More than three years after the City of Keene filed suit against Keene’s “Robin Hooders” (the activists who’ve saved motorists from thousands of parking tickets by feeding expired meters), the case has finally come to a close – at least within the New Hampshire court system. In a short four-page order issued just before Christmas, the NH supreme court affirms the Cheshire superior court’s decision to deny the city’s request for an unconstitutional injunction they’ve been begging for since 2013:
taking into consideration the governmental interest that would be served, the trial court weighed the benefits of the requested relief against the effect that relief would have on the respondents’ constitutionally protected speech, and, based upon the factual record before it, exercised its equitable discretion to deny the proposed injunction.
We won! (Again!) Presuming the city gang does not decide to continue lavishing taxpayer dollars on their expensive private attorneys to take the case to federal court, it should end here. We’ve yet to see the total cost of the several court appearances the city has made, but then-city-manager John MacLean admitted in 2013 that the first round (of four) cost about $20,000. Their private attorneys billed them so much, that on this final round at the supreme court they were claiming to have taken the case “pro bono”. Another way to say that is that the city paid tens-of-thousands for the first three rounds in court and got the fourth free.
James Cleaveland, Attorney Jon Meyer, Ian Freeman
All the while free speech attorney Jon Meyer of Manchester truly did take the Robin Hooders’ case pro-bono, the entire time. His talent is legendary and he not only brilliantly defended the peaceful activists but proved without a doubt that the city’s parking enforcers were dishonest and ridiculous. There was never any evidence presented that the accused Robin Hooders had “threatened, intimidated, or harassed” the city employees. As if to prove how ridiculous their claims were, parking enforcer Jane desperately stated that anything Garret said, even talking to her about the weather, she considered to be “taunting”. It was laughable but also very serious – the city gang was lying to try to get the judge to order us to stay 50 feet away from the enforcers. (more…)
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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Keene’s Robin Hooders are heading back to the NH Supreme Court on November 9th at 9:30am for what should be the final round in a three-plus-year run through the courts. 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 appeal is for the NH Supreme court to look ONLY at the lower court’s ruling regarding the request for the “buffer zone” injunction. The court will hear oral arguments from heroic free speech attorney Jon Meyer and the city’s expensive tax-paid private attorneys on 11/9 at 9;30am. (The city’s attorneys are claiming they’re taking this case pro-bono, but that’s only after they charged the city likely over $100,000 for the first three court hearings.)
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…)
The Free State Project migration of liberty activists to New Hampshire continues to be a topic of discussion in NH media, because we’re making an impact, unlike libertarians pretty much everywhere else in the world. Most libertarian groups never or rarely get press, but liberty activists in New Hampshire get coverage frequently.
Dan Eaton, also an in-studio guest and a state rep from Stoddard called Free Staters in the state house “obstructionist” and accused them of hiding their true political affiliations. He also insulted Keene’s Robin Hooders, calling us “rude” and suggested that we are un-civil. Eaton trotted out the claim, long since proven false, that Robin Hooders “harass” the parking enforcers. Gericke let this slander slide by with no response. Overall, Gericke did well in the interview and did defend independent media when Eaton accused us of “intimidating” senators with our video cameras from the NH senate gallery.
Free State Project President Carla Gericke Keynoting Keenevention 2014
Eaton and a caller accused Free Staters of hiding their true beliefs to get elected. While some people may not be being honest in politics, no one can accuse Keene libertarians of hiding. One caller did point out correctly that Free Staters are running as republicans and democrats because the ballot access for third parties in NH is very difficult and was made that way by the very same people who are complaining about the Free Staters “hiding”.
Eaton specifically attacked Free Keene and suggested that we somehow set up the topless open carry event from several years ago, which we didn’t – we just reported on it. Eaton (or maybe it was Union Leader’s Drew Cline who was also a guest on the show) also called for the FSP to purge its rolls of all anarchists and Carla did not respond. While I personally don’t identify with the term “anarchist”, as I am a voluntarist, I am pretty sure that Carla has referred to herself as an anarchist in the past. Is Carla now a “minarchist” (a supporter of small government) or is she also hiding her true beliefs?
Exchange host Laura Knoy has been made aware in the past that Keene’s Robin Hooders would be happy to appear on her show to address the lies told about us, and she’s never taken us up on it, instead allowing the slander to continue, interview after interview. Carla, despite knowing the truth about us, sits silently rather than defend the peaceful Robin Hooders that brought the Free State Project millions of dollars in good publicity internationally. Further, Carla even labels Keene activists as “shock jocks”. Is that a term only for those of us doing talk radio here or all the controversial activists?