
 
§§§§§§§§§
IN THE DISTRICTCOURT OF DALLASCOUNTY, TEXAS _______ JUDICIALDISTRICT
 
PLAINTIFFS’ ORIGINAL PETITION FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT,EMERGENCY APPLICATION FOR 
EX PARTE 
TEMPORARY RESTRAININGORDER, FOR TEMPORARY INJUNCTION & REQUEST FOR DISCLOSURE
 A. Discovery Control Plan
1. Plaintiffs intend to conduct discovery under Level 3 of Texas Rule of Civil Procedure.
B. Parties
2. Plaintiffs are individuals currently occupying an area of land to the southwest of DallasCity Hall. In doing so they are exercising their First Amendment right to engage in politicalexpression, pursuant to a species of license granted them by Defendant, memorialized in asettlement agreement, attached hereto as
Exhibit A 
.3. Defendant, City of Dallas, may be served with process through the City Secretary,located at 1500 Marilla Street, Dallas, Texas. Defendant may be served via private processserver.
C. Jurisdiction
4. Because Plaintiffs are seeking a declaration clarifying the contours of validity of a
 
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modification to a municipal ordinance, made in accordance with a settlement agreementbetween Plaintiffs and Defendant, and further, because Plaintiffs are not asserting a claim formoney damages, this is a suit in which the City does not enjoy governmental immunity fromsuit.
See 
,
.
 g 
.
City of San Benito v 
.
Ebarb 
, 88 S.W.3d 711 (Tex. App. – Corpus Christi, 2002).
D. Facts
5. On October 17, 2011 at Dallas County, Texas, Plaintiff Jennifer Florence Dawson, onbehalf of herself and others similarly situated, entered into a settlement agreement with the City of Dallas. See
Exhibit A 
.6. That settlement agreement comprised in part a species of license, under which, assuming adherence to certain conditions, Plaintiff and others similarly situated could maintain theirpresence at a specifically identified public property overnight, in tents.7. Prior to November 8, 2011, the City of Dallas appeared to be adhering to the terms of 
Exhibit A 
.8. On November 8, 2011, the City of Dallas transmitted the correspondence attachedhereto as
Exhibit B 
to counsel for Plaintiffs.9.
Exhibit B 
contains,
inter alia 
, four allegations of material breach of the settlementagreement by Occupy Dallas.
Exhibit B 
also contains immaterial allegations and recitationsconcerning alleged criminal conduct that occurred off the property subject of the settlementagreement, and that have no bearing on the alleged breaches of the agreement made the subjectof 
Exhibit B 
.10.
Exhibit B 
clearly indicates the City’s intention to revoke its adherence to the terms of the settlement agreement on or before November 12, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.11. Plaintiffs contend, in light of 
Exhibit B 
, that
Exhibit A 
contains terms and statements
 
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that are ambiguous, and that certain of those terms have been invoked by Defendant in
Exhibit 
as grounds supporting its intent to revoke the agreement. Accordingly, Plaintiffs assert themutuality of understanding concerning those terms as contemplated by the agreement has failed.12. Further, Plaintiffs contend each of Defendant’s allegations of Plaintiffs’ materialbreaches are without merit, and accordingly Defendant should be enjoined from revoking thesettlement agreement.13. Accordingly, Plaintiffs seek the relief requested herein.
E. Suit for Declaratory Relief 
14. Plaintiffs assert the following terms, as used in the settlement agreement, are ambiguous,and that accordingly the City’s threatened action is unjustified:(a) “Semi-permanent” insofar as this term is inherently without meaning.(b) “Occupy Dallas” insofar as this term, as defined in
Exhibit A 
, means “a group of individuals who are a part of the movement which will be using the Subject Property under the terms of this Agreement,” and hence does not identify any individual withspecificity so as to provide such individual with notice of prohibitions placed uponhim/her by the settlement agreement when he/she is not present upon and thus “using the Subject Property.”15. Plaintiffs further assert the following statements in the settlement agreement, areambiguous:(a) “Trash shall be collected daily and shall be taken to a trash collection facility off the site of the Subject Property on a daily basis. Occupy Dallas shall provideappropriate trash receptacles on the Subject Property.” insofar as it is not clearOccupy Dallas is responsible for the transportation of trash from the SubjectProperty.(b) “Occupy Dallas shall not use the restroom facilities in City Hall” insofar as itis not clear that individuals, at the time of their alleged individual use of therestroom facilities in City Hall, are in that “group of individuals who are a part of the movement which will be using the Subject Property under the terms of this Agreement”
See ¶ 
12(b)
supra 
.(c) “No tents shall be erected within, and no persons shall occupy the fenced-area

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