Good news regarding Major Richard Rynearson’s lawsuit against the Border Patrol has recently surfaced. After having his case dismissed by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Del Rio in September of last year, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to review the case and hear oral argument sometime in the next few months.
[Update: Friday's hearing lasted about an hour at Pima County Justice Court with hearing officer Holguin. Deputy Avila showed up in person & testified for about five minutes or so. I cross-examined him for about twenty minutes and then testified for another twenty to twenty five minutes with a 14 page written statement and ten exhibits. Hearing Officer Holguin allowed my testimony & entered my exhibits into the record despite objections from Deputy Avila. Holguin hasn't ruled yet but will sometime in the next few weeks]
Yep, you read that correctly. On April 30, 2014 I was ticketed by a Pima County Sheriff’s Deputy for beeping my horn at the CBP checkpoint after a CBP agent threw a spike strip down in front of my vehicle. I was stopped at primary and I asked the agent what his name was since his name tag was obscured by a tactical vest. The agent told me that he was the one asking questions, not me. When I pointed out that I was asking questions as well that’s when the hot headed agent spiked the roadway in front of my tires.
[A law bulletin issued to Border Patrol agents in 2012 but largely ignored]
For years it’s been obvious to me that federal Border Patrol agents are operating well outside the law at internal Border Patrol checkpoints and via roving patrol. Indeed, my Roadblock Revelations blog and videos have been largely dedicated to exposing this lawlessness through first hand experiences and research that I’ve been slowly piecing together and sharing online. I’ve also submitted quite a few FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests over the years regarding official USCBP policies and procedures. The purpose being to compare the way agents are actually conducting roadblock operations to how they’re supposed to be conducted according to official agency policy.
All of my FOIA requests have resulted in the Border Patrol further violating the law by either refusing to respond at all or failing to provide any sort of meaningful reply (the most recent examples of this will be posted in the near future). The reason for this has also been obvious to me over the years. Border Patrol top brass & supervisors know their agents are violating the law while operating outside agency policy but don’t want irrefutable evidence of this fact to see the light of day.
[Supervising Agent Rosalinda Huey & two of her minions harassing roadblock monitors near Arivaca, AZ in March 2014]
Back in March, I wrote a short blog entry regarding residents of Arivaca and Amado in Southern Arizona who have come together to form People Helping People In The Border Zone. After suffering years of harassment, intimidation and overtly illegal acts by U.S. Border Patrol agents operating several suspicionless internal roadblocks in the area, residents formed the organization in order to seek answers to their questions, research the effectiveness of the roadblocks for their alleged ‘lawful’ purpose and ultimately to hold the Border Patrol accountable for the actions of its agents.
After two years of letter writing and petitioning got them no where (something I’m quite familiar with), the organization decided to take a more active role and gather the data they were seeking by directly monitoring checkpoint operations themselves. Quite expectantly, the Border Patrol responded by harassing the monitors, illegally threatening them & illegally interfering with their first amendment protected activities.
Back in 2010 and 2011, I posted several articles regarding a decorated military field grade officer who was illegally detained and harassed by armed Border Patrol agents at an internal CBP checkpoint near Uvalde, Texas. During that encounter, the military officer was not only illegally detained and harassed at the checkpoint but was also harassed at work when agents called his military command regarding the encounter and when the Chief Patrol Agent for the Del Rio Sector, Robert L. Harris, wrote a letter of complaint to his commanding officer months after the fact.
Back in 2009 & 2010, I wrote extensively about Steven Anderson’s beating by federal Border Patrol agents and Arizona DPS officers during a Border Patrol checkpoint encounter outside Yuma, Arizona along with the subsequent malicious prosecution he was forced to endure by an overzealous Yuma County prosecutor. See:
Since first drafting this blog entry in late May, significant developments have arisen regarding this lawsuit. I'll be writing about this in more detail soon but for now please note that previously reported trial dates have been vacated.
In broad terms, a Motion In limine is a written request to a judge prior to the start of trial requesting that he/she take some action/make a ruling regarding how the trial will be conducted. Most common however, Motions in limine are written requests to the judge to disallow certain testimony or evidence from being presented to a jury during trial. For purposes of this blog entry and my ongoing civil rights lawsuit, this latter description is the one that applies here.
As previously reported, the final pretrial conference in my nine year running civil rights lawsuit against several Tohono O’odham police officers for conducting an illegal checkpoint operation in December of 2002 was held on March 19, 2012.
At 1400 on Monday March 19, 2012 the final pretrial conference for my ongoing civil rights lawsuit will take place at the Tucson Federal District Court. The joint pretrial order was filed with the court on February 22nd and the court issued the order for pretrial conference on February 23rd. At some point after the pretrial conference, we will learn the dates of the actual trial.
After more than eight long years, hundreds of legal documents later and several court challenges (including a reversal by the 9th circuit court of appeals), Checkpoint USA’s lawsuit is finally being scheduled for trial after being launched in December 2003 against an illegal checkpoint operation conducted in December of 2002.