January 15, 2010

Huber Forced Out of Downtown

Homeless protestor Scott Huber can no longer sleep or keep his personal property downtown. That’s according to 18th District Circuit Court Judge George Sotos, who Wednesday granted a preliminary injunction to the city of Naperville.

That ruling gave Huber 48 hours to move his personal belongings from city property downtown. Huber’s storing of his belongings violated a city ordinance banning exactly that 35 times since November, which is the reason city was looking for injunctive relief.

Sotos was noticeably irked with Huber by the end of the proceedings in his packed courtroom on Wednesday morning, hoping to give his ruling and get on with his call. But Huber had other ideas—repeatedly trying to get the judge to answer “what if” and hypothetical questions regarding the ruling.

To this the usually soft-spoken Sotos became visibly angry, and as Sheriff’s deputies and local police stood to secure the courtroom, he told Huber he had been given “more latitude than virtually anyone that has been here before.”

After another five minutes of give and take with Huber, Sotos had had enough.
“This court doesn’t micromanage . . . and is not here to guide you to what, in my opinion, is pretty clear on its face. Period,” said Sotos.

Sotos’ midweek decision was the third court date in the last five days for the 59-year old Huber, who has been performing a vague protest in downtown Naperville since 2001. Huber’s argument had been based on some things in the ordinance that he believes are too broad, like the definition of supplies and normal belongings.

“What is normal and what is storage? Things in your pocket (are) supplies,” exclaimed Huber outside the courtroom. “Pens in your pocket (are) supplies. Let’s get a definition here a clarification of what exactly they’re speaking of. What specific items are they talking about?”

The Judge and the city, though, feel the ordinance is very clear. Naperville Assistant City Attorney Michael DiSanto is just glad to have this portion of the proceedings done. In a quick statement after the proceedings, DiSanto simply hopes for Huber’s compliance with the injunction.

“The city of Naperville is grateful for the Court’s assistance in this matter,” said DiSanto. “We believe the Court came to the correct conclusion and result that we anticipated and we anticipate Mr. Huber complying with the injunction that was entered today.”

Huber’s next hearing is set for April 8, where the city hopes to gain a permanent injunction to keep Huber out of downtown. Huber says he is currently looking for legal aid through numerous sources, including the ACLU.


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