the City of Springfield
Missouri for False Arrest
Will the 8th Circuit Overturn the 4th Amendment?
What started out to be a false arrest to keep me from appearing at a friends bond revocation hearing may now lead to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals overturning the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. A federal judge ruled that if the police knock on your door and you get up and open the door to see who it is, that you have exposed yourself to the public and that is a public arrest, not a home arrest. If this decision is allowed to stand it will eliminate the 4th Amendmendment to the Constitution which used to bar warrantless arrests in the home.
If this decision stands then the police can come into your home at night without a warrant and drag you off to jail just because they feel like it. It's hard to believe that this is America. Will the Eighth Circuit uphold the Constitution or conceal government misconduct? This decision is pending before them now. Read all the details here.
Do the People of Springfield Missouri have Civil Rights?
On 09-08-98 at 10:30pm I, Marc Perkel was arrested at my home at night by two cops from the Springfield Missouri Police Department. This is an ongoing sort of police abuse and what they do to get away with it. This happens all the time in many cities. I'm going to document this incident on the Internet so that the public can read the details of what happens here in Springfield Missouri and hopefully take whatever steps necessary to prevent this from happening in your community.
The City of Springfield contends that it is just fine to arrest people in their home without a warrant, calling my civil rights frivolous. They seem to think it's just fine for the cops to show up in the middle of the night and drag you off without any form of due process of law. Apparently the Constitution doesn't apply to Springfield Missouri. Attached are three documents. The first is my pleading. The second is my brief. The third document is my legal research establishing that you can not arrest people in their home without a warrant. I will let you decide who's right here.
The reason this is so important is that someone has to stand up for the civil rights of the citizens of Springfield and make the government play by their own rules. If the City can do this to me, they can do this to anyone. Am I the only one who cares about civil rights and the sanctity of the home from government intrusion? Surely this issue is worth some news coverage.
Defendant have appeared with 4 sets of lawyers. The city, city council, and city manager is being represented by the city attorney. I question if this is proper but haven't filed a motion to that affect. The police chief, superior officer, and head of internal affairs are being represented by a second law firm. The two arresting officers are being represented by a different firm. And the prosecutors are being represented by another separate firm.
The smartest lawyer is the one representing the prosecutors. Second is the ones representing the police chief. They are trying to put up a good fight with little to work with. The lawyers for the city and the ones representing the officers are pathetic. They don't even know how to write a 12(b)(6) motion. I'm afraid they would be able to claim inadequet assistence of counsel on appeal.
Judge Clark recused himself after I wrote him a letter pointing out that he was personal friends of several of the defendants. I have had bad experiances with Clark in the past when he covered up criminal conduct of the Law Firm of Wear and Sharp so as to avoid "The Bar Plan" from losing a 25 million dollar lawsuit for criminal obstruction of justice. Judge Scott O. Wright was appointed to this case. I may have found a judge that actually rules according to the law!
Generally, prosecutors have almost as much immunity as a judge. My weakest case here is against the prosecutors, and the prosecutors have by far the sharpest lawyer. In spite of all that, the prosecutors failed to win a motion to dismiss. No one got off the hook. This is a bad sign for the defendants.
In this case there are a lot of issues that are facts in the record. I have filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgement and a Supporting Brief. I am asking the court to decide some of the issues before trial and establish liability for those claims for which no controversy exists.
It appears I am the only one in the City of Springfield Missouri who understands that you need to get an arrest warrant before arresting someone in their home on an ordinance violation.
They arrested me to keep me from going to court.
Discovery has begun. The lawyers for the police sent me a copy of a set of answers that the Internal Affairs Department asked the arresting officers as to why they didn't get a warrant to arrest me. It's clear from the answers that the Trespassing charge was fabricated. Officer Holle's answer to question #13 is very interesting. In response to the question about why he didn't get a warrant, he responds that I was arrested because they didn't want me at a hearing the next day, and that they wanted to teach me a lesson.
The Internal Affairs Department and the Chief of Police reviewed these answers and determined that those reasons are fine. They determined my complaint was "unfounded". Apparently no warrant is needed when the cops want to throw you in jail to keep you from showing up in court. In Springfield Missouri, if the cops decide that they don't want you to appear at a hearing, the can arrest you so that you'll be in jail and miss the hearing. Here in The People's Republic of Springfield, that's just fine!
Judge Wright joins the coverup.
All the arguments have been submitted on the summary judgement issues. I submitted my Final Arguments summarizing all the undisputed facts and the Case Law on Home Arrests. The City of Springfield's lawyers argued that when I got up out of my chair and answered the door, that it became a public arrest rather than a home arrest. To me, the fact that the city was even making that argument was scary. But what's even scarier is that the judge bought it! On July 22nd 1999 Judge Scott Wright ruled that if the cops knock on your door and you answer it, that constitutes a public arrest.
Federal Judge Scott O. Wright ruled that if the cops knock on the door of your home and you open the door, you are out in public and the police can arrest you without a warrant. By answering the door, you waive your right to privacy under the 4th amendment to the Constitution.
Federal Judge Scott O. Wright, in an act of treason to the constitution, suspended the 4th amendment rights of 225,000 people of the City of Springfield to be secure in their homes from unlawful government intrusion.
The City of Springfield is using our tax dollars to pay lawyers to argue in federal court against our constitutional rights in order to conceal police misconduct.
You be the Judge
You might be thinking, "Now Marc, what makes to so damn smart that you think you know more than Judge Wright?" Hey, don't take my word for it, here's the case law. Here's what the United States Supreme Court decided. You read it!
Payton V. New York, 445 U.S. 573, 100 S. Ct. 1371, 63 L. Ed. 2d 639
(a) The physical entry of the home is the chief evil against which the wording of the Fourth Amendment is directed. To be arrested in the home involves not only the invasion attendant to all arrests, but also an invasion of the sanctity of the home, which is too substantial an invasion to allow without a warrant, in the absence of exigent circumstances, even when it is accomplished under statutory authority and when probable cause is present. In terms that apply equally to seizures of property and to seizures of persons, the Fourth Amendment has drawn a firm line at the entrance to the house. Absent exigent circumstances, that threshold may not reasonably be crossed without a warrant. Pp. 583-590.
United States v. Johnson, 626 F.2d at 757. *fn2 We agree with the Ninth Circuit that the important consideration in this type of case "is the location of the arrested person, and not the arresting agent, that determines whether an arrest occurs within a home."
Applying this rule here, it is undisputed that Morgan was peacefully residing in his mother's home until he was aroused by the police activities occurring outside. Morgan was then compelled to leave the house. Thus, as in Johnson, supra, "it cannot be said that voluntarily exposed himself to a warrantless arrest" by appearing at the door. On the contrary, Morgan appeared at the door only because of the coercive police behavior taking place outside of the house. See Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. at 13 (police entry to defendant's living quarters "granted in submission to authority rather than as an understanding and intentional waiver of a constitutional right"). Viewed in these terms, the arrest of Morgan occurred while he was present inside a private home. Although there was no direct police entry into the Morgan home prior to Morgan's arrest, the constructive entry accomplished the same thing, namely, the arrest of Morgan. Thus, the warrantless arrest of Morgan, as he stood within the door of a private home, after emerging in response to coercive police conduct, violated Morgan's fourth amendment rights. A contrary rule would undermine the constitutional precepts emphasized in Payton. See United States v. McCool, 526 F. Supp. 1206, 1209 (M.D. Tenn. 1981) ("to uphold warrantless arrests at a person's home whenever law enforcement officers successfully obtain his presence at a door too readily allows subversion of the Payton principle").
As recently confirmed by the Court, the privacy of the home "deserve the most scrupulous protection from governmental invasion." Oliver v. United States, 466 U.S. 170, 178, 80 L. Ed. 2d 214, 104 S. Ct. 1735, 52 U.S.L.W. 4425, 4427 (1984); See also United States v. Karo, 468 U.S. 705, , 82 L. Ed. 2d 530, 104 S. Ct. 3296, 52 U.S.L.W. 5102, 5104 (1984); Welsh v. Wisconsin, supra. The warrant requirement of the fourth amendment is not a ritual which can be ignored because it may be inconvenient.
We are not dealing with formalities. The presence of a search warrant serves a high function. Absent some grave emergency, the Fourth Amendment has interposed a magistrate between the citizen and the police. . . . The Constitution requires a magistrate to pass on the desires of the police before they violate the privacy of the home. We cannot be true to that constitutional requirement and excuse the absence of a search warrant without a showing by those who seek exemption from the constitutional mandate that the exigencies of the situation made that course imperative.
Besides, if this isn't a home arrest then what is a home arrest? The City of Springfield and Judge Wright have eliminated the fourth amendment from the Constitution. Maybe the time has come where American's no longer deserve the freedoms and protections of the Constitution. Why am I the only one who gives a rat's ass about our freedoms? If we as a people fail to demand our rights then we don't deserve them. Perhaps it's time to start burning flags in front of the courthouse.
