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ACLU Seeks to Help Virginia Residents

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By Patrick Madden

The ACLU of Virginia is trying to help 40 residents who were ordered to pay 80-thousand dollars in fees after attempting to have 4 elected officials removed from office.

The ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief Tuesday in the Virginia Supreme Court, claiming that the fees chill residents' First Amendment rights.

40 residents of Gloucester county Virginia circulated petitions in 2008 to have several lawmakers removed from office after they were indicted on criminal charges.

A judge dismissed the petitions and assessed the fees after ruling the residents were politically motivated.

Lawmakers have since amended state law to prohibit judges from assessing fees in such cases.

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