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A jury in Maine has awarded a former state trooper $300,000 after determining the state police wrongly retaliated when he raised concerns about its intelligence gathering work. George Loder filed a whistleblower lawsuit claiming he was reassigned and then denied a transfer after he took his concerns about the Maine Intelligence Analysis Center to his superiors. Loder said the center had gathered intelligence on power line protesters, gun buyers and others who had committed no crime. The Bangor Daily News reported the jury deliberated for more than five hours Friday before finding in Loder's favor. State police had defended the intelligence work and denied that any retaliation occurred.

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Victims of a Texas elementary school shooting are seeking a $27 billion class action lawsuit against city and state police, the city of Uvalde and other school and law enforcement officials for failing to follow active shooter protocol, according to the lawsuit filed this week. The lawsuit filed this week seeks damages for survivors of the May 24 shooting who were present and have sustained “emotional or psychological damages as a result of the defendants’ conduct and omissions on that date.” Among those suing are school staff and representatives of minors who were present when a gunman stormed Robb Elementary, killing 19 children and two teachers.

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Lawyers for a man who was freed in 2015 after spending a quarter-century in prison for an infamous tourist killing says he will receive nearly $18 million in legal settlements from the city and state of New York. Lawyers for Johnny Hincapie’s said Friday it marks one of the largest settlements for a wrongful conviction in New York City history. The Colombian-born Hincapie was among a group of young men accused of fatally stabbing Utah tourist Brian Watkins on a subway station platform in 1990. Eighteen years old at the time, with no criminal history, Hincapie said he was coerced to falsely confess to the notorious Labor Day crime.

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A conservative prosecutor is asking a judge to toss out Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul’s lawsuit challenging Wisconsin’s 173-year-old ban on abortions, arguing that it lacks legal merit and that there is no weight to assertions that it is unenforceable because of its age. Sheboygan County District Attorney Joel Urmanski filed a motion late Wednesday to dismiss the case. His fellow defendants, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne and Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, filed briefs preserving their rights to seek a dismissal as the case progresses. All three argued that the lawsuit seeks to improperly restrict prosecutorial discretion and that Kaul lacks standing to sue because he hasn’t been personally harmed by the ban.

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Indiana's Republican attorney general can continue his investigation of an Indianapolis doctor who spoke publicly about providing an abortion to a 10-year-old rape victim. The girl had traveled from Ohio after its more-restrictive abortion law took effect this summer. A judge on Friday rejected an attempt to block Attorney General Todd Rokita's investigation of Dr. Caitlin Bernard. Rokita alleges Bernard violated child abuse reporting and patient privacy laws. Bernard denies wrongdoing. The same judge also ruled Friday in a separate lawsuit that Indiana’s abortion ban adopted in August violates the state’s religious freedom law. The Indiana abortion ban was already on hold because of another legal challenge.

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Infowars host Alex Jones has filed for personal bankruptcy protection in Texas. Jones cites debts that include nearly $1.5 billion he has been ordered to pay to families who sued him over his conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook school massacre. He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday in Houston. The filing listed $1 billion to $10 billion in liabilities owed to creditors and $1 million to $10 million in assets. Jones acknowledged the filing on his Infowars broadcast. He said the bankruptcy case will prove that he’s broke and asked viewers to shop on his website to help keep the show on the air.

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Police and federal law enforcement officers are among 20 people from multiple states saying they were wounded by a popular type of Sig Sauer pistol. It's the latest lawsuit alleging that the gun is susceptible to going off without the trigger being pulled. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in New Hampshire federal court. It says there have been more than 100 incidents of the P320 pistol unintentionally discharging when the user believed they did not pull the trigger. In many cases described, the gun discharged while still in the user’s holster, seriously injuring them. Sig Sauer says the gun is designed to fire when the trigger is pulled, and includes internal safeties that prevent the firearm from discharging.

