Sheriff may have to pay fees in abortion-protest lawsuit

Monday, November 5, 2012

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court says a South Carolina sheriff’s office can be held liable for attorneys’ fees for stopping abortion protesters who wanted to hold up signs showing aborted fetuses.

The justices today reversed a decision saying the Greenwood County sheriff’s office was not required to pay attorney’s fees in a lawsuit brought by Steven Lefemine and Columbia Christians for Life.

The group was told by officers they couldn’t protest with their signs in November 2005. A federal judge agreed that the sheriff was wrong, but did not award damages or lawyer’s fees.

The justices threw out that decision without hearing arguments, saying the legal decision that officers could not stop the protesters “supported the award of attorney’s fees.” The case now goes back to the lower courts.

The case is Lefemine v. Wideman

Also see:

2nd Circuit upholds 2004 GOP convention-protest limits

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