A class-action lawsuit alleging false arrest, malicious prosecution and free speech infringement for evicting Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park almost four years ago can move forward, a judge has ruled.
U.S. Southern District Court Judge Andrew L. Carter Jr. ruled that the lawsuit -- which names the city, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and other police officers -- "adequately alleges the elements of a First Amendment retaliation claim."
"On the facts currently alleged, the officers lacked probable cause to arrest for trespass, disorderly conduct, or obstruction of governmental administration," he wrote in his 30-page ruling on Tuesday night.
Carter did ask the plaintiffs "to specify to the extent that people were living in the park and the extent to which legislative action created an easement," allowing public activities in the privately owned public park, said Paul L. Mills, the attorney representing the estimated 150 plaintiffs.
The city, representing all the defendants, filed a motion in April asking that the suit be dismissed.