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  1. #1
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    It's been a while

    Hey guys, it's been a long time, (Approx 3 years) since I've been active on this site. I used to go by the handle Jizzle (I forgot all my login info, hence the change, it needed to be updated anyway).

    I haven't been idle though I promise. As some of you know, I won a lawsuit against the local DPS a while back for arresting me while I was OC in a theater in NM. Since then I have started a 501C3 civil rights group centered around the second amendment with the proceeds from that lawsuit. www.alamogordo2atf.com is our homepage. Please take a second to check it out. But, needless to say it's kept me super busy and I finally got some people to help me with the group and now have some free time to stop and smell the roses. I like the changes on the this site and it looks great, not to mention the amount of growth that the OC movement seems to have gone through since I've been gone. It's awesome.

    So, anyway, back to the business at hand. I'm excited to have the time to stop by from time to time and philosophize and shoot the sh*t. See you guys around.
    Last edited by Matt St. John; 02-06-2013 at 11:30 AM.

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    Thank you for that lawsuit. I assume it is St. John v. McColley? I cite that case all the time! I attribute to that case the Montgomery, AL PD's willingness to apologize to me for unlawfully detaining me and for their now training officers that OC is legal and does not justify a stop. They now know that "should have known" means that not knowing is not an excuse!

    Again, thanks!!!

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    Just dl St.John v McCooley. Until now I wasn't aware of thecase. Yes, it made Interesting reading but I have to ask, did you record any of that action? Was any video taken and if so, are copies avialable? I ask this as I'm assembling all the case law I can find regarding OC and the associated litigation, federal and state, which I can find. As is the case here and freely avialable in the Law Library, "Practicing Pro Se" as assembled, all such case law will be freely made available to any and all who wish access to it.

    tyc

    P.S. By the way, did I say - well done!

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    That is the case. It's over with and hopefully has helped a few people along the way concerning precedent. I'm happy with how it worked out and in hindsight I would have pushed for 2nd Amendment charges as well. But, at the time I was no where near as educated as I am now. Either way, it was a win.


    We have to stand out ground politely and firmly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt St. John View Post
    Either way, it was a win.

    That's good .. curiosity .. what did you win?

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    I won the decision of the court, ultimately. Before I filed suit, I offered the individuals involved the opportunity to apologise and admit fault and walk away from the situation. That didn't happen so I filed. Shortly thereafter I was offered 5 grand as a settlement, I counter offered that if I took the 5 grand the 6 individuals involved would be mandated to take a college level constitutional law/history class at the local university and I would pay for it. They again declined.

    As soon as the summary judgement was handed down in my favor I settled because that was what I was after, validation. We could have taken it all the way to court to solve damages in addition to continuing the battery part of the suit and get more out of it financially, but I had acheived my goal. I got $21,000.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt St. John View Post
    I won the decision of the court, ultimately. Before I filed suit, I offered the individuals involved the opportunity to apologise and admit fault and walk away from the situation. That didn't happen so I filed. Shortly thereafter I was offered 5 grand as a settlement, I counter offered that if I took the 5 grand the 6 individuals involved would be mandated to take a college level constitutional law/history class at the local university and I would pay for it. They again declined.

    As soon as the summary judgement was handed down in my favor I settled because that was what I was after, validation. We could have taken it all the way to court to solve damages in addition to continuing the battery part of the suit and get more out of it financially, but I had acheived my goal. I got $21,000.
    I assume that the settlement included a statement where they denied guilt? I assume a summary judgement was filed by the defendants and then they lost that? Its not hard to get over a summary judgment hurdle ..

    Civil court proceedings in this country, all of them, are for money. Its all about $$..not principles, not anything other than $$.

    If you were happy with the cash, 20K is nothing to sneeze at (if in your pocket $$), then that's good.

    Usually 40K is the cost for a trial ... normally they'll settle for that ... if you have a decent case that could swing against them. Maybe NM is cheaper to litigate..
    Last edited by davidmcbeth; 02-06-2013 at 03:37 PM.

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    They were wrong, they know it and no it did not come with a statement of non-guilt. The settlement was in leu of damages that would be decided later in court. Yes the court would have cost them more, I wasn't in there to stick it to the man for as much money as possible or anything along those lines. There overall bill was in the 6 figures as it was. Again, once the verdict came down, I wanted to be done with it as soon as possible.

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    I have had conversations with numerous police officers about just this case and its possible long term effects on the officers careers. Local officers seem to feel such judgements have no long term effect on their career --or no effect at all. Does this loss of this case cause the officer's credibility to be questioned in future cases having the same nature? My contention is that it does--the officer/officers have, as a matter of public record, a history of violating someone's civil rights (and willingly so) all done in violation of well established law.

  10. #10
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    Wowwie!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Thank you for that lawsuit. I assume it is St. John v. McColley? I cite that case all the time! I attribute to that case the Montgomery, AL PD's willingness to apologize to me for unlawfully detaining me and for their now training officers that OC is legal and does not justify a stop. They now know that "should have known" means that not knowing is not an excuse!

