The Robin Hood lawsuit story has gone global! Thanks to Joshua Gardner of the Daily Mail in the UK for his story about Robin Hood of Keene and the city’s lawsuit against us:
A town has filed suit against a group that walks around refilled the parking meters of strangers in an activity they call Robin Hooding.
Named for the classic do-gooder and their town of residence, Keene, New Hampsire, members of ‘Robin Hood of Keene’ are accused of harassing the city’s parking enforcement officers in a civil suit filed May 2.
The group denies this, however. They say the city is just mad because of lost revenue from parking tickets.
When the group, which is also goes by Robin Hood and His Merry Men, finds an expired meter they refill it with change and then place a card notifying the car’s own what has happened.
‘Your meter expired,’ read the notes. ‘However, we saved you from the king’s tariffs, Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Please consider paying it forward.’
Also on the note is an address where those inclined can send money to the ‘Robin Hooders.’
The city of Keene’s lawsuit alleges the group has ‘regularly, repeatedly, and intentionally taunted, interfered with, harassed, and intimidated the PEOs [parking enforcement officers] in the performance of their employment.’
The suit names six members of the group and formally requests the court bar them from coming within 50 feet of the PEOs while they are on duty.
‘Besides following me,’ writes PEO Linda Desruisseaux in the suit, ‘crowding around me, making video recordings of my activities, and placing coins in expired meters to prevent me from writing tickets, these individuals repeatedly taunt and harass me.’
The Robin Hooders, of course, disagree.
‘Robin Hooding is about saving people from getting parking tickets,’ writes member James Cleaveland (aka James Robin Hood) on a website associated with the group called FreeKeene.com. ‘The city has resorted to a civil case against me and others instead of a criminal one providing more evidence that no criminal actions were committed.’
Cleaveland claims the group has stopped the city from issuing 4,000 tickets.
Youtube videos of the group’s activities posted show members approaching and speaking to several parking officers. In most cases the officers try to avoid or ignore the Robin Hooders.