USDC Cr. No. 84-3552

WILLIAM THOMAS                 
      vs.                                   CA No. 84-3552
                                          Judge Louis Oberdorfer
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et. al.          Magistrate Arthur Burnett



Twice (see Orders June 3, 1985 and June 4, 1986) Judge Oberdorfer has ruled that plaintiff stated "a substantial federal claim" or "potentially meritorious claims," and on June 4, 1986 noted that "this action is presently before the Court on plaintiff's Amended Complaint, filed October 16, 1985."

This action was initially filed on November 21, 1981, in a pro se Complaint. With only the best of faith plaintiff has labored to bring this matter to issue. For over twenty-one months, despite plaintiff's repeated objections (e.g. June 26, 1986 hearing transcript at 35; see also Opposition to Federal Defendants' (Second) Motion to Dismiss at 29-31), Government Counsel has finally taken one small step toward understanding and clarity in this matter with the filing of Federal Defendants Answer, on July 21, 1986.

Counsel makes certain representations which appear to merit questioning (i.e., that Lindsey had "nothing to do with enforcing the regulations," Transcript, June 25, 1986 in this matter, at ___; "David Harley was tried, and convicted for stealing the camera" (Memorandum of Law in support of Defendant Lindsey's Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment ("Lindsey's Law"), footnote 2, at 8), etc.[1] In fact, as noted (IID, para. ), defendant Lindsey was not, as counsel would have us believe (Lindsey's Law, ftn. 2, page 8), totally uninvolved with the episode of June 6, 1984. (See IID, para. ___.)


According to counsel's "Background" (Memorandum Of Law In Support Of Defendant Lindsey's Motion To Dismiss Or For Summary Judgment, filed August 4, 1986 (Lindsey's Law), at 1), most of plaintiff's complaints against defendant Lindaey "are made without any accompanying factual detail." (ibid).

Plaintiff addresses the procedural aspects of factual detail at greater depth in his (Second) Motion For Judicial Notice, filed August, 1986). Only two points will be noted here:

A) As "on many occasions" (Lindsey's Law at 2), again attacks plaintiff's pleadings as "unfocused and confusing" (Lindsey's Law at 2). Counsel laments the "convoluted and lengthy development of this matter" (ibid., "Introduction," at 1.)

(1) Plaintiff proffers (see Thomas Declaration, filed August 27, 1986 (Tom-Dec), at ) that the documents attached to his pleadings are accurate reproductions of authentic records.

(2) Counsel has been given fair warning that these documents are part of the record, and many references have been made to those documents during the course of the pleadings.

(3) Counsel has uttered nary an objection to the validity or evidentary sufficiency of those documents.

(4) Plaintiff admits his inartfulness, and that...except for his lack of appropriate education (see Complaint para. 17)...his pleadings might have been less "voluminous," and even less "unfocused and confusing."

(5) But, if focus and clarity are aims of the American jurisprudential process, plaintiff would contend that counsel's task should have been to expose the fallacies or falsities of plaintiff's pleadings, rather than to harp on his professional naivete.

(6) Had counse challenged any of plaintiff's submissions as they were raised during the course of the pleadings, it is likely that the "development of this matter' would not have been nearly so "lengthy" or "convoluted," the interests of justice would have been better served, the principled process of the judiciary would have ben more wisely utilized, and counsel's notion... "plaintiff's complaint is made without accompanying factual detail"...would have appeared less fanciful.

(7) THEREFORE, plaintiff humbly submits, that it is not the inartfulness of his pleadings, but rather the artