“Milford Hat Incident” Pops Up Again In News

Jesse and Charlie’s arrests for questioning the court dress code in Milford has been brought up again in a recent Nashua Telegraph article reposted in the Keene Sentinel. Judge Crocker of the court and Dave Ridley of ridleyreport.com were interviewed regarding the court rules, and confusion over them.

Hats on? Hats off? The ‘Great Hat Spat’ continues
Telegraph of Nashua
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 12:28 PM EDT
The “Great Hat Spat” in Milford District Court continues to live online.

A libertarian Internet site has reported that Milford District Court seems to have loosened its rules following the conclusion of the February event, in which two Keene men were arrested for refusing to remove their hats, but the judge says otherwise.

Dave Ridley of New Hampshire, who runs a site called RidleyReport.com, posted a video recently in which he said the court has loosened the rules.

Milford District Court Judge Martha Crocker has allowed people to wear hats after they filed a motion asking for permission to do so “or something like that,” Ridley wrote.

Last week, however, after a reporter asked Crocker about Ridley’s video, the judge said the court’s rules and procedures have not changed since last winter. Crocker said people have always had the right to file motions to the court for any purpose.

Motions are simply requests of a judge. An example of a typical motion would be a request from a newspaper to allow cameras in the courtroom.

In a phone interview, Ridley said it hadn’t been clear to anyone that filing a motion to wear hats was an option until recently.

The Great Hat Spat concluded when Corey Moloney, 21, and Charles Gerlach, 19, were found guilty by Judge Paul Moore. After their trials, Moore followed the Milford police prosecutor’s recommendation to free them after the one day of time they already spent in custody.

The men were part of a libertarian group protesting for the release of Michael Barskey, 38, of 4 Martin St. in Derry, who was facing charges for failing to appear in court Jan. 15. Amherst police arrested Barskey on Jan. 2 on charges he was carrying a loaded handgun without a license and transporting a bottle of beer with a broken seal in his car.

The hat spat wasn’t the only notable run-in the libertarians have had with Milford District Court. In 2007, Lauren Canario, who made headlines for protesting the police’s right to ask for license and registration during a motor vehicle stop.

Canario, then 50, of 161 Old Ashuelot Road in Winchester, was pulled over for speeding on Route 101A on Oct. 3, 2007, at 12:12 a.m. She told Milford police officer George Durham she had no license and registration and refused to identify herself. Then she flopped like a rag doll when police attempted to remove her from the car.

She was charged with disobeying a police officer, resisting arrest, driving after suspension. Her husband, Jim Johnson, captured the incident on a camcorder and posted the footage online.

She refused to appear in court and spent just over a month in jail.

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  1. Surprised they didn't look to speak to me personally. But then, they did spell my name wrong and get my age wrong…

  2. The reporter called me and didn't ask for any contact info for anyone, nor did he apparently use my eyewitness account I related to him of Jesse not having to fill out anything to be allowed to wear his hat and instead used Ridley's speculative, second-hand account.

  3. Nick – If there is any confusion, my name is Charlie and I have no connection with a different Free Keene commenter who goes by "Charley" and "Charley Hardman." Other than that, I am surprised this popped up again months later in the mainstream press.

  4. Updated. I apologize

  5. Hey Jesse / Corey, how about giving me a call sometime, since your cell has been out of service for over two months? The next time you appear in court, you know you want me there to film it, don't you??

  6. Chad–

    Of course. My last cell is gone, and I have a new one, but didn't salvage the numbers >.>

    You can reach me at AnarchoJesse@gmail.com, and we'll catch up buddy.

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