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A rural Arizona county has certified its midterm election results after blowing past the deadline in state law. The Cochise County Board of Supervisors voted Thursday to follow the orders of a judge who ruled that they broke the law when they refused to sign off on the vote count by this week’s deadline. Two Republicans on Cochise County’s three-member board of supervisors did not cite any problems with the election results as a reason to delay. Rather, they say they weren’t satisfied that the machines used to tabulate ballots were properly certified for use in elections, though state and federal election officials have said they were.

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Immigrant rights organizations are suing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other officials over the constitutionality of the state's migrant relocation program. The suit was filed Thursday by Florida Immigrant Coalition, Americans for Immigrant Justice and Hope Community Center. Earlier this year, the Florida Legislature approved a $12 million budget item to relocate people in the country illegally from Florida to another location. The money came from interest earned from federal funds given to Florida under the American Rescue Plan. The lawsuit claims that the appropriation creates an incoherent definition of “unauthorized alien” that is inconsistent with federal immigration laws.

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Voters in Oregon passed one of the nation's toughest gun control laws, but the new permit-to-purchase mandate is facing a legal challenge with days to go before it takes effect. A federal judge in Portland will hear oral arguments about whether to put a hold on the law after a joint lawsuit from a gun rights group, a sheriff and a gun store owner. Measure 114 requires new gun buyers to attend a hands-on gun safety course in order to get a permit to buy a new firearm. The law also bans magazines over 10 rounds starting Dec. 8.

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The city of Uvalde has sued the local prosecutor’s office seeking access to records and other investigative materials on the May shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 children and two teachers dead. The move highlights ongoing tensions over the slow police response and resulting flow of information about the rampage. The lawsuit file Thursday in Uvalde County against the county’s district attorney Christina Mitchell Busbee says a lack of access to information and records on the May 24 massacre is affecting an independent investigator’s ability to look for policy violations by local responding officers and determine whether disciplinary actions are needed. Busbee is conducting a criminal investigation into the school shooting.

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A lawyer for environmental groups suing the Tennessee Valley Authority argues distributors have signed onto what amount to “never-ending” contracts that unfairly tie them to power generated by the nation’s largest public utility. Southern Environmental Law Center lawyer Amanda Garcia made the argument in Memphis federal court. TVA says three environmental groups have no standing to sue after TVA reached long-term agreements with many local power distributors in its seven-state region. The lawsuit alleges the deals will deprive distributors and ratepayers of the opportunity to renegotiate with TVA to obtain cheaper, cleaner electricity.

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California's breach of personal information for hundreds of thousands of gun owners earlier this year was the result of poor training and lack of technical expertise. A report released Wednesday by the California Department of Justice found the breach was not intentional. Investigators said names, addresses and birthdays of 192,000 people who applied for concealed carry permits were downloaded 2,734 times over a roughly 12-hour period in late June. Attorney General Rob Bonta called the exposure a breach of trust and the state would adopt investigators' recommendations. California Rifle & Pistol Association President Chuck Michel says the report has gaps and unanswered questions.

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The Vermont Agency of Education and several school districts will pay school tuition and legal fees to five families to settle lawsuits challenging the state’s practice of not paying for students to attend religious schools if their towns do not have a public school. The two sides agreed to dismiss the lawsuits in court filings late Wednesday. The settlements come in the aftermath of a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said Maine schools cannot exclude religious schools from a program that offers tuition aid for private education. Like Maine, Vermont pays a tuition benefit for students living in towns that do not have a public school to attend other public schools or approved private schools of their choice.

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The ACLU of Arizona says it is suing the city of Phoenix in order to block resumed sweeps of a huge homeless encampment downtown that they say has displaced people and destroyed identification documents, prescription medications and other belongings. The ACLU says it filed the complaint late Wednesday in the U.S. District Court of Arizona to halt the city's possible resumption in December of raids that were paused at the beginning of 2022. It's the latest move in an ongoing tug-of-war between advocates and cities in Western states over how best to tackle the problem of homelessness.

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A Michigan city agreed to pay $1,000 to a car owner to settle a lawsuit about marking tires to catch parking violators. The deal in Bay City followed a declaration in August that a similar practice in Saginaw was illegal. Federal Judge Thomas Ludington said chalking tires without a warrant violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches. Jody Tyvela received tickets at least six times in 2016 and 2017. Without having time meters, parking enforcers marked tires to determine who was parked too long in downtown Bay City. Tyvela will receive $1,000 and her attorneys will get $59,000 under the settlement with Bay City and the city’s Downtown Development Authority.

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The latest lawsuit alleging widespread misconduct across competitive cheerleading says officials permitted two choregraphers to continue working with young athletes after they were investigated for sexual abuse. Twenty plaintiffs have now brought allegations against various coaches since the founder of an elite South Carolina cheerleading gym reportedly killed himself in late August amid an investigation into abuse. Federal complaints filed in Ohio and five other states throughout the Southeast accuse the sport’s governing bodies and leading competitive institutions of failing to protect underage athletes.

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Journalists from an investigative news outlet in El Salvador have sued NSO Group in U.S. federal court after the Israeli firm’s powerful Pegasus spyware was detected on their iPhones. In January, the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab internet watchdog reported that dozens of journalists and human rights defenders in El Salvador had their cellphones repeatedly hacked with the spyware. Among them were journalists at the El Faro news site. El Faro’s co-founder and director says in a Wednesday statement that “these spyware attacks were an attempt to silence our sources and deter us from doing journalism."

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Environmentalists say the federal government isn’t doing enough to ensure the survival of the Rio Grande silvery minnow as drought tightens its grip on one of the longest rivers in the West. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the group WildEarth Guardians asked a federal judge to force U.S. water and wildlife agencies to reassess the effects of water management activities on the endangered fish. They want federal officials to develop enforceable measures to keep dams and diversions along the river's stretch through New Mexico's most populated area from jeopardizing the minnow. The fish was declared endangered nearly 30 years ago and its population continues to dwindle as the river sees record-low flows.

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Kentucky Democrats say they’re taking the next steps in their redistricting fight. They said Wednesday that includes asking the state’s highest court to immediately take up their lawsuit. The suit challenges new Republican-drawn boundaries for legislative and congressional districts. The moves to appeal come about three weeks after a circuit judge ruled the new congressional and state House maps did not violate the state constitution. The state Democratic Party says a notice of appeal was being filed with the Court of Appeals. In a separate motion, Democrats said they’re asking the state Supreme Court to take up the case immediately.

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Republican Kari Lake and supporters of her failed campaign for Arizona governor are attacking Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs as having a conflict of interest for overseeing the election she won. But secretaries of state across the country routinely oversee their own races, and Republicans had no such criticism when one of their own was secretary of state in Georgia and oversaw his own election for governor four years ago. The criticism against Hobbs has persisted after one heavily Republican rural county declined to certify its own election results, forcing Hobbs to sue.

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The city of Minneapolis has reached a $600,000 settlement with 12 protesters who were injured during protests after the May 2020 police killing of George Floyd. The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota says a federal judge approved the settlement Wednesday, making it official after the city approved it in October. The agreement also includes some reforms. Among them, the city will be barred from arresting, threatening to arrest or using physical force against people who are engaging in lawful protests. The settlement terms also limit the use of chemical agents by officers to disperse peaceful demonstrators.

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Yale University is being accused of discriminating against students with mental health disabilities, including pressuring some to withdraw from the prestigious institution and then placing “unreasonable burdens” on those who seek to be reinstated. The lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Connecticut on behalf of current and former students seeks no monetary damages. Rather, it demands changes to Yale’s current withdrawal policies, including the required forfeiture of health insurance and tuition payments, among other rules. The plaintiffs contend Yale needs to implement a process for handling students with mental health needs that’s more accommodating for individuals. Yale's president has said the reinstatement policy has been eased.

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The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected a city’s argument that the streaming services Netflix and Hulu should have to pay local governments the same fees levied on cable operators. At issue was Ohio's 2007 Video Service Authorization law, which directed the state Commerce Department to determine what entities must obtain permission to physically install cables and wires in a public right-of-way. Companies deemed video service providers must pay a fee to local governments under that law. Streaming companies argue their distribution method is different from traditional video providers. The court on Wednesday sided with the streaming services.

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