City calls civil liberties lawsuit "frivolous"

click to enlarge Brian Hildenbrandt - TERJE LANGELAND

A man who was arrested for allegedly trying to enter a "security zone" set up to protect a military summit at The Broadmoor hotel last year -- but who was never convicted of any crime -- has no basis for suing the city of Colorado Springs, the city is arguing.

Attorneys for the city last week submitted a response to a lawsuit that the man filed in federal court in early June, calling the suit "frivolous and groundless" and saying his claims "have no reasonable basis in fact or law."

The man, Black Forest resident Brian Hildenbrandt, was arrested in October of last year along with a business associate, Curt Curtis. The two were accused of trying to enter an area around The Broadmoor that had been barricaded off to protect participants in a summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Hildenbrandt and Curtis maintain they were merely standing at the edge of a barricade before they got arrested, accused of trying to enter the area.

Though the two were cited with trespassing, the city ultimately dropped its case against them.

Hildenbrandt claims police violated his First Amendment right to peaceable assembly and his Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

The city's response doesn't address the specific facts of the case, though it argues the security measures for the NATO summit were "reasonable."

The city didn't intentionally violate Hildenbrandt's rights, and if his rights were violated, it was the result of a "good faith error," the response states.

Moreover, police officers who arrested Hildenbrandt are protected by immunity, the city argues.

The Colorado chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has also sued to challenge the security zone, on behalf of peace activists who were barred from demonstrating on a public sidewalk outside The Broadmoor.

-- Terje Langeland


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