Update #2 - January 6, 2003:
This is an update on the unlawful multi-jurisdictional roadblock that took place on Arizona SR86 on December 20, 2002.
I've just finished putting together an email list consisting of individuals who have shown an interest in keeping up to date on the roadblock incident that occurred on December 20th, 2002. I've received several hundred emails from across the country and as far away as Australia. With limited time to respond to each one individually, I thought I'd setup an email list to send out periodic updates. The vast majority of responses have been very supportive & I'd like to thank everyone for your interest, support and recommendations.
After a meeting in Mesa, Arizona last week, Marc Victor with the law firm
"I refuse to consent to any search whatsoever. As such, I do not consent to a search of my premises, my person, my immediate location or any vehicle or affects. I hereby exercise my rights as enumerated by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution as well as Article Two of the Arizona Constitution...".
This is definitely the mind set I want representing me in the court room.
My initial court appearance was scheduled for January 3rd. The law firm filed a Notice of Appearance with the Ajo Justice court along with some other paperwork to put the court on notice that I was being represented and we would be seeking a jury trial along with full discovery. This notice also served to stand in my place with regards to appearing. I wasn't able to verify this with the court though until about 0830 Friday morning - a short time before I was scheduled to appear.
I learned later in the day that the Tohono O'odham police had NOT filed the required paperwork with the court by close of business on Friday. It would seem that the police had plenty of time to illegally stop and detain me, threaten me with lethal force, bodily drag me out of my vehicle, & place me in a state of arrest for over three hours but couldn't find time in over two weeks to file a copy of the complaint with the Justice Court. This is curious considering that Arizona law at 28-1558A requires the following:
"On issuing a traffic complaint to an alleged violator of any provision of the motor vehicle laws of this state or of any traffic ordinance of any city or town, each traffic enforcement officer shall deposit the original or a copy of the traffic citation with a court having jurisdiction over the alleged offense or with its traffic violations bureau."
Further 28-1558C reads:
"It is unlawful and official misconduct for any traffic enforcement officer or other officer or public employee to dispose of a traffic complaint or copies of a traffic complaint or of the record of the issuance of the complaint or copies in a manner other than as required by this article."
Any & all discussions I engage in regarding legal matters are based solely on my own research and should not be construed as legal advice in any way. I am not a lawyer but neither do I consider legal matters to be outside my ability to grasp. If we are all expected to obey the law, we must by necessity understand the obligations placed on us by the law. The law in turn ultimately has to be understandable. With this said, I'd like to point out a few aspects of Arizona law that seem to be applicable to this situation. I'll start with sections from Article 2 of the Arizona Constitution:
"Section 1. Fundamental principles, recurrence to
A frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is essential to the security of individual rights and the perpetuity of free government.
Section 2. Political Power; purpose of government
All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.
Section 3. Supreme law of the land
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land."
What's important to note here is that the Arizona Constitution clearly recognizes that the primary purpose of government is to protect and maintain INDIVIDUAL rights & that to do this, frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is necessary. I must then ask myself how stopping an individual at a roadblock with neither probable cause nor ANY level of suspicion of wrongdoing furthers government's legitimate goal of protecting and maintaining individual rights?
When I look at Arizona's criminal code in title 13, I find the following at ARS 13-101:
"It is declared that the public policy of this state and the general purposes of the provisions of this title are:
1. To proscribe conduct that unjustifiably and inexcusably causes or threatens substantial harm to individual or public interests."
The statutes I was cited with are criminal in nature and carry a potential jail term with them. I ask myself again how does driving home from work while exhibiting no signs of wrongdoing rise to the level of unjustifiably and inexcusably threatening substantial harm to either individual or public interests? How does being threatened with the use of lethal force while being physically assaulted for asking a few question in a respectful manner NOT rise to the level of unjustifiably and inexcusably causing or threatening substantial harm to individual or public interests?
Surely there's something in the code that authorizes this type of behavior by law enforcement. Instead of finding something that lends credence to their actions though, I find the following:
28-1594. Authority to detain persons
"A peace officer or duly authorized agent of a traffic enforcement agency may stop and detain a person as is reasonably necessary to investigate an actual or suspected violation of this title and to serve a copy of the traffic complaint for an alleged civil or criminal violation of this title."
and in the criminal code:
13-3883B Arrest by officer without warrant
"A peace officer may stop and detain a person as is reasonably necessary to investigate an actual or suspected violation of any traffic law committed in the officer's presence and may serve a copy of the traffic complaint for any alleged civil or criminal traffic violation. A peace officer who serves a copy of the traffic complaint shall do so within a reasonable time of the alleged criminal or civil traffic violation."
Thanks for your time.