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Thread: May be traveling to Birmingham--stop over on vacation

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    May be traveling to Birmingham--stop over on vacation

    So, I may be traveling through Birmingham in the near future--about to take a vacation and road trip.

    Could you all tell me how friendly/unfriendly Alabama in general and Birmingham in particular is toward those who OC in particular but carry in general?

    Are LEOs professional--meaning will they approach you aggressively even when you are minding your own business? Will they knowingly and willfully violate your rights or just looking for reasons to cause you grief? Do they (a)know the laws and (b) abide by them instead of trying to make things up as they go along?

    While in summer I would rather not cover up--weapon a bit large so as to make it highly uncomfortable to cover--I will print regardless, and I don't like wearing baggy clothes to begin with--personal taste on my part. Winter is easy to cover with a jacket--spring and summer are totally different animals.

    I'm the type of person who minds his own business--I guess what I am asking is--what kind of issues can one expect when coming to Birmingham?

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    In Alabama, OC is legal and requires no permit.

    Exceptions: You need a permit to carry in a car. You need a permit to carry in a school zone. You may not carry within 1000 feet of a demonstration.

    Birmingham has a few officer who have expressed a desire to hassle OCers. One of our own was convicted today of disorderly conduct. We fully expect him to win on appeal. The trial was not a jury trial and decision was capricious and arbitrary. It could not possibly have been based on the law as written. Just don't tempt any Birmingham cops, who may be feeling a bit emboldened to try it again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    In Alabama, OC is legal and requires no permit.

    Exceptions: You need a permit to carry in a car. You need a permit to carry in a school zone. You may not carry within 1000 feet of a demonstration.

    Birmingham has a few officer who have expressed a desire to hassle OCers. One of our own was convicted today of disorderly conduct. We fully expect him to win on appeal. The trial was not a jury trial and decision was capricious and arbitrary. It could not possibly have been based on the law as written. Just don't tempt any Birmingham cops, who may be feeling a bit emboldened to try it again.
    I just read the Alabama Code Section "13A-11-7
    Disorderly conduct.

    (a) A person commits the crime of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he:

    (1) Engages in fighting or in violent tumultuous or threatening behavior; or

    (2) Makes unreasonable noise; or

    (3) In a public place uses abusive or obscene language or makes an obscene gesture; or

    (4) Without lawful authority, disturbs any lawful assembly or meeting of persons; or

    (5) Obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic, or a transportation facility; or

    (6) Congregates with other person in a public place and refuses to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse.

    (b) Disorderly conduct is a Class C misdemeanor.
    (Acts 1977, No. 607, p. 812, 5525.)"

    I wish someone could explain to me how lawful OC when you are minding your own business can constitute DC? That is the problem across the border in TN--the DC statute is a catchall that can be used when they know you are within the law and they just want to get into a measuring contest to see who has the biggest one just because they can....I have absolutely NO use for disorderly conduct statutes...

    Here is to hoping he wins on appeal.

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    The judge said that he violated (1). The simple act of carry must have constituted "violent tumultuous or threatening behavior."

    If the simple exercise of a right can be outlawed in such a round-about way, they are not rights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    The judge said that he violated (1). The simple act of carry must have constituted "violent tumultuous or threatening behavior."

    If the simple exercise of a right can be outlawed in such a round-about way, they are not rights.
    Ok, so I'm confused 13A-11-7(a) clearly specifies that there must be INTENT to commit said act of violent, tumultuous, or threatening behavior....

    So where is the INTENT in merely exercising a God given Constitutional right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by suntzu View Post
    Ok, so I'm confused 13A-11-7(a) clearly specifies that there must be INTENT to commit said act of violent, tumultuous, or threatening behavior....

    So where is the INTENT in merely exercising a God given Constitutional right?
    Intent or reckless disregard.

    The problem I have is solely that the simple act of exercising a right, if it "alarms" someone, can be outlawed. If such is the case, the "right" is not a right.

    Quote from the judge: "In my opinion, I find that him walking down the street, carrying a rifle for no reason, to be threatening." The prosecutor did not even try to put forth one of the six actions that must be an element of the crime. This judge agreed that they should have, so she gave them a leg up and picked (1). Then she uttered her unconstitutional opinion quoted above.

    She is a disgrace.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Intent or reckless disregard.

    The problem I have is solely that the simple act of exercising a right, if it "alarms" someone, can be outlawed. If such is the case, the "right" is not a right.

    Quote from the judge: "In my opinion, I find that him walking down the street, carrying a rifle for no reason, to be threatening." The prosecutor did not even try to put forth one of the six actions that must be an element of the crime. This judge agreed that they should have, so she gave them a leg up and picked (1). Then she uttered her unconstitutional opinion quoted above.

