By MEG KINNARDAssociated Press
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A federal appeals court says Occupy Columbia protesters can sue Gov. Nikki Haley over being kicked off the Statehouse grounds.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. ruled Monday that Haley doesn't have immunity.
Haley ordered protesters removed from the Columbia complex in 2011. More than a dozen people refused to leave and were arrested.
The court says the action violated the protesters' civil rights because no regulation in place at the time banned people from living on Statehouse grounds.
Two years ago, a South Carolina federal judge blocked authorities from removing the protesters but reversed that ruling after the Budget and Control Board - of which Haley is chairwoman - approved emergency regulations banning sleeping on Statehouse grounds.
Haley's attorneys did not immediately return a message.
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