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Saugatuck looks to settle musician restriction lawsuit

The Grand Rapids Press

Saugatuck — A western Michigan city is moving to settle a lawsuit brought by a musician who was jailed for refusing to stop playing guitar in public.

A proposed judgment calls for Saugatuck to be prevented from enforcing a "Public Entertainment Ordinance."

The American Civil Liberties Union took the case of Gabe Novak and viola player Christopher Waechter. They accused Saugatuck of violating their free speech rights.

As part of the agreement filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids, they're each expected to get $7,500. The deal awaits a judge's signature.

Novak was arrested in June when a police officer told him he couldn't play guitar on the sidewalk without a permit. Waechter says he was told to stop playing his viola in July.