Criminal Charges and Cars Seized for Going to an Art Gallery

March 10, 2015

In 2010, the ACLU of Michigan filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Detroit Police Department’s 2008 raid of a fundraising event at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit.

During the raid more than a hundred innocent people were detained, searched, and charged with loitering because, unbeknownst to them, the gallery did not have the proper license for the late-night event. In addition, more than 40 legally parked cars were seized and not released until their owners paid nearly $1000. In December 2012, Judge Victoria Roberts ruled that the detention of the CAID’s patrons and seizure of their cars was unconstitutional.

The city appealed, and the appeal was placed on hold in July 2013 when the City of Detroit filed for bankruptcy. In March 2015, the remainder of the case was settled for damages and attorney's fees. 

(Mobley v. City of Detroit; ACLU Attorneys Dan Korobkin, Sarah Mehta and Michael J. Steinberg; Cooperating Attorneys Bill Goodman, Julie Hurwitz and Kathryn James of Goodman & Hurwitz.)