Lawsuit filed against Cincinnati Park Board over Washington Park - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

UPDATE: Lawsuit filed against Cincinnati Park Board

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

On Sept. 4, a lawsuit was filed in federal court against the Cincinnati Park Board.

The lawsuit claims rules at Washington Park in Over the Rhine were created in an unconstitutional fashion that discriminate against certain classes of people.

Rule making for our Cincinnati Parks is happening behind the scenes, outside of the public process and can be changed at any time on a whim.

Attorney Jennifer Kinsley says rules for Washington Park were created from an email exchange between employees of the park board, a police officer and 3CDC.

"We have democratic processes that the public has a chance to say yes, no, to have discourse," said Josh Spring, Director of the Cincinnati Homeless Coalition. "No discourse was had, it was purely behind closed doors."

According to the lawsuit some of the rule signs have been taken down, specifically the rules that prohibited the sharing of food and clothing, rummaging through trash and the playing of amplified music.

Kinsley says the lawsuit's goal is to invalidate Park Board Rule 28, which gives the park board authority to make rules simply by putting them on a sign.

"If that rule gets invalidated then the park board can make up rules for specific parks but they need to do it in a public meeting and follow the law in passing those rules," said Kinsley.

City Solicitor John Curp says the lawsuit filed is premature and counterproductive. He says the rules cited in the lawsuit are used to regulate commercial activity and not to keep anyone away.  

On Thursday, Sept. 20, the Cincinnati Park Board voted to strike down Park Rule 28, which allowed officials to make rules simply by posting them on a sign. The move effectively ends the special rules for Washington Park.

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