Legal battles lost for 3 Dakota Access Pipeline protesters

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Three Dakota Access Pipeline protesters faced judges for various actions this week.

One New York City woman who suffered a serious arm injury in an explosion while protesting in North Dakota has lost a legal battle to obtain evidence she wanted for a civil rights lawsuit against law enforcement.

Sophia Wilansky sued the federal government in February, seeking the return of shrapnel and clothing taken from her while she was hospitalized following the November 2016 blast and subsequent injury. Protesters and police have blamed one another for the explosion.

Federal Judge Wilhelmina Wright dismissed the case on Monday, saying there was no agreement on the time length and that Wilansky didn't show why she couldn't sue without the evidence.

The other two protesters to face judges are also the first people to be sent to jail for protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota. They have also lost their appeals to the state's Supreme Court.

Mary Redway, of Providence, Rhode Island, and Alexander Simon, of Lamy, New Mexico, were convicted last October of disorderly conduct. Simon also was convicted of physical obstruction of a government function. Redway served four days in jail. Simon served 12 days.

Both appealed their convictions, citing a lack of evidence and arguing their participation in protests was constitutionally protected activity. Supreme Court justices rejected those arguments.

The Water Protector Legal Collective says the decision is "an ominous ruling for anyone who wishes to gather and express frustration with government or corporate action."

Pipeline protests resulted in 761 arrests in 2016 and 2017.