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Settlement draws near in Michael's case
Case involves teenager

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 9:36 AM CDT

A judgment in a civil case involving Granite City and the Michael family is drawing near, Angela Michael said Monday from her home in Highland .

Angela Michael said she was informed by family attorney Jason Craddock, of Chicago , that the judgment could be handed down by Labor Day.

Angela and Daniel Michael filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for Southern Illinois in East St. Louis in January 2006, six weeks after their daughter, Mia Michael, was knocked to the ground and into a light post by a woman who was in her 20s during the city's annual Christmas parade, Angela Michael said.At the time of the incident, Mia Michael was 17.

Angela Michael said her daughter wasn't seriously injured, but she was stunned and sustained a bump to the head.

"She (the woman who allegedly knocked Mia Michael to the ground) didn't like the abortion signs we were displaying," Angela Michael said.

In the suit, Angela and Mia and Daniel Michael vs. Granite City , the Michaels are seeking more than $100,000 in damages against the Granite City Police Department for lack of protection during the parade.

"Now they give us a little corner with two police officers," Angela Michael said. "If they would have done that before, nobody would have been hurt or assaulted."

Mayor Ed Hagnauer said he would not comment until the judgment, if any, is handed down.

The civil case is one of two cases that the Michaels took Granite City to court over.

When the city passed an ordinance in 2006 that prohibited abortion signs from being no larger than 8-by-11 inches, the Michaels challenged the ordinance in federal district court, where a ruling was handed down later in the year that the ordinance was unconstitutional because it violated First Amendment freedom of speech. The city never enforced that ordinance.

The Michaels, who are anti-abortion, challenged the ordinance because they often display large signs showing late-term abortions at the Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City and at city parades.

The Michaels are the founders of Little Victories, a home-based family ministry aimed at helping women find alternatives to abortions.

Since the Michaels first took their anti-abortion beliefs in 2000 to the sidewalks near the Hope Clinic, where abortions are performed, 26 babies have been saved and adopted, Angela Michael said.

One was Hannah Noelle Michael, who was adopted by the Michaels in 2008.

Angela Michael said that in October 2007 she persuaded a young woman from having an abortion at the Hope Clinic.

Angela and Daniel Michael didn't know at that time that the woman's child would become their 12th child.

"She's a blessing," Angela Michaels said. "Everyday I look at her face, knowing what would have happened to her if I wouldn't have been at the clinic that day. Our ministry prospers by telling young women that they have other alternatives other than an abortion. We don't try to persuade them by screaming and yelling at them like some religious zealots do at the clinic."

Angela Michael added that Small Victories will likely voice their anti-abortion stance by displaying large late-term abortion signs at the city's annual Labor Day parade.

"As long as they give us our little corner with two police officers, that's fine with me," she said.

To support and encourage Daniel and Angela please contact them - 
smallvictories@juno.com (email), 618-654-5800 (phone), 
or write them Small Victories P.O. Box 143 Highland, IL 62249.