    She is a disgrace.
    Do you have a link? I'd like to see the case. Was the rifle loaded? What kind? How was he carrying it, slung, port arms, two hands in firing position? This is different from holstered, OC of a handgun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    Do you have a link? I'd like to see the case. Was the rifle loaded? What kind? How was he carrying it, slung, port arms, two hands in firing position? This is different from holstered, OC of a handgun.
    He was sitting in a park (not walking, as the judge opined, even though that should not matter), playing chess with a homeless man. The rifle was loaded and slung. Open is the only lawful way in Alabama to carry a long gun. Not one alarmed citizen was called to the stand. Both officer said, "NO," when specifically asked if Jonathon had done each of the six enumerated behaviors that could constitute DC.

    Read more at http://alabamaopencarry.com/forum/in...p?topic=1218.0 .

    We are hoping to get one of the recordings posted or a transcript posted. The accounts posted are from folks who attended the trial.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    He was sitting in a park (not walking, as the judge opined, even though that should not matter), playing chess with a homeless man. The rifle was loaded and slung. Open is the only lawful way in Alabama to carry a long gun. Not one alarmed citizen was called to the stand. Both officer said, "NO," when specifically asked if Jonathon had done each of the six enumerated behaviors that could constitute DC.

    Read more at http://alabamaopencarry.com/forum/in...p?topic=1218.0 .

    We are hoping to get one of the recordings posted or a transcript posted. The accounts posted are from folks who attended the trial.
    The cops arrested him and then essentially said they had no grounds? And the judge found him guilty. What BS. Thanx for the info.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    (a) A person commits the crime of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he:
    (1) Engages in fighting or in violent tumultuous or threatening behavior; or

    (2) Makes unreasonable noise; or

    (3) In a public place uses abusive or obscene language or makes an obscene gesture; or

    (4) Without lawful authority, disturbs any lawful assembly or meeting of persons; or

    (5) Obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic, or a transportation facility; or

    (6) Congregates with other person in a public place and refuses to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse.

    He violated none of the enumerated grounds for conviction. Black, female judge spells quota loud and clear. Appeal is based on an error of law, not fact. He has solid grounds for appeal--no intent was shown nor did he act in reckless disregard of accepted norms in an OC state. This is an outrageous affront to justice.

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    One thing occurred to me... The DC statue requires an alarmed party.

    What if the alarmed party was a police officer or deputy? What if the alarmed party was an off-duty police officer or deputy?

    Birmingham tried to build a disorderly conduct case against three men last year; the alarmed party was a female police officer. Instead, the watch commander was summoned and ordered the armed people to disperse.

    In Alabama, the right to bear arms extends to all persons. Certain exemptions have been made for peace officers in the official execution of their duties.

    I ran into an off-duty deputy at an event and he confronted me and told me point blank that if he were on duty, he'd arrest me on the spot, that Alabama is not an OC state. At some point in the conversation I asked him "who is the alarmed party?" and he responded: "I am!" I didn't argue the point after that. Luck would have it that a retired LEO of 31 years was seated nearby and corrected him on his position on OC.

    I later got an email apology from him after pointing him to some cases upholding my position on OC. He has said he will pass the word along inside the organization. Then I pointed him to St. John V McColley... haven't heard from him since.

    But I digress. I think that needs to be cleared up, somehow. I don't believe that a police officer, as an "expert in law" (has the law close at hand, on computer, in the patrol car), should qualify as an alarmed party for the purposes of Disorderly Conduct.
    It takes a village to raise an idiot.

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    Hate to say I told you so, but, as I have stated previously, no one in an Alabama city court trial can expect to be found not guilty when a not guilty verdict would put the city the judge is employed by in jeopardy of being sued. The sad part of this case, as in many others, is that notice must have been given the city that intent to file suit by the arrested party within 6 months of the arrest. Not 6 months after being found not guilty.
    Unless, in this case, Johnathan's attorney notified the city of Birmingham of his intent to file suit within 6 months of the arrest, a suit would be filed in vain. Alabama law specifies municipalities must be given notice of an intended suit within that time frame, or a lawsuit WILL be dismissed. The best you can hope for is a not guity verdict in circuit court, but a suit is out of the question absent the conditions mentioned above.
    If HB23 passes both houses and is signed into law, then you might be able to escape with a clean record
    City court judges, and I use the term loosely, are a political appointment, serve at the pleasure of those politicians who appointed them, are are not going to jeopardise their lucrative salary by not protecting the city's interests.
    An appeal to circuit court is the standard course of action in a case like this. Minimum fee will be around $2500 in advance.
    You are in for a several year ordeal, approximately 5 years from date of arrest to end of a real jury trial.
    City court judges don't amount to a pimple on the ass of a real judge, one who is elected by the people.
    I am sorry to hear of the outcome, but not the least bit surprised.

