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Oh no....Evansville cops cause city to be sued!!

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  • Oh no....Evansville cops cause city to be sued!!




    http://global-lit.com/Press_Releases.html

    Info from the public press release:

    September 16, 2011.

    For Immediate Release.

    Today, the Law Offices of Guy A. Relford announced the filing of a lawsuit on behalf of Benjamin A. Magenheimer against the City of Evansville, Indiana, and the Evansville Department of Parks & Recreation. The lawsuit is based on the defendants' violation of Ind. Code 35-47-11.1-2, which generally prohibits the regulation of "firearms" and/or the "carrying . . . of firearms" by a unit of local government.

    On September 10, 2011, Mr. Magenheimer, his wife and four-month old child were enjoying an afternoon in the petting zoo ot the Mesker Park Zoo & Botanical Garden, owned and operated by the Evansville Department of Parks & Recreation. Mr. Magenheimer was lawfully carrying a handgun at the time, with his Indiana License to Carry Handgun in his possession. After a zoo employee apparently called police, Mr. Magenheimer was approached by four members of the Evansville Police Department, who first ordered him to conceal his firearm (which he had no legal obligation to do), then ordered him to leave the zoo property. When Mr. Magenheimer attempted to explain to the officers that their actions were illegal, the officers forcibly removed him from the property.

    The actions of the EPD and zoo personnel clearly violate Indiana law, by enforcing an illegal policy regulating "firearms" and/or the "carrying . . . of firearms" by a unit of local government. As such, both the City and the DP&R are liable to Mr. Magenheimer for damages, attorney's fees, declaratory relief and injunctive relief.

    The suit was filed with the Clerk of the Circuit and Superior Courts of Vanderburgh County in Evansville, Indiana.

    For more information or for a copy of the Class Action Complaint, please contact the Law Offices of Guy A. Relford:

    Law Offices of Guy A. Relford
    4181 First Flight Circle
    Zionsville, IN 46077
    (317) 450-8252
    [email protected]


    Discussion:
    http://ingunowners.com/forums/carry_...rs_rights.html

  • #2
    I can't imagine the plaintiff filed a notice of tort claim and the city investigated and rejected the tort claim within the six days that elapsed between the incident and the filing. I'm also having trouble identifying any harm the guy suffered. It sounds like he did his best to get arrested for criminal trespass, which would make this a little more interesting, but the officers didn't fall for his real-world trolling.

    Comment


    • #3
      Criminal Trespass on public property?

      ...in the petting zoo at the Mesker Park Zoo & Botanical Garden, owned and operated by the Evansville Department of Parks & Recreation....

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bluepelican31 View Post
        Criminal Trespass on public property?

        ...in the petting zoo at the Mesker Park Zoo & Botanical Garden, owned and operated by the Evansville Department of Parks & Recreation....
        Well he wasn't charged with that, but what is so odd about the concept of being arrested for criminal trespass on government-owned property?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by CrashBandicoot View Post
          I can't imagine the plaintiff filed a notice of tort claim and the city investigated and rejected the tort claim within the six days that elapsed between the incident and the filing. I'm also having trouble identifying any harm the guy suffered. It sounds like he did his best to get arrested for criminal trespass, which would make this a little more interesting, but the officers didn't fall for his real-world trolling.
          This incident may be somewhat different than others. The specific language of the law allows people to sue the government entity which violates the rights of the person. The harm is that he was told he couldn't have his firearm, which is in conflict with the new state law. This same lawyer is representing two other clients in Lake County due to a municipality up there not removing the ordinance banning firearms from park areas. In addition, this same attorney is the current owner/operator of the entity that runs the Eagle Creek shooting range on the weekends (when it isn't under police control) for civilians to use. There was some talk about this as well:

          http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2011/...enue-from.html

          Here are some news articles about the lawsuit up in NW Indiana:

          http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/l...94b08ddf9.html

          http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/l...c037468bc.html

          http://www.nwitimes.com/news/opinion...2822b007a.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Bluepelican31 View Post
            Criminal Trespass on public property?

            ...in the petting zoo at the Mesker Park Zoo & Botanical Garden, owned and operated by the Evansville Department of Parks & Recreation....
            Just because its public property doesn't mean you can't be charged with trespassing.
            For the cops out there: You are an adult. If you want to write someone, write them. If you don't want to write someone, then don't write them.

            "Jeff, you are the best cop on this board"-Anonymous Post

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jeffIL View Post
              Just because its public property doesn't mean you can't be charged with trespassing.
              Possibly after hours, but a petting zoo ran by the city, probably open air; prosecutor and admin better be on board before I would make the arrest.

              Comment


              • #8
                That's crazy. You don't have a right to be somewhere just because it's public. It's a business. We have a separate charge for Criminal Trespass to State Supported Property.
                For the cops out there: You are an adult. If you want to write someone, write them. If you don't want to write someone, then don't write them.

