The ACLU of Colorado’s Legal Department works to protect and defend civil liberties through litigation as well as legal advocacy outside the courtroom. With only three full-time attorneys on staff, the ACLU also relies on the work of dedicated volunteer cooperating attorneys from around the state who are willing to donate their time and talent to assist our struggle for liberty.
James Fisher spoke at the ACLU of Colorado Bill of Rights Dinner about how he and the ACLU are working together to stop the criminalization of poverty for the thousands of Coloradans who are trapped in debtors’ prisons.
Our membership has quadrupled in the last six months, making it possible to do more than ever to protect civil rights and civil liberties in Colorado. Thank you to all our new members, supporters, and donors, and the ones who’ve been with us for years.
Leisel Kemp, whose brother Jason was killed by CSP after they entered his home without a warrant, spoke at the 2013 Bill of Rights Dinner about the ACLU’s legal advocacy on behalf of her family.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind is an original short film from the ACLU of Colorado about a man who has spent 17 years in solitary confinement and now suffers from debilitating mental illness.
Litigation & Legal Advocacy
Smith V. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement
The ACLU of Colorado filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit challenging a practice by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of withholding documents, without legal justification, that immigration lawyers require to advocate for clients that the agency deems to be “fugitives.”
Jennifer Smith, an immigration attorney, filed a FOIA....
Ledonne v. Adams State University
The ACLU of Colorado filed suit on behalf of Danny Ledonne, a former professor who was banned by school officials from the Adams State University campus in Alamosa, CO after he created a website criticizing various university administration practices.
From May 2011 to June 2015, Ledonne taught in the Mass Communications program and performed video....
Colorado Springs Unlawful Enforcement of Panhandling Laws
An ACLU investigation revealed that the Colorado Springs Police Department, City Attorney’s Office, and Municipal Court are illegally enforcing the City’s panhandling laws against impoverished people who have not violated those laws.
According to a letter sent on September 15, 2015 to the City Attorney by the ACLU of Colorado, the City’s practice....
Wheat Ridge v. Taylor
The Wheat Ridge Municipal Court violated a Colorado law banning debtor’s prison practices by sentencing a homeless man to jail because he could not pay a fine, according to a filing made on his behalf by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado.
Wilburn Taylor was cited for panhandling when a Wheat Ridge police officer found him with a blank....
Criminal Justice, Criminalization of Homelessness, End Debtors' Prisons
Brown v. City of Colorado Springs
In a lawsuit filed on October 12, 2016 against Colorado Springs police officers and the City of Colorado Springs, the ACLU of Colorado charged that Ryan and Benjamin Brown were victims of the police department’s “custom and practice” of engaging in racially-biased policing and carrying out groundless, racially-motivated stops and searches.
Criminal Justice, Racial Justice
Landow v. City of Fort Collins
On Feb. 10, 2015, The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado filed a class action lawsuit challenging an anti-panhandling ordinance that is being widely enforced by Fort Collins, in violation of the free speech rights of people who are impoverished and homeless, as well as street performers and non-profit canvassers.
Fort Collins police have....
Criminalization of Homelessness, Freedom of Expression & Religion