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Thread: Lawsuits and settlements

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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    I've been posting here for a while, and reading posts long before that. Don't take this post as an attack on anyone. It's just a simple (hopefully thought provoking) question. We all know that open carry is still an issue most people don't know about, and many LEOs are not correctly educated on the topic. OCer's rights have been violated before, and it will happen again unfortunately.

    Lawsuitsare neccessary to protect those rights and to send a wakeup call the the agency that is violating those rights. Many times agencies will settle out of court because it is cheaper than paying a lawyer.

    Here's the issue:when we start viewing settlements as a payday. At some point, it has to start hurting the image of Open Carry, right? Think about it: law abiding citizens with firearms and law enforcement should be on the same team. But if we develop the reputation of gold-diggers just looking to make a quick dollar, we put ourselves into a category that will not help our cause. I'm not saying we're there yet, but we must be careful. Examine the motive for carrying: is it self defense, or is it going out looking for a confrontation? Some posts I read it just seems that people walk out the door with a gun on their hip and a chip on the shoulder. (Not a good combination). What do you think?

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    I disagree with you.

    Dissent is patriotic. The buck must stop somewhere and 'following orders' has been established as not an adequate excuse. The chip is on the shoulders of functionaries' and bureaucrats' shoulder' and we patriot activists would knock it off.

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    Here's the issue:when we start viewing settlements as a payday. At some point, it has to start hurting the image of Open Carry, right?


    I don't think that hurts the OC image. If anything, it enhances it. LEO's are far less likely to screw with someone if they think they are going to get sued as a result.

    Think about it: law abiding citizens with firearms and law enforcement should be on the same team.

    Once again, I disagree. Cops sole job in life is to take people's freedom and money away. They are not on my side, at all.

    But if we develop the reputation of gold-diggers just looking to make a quick dollar, we put ourselves into a category that will not help our cause.

    We aren't gold diggers, we are law enforcers. Civil law enforcement. Cops seize property all the time and specifically target cash haulers for drug runners. They take houses, cars, boats, airplanes, and of course cash, and we are the gold diggers?

    This issue is as simple as a person being able to exercise their rights unmolested or not.

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    codename_47 wrote:
    we are law enforcers. Civil law enforcement.
    Great observation well said!! I'll remember that.

    And here comes the Sworn Officers of the Law apologists corps.

    ETA 0818; 'civil' means 'polite' in re my T-shirt idea; dark blue with yellow block letters front and back POLITE

    And more; then we could run screaming up to a SOL "POLITE, POLITE!..."

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    I disagree with you.

    Dissent is patriotic. The buck must stop somewhere and 'following orders' has been established as not an adequate excuse. The chip is on the shoulders of functionaries' and bureaucrats' shoulder' and we patriot activists would knock it off.
    I agree with Doug... Just following orders is not always adequate.

    You should recognise if the order is invalid and understand that an order alone does not give justification to possibly violate the rights of others.

    On the same note... there are occasionswhen there is no time to ask or clarify the order. Hesitation could get people hurt. This is in the most extreme situations.

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    LEO 229 wrote:
    I agree with Doug... Just following orders is not always adequate.
    O.K.,

    Who are you? This post is probable cause that you have kidnapped LEO 229.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Regular Member Deanimator's Avatar
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    dng wrote:
    I've been posting here for a while, and reading posts long before that. Don't take this post as an attack on anyone. It's just a simple (hopefully thought provoking) question. We all know that open carry is still an issue most people don't know about, and many LEOs are not correctly educated on the topic. OCer's rights have been violated before, and it will happen again unfortunately.
    In the most egregious of these cases, it's not a matter of "education" on the cop's part. It's a matter of attitude and respect for the law.

    It's one thing for a cop to MISTAKENLY question or even detain someone briefly, based on a misunderstanding of the law. If he asks someone in authority to clarify when told OC is legal and is RESPECTFUL to the person being questioned or even detained, it's unlikely that he'll get a formal complaint, much less sued. If on the other hand, he's aggressive, arrogant or even verbally and physically abusive and makes no attempt to confirm what he THINKS the law is, he might as well drop those uniform trousers and bend over, 'cause it's coming to him hard and fast. If he furthermore says that he KNOWS the law and plans to violate it or "find a way around it", he isn't even going to be kissed afterward.