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    Regular Member Kingfish's Avatar
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    As someone who has been following open carry in Alabama for a few years, I personally would advise a visitor to not OCing anywhere in Alabama except in those locals that are actively OC friendly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AirBear View Post
    Hate to say I told you so, but, as I have stated previously, no one in an Alabama city court trial can expect to be found not guilty when a not guilty verdict would put the city the judge is employed by in jeopardy of being sued. The sad part of this case, as in many others, is that notice must have been given the city that intent to file suit by the arrested party within 6 months of the arrest. Not 6 months after being found not guilty.
    Unless, in this case, Johnathan's attorney notified the city of Birmingham of his intent to file suit within 6 months of the arrest, a suit would be filed in vain. Alabama law specifies municipalities must be given notice of an intended suit within that time frame, or a lawsuit WILL be dismissed. The best you can hope for is a not guity verdict in circuit court, but a suit is out of the question absent the conditions mentioned above.
    If HB23 passes both houses and is signed into law, then you might be able to escape with a clean record
    City court judges, and I use the term loosely, are a political appointment, serve at the pleasure of those politicians who appointed them, are are not going to jeopardise their lucrative salary by not protecting the city's interests.
    An appeal to circuit court is the standard course of action in a case like this. Minimum fee will be around $2500 in advance.
    You are in for a several year ordeal, approximately 5 years from date of arrest to end of a real jury trial.
    City court judges don't amount to a pimple on the ass of a real judge, one who is elected by the people.
    I am sorry to hear of the outcome, but not the least bit surprised.
    I hate to hear that info! I took off work and drove down to B'ham to hear the case. I was disappointed to say the least.

    I was holding out a little glimmer of hope that the city could end up being sued. But if you are correct, and I have no reason to doubt you, he is sol all the way around.

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    The State of Alabama cannot put any limits on the bringing of a federal lawsuit. This lawsuit would be federal, based on the violation of 4A rights.

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    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    The State of Alabama cannot put any limits on the bringing of a federal lawsuit. This lawsuit would be federal, based on the violation of 4A rights.
    True, but it is still good information to know for future encounters/arrests. Any chance you can cite the Title and section, AirBear? If not, I'll look it up eventually.

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    Unfortunately I am citing from experience. I just had a lawsuit against a police officer and city dismissed for that very reason. My first attorney, who was about as useless as **** on a boar hog, advised me I would have to wait until a not guilt verdict before filing suit. Not true, I should have filed imediately. Lesson learned, won't happen again. But I highly doubt any officer from that one horse town will ever mess with me again.
    Looked into filing suit against the attorney, but learned from the attorneys I consulted for that purpose that I would have to prove that I would have collected on the original suit to win against the sorry attorney.
    Attorneys write the laws my friend, to cover their asses.
    Anyone even considering using using a Montgomery attorney with the name of Hooper, please get in touch with me for an opinion of his qualifications to represent you in a professional manner.

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    What you are citing cannot possibly be an Alabama law regarding federal lawsuits. It could be a federal law that places the limit on federal suits, or it could be a State law placing limits on suits under State law.

    However, the State of Alabama cannot place restrictions on federal lawsuits.

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    The last post by eye95 is correct.
    I sued under Alabama law. I was advised by my attorney that filed the suit that he wished we could have filed on the federal level. I do not know what the requirements are for qualifying for a federal level vs state level lawsuit.
    My experience i was explaining was solely relating to Alabama law.
    Believe me, I would file a federal lawsuit for violation of civil rights in a heartbeat if I learned that it would be possible to do so and I could locate an attorney who would take the case on a contingency basis.
    Any competent attorneys out there reading this, private message me and we will talk.
    Last edited by AirBear; 03-14-2011 at 09:32 PM.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AirBear View Post
    The last post by eye95 is correct.
    I sued under Alabama law. I was advised by my attorney that filed the suit that he wished we could have filed on the federal level. I do not know what the requirements are for qualifying for a federal level vs state level lawsuit.
    My experience i was explaining was solely relating to Alabama law.
    Believe me, I would file a federal lawsuit for violation of civil rights in a heartbeat if I learned that it would be possible to do so and I could locate an attorney who would take the case on a contingency basis.
    Any competent attorneys out there reading this, private message me and we will talk.
    Nothing prevents you from filing a Federal lawsuit under 1983 except statutes of limitation, the same as in state courts. And in almost all cases, they are the same length. Here is an excellent analysis with multiple citations as well as laymen term explanations.

    http://www.constitution.org/brief/fo...983.htm#_edn68

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