State v. K.M.

The ACLU-NJ represents K.M., who was charged with defiant trespass for refusing to leave the Hoboken train station. K.M. is homeless but does not stay overnight in Hoboken. She uses her money to buy round-trip tickets from the town where she stays overnight to Hoboken, so that she can spend her days with friends in the Hoboken area. She has complained of numerous instances of harassment by police at the station, included being kicked out of the train station despite having a train ticket and being barred from using the bathroom and phones. On January 12, 2004, after meeting in the station with a friend who works in the area, an officer told K.M. to leave the station. K.M. refused, stating that it was not illegal for her to be there. The officer charged her with Defiant Trespass. However, a defense to defiant trespass is that "The structure was open at the time to members of the public and the actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the structure." The ACLU-NJ filed a motion with the court to have the case dismissed, as the station is open to the public (as, in fact, the station has not only a ticket counter for train tickets but also a waiting room and a food court) and as K.M. was not violating any "condition imposed on access or remaining in the structure." K.M. was in fact holding a ticket for a train later that day. In July 2004, the charges were dropped.

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