    Again, thanks!!!
    I am flabbergassed that THEE St John,, is here!
    I was following your case since Before you even got to court!!
    I was shocked and happy for how simply the judge slapped down the illegal actions of those cops!
    And like eye95, I have cited it, referenced it, and linked it, dozens and dozens of times!
    I conciddered a Land Mark case for open carriers everywhere...

    Welcome back! Thank you for that time and effort!
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

    All power is inherent in the people,
    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

  11. #11
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    As a resident of Utah, part of the 10th Federal District Court, I say, Thank you for this Mr St. John
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
    If one is not willing to stand for his rights, he doesn't have any Rights.
    I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
    As said by SVG--- "I am not anti-COP, I am PRO-Citizen" and I'll add, PRO-Constitution.
    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

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    2nd amendment says.... "...The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"

  12. #12
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    Unhappy

    Glad it worked out for you and you did not get hurt.

    Sadly from the comments in your local paper after the judge ruled, it looks like they (PD) will continue to violate open carriers rights.

    http://www.alamogordonews.com/ci_13441455

    Snips: ADPS Director Sam Trujillo said police will abide by the court's decision.

    "I do support the action of the officers who responded to a call of a man with a gun inside a movie theater," Trujillo said. "I support the officers' professionalism they displayed. I also support the ability of a property owner or manager of a business to not allow a person on their property with a gun."

    Attorney Jamie Sullivan represented the city and McColley in the case.

    Sullivan said it seemed logical to him that police should investigate a complaint by citizens about a man with a gun in a theater, watching a movie about assassins.

    "There's a man with a loaded gun in a theater," he said. "The manager calls the police. The manager says there's a man in the theater with a gun. It turns out he had a loaded gun with a bullet in the chamber."

    Sullivan said police only talked to St. John about it.

    "It seems that it might be reasonable conduct to me," he said. "If my daughter were in a theater, a guy had a loaded gun and people were complaining about it, then it might be a good idea to have the police at least talk to him."

    Sullivan said police knew St. John had not violated any law.

    "We were just going to have a conversation with the man about a loaded gun in a crowed theater, where the movie is about assassins," he said. "I think it was a very technical decision on the Fourth Amendment."

    Sullivan said he believes police officers will continue to check on calls from theater managers about people with a gun in a theater.


    "I would hope the police would investigate," he said. "The police were just there for public safety, instead of after the fact if something were to happen. It was not a Second Amendment case."

    Oh how good some are at bending/breaking the law they swore an oath to uphold.
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  13. #13
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    It's been a while

    -- He's right that it is not a 2A case. It's a 4A case.

    -- IIRC, the officer did more than just talk to St. John.

    -- The movie was about assassins. So?

    -- Police can check on a MWAG call without rousting the carrier. If they train 911 operators well, they won't have to respond at all to most calls. Eventually the public will learn, and MWAG calls will be reduced.

    -- If the police leadership calls the officer's actions "professional" in the light of this ruling, I wonder about their "professionalism."


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  14. #14
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    I applaud your "victory."
    St. John's friend was not carrying a gun.

    Officers ordered St. John to stand up with his hands in sight, then seized St. John by his arms and physically removed him from the theater, according to records.

    Once St. John was outside the building, officers conducted an invasive pat-down search of St. John and repeatedly asked him why he was in possession of a firearm.

    According to court records, St. John responded that he was exercising his Second Amendment right to possess a firearm under the U.S. Constitution.

    While still outside the theater, officers continued to question St. John, removed his wallet and Walther .45-caliber handgun, ran a check on his handgun and only returned the handgun to St. John at the end of their encounter.
    Now, the above facts stand in stark contrast to the claims made by the city.

    Sullivan said police only talked to St. John about it.

    Sullivan said police knew St. John had not violated any law.

    "We were just going to have a conversation with the man about a loaded gun in a crowed theater, where the movie is about assassins," he said. "I think it was a very technical decision on the Fourth Amendment."
    It is odd that the false arrest and battery claims were denied given the facts as described by the judge. How on earth could a court deny these criminal complaints.

    Black wrote in his opinion and order, "the undisputed facts that Mr. St. John's seizure and search was unreasonable."

    Black continued in his opinion that "the defendants (officers) lacked a justifiable suspicion that St. John had committed a crime, was committing a crime or was about to commit a crime."

    In his written opinion, Black also stated "nor was there any reason to believe a crime was afoot."

    He stated in his opinion that the defendants simply received a report that an individual was carrying a firearm in a location where individuals could lawfully carry firearms.

    Black wrote, "Nor did anyone seem particularly alarmed by Mr. St. John's weapon. Indeed, the record does not reveal that anyone, including the lone customer who spoke to officer McColley about Mr. St. John's gun, was even concerned enough to have left the theater as a result."
    It was a "victory" for Mr. St. John, it certainly was not a "victory" where holding the city and their employees accountable for their unlawful actions is a goal. Based on the linked article the city and the employees were not held accountable, only the tax payer was held accountable.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  15. #15
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    Well,,,

    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    snip....
    It was a "victory" for Mr. St. John, it certainly was not a "victory" where holding the city and their employees accountable for their unlawful actions is a goal. Based on the linked article the city and the employees were not held accountable, only the tax payer was held accountable.
    It is my cloudy recollection,,, that this case was brought under 42 usc 1983,, rights violation...
    This would mean that the Individual Cops were responsable for the money to St. John,,, not the city...

