(Cincinnati) -- A federal lawsuit accusing the city of Lakewood and its leaders of waging a racially motivated campaign of harassment to drive out a group of black residents is being allowed to proceed.

A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled Wednesday that the 2010 lawsuit can go to trial.

The judges rejected arguments from the city and three former city officials that they were immune from being sued.

An apartment complex, Hidden Village, accused Lakewood and its officials of targeting black members of a program that helps young people transition from foster care or juvenile detention to living independently. The lawsuit says police gave them frivolous and costly citations and wrongfully searched their homes.

An attorney for the city declined to comment.

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(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press, all rights reserved.) 

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