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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Government & Elections | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Police State and Prisons

Appeals Judge Upholds Anti-Homeless "Lodging" Law Against "Lighthouse" Linda Lemaster
by Robert Norse
Monday Jun 11th, 2012 11:45 AM
Judge Paul Marigonda, notorious earlier in his career for trying to jail good activists with Food Not Bombs in San Francisco, and prosecutor of homeless people here in Santa Cruz as D.A., has ruled against an unusual Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by attorney Jonathan Gettleman, representing Linda Lemaster in one of the last of the PeaceCamp2010 cases. Lemaster may appeal or go directly to jury trial, facing a possible 6 months in jail and $1000 fine for sitting on the steps of the County Building with a sick activist and a sign suggesting that (homeless) Sleep is not a Crime.

Prior stories about Lemaster's case can be found on her blog at http://hearthbylinda.blogspot.com/2012/02/time-for-change-laws-that-punish-and.html and http://hearthbylinda.blogspot.com/2012/02/there-will-be-blood-california-penal.html .

The earlier legal documents can found at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/02/16/18707485.php .

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by John E. Colby
Monday Jun 11th, 2012 12:35 PM
This continual persecution of protesters aided and abetted by the local judiciary leads me to ask: can anyone get justice in Santa Cruz?
by lighthouseLinda
Monday Jun 11th, 2012 2:49 PM
Honorable Judge Paul Marigonda's reply to my attorney, Jonathan Gettleman's, Writ of Habeus Corpus plays straight and gentle with his task: to see if there's been a misinterpretation of the Califrnia's pc Lodging law, 647(e). Yet he STILL finds no reason to challenge Santa Cruz County's Sheriff and his Deputies for wiping out our PeaceCamp 2010 demonstration with that statute.

I read a lot of the history of this code and now I am personally shocked that it can even be legally applied against homeless people; for example Gary Johnson, Star, Chris D and many others. I'm appalled that it is used to shake down an obvious (even to this Judge) First Amendment demonstration. I remain indignant that the police, apparently in a hidden committee with other County department heads but outside the ears of taxpayers, can make up their rules as they go along, while expecting us the general public, citizens of California and the United States of America in most instances, to incisively second-guess their legal meaning and marshalling intentions, and then to give up our understanding of a legal, legitimate, and urgent protest or go to jail.

My attorney suggests that maybe this particular Judge's decision, the Writ of Habeas Corpus about Lodging law, can be appealed?

I remain in shock, as I watch California's judicial system listing and it seems about to breach. This is an adversarial system, and not the one we were told about in Civics or History classes. Even while our state government has ordered the jails to be thinned to avoid another kind of lawsuit, these courts are STUCK in a momentum that seems to turn on obfuscation and hostility.

In the three-stage Write of Habeas Corpus, this Judge noted that the DA was not helping support the way an appeal is supposed to work, because she basically just made a general denial when argumentation and evidence were required. Gentle, as I noted, but very clearly somebody's being called out. So yet further delays in court.

I've seen the same indulgence of 'tude among the DA's staff when I attend Occupy Santa Cruz-related Santa Cruz Eleven hearings and proceedings: understanding not required, full speed ahead!

Years ago, I was among the public school students chanting "with Liberty and Justice for All" every single school day, hand on heart, believing I was a part of creating something fair for all of us. Now, because they keep dragging out this legal merry-go-round with no concern for anybody's time or health, not to mention for Justice, the more clearly I see I have neither Justice nor Liberty. I'm being punished for unsuccessfully enjoying my civil rights promised by the US and California Constitutions. And so far, I'm one of the Lucky ones.

Remember Gary Johnson's appeal, this Thursday; he and his attorney Ed Frey and also still standing up to this miscarriage of Justice now being rubber-stamped by this Court system.
Linda: you're not going to get justice in Santa Cruz. I read your attorney's Writ of Habeas Corpus. It was an excellent piece of work. Very well written. Gettleman is really good. Kudos to him.

If Gettleman's willing to appeal your case all the way to the California Supreme Court, go for it. He can do it. He'll win at that level. Your case is that strong — Gettleman will win when he's on a level playing field. Your appeal will also help a lot of other people from being abused with 647(e) all over California. I urge you and Gettleman to appeal Marigonda's decision. I'll support you as best I can.
by Sylvia Caras
Tuesday Jun 12th, 2012 7:29 AM
County budget hearings start June 18 before the Board of Supervisors. June 20 in the morning is the time slot for the Criminal Prosecution budget public comments. Other than elections, this is the only place I know of to provide input about county law enforcement, to ask for transparency and a better use of tax dollars.

Court funding and court process is a separate path. I'm sorry to read that Linda is mired down on it.
by G
Tuesday Jun 12th, 2012 12:39 PM

The abuse of 647(e) is really the criminalization of protest, and worse, the criminalization of existing. In Santa Cruz, and in California. Blatantly, undeniably, without accountability. And without those embarrasing gas chambers.

So was 602(o), although even mentioning the use of 602(o) during trial was adamantly opposed by the bench, in Santa Cruz.

As for Habeas, well, it could be worse.

"All of our work has essentially been for naught," Mickum said. "This leaves open a glaring question, what is the next step? All of the habeas attorneys will be getting together for a major meeting to discuss that."

http://truth-out.org/news/item/9736-guantanamo-attorney-landmark-supreme-court-habeas-ruling-now-no-more-effective-than-a-law-review-article

I am beginning to suspect that the phrase Constitutional Scholar, when used to describe first class gangsters, is dog-whistle-speak for Creative Violator.

Here is a next step suggestion: end offensive discretion, #FireBobLee

Before it is too late.

He probably didn't know that the cycles of history seem to drag the developed world into desperate times about every 75 years, and then seek relief through war or revolution.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/06/11-3

by Confused
Wednesday Jun 13th, 2012 10:54 AM
The use of that statue is a way to prevent people from taking up residence in places in which they do not have the permission of the property owner (or those tasked with managing said property) to do so. The fact that you chose to take up residence in a place for which you did not have the property owner's (or of those tasked with stewarding that property) as a form of protest is immaterial.

As an analogy, stealing food from Safeway as a form of protest against world hunger does not mean I'm not guilty of shoplifting. If you want to defy a law you view as unjust or immoral, that's your prerogative, but you need to own the consequences of such defiance.
by John E. Colby
Wednesday Jun 13th, 2012 3:30 PM
647(e) is not being used to protect property. Linda Lemaster was cited while protesting, exercising her First Amendment rights. Read her attorney Jonathan Gettleman's Writ of Habeas Corpus. It spells out very clearly that Linda was cited for protesting, for exercising her free speech rights. Saying it was to protect property is ludicrous. How was Linda Lemaster a threat to anyone's property.
by Confused
Wednesday Jun 13th, 2012 4:39 PM
Read the very first sentence. She was cited for lodging, not for protesting, not for exercising her Constitutional rights. For lodging. Her motivation for being on the property...for lodging...is immaterial.
by G
Wednesday Jun 13th, 2012 4:46 PM
Lack of understanding of history, the Constitution, the Bill Of Rights, traditional public forums, and the role of protest in a healthy society can indeed lead to confusion.

Such is the legacy of the destruction of fundamental civics awareness in the USA.

Apparently basic human decency is also becoming a rarity...
by John E. Colby
Wednesday Jun 13th, 2012 11:58 PM
"Confused": you are indeed confused. The motive of protest is fundamental to what Linda Lemaster was doing. "Lodging" is overly vague. Linda fell asleep for a few moments while protesting — she was not actively sleeping in protest. The Sheriffs passed out leaflets that they would cite anyone in the vicinity whether they were technically "lodging" or just protesting as Linda was.

"Confused" should read Linda's attorney Jonathan Gettleman's Writ of Habeas Corpus. It is very well written legal work. On a level playing field — not a Santa Cruz court — Gettleman and Linda will prevail.
by Reality Check
Thursday Jun 14th, 2012 3:56 PM
John, she wasn't 'actively sleeping'? What does that even mean? Does she have narcolepsy?
by Seriously
Thursday Jun 14th, 2012 5:51 PM
"Linda fell asleep for a few moments while protesting — she was not actively sleeping in protest."

Puh-leeze. If you want to have a chance to win this thing, please, stop letting your passions become so intense that they delude your grip on reality. Cause trust me, the courts aren't going to be equally impassioned. This line of defense that your proposing is guaranteed to be ineffective and frankly, it's embarrassingly naive. Akin to "my fist slipped; I didn't mean to punch her.".
by Fred
Thursday Jun 14th, 2012 9:44 PM
Just because you don't want to be held accountable for what you've arbitrarily decided shouldn't be a crime,doesn't mean the Court is going to agree with you.
by John E. Colby
Friday Jun 15th, 2012 11:41 AM
To Mr./Ms. Reality Check: why won't you read Linda Lemaster's attorney Jonathan Gettleman's Writ of Habeas Corpus? It lays out the factual circumstances and the issues involved. Linda nodded off during the night while holding a protest sign. How you or anyone could call that "lodging" defies description.
by Seriously
Friday Jun 15th, 2012 7:43 PM
In doing so, you can perhaps understand my contention and grasp my logic. That being:

Neither the user-friendly lawyers interpretation, nor Linda's contention, nor your "give the benefit of the doubt to the person who says she fell asleep by accident and not intentionally" IS NOT GOING TO WORK IN COURT.

Seriously. Come up with a better contention, or bow to defeat now. You are going to get slaughtered if that is your sole defense. As someone who claims to be professionally educated in the law, I would expect you to grasp that reality. If you don't, I question your training. But more importantly, I worry for Linda if she's buying the snake-oil defense your apparently telling her to drink.

I have no dog in this hunt. My viewpoint is mine alone. But I'm on record: you'll get laughed out of court with that defense.
by John E. Colby
Saturday Jun 16th, 2012 12:36 AM
You did not address any of the issues I raised. You tried to obfuscate the issues by claiming that I and others will be laughed out of court for holding our beliefs. Yet you did not read nor refute Gettleman's Writ of Habeas Corpus.

We would only be laughed out of a Santa Cruz court where the cards are stacked against justice and sound legal reasoning. As I have asserted before, if Gettleman appeals this to a higher court outside of Santa Cruz, his sound legal reasoning will prevail.

Read Gettleman's Writ of Habeas Corpus and argue against it, point by point. I claim you are not man or woman enough to do that. I'm calling you out.