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December 19, 2011 | last updated December 19, 2011 9:51 am

Occupy Maine to sue Portland over right to occupy park

Occupy Maine plans to file a lawsuit today against the city of Portland challenging its recent decision to evict the protest group from Lincoln Park.

Occupy Maine also plans to file a motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent the city from removing the group from the park until a judge rules on the case, according to the Portland Press Herald. John Branson, a lawyer and member of the demonstration group, told the paper he planned to file the documents when the courthouse opened at 8 a.m., and that demonstrators would hold a press conference today at noon. The city council recently rejected the group's application for a permit to continue camping in the park, posting a notice to vacate by noon today unless the group files a suit. The city would have 21 days to respond in writing to Occupy Maine's court filing, after which the group would have seven days to respond before a judge schedules a hearing.

The group, part of an international movement for socioeconomic fairness, has been occupying Lincoln Park since early October and argues the city's refusal to let it remain there violates protesters' constitutional rights.

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