New Keene District Court Judge Erin B McIntyre Smacks Down Prosecutor
Keene, NH business owner Christopher Waid received a parking ticket when he was downtown in late 2017 and immediately went to the parking department in the city building to demand his right to a trial. While inside the building, he received a second ticket on his car! He also immediately filed for his trial on that one. The double ticket trial was slated for early April and would involve two of the three Keene parking enforcers, meaning they couldn’t be on the streets victimizing other peaceful motorists if they are sitting in a courtroom! Even if Chris had lost the trials, just keeping the enforcers off the streets for a couple hours is a win on its own.
Chris entered the Keene District Court to face down the charges on April 9th and emerged victorious, with both tickets dismissed by new Keene judge Erin B McIntyre. (Longtime district court judge Edward J Burke is recently semi-retired and is only doing fill-in work.) Chris brilliantly challenged both parking tickets on technicalities. The first ticket was thrown out by McIntyre because the location of the alleged offense was not correct and the second ticket was tossed because parking enforcer Linda Desruisseaux lazily cited the wrong section of city code. Many judges would have simply allowed the prosecutor to amend the tickets upon request but McIntyre wasn’t letting the prosecutor have any slack! The exasperated Keene police prosecutor, Eleanor Moran, upon the second dismissal vowed she’d be filing a motion to reconsider, however she never did, according to court records. Here’s the full trial video:
There are a couple of important lessons here. (more…)
New Hampshire Public Radio Posts Feature on NH Freedom Migration
Thanks to New Hampshire Public Radio reporter Taylor Quimby (originally from the Keene area) for his detailed and well-researched report on the Free State Project, which delves into the history of the project, the diversity of opinions of its movers, their effectiveness and impact in New Hampshire, including plenty of focus on Free Keene – one of the top blogs in NH that chronicles the NH Freedom Migration, focusing on Keene.
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.)