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ACLU Pushes Fight on 2 City Policies

February 05, 1987

The American Civil Liberties Union is continuing its challenge this week of two Glendale policies that it contends infringe upon constitutional rights of privacy--fingerprinting of solicitors and drug testing of city job applicants and employees seeking promotion.

The ACLU on Monday filed papers in the state Court of Appeal seeking to overturn a lower-court decision allowing the City of Glendale to require fingerprints from door-to-door canvassers for the environmental group Greenpeace.

The brief, prepared by attorney Dean Hansell, asks the court to reverse an October ruling by Superior Court Judge Warren H. Deering and issue a preliminary injunction preventing Glendale from forcing solicitors for nonprofit groups from outside the city to submit to fingerprinting.

No date had been set for court arguments.

World War II-Era Law

The 42-year-old city law originally was designed to protect residents from World War II-era con artists claiming to represent charities and veterans organizations. Fingerprinting is not required for fund-raisers representing local charities, for canvassers who do not ask for money or for door-to-door salesmen.

Hansell charged in the brief that the city's requirement violates the constitutional protections of free speech and privacy.

Greenpeace, which challenged the city policy last fall, claimed that some of its members refused to submit fingerprints because they feared they would be targeted for surveillance by law-enforcement officials. The city gives copies of the fingerprints to anyone who requests them.

Amending Drug Suit

In a separate action, ACLU attorneys on Friday are expected to amend a suit against Glendale challenging the city's drug-testing program for municipal workers.

In that suit, Superior Court Judge Richard Allen Lavine ruled in December ruled that the original plaintiff, a Glendale resident who is not a city employee, had failed to show that she was personally injured by the drug test.

ACLU attorney Marvin Krakow indicated a city employee will be named Friday as the new plaintiff in the suit.

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