    People just aren't the whipped dogs that some cops think they are. If you wilfully violate my rights either through arrogance or malice, I'm going to grab you and make you squeal. If you abuse me the way Chet in VA was abused, not only am I not going to cut you any breaks, I'm going to come after you any way the law permits. And I frankly don't care how much harm that causes you, your family or your Jack Russell terrier. I sneer at sniveling by carjackers and if they get shot, sniveling by their families. Actions have consequences. If you try to rob somebody or commit arson or resist lawful arrest, bad things can happen to you. If you whine about it, you're a punk. The same goes for cops who display contempt for the laws which they're charged with enforcing. If you wilfully violate my rights and I bankrupt you and do everything humanly possible to destroy your career, that's YOUR fault, because I had no means whatever to do that before you INTENTIONALLY harmed me.

    I can't beat the ride, don't even want to. But I'll beat the rap. Wilfully violate my rights and you won't beat the civil suit(s), wage garnishments, divorce action because you can't support your family, etc. Is looking tough REALLY worth all that?


    --- Gun control: The theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists.

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    Campaign Veteran Bookman's Avatar
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    It's a matter of holding them accountable for their behavior. In most cases some correspondence, and eduction of the law is enough to result in a training bulletin to the "cop on the beat". Problem solved.

    Sometimes, though, the behavior of the LEO at time of the incident goes beyond "just doing their job" and borders on fascism. THESE are the cases that require formal complaints and lawsuits.

    Bad behavior requires a bad consequence in equal measure in order to foster the necessary change.

    Yes, most LEOs who violate the laws concerning open carry are doing so out of ignorance. Ignorance is curable. It's the bullies who hide behind the badge who need to be taught a lesson...in whatever legal fashion that requires, including suing their socks off.
    "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke


    "I like people who stand on the Constitution... unless they're using it to wipe their feet." - Jon E Hutcherson

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    No settlement should ever be accepted that doesn't include mandatory remedial training for the jurisdiction's entire force, that emphasizes the relevant gun laws, and the appropriate parts of the Bill of Rights.

    The lawsuit isn't about getting a payday, it's about making sure this particular law enforcement agency doesn't make the same mistakes again.

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    What would be more important to me than a cash settlement, would be to have the court order the offending LEO and his superviserto make a PUBLIC appology for his/her actions and acknowledge their errors. This of course is what i would be wanting in the case of a bullying incedent.

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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    codename_47 wrote:
    I don't think that hurts the OC image. If anything, it enhances it. LEO's are far less likely to screw with someone if they think they are going to get sued as a result.
    It's not about scaring LEO's away with a lawsuit. But I think I understand what you're trying to say.
    Once again, I disagree. Cops sole job in life is to take people's freedom and money away. They are not on my side, at all.
    You are very mistaken.
    We aren't gold diggers, we are law enforcers. Civil law enforcement. Cops seize property all the time and specifically target cash haulers for drug runners. They take houses, cars, boats, airplanes, and of course cash, and we are the gold diggers?

    This issue is as simple as a person being able to exercise their rights unmolested or not.
    Be careful saying that we are all law enforcers. I believe you are talking about a citizen's arrest, which only is legal when a felony is committed in your presence. As for law enforcement seizing property and money, they only enforce what the laws are. If we the people don't like the law, we have to power to change it. Law enforcement can only enforce the laws we give them. When they do overstep, and blatantly overstep their power, and enforce nonexistent laws, that is when lawsuits come into the picture.

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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    Task Force 16 wrote:
    What would be more important to me than a cash settlement, would be to have the court order the offending LEO and his superviserto make a PUBLIC appology for his/her actions and acknowledge their errors. This of course is what i would be wanting in the case of a bullying incedent.
    Exactly! Education will change the actions. If the violation was done out of ignorance, sometimes itwould bebetter for the LEO to be informed, and for him/her to have a positive view of OCers, rather than every time he sees an OCer only thinking of that lawsuit. But every case is different, and when LEOs turn into bullys with a badge, lawsuits do tend to rein them in.

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    What would be more important to me than a cash settlement, would be to have the court order the offending LEO and his superviserto make a PUBLIC appology for his/her actions and acknowledge their errors.

    They can apologize while they are handing me a check. Apologizing without punishment doesn't drive the point home. That's like having a criminal apologize to their victims and then letting them go free. When a cop is pulling overtime for a year to pay for their mistakes, they will understand.

    Be careful saying that we are all law enforcers. I believe you are talking about a citizen's arrest, which only is legal when a felony is committed in your presence. As for law enforcement seizing property and money, they only enforce what the laws are. If we the people don't like the law, we have to power to change it. Law enforcement can only enforce the laws we give them. When they do overstep, and blatantly overstep their power, and enforce nonexistent laws, that is when lawsuits come into the picture.


