Watch as the city’s private attorneys try their best to get the court to approve of their request for an unconstitutional injunction that would infringe on the free speech rights of the “Robin Hooders“, the activists who’ve made international headlines after the city filed suit against us for filling expired parking meters and calling out the parking enforcers for the evil they commit on a daily basis.
The court’s justices, who normally give each side a good grilling in these hearings, seem to only give the city’s attorney a hard time. Free speech attorney Jon Meyer, who has taken the case pro-bono says he’s “cautiously optimistic”. One should not get too sure of one’s position with the court, so we’ll know likely within six months how they have decided on what should be the final appearance in a New Hampshire court.
If they lose, will the City of Keene spend tens-of-thousands more taxpayer dollars to appeal to the federal courts to stop an activity that has basically tapered off on its own? (The city’s own updated suit has dropped four of the six original respondents as they don’t even live in town anymore.) The city gang is notoriously bad at learning their lesson, so it wouldn’t surprise me.
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See, Keene District Court normally occurs in Cheshire County courthouse’s courtroom one. At 8:30 in the morning on November 7th, as usual, dozens of people had filed obediently into courtroom one, awaiting Burke’s arrival. Little did they know, however, that Burke had appeared in the smaller, upstairs courtroom three at 8:30am sharp.
This is a smart move – it prevents the average court attendee from seeing someone actually take a speeding charge to trial. (Based on the large number of youtube views on speeding ticket trials – people are very interested in this subject.) Sure, we give the court victims fliers to encourage them to not take a plea deal, but it’s another matter entirely for them to witness someone actually doing it.
So, courtroom three contained four people: Burke, Steven, KPD officer Luke Antin, and the cameraman – me. Thankfully, we can record the court proceedings in New Hampshire, so the trial can be seen by the world. Here’s the video:
On Friday October 14, in Laconia district court, Judge Carroll heard the Motion to Dismiss for the Free the Nipple case. This case is unusual, in that I am thoroughly convinced that everyone in that room believed they were right, and was not engaging in rationalization to so believe.
I was able to get statements from two of the ladies who were being aggressed against by the State:
“My biggest problem with today’s hearing is the prosecutor kept ignoring the gender/sex discrimination. Cities are allowed to make rules, they just can’t make rules that only apply to women, or black people, or gay people, or Muslim.” – Kia
“How you choose to wear your body is a body rights and property issue. If you don’t own your body what do you own? It’s just as degrading to ask a woman to put a shirt on as it is to ask her to take it off. Nudity is a natural spiritual choice; I personally stand before my creator unashamed as his artwork, and the same should apply to a woman who chooses to wear a hijab.” – Ginger
The attorney for the protestors argued that the Laconia ordinance prohibiting female toplessness was unconstitutional on the grounds that it discriminates against women and is not authorized by the New Hampshire Constitution. New Hampshire is not a home rule state, which means that towns and other subdivisions of the State may only pass laws on matters which they are authorized by the New Hampshire legislature. The State of New Hampshire has not authorized its subdivisions to legislate on the topic of nudity or toplessness. (more…)
In a 3 to 1 vote, the Planning, Licenses, and Development committee passed a resolution to prohibit the posting of political advertising on city property and public rights-of-way. The resolution goes to full council on the 20th.
To many, the the political signage around town can be messy at times, especially during presidential years, but this resolution is a clear violation of our freedom of speech rights and also conflicts with current state statute that protects placing political signs on public property.
As it stands, RSA 31:41-c authorizes municipalities to create bylaws regulating electioneering. But state statute RSA 664:17 protects the placement of political signs on public rights-of-way, as long as it doesn’t obstruct the safe flow of traffic.
This comes right on the heels of a ridiculous new amendment to RSA 659:43 that now prohibits voters from entering the polling place wearing campaign related clothing. Clearly some of our state reps have entirely too much time on their hands.
Passing this new ordinance will undoubtedly open up lawsuits against the city which they will likely lose. The courts do routinely recognize extra protections for political speech. That means “we” the taxpayers will be picking up the tab as usual for mistakes made by the city. Please contact your city councilors and urge them to vote against this.
Rick Naya, NH Hempfest Organizer and State Rep Joe Lachance
The Attorney General’s office in New Hampshire has released a report regarding their investigation of claims that former state representative Kyle Tasker had sold cannabis at the NH state house in Concord, to other state representatives. Several liberty-oriented state reps including Amanda Bouldin, Joe Lachance, Pam Tucker, Ted Wright, and the late Shem Kellogg were all investigated by the AG’s office but none will be charged.
Jury nullification is the long-held right of jurors to vote their conscience, regardless of what the law says and the facts in the case are. Though Lachance clearly broke the law, each juror has the right to acquit simply because they believe the law is bad. It’s a powerful right and courts around the country as well as the federal courts will do everything they can to keep jurors from knowing about it. However, here in New Hampshire is established court precedent that not only can jury nullification information be given to jurors outside the court, but even defendants and attorneys can explain nullification during trial!
NH Jury Rights
The NH attorney general doesn’t like jury nullification, as it’s a threat to their power. They appear however to have realized that the changing political tides regarding cannabis legalization plus jurors’ awareness of nullification would likely mean they were wasting their time prosecuting Lachance. They also say in the report that a jury would likely reject “dry conspiracy” charges for Tasker as well (who is facing various felonies for other victimless crimes) and say his other charges will suffice to, “hold him accountable for his drug crimes”. Of course, there are no victims in those “drug crimes” which include possession and sale of cannabis, MDMA, and mushrooms and so Tasker should also not be charged with them, and neither should anyone else.
That’s really the question here – if the NH AG acknowledges that cannabis charges are likely to not pass a jury due to nullification, then why don’t they treat every person caught with cannabis the same way they did the state reps? The reason is they know most people will quietly take a plea deal and further, if they don’t take the deal, they can drop the charge to a class B misdemeanor which means the defendant can’t get a jury trial, virtually guaranteeing a guilty verdict and hundreds of dollars (per victim) flowing to the state’s coffers. Cannabis prohibition means big money for the state gang, so they’ll keep charging the little people until the law is changed. Hopefully that will happen in 2017 if the new governor doesn’t stand in the way, whoever it ends up being.
More than three years after the City of Keene filed suit against Robin Hood of Keene, the parties in the case have filed what should be their final legal arguments at the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Robin Hooders are the activists who have made international headlines for saving thousands of innocent motorists from parking tickets in the small city of Keene.
The city’s persecution of the peaceful activists has failed at nearly every legal turn. In its first visit to the NH Supreme Court, only one aspect of the city’s harassing case was sent back to the superior court for review. The city gang then lost again at the superior court level and are now appealing that most recent decision to the Supreme Court.
The appeal is for the Supreme court to look ONLY at the lower court’s ruling regarding the request for the “buffer zone” injunction. In their 50 page brief filed with the court in late May, the city, in a footnote, withdraws their request for an injunction against me and Garret Ean. I hardly ever Robin Hood and Garret doesn’t even live in Keene anymore!
In a 34 page brief filed by our pro-bono free speech attorney Jon Meyer, he points out, using the Parking Enforcers’ own testimony, that there was at no point any kind of threat or even a safety concern: (more…)