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People ex rel. Schneiderman v. Kraeger

United States District Court, N.D. New York

December 18, 2012

People of the State of NEW YORK, by Eric T. SCHNEIDERMAN, Attorney General of the State of New York, Plaintiffs,
v.
Joseph KRAEGER; Victoria Kraeger; Sheri Kraeger; and Vicki Jo Syversen,[1] Defendants.

Page 224

Hon. Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General for the State of New York, Brooke P. Davis, Esq., Kristen Clarke, Esq., Ass't Attorneys General, of Counsel, New York, NY, for Plaintiffs.

American Catholic Lawyers Association, Inc., Christopher A. Ferrara, Esq., of Counsel, Fairfield, NJ, for Kraeger Defendants.

Office of John J. Broderick, John J. Broderick, Esq., of Counsel, Syossett, NY, for Kraeger Defendants.

Vicki Jo Syversen, Port Leyden, NY, pro se.

Page 225

MEMORANDUM-DECISION and ORDER

DAVID N. HURD, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiffs, the People of the State of New York, by Eric. T. Schneiderman, Attorney General of the State of New York (" plaintiffs" ) were granted a permanent injunction on August 24, 2001,[2] enjoining pro-life activist defendants Joseph Kraeger (" Mr. Kraeger" ), Victoria Kraeger (" Mrs. Kraeger" ), Sheri Kraeger (" Sheri" ), and Vicki Jo Syversen (" Vicki Jo" ) (collectively " defendants" ) from obstructing access to the Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson Clinic, a reproductive health care facility in Utica, New York (the " clinic" ). Plaintiffs now move to modify the permanent injunction. Defendants oppose and cross-move to modify the permanent injunction. Plaintiffs oppose.

The motions were considered on their submissions without oral argument.

II. BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs brought this case in 2001 in order to enjoin defendants' illegal obstruction and threatening activities at reproductive health care facilities in the Northern District of New York. After a bench trial, it was found that defendants had engaged in " many acts of force, threats of force, and physical obstruction" at the clinic. New York v. Kraeger, 160 F.Supp.2d 360, 375 (N.D.N.Y.2001). It was determined that defendants had committed multiple violations of the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, 18 U.S.C. ยง 248, and the New York State Clinic Access Act, N.Y. Civ. Rights Law section 79-m. Id. at 365-76. For a complete recitation of the facts of this case, and defendants' protest activities at the clinic, reference is made to the Kraeger decision. Id. at 364-70. In order to ensure unrestricted access to the clinic for patients and staff, a permanent injunction was issued which established a buffer zone in front of the clinic and enjoined defendants from being present in the buffer zone. Id. at 379.[3]

The clinic, located at 1424 Genesee Street in Utica, provides various reproductive health services, including counseling and medical services related to birth control, pregnancy, and abortion. The front of the clinic building faces Genesee Street, with Francis Street running along the back of the clinic. As of the date the permanent injunction was issued, ...


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