    I don't need to be careful. We ARE law enforcers when we enforce civil laws. I didn't say anything about citizen's arrests. I am talking about civil lawsuits, which enforce civil laws, the cousin of criminal laws, which the gvt enforces. The law enforcers seize money and property based on criminal laws. I am taking their money/property back using civil laws. I am just enforcing the laws on the books.


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    codename_47 wrote:
    Be careful saying that we are all law enforcers. I believe you are talking about a citizen's arrest, which only is legal when a felony is committed in your presence.
    If you are going to proffer a rule of law, you need to cite to authority for the state in question. What you said above is not true in all states. Do your research, cite to authority.

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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    Sheriff wrote:
    dng wrote:
    Be careful saying that we are all law enforcers. I believe you are talking about a citizen's arrest, which only is legal when a felony is committed in your presence.
    This is nottotally accurate. You, as a private citizen, can cause any person to be arrested for any crime committed in your presence. In the case of a misdemeanor, you simply go to the Magistrate's Office and swear out a warrant for the criminal. The coppers then serve the warrant on the person.


    Agreed. I was refering to actually restraining the person; placing the person under arrest.

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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    Mike wrote:
    codename_47 wrote:
    Be careful saying that we are all law enforcers. I believe you are talking about a citizen's arrest, which only is legal when a felony is committed in your presence.
    If you are going to proffer a rule of law, you need to cite to authority for the state in question. What you said above is not true in all states. Do your research, cite to authority.
    You're correct. I was refering to Virginia, I didn't mean to confuse anyone.

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    dng wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    codename_47 wrote:
    Be careful saying that we are all law enforcers. I believe you are talking about a citizen's arrest, which only is legal when a felony is committed in your presence.
    If you are going to proffer a rule of law, you need to cite to authority for the state in question. What you said above is not true in all states. Do your research, cite to authority.
    I was refering to Virginia, I didn't mean to confuse anyone.
    And you are not correct as to the law of citizen's arrest in Virginia.

    In Virginia, "a citizen's arrest can be made for a breach of the peace . . . as well as a felony." Hudson v. Commonwealth,585 S.E.2d 583, 588 (Va. 2003) ("At common law, a private citizen may arrest another for a breach of the peace committed in his presence. See Gustke, 516 S.E.2d at 291-92; see also Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132, 156-57, 45 S.Ct. 280, 69 L.Ed. 543 (1925) (‘In cases of misdemeanor, a peace officer like a private person has at common law no power of arresting without a warrant except when a breach of the peace has been committed in his presence ....’ (quoting 9 Halsbury's Laws of England 612)); accord W. Page Keeton, ed., Prosser and Keeton on the Law of Torts § 26 (5th ed. 1984) ('Broadly speaking, either an officer or a private citizen may arrest without a warrant to prevent a felony or a breach of the peace which is being committed ... in his presence.') (footnotes omitted).FN6 Despite argument on brief that he could only be the subject of a citizen's arrest for a felony, Hudson conceded at trial that'any normal citizen can pull somebody over for breach of the peace.'") available at http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinio...wp/1022703.pdf.

    "In Byrd v. Commonwealth, 158 Va. 897, 164 S.E. 400 (1932), we described the general parameters of acts constituting a breach of the peace at common law and as recognized in Virginia.“By ‘peace’ as used in the law in this connection, is meant the tranquility enjoyed by the citizens of a municipality or community where good order reigns among its members. It is the natural right of all persons in political society, and any intentional violation of that right is ‘a breach of the peace.’ It is the offense of disturbing the public peace, or a violation of public order or public decorum. Actual personal violence is not an essential element in the offense.” Id. at n.6.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Mike wrote:
    dng wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    codename_47 wrote:
    Be careful saying that we are all law enforcers. I believe you are talking about a citizen's arrest, which only is legal when a felony is committed in your presence.
    If you are going to proffer a rule of law, you need to cite to authority for the state in question. What you said above is not true in all states. Do your research, cite to authority.
    I was refering to Virginia, I didn't mean to confuse anyone.
    And you are not correct as to the law of citizen's arrest in Virginia.