                "Jeff, you are the best cop on this board"-Anonymous Post

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dwntwn317 View Post
                  This incident may be somewhat different than others. The specific language of the law allows people to sue the government entity which violates the rights of the person. The harm is that he was told he couldn't have his firearm, which is in conflict with the new state law.
                  According to the press release, the officers merely asked the guy to cover his weapon. They never told him he couldn't have his weapon. It sounds like the noble citizen tried to educate the officers about his rights, they asked him to leave, and escorted him out after he refused to do so.

                  EDIT: I think this attorney is just trying to drum up business with these cases. There is no need for those Lake County cities to rescind their ordinances because the new state law expressly voided them.

                  IC 35-47-11.1-3
                  Voidance of political subdivision ordinances, measures, enactments, rules, policies, and exercises of proprietary authority
                  Sec. 3. Any provision of an ordinance, measure, enactment, rule, or policy or exercise of proprietary authority of a political subdivision or of an employee or agent of a political subdivision acting in an official capacity:
                  (1) enacted or undertaken before, on, or after June 30, 2011; and
                  (2) that pertains to or affects the matters listed in section 2 of this chapter;
                  is void.
                  Last edited by CrashBandicoot; 09-18-2011, 02:12 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't think the issue in this incident is going to be about the trespass. Its going to be about the right to carry a gun openly without having a cop tell someone it has to be covered up. Nowhere in the Indiana criminal code or on the LTCH does it say how it has to be carried, but since OC isn't widely practiced or accepted in Indiana many cops and people who don't carry guns are still unnerved by it. I'm sure the attorney is trying to get case law established so gun carriers can OC without having negative (or any) interactions with the police.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CrashBandicoot View Post
                      According to the press release, the officers merely asked the guy to cover his weapon. They never told him he couldn't have his weapon. It sounds like the noble citizen tried to educate the officers about his rights, they asked him to leave, and escorted him out after he refused to do so.
                      A political subdivision isn't allowed to regulate how one carries their handgun. So their merely asking appears on the surface to be in violation of the law.

                      IC 35-47-11.1-2
                      Political subdivision regulation of firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories prohibited
                      Sec. 2. Except as provided in section 4 of this chapter, a political subdivision may not regulate:
                      (1) firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories;
                      (2) the ownership, possession, carrying, transportation, registration, transfer, and storage of firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories; and
                      (3) commerce in and taxation of firearms, firearm ammunition, and firearm accessories.
                      Originally posted by IMPDNE View Post
                      Its going to be about the right to carry a gun openly without having a cop tell someone it has to be covered up. Nowhere in the Indiana criminal code or on the LTCH does it say how it has to be carried, but since OC isn't widely practiced or accepted in Indiana many cops and people who don't carry guns are still unnerved by it. I'm sure the attorney is trying to get case law established so gun carriers can OC without having negative (or any) interactions with the police.
                      We shall see. If the plaintiffs are hell bent on collecting monetary damages, then it would seem to me the cases are more about money. If they settle the case for a removal of the ordinances, officer training, and a small amount to pay for the work of the attorney, then I would agree with you about wanting to set precedence, not just with open carry, but the new law itself.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A police officer asking an individual to cover up a gun isn't regulating carrying any more than a police officer telling an individual who is running around a city park with an unholstered gun in his hand, finger on the trigger, pointed at the ground, to put his gun in a holster.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Some local news articles on the issue:

                          http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/sep/19/EV_zoo/

                          http://www.courierpress.com/news/201...artner=popular

                          Here is the actual lawsuit text:

                          http://media.courierpress.com/media/...9125334477.pdf

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CrashBandicoot View Post
                            A police officer asking an individual to cover up a gun isn't regulating carrying any more than a police officer telling an individual who is running around a city park with an unholstered gun in his hand, finger on the trigger, pointed at the ground, to put his gun in a holster.
                            Both cases are police officers regulating an individuals conduct, which in both examples includes the carrying of a handgun. If an officer tells another person to change their behavior, they are regulating that person's behavior.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bluepelican31 View Post
                              Possibly after hours, but a petting zoo ran by the city, probably open air; prosecutor and admin better be on board before I would make the arrest.
                              No, it doesn't matter if its after hours, or if it's a petting zoo run by the city in open air. If an agent of that property (i.e. a manager or parks director) asks a person to leave, and that person refuses, they can be arrested for criminal trespass. I arrested a guy for trespassing in the front lobby of our police department once. He'd been asked to leave several times, and several times refused.
                              Originally posted by K40
                              To me, open carry is the equivalent of the couple making out and groping each other at the food court in the mall. Yeah, they are probably legal, as long as they don't start getting undressed. But they are still social retards.
                              ‎"You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him." - Rooster Cogburn

                              Comment

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