    Even if I am wrong,,, We are wrong,,, Everybody is wrong,,, it dont matter,,,
    It Was a WONDERFULL Thing,,, and we all can be happy!!
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

    All power is inherent in the people,
    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1245A Defender View Post
    It is my cloudy recollection,,, that this case was brought under 42 usc 1983,, rights violation...
    This would mean that the Individual Cops were responsible for the money to St. John,,, not the city...

    Even if I am wrong,,, We are wrong,,, Everybody is wrong,,, it don't matter,,,
    It Was a WONDERFULL Thing,,, and we all can be happy!!
    The city and the cops were not held accountable. The tax payers had to pay the city's legal fees. The criminal claims should have been allowed to proceed. A 4A "victory" using the 42 USC 1983 route does not hold to account the criminal acts perpetrated against Mr. St. John. When thug cops are held criminally liable for unlawful acts then cities and cops change their behavior rather quickly. When it is a money thing it is likely that insurance pays the bill. Even then a six figure payout sends a powerful message to thug cops.

    The facts are not in dispute. Mr. St. John was battered and falsely arrested, those two acts are criminal in NM if I am not mistaken.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    The tax payers were not held accountable. Each DPS officer has insurance through the department for civil suits and that is what is used to settle and pay for representation. So the departments premiums went up as did the individual officers. How much? I have no idea. I do know that they went up.

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    Concerning MWAG calls, there is going to be a very big group of us in Santa Fe NM tomorrow to protest NM's version of the Assault Weapons ban. I'll be OCing an Saiga AK as well as my normal 1911 carry gun. Quite a few others will be doing similar.

  19. #19
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    What??

    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    The city and the cops were not held accountable. The tax payers had to pay the city's legal fees. The criminal claims should have been allowed to proceed. A 4A "victory" using the 42 USC 1983 route does not hold to account the criminal acts perpetrated against Mr. St. John. When thug cops are held criminally liable for unlawful acts then cities and cops change their behavior rather quickly. When it is a money thing it is likely that insurance pays the bill. Even then a six figure payout sends a powerful message to thug cops.

    The facts are not in dispute. Mr. St. John was battered and falsely arrested, those two acts are criminal in NM if I am not mistaken.
    What you trying to say??
    Did he do good?

    Meh....
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

    All power is inherent in the people,
    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

  20. #20
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    LEO's are protected from criminal prosecution unless their intent can be proved to be other than the performance of their duties.

  21. #21
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt St. John View Post
    The tax payers were not held accountable. Each DPS officer has insurance through the department for civil suits and that is what is used to settle and pay for representation. So the departments premiums went up as did the individual officers. How much? I have no idea. I do know that they went up.
    Where do the funds to pay the premiums originate. No matter how removed the taxpayer is from the disbursement government employees are paid via tax dollars. Their budgets also rely upon the tax payer. Now, NM may have some form of non-tax payer funding scheme that would make them the exception to the rule.

    I did state that it was a victory for Mr. St. John. The obvious can not be ignored. But, it is the rare occasion where a wronged citizen can easily "stick it to the man." A very powerful message could have been sent. Mr. St. John clearly indicated that he had no desire to do such a thing and thus a opportunity was lost. His case is one more case that we can cite.

    No sour grapes, just a simple observation.

    Meh...
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  22. #22
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt St. John View Post
    LEO's are protected from criminal prosecution unless their intent can be proved to be other than the performance of their duties.
    That is true. But the article simply states that the claims were denied.
    St. John, 27, also had filed a claim for false arrest and battery, but the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico in Las Cruces denied it.
    Is that the same as the officers were proven to have acted lawfully? That their acts were reviewed given the proven facts available to them at that time and in the context of the current law? The article does not delve into that aspect of your experience.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  23. #23
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    The request for summary judgement on those counts were denied, that doesn't mean that they were not guilty of it. We would have had to take it all the way to court which would have been iceing on the cake but not nessesary because the summary judgement was already affirmed for the (in my mind) important aspects of the case being the 4th amendment violations.

    You again have to realize that this was over 4 years ago, you can learn a whole lot in 4 years and I have. If I was presented with the same opportunity again would I have reacted differently? Yep, but that's the issue with hindsite it's 20/20. I would have handled the entire situation differently including the actual event.

    Again, you can't second guess the past, you just end up with a headache, you can just learn and move on. For an inexperienced (at that point nieve and ignorant) american it came out pretty good in the end.

  24. #24
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    So to answer your question, the individual officers pay for their own insurance. Also, the failure of the summary judgement to find them guilting of battery did not mean that they were found to be lawful in that regard. It's just a summary judgement.

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    Matt,

    Is there an on-line source for all the judgements/opinions in your case?

    I ask because I swear I read a court opinion in your case where the court cited Union Pacific Rail Co. vs Botsford--"No right is held more sacred...free from all restraint and interference unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law." Yet, when I read the final decision, I couldn't find it.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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