    In Virginia, "a citizen's arrest can be made for a breach of the peace . . . as well as a felony." Hudson v. Commonwealth,585 S.E.2d 583, 588 (Va. 2003) ("At common law, a private citizen may arrest another for a breach of the peace committed in his presence. See Gustke, 516 S.E.2d at 291-92; see also Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132, 156-57, 45 S.Ct. 280, 69 L.Ed. 543 (1925) (‘In cases of misdemeanor, a peace officer like a private person has at common law no power of arresting without a warrant except when a breach of the peace has been committed in his presence ....’ (quoting 9 Halsbury's Laws of England 612)); accord W. Page Keeton, ed., Prosser and Keeton on the Law of Torts § 26 (5th ed. 1984) ('Broadly speaking, either an officer or a private citizen may arrest without a warrant to prevent a felony or a breach of the peace which is being committed ... in his presence.') (footnotes omitted).FN6 Despite argument on brief that he could only be the subject of a citizen's arrest for a felony, Hudson conceded at trial that'any normal citizen can pull somebody over for breach of the peace.'") available at http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinio...wp/1022703.pdf.

    "In Byrd v. Commonwealth, 158 Va. 897, 164 S.E. 400 (1932), we described the general parameters of acts constituting a breach of the peace at common law and as recognized in Virginia.“By ‘peace’ as used in the law in this connection, is meant the tranquility enjoyed by the citizens of a municipality or community where good order reigns among its members. It is the natural right of all persons in political society, and any intentional violation of that right is ‘a breach of the peace.’ It is the offense of disturbing the public peace, or a violation of public order or public decorum. Actual personal violence is not an essential element in the offense.” Id. at n.6.

    Some states rely on Common Law more than others. VA is a good example; so is NH. MA is one that doesn't, neither does CA. See a pattern here?

    Keep in mind that false arrest is a very real consequence to consider when making a so called "citizen's arrest." So is battery if you so much as touch him, and/or aggravated assault, if a weapon's use is threatened.

    Here is a very good article on Common Law that may interest strict constructionists.

    http://www.svpvril.com/OACL.html

    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    http://www.legalaffairs.org/issues/J...h_julaug04.msp

    "The District of Columbia and states such as Virginia and Louisiana limit citizen's arrests to felony-level crimes only, but other states, such as California, permit a private person to make an arrest for a misdemeanor, so long as it's been committed in his presence. "



    One of my sources. I've read it several other places, and I'll try to track them down. Thanks for posting that court case. That's very interesting.

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    dng wrote:
    http://www.legalaffairs.org/issues/J...h_julaug04.msp

    "The District of Columbia and states such as Virginia and Louisiana limit citizen's arrests to felony-level crimes only, but other states, such as California, permit a private person to make an arrest for a misdemeanor, so long as it's been committed in his presence. "

    One of my sources. I've read it several other places, and I'll try to track them down. Thanks for posting that court case. That's very interesting.
    The only source of state law that counts is the highest court of each state.

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    Mike wrote:
    dng wrote:
    http://www.legalaffairs.org/issues/J...h_julaug04.msp

    "The District of Columbia and states such as Virginia and Louisiana limit citizen's arrests to felony-level crimes only, but other states, such as California, permit a private person to make an arrest for a misdemeanor, so long as it's been committed in his presence. "

    One of my sources. I've read it several other places, and I'll try to track them down. Thanks for posting that court case. That's very interesting.
    The only source of state law that counts is the highest court of each state.
    Does this mean we can ignore that pesky General Assembly?
    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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    Here is my take on this matter, having used the services of an attorney once in Olympia, and am in the process of preparing and filing a claim in another area.

    In Olympia because the officers had not yet been fully trained on the matter (but were aware of the legalities of OC) and because OPD was SLOWLY cooperating, they got a very nasty letter that made it abundantly plain what would happen if there were any more problems with OC. No more problems AND the dispatch (which was half the problem and services all of Thurston County) was also trained on the matter.

    In Seattle, the cops have been trained on the matter, they know what is going on, etc... same attorney but is preparing a claim. I won't go into details but part of the process is to try and compell SPD to do better training.

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    Citizen wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    dng wrote:
    http://www.legalaffairs.org/issues/J...h_julaug04.msp

    "The District of Columbia and states such as Virginia and Louisiana limit citizen's arrests to felony-level crimes only, but other states, such as California, permit a private person to make an arrest for a misdemeanor, so long as it's been committed in his presence. "

    One of my sources. I've read it several other places, and I'll try to track them down. Thanks for posting that court case. That's very interesting.
    The only source of state law that counts is the highest court of each state.
    Does this mean we can ignore that pesky General Assembly?
    The legislature writes the text of statutes and can, where it clearly makes plain it is doing so, abrogate the common law. But the courts tell us what the law "is."

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