This decision doesn't just affect Springfield Missouri. It affects this entire district. I sent a Letter to the Kansas City Chief of Police informing him of the changes in the law as a result of this decision. The way I see it, if Judge Wright suspends the Constitution for Springfield, I want the Chief of Police in Kansas City where he lives to know about it too. I want Judge Wright to explain to his neighbors in his city that they no longer have any constitutional protection to be secure in thier homes because of Judge Wright.
Appealing the Decision
As it stands Judge Wright has suspended the constitution for the western district of Missouri. I am going to appeal this to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Eighth Circuit covers that states of Missouri, Arkansas Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. This case will be a precident setting case. If I win, these 7 states get their rights back. If I lose, these 7 states lose their rights. The future of millions of people depend on me, and I'm not a lawyer. Isn't that amazing.
Perhaps the time has come where America no longer deserves to have constitutional rights. The citizens of this country are so complacent that no one cares anymore if the cops can come into your home and drag you off in the middle of the night. Maybe the time has come for us to lose our rights in order to cause the people to rise up and reclaim them. Or perhaps the goals and dreams of our founding fathers no longer interest a people who just doesn't care anymore. So the way I see it, if no one is willing to help and I lose, then America deserves it. It won't be because of me if America loses. It will be because the rest of you did nothing and let it happen.
The City of Springfield is resisting the appeal. The corrupted judge left the case half decided and the City is fighting jurisdiction. They are claiming that the case isn't ripe for appeal. I filed an argument that it was ripe because it left nothing for trial, or that the issues left are dependent on what was wrongly decided. Alternatively, I said that if the court decided that the case wasn't ripe for appeal that I dismiss without prejudice all remaining issues to make it ripe for appeal. The idea being that if I win on appeal, I can restore all the issues I dismissed.
On 10-12-99 the 8th circuit, in an attempt to slither out of making a decision ruled that it was not ripe for appeal. This is what's amazing. They denied my motion to dismiss the remaining issues without prejudice insisting I dismiss it with prejudice. This is truely a first. I don't need leave of the court to dismiss without prejudice!
The 8th circuit is likely to regret this discision. I've just about got them in a box on this one. They haven't figured out that they created a license for police to get away with serious misconduct and cover it up using this ruling as an excuse. I can make every police department in the midwest be very pissed at the 8th circuit using their own decision against them. I'll write a howto manual for police to make illegal arrests based on the decision of Judge Wright and claim qualified immunity. This will undermine the chain of command in every police department in the 8th circuit. If this judge is going to make an improper decision that undermines the 4th amendment to the constitution, I'm going to rub his nose in it. When the police in Kansas City, where he lives, start arresting people in his town without a warrant, he can explain that to his community. And the justices of the 8th circuit can explain it to St. Louis. And if the local Springfield press put's out the effort to understand what's happening here we may end up with a new city council. All over trying to cover up for two cops that broke the law.
This is going to get interesting.
The Appellate court stayed with their ruling that the decision wasn't final and needed to go to trial. I waited until about 6 weeks before the trial and sent opposing counsel a letter to see if they were ready to try the case. The way I figured it, they won in the appellate court arguing the case should go to trial, so let's go to trial. But that wasn't what they really wanted!
They filed a motion for sumary judgement on the remaining issues. The fix was in. There was no way the judge was going to let this go to trial. So he granted sumary judgement on the remaining issues.
Appealing the Final Decision
After getting final sumary judgement against me I appealed the case to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. I filed my Opening Brief and they filed their Respondents Brief which they provided for me on disk, and I made into a web page. What's interesting about their respondent's brief is that they lied to the court about what I said in depositions. What we have are dishonest lawyers covering up for dishonest government. Here's what they said I said:
(Deposition of plaintiff Perkel, page 393, lines 17-22)
Q. So your real complaint about the police report is not that the things in there contained are false, but the things that are contained in there in your opinion are unrelated to a trespass charge?
Q. I guess my question is, you're talking about invasion of privacy. Does that mean whoever has sex with you has to keep their mouth shut or you're going to sue them?
A. No. But if it's put in the context of a police report on an unrelated charge by police officers, I would sue them, which I have.
Q. So your real complaint about the police report is not that the things in there contained are false, but the things that are contained in there in your opinion are unrelated to the trespass charge?
Q. Okay. Now --
A. Well I mean, I do think that there are false statements there that aggravate it, and I also think that some of the stuff is depicted in a false light.
Will the Eighth Circuit Overrule the 4th Amendment to the Constitution?
List of Documents
In the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
I'm looking for the right lawyer to take this case over should I have to take it all the way to trial. I want a good civil rights lawyer who is not part of the local Springfield coverup culture. I think this case is worth some bucks and should be attractive to the right law firm. If you are interested, please Email Me and let's talk.
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