Court strikes down Groton lockdown law, citing First Amendment

A court last Thursday struck down a lockdown law in the Village of Groton in Tompkins County, saying it violated residents’ First Amendment rights by penalizing them for making 911 calls.

The ruling, which came from the New York State Supreme Court Third Appellate Division, could have implications for the City of Binghamton, where a lockdown law served as a model for Groton’s and has frequently been used to shut down after hours clubs.

Lockdown laws, more formally referred to as public nuisance abatement laws, are used by municipalities to shut down properties where multiple code and nuisance violations have been reported. Reports of violations often come from calls to police.

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