Life seems to have slowed down since all the emergency measures dealing with COVID-19 went in place, but evidently not in the federal court system.

On Thursday, April 2, four people filed a lawsuit against the City of Greensboro claiming that their constitutional rights were violated when they were arrested by Greensboro police officers for violating the stay-at-home order when they were walking and praying near an abortion clinic.

In the lawsuit they requested that the court grant a temporary restraining order, a preliminary and permanent injunction, declaratory judgment and damages.

Also on Thursday, April 2, US Middle District Court Judge William Osteen issued an order denying the request for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction.

The order from Osteen states, “this court denies the motion to enter an injunction without notice to opposing parties as required by Fed. R. Civ. P [Federal Rules of Civil Procedure] (a) and (b).”

The order states that the reason for the denial was because the defendants had not been properly notified and no explanation was given why they should not or could not be notified.

Osteen notes that Greensboro City Attorney Chuck Watts had been notified by a telephone call that a temporary restraining order was being requested, but that Watts was not provided with a copy of the lawsuit or even told when it would be filed and that a telephone call did not meet the standard for notifying the defendants under the federal rules of civil procedure.

The lawsuit names Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan and Greensboro Police Lt. Dan Knott in their official capacities as the defendants and was filed on behalf of Paul Nisley, Josiah Chavez, David Troyer and Jolene Troyer.

All four were arrested for violating the stay-at-home order when they were near A Woman’s Choice of Greensboro at 2425 Randleman Road.

According to their lawsuit, “Their activities consist primarily in walking and praying on the public ways outside the abortion clinic in order to share alternatives and inform women going to the clinic of the dangers inherent in abortion.”

According to the lawsuit, other people were seen in the area when they were arrested who were not ordered by police to leave the area.

The lawsuit states, “The only people whose activities were curtailed by the Greensboro Police while Plaintiffs Nisley, Chavez and Jolene Troyer were there that day were pro-life people seeking to walk and pray.”

According to the Greensboro Police Department Public Information Officer Ronald Glenn, there have been eight people arrested in Greensboro for violating the stay-at-home order and all were arrested in the vicinity of A Woman’s Choice on Randleman Road.

Glenn said he didn’t know of any other arrests by the Greensboro police for violating the stay-at-home order.