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Judge orders settlement conference in Draego lawsuit

Judge orders settlement conference in Draego lawsuit

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A judge has ordered a settlement conference in a lawsuit against the Charlottesville City Council.

Earlier this year, Albemarle County resident Joe Draego filed a lawsuit against the council, declaring one of its public comment rules to be unconstitutional. The suit was connected to a June council meeting at which time Draego had his public comment time cut short by Mayor Mike Signer over what the council deemed a violation of its “group defamation” rule, which prohibits speech that defames entire groups of people.

In November, a federal judge sided with Draego’s argument, saying the rule offends the First and 14th Amendments. A temporary injunction was ordered, and the city has since stated that it would discontinue the rule.

The settlement conference will be held Friday afternoon in Charlottesville’s federal court.

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