[The Sandra Day O’Conner Courthouse in Phoenix, AZ]
Update: Oral argument took place as scheduled. Links to the archived video are available here and here. Additionally, the video has been embedded below– 07 February 2023:
Oral argument in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for my ongoing civil rights lawsuit is scheduled for February 7, 2023 at the Sandra Day O’Conner Courthouse in Phoenix, AZ. The court session starts at 0900 but several other cases are being heard the same day so it’s unclear exactly what time the hearing in my case will begin. Most likely it will be sometime around 1000 or so. For those who would like to watch the hearing live, it will be available here.
Each side has been allocated approximately 10 minutes to respond to questions from the court and otherwise make their case. The briefs & documentation that make up the record before the court can be found here. It consists of our opening brief along with approximately 900 pages of supporting documentation, the federal defendant’s answering brief, the county defendant’s answering brief and our reply to the defendant’s answering briefs.
A previous update regarding this case that discusses it’s genesis in greater detail is available here & here. Links to additional posts related to the lawsuit appear below:
On July 2, 2018, the first amended complaint in CPUSA’s ongoing civil rights lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. The biggest changes between the initial complaint and the first amended complaint include a refinement of the factual allegations, a refinement of the law violation counts and the dropping of the Bivens Claim against the individual federal agents. While I was reluctant to do this, it was deemed necessary due to recent court rulings limiting the scope of the Bivens Claim and making a successful Bivens claim in this case unlikely. A federal tort claim is still in the works however and we anticipate rolling such a claim into this complaint at a later date.
On May 25th, 2018, Patrick Eddington with Just Security posted an article regarding Checkpoint USA’s recently filed civil rights lawsuit & federal tort claim. For those who aren’t already familiar with the legal action, the lawsuit was filed against the Pima County Sheriff’s Department & various Customs & Border Protection agents in their individual capacities while the tort claim was filed against Customs & Border Protection. Just Security is an online forum for the rigorous analysis of U.S. national security law and policy and is maintained by the New York University School of Law.
The article summarizes some of the sixteen year history leading up to the present lawsuit, discusses how the Operation Stonegarden federal grant program is playing a role in the legal action and links the underlying issues with similar legal action taking place in areas like Arivaca, AZ.
As such, I recommend the article for the broader context it provides regarding these issues. It can be found online at:
The lawsuit is the result of ongoing harassment I’ve been the subject of for years by Pima County Sheriff Deputies and U.S. Border Patrol agents at the SR-86 CBP roadblock located near milepost 146.5:
The last straw leading up to the lawsuit was an incident that took place at the roadblock on April 10, 2017 involving, amongst others, Pima County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Roher and U.S Border Patrol Agent T. Frye.
By the time everything was said and done, Deputy Roher had arrested me on a state charge of highway obstruction. This despite the fact that I was being detained against my will in front of two stops signs in the lane of traffic at a federal roadblock by an armed federal agent who had refused to let me leave while investigating me possible violations of federal law he had no reasonable basis to believe I had violated. I fought the charge in court for eleven months before it was finally dropped by the prosecutor based in part on testimony given by Deputy Roher in a deposition from earlier this year.
While defending against the charge, I filed a Notice of Claim with Pima County in October of 2017. After the charge was finally dropped, I filed a Federal Tort Claim with Customs & Border Protection in March followed by the legal complaint in April of this year.
Updated information regarding this incident and the ongoing lawsuit will be made available on this blog and the following page(s):
This is just a brief update regarding today’s events in Pima County Justice Court related to this incident. Checkpoint USA won without uttering a word.
Tribal police officer Robert Carrasco arrived in court and presented his case in about five minutes or so. Normally, the defendant is then allowed to respond to the allegations but before I was allowed to speak, the judge dismissed the single charge of impeding traffic against me stating that the statute didn’t apply.
This is a quick update regarding the December 20, 2008 U.S. Border Patrol/tribal police encounter previously discussed here and here.
To recap, tribal police Officer Robert Carrasco, Badge #166, with the Tohono O’odham Police Department worked closely with U.S. Border Patrol Agents to maliciously cite me for impeding traffic while I was being seized by armed federal agents in front of two stop signs at a Homeland Security checkpoint located off the reservation along SR-86 in Southern Arizona.
In this week’s Tucson Weekly, an article was published regarding my ongoing civil rights lawsuit. The lawsuit names several Tohono O’odham police officers and stems from an illegal general law enforcement checkpoint conducted with U.S. Customs and U.S. Border Patrol agents in 2002.
This is a quick update regarding the December 20, 2008 U.S. Border Patrol/tribal police encounter I previously discussed here.
Tribal police officer Robert Carrasco, Badge #166, with the Tohono O’odham Police Department worked closely with U.S. Border Patrol Agents to maliciously cite me for impeding traffic while I was being seized by armed federal agents in front of two stop signs at a Homeland Security checkpoint.
Officer Carrasco appears to the right in the photo above while the two Border Patrol agents who left their checkpoint posts to assist Officer Carrasco with impeding my right to travel after waving me through the DHS checkpoint appear to the left.
Not to be disappointed on the 6 year anniversary of an illegal joint task force roadblock I ran afoul of on December 20, 2002, I was molested by the same agencies yet again six years later under slightly different circumstances.
In 2002, the U.S. Border Patrol (and U.S. Customs) assisted the Tohono O’odham Police Department with conducting an illegal dragnet roadblock masquerading as a sobriety checkpoint inside the reservation along a state highway. After being stopped at the roadblock in 2002 while driving home from work, I was deemed to be insufficiently submissive and was promptly arrested and maliciously prosecuted.
After defeating the charges in court a year later, I filed a lawsuit which is still ongoing today. Whether or not this history has anything to do with tribal police involvement in the incident described below remains to be seen. A review of the lawsuit’s discovery documentation however reveals that TOPD Officer R. Carrasco, badge #166, the tribal officer who engaged in joint action with the Border Patrol below, also participated in the 2002 roadblock that’s currently being litigated in the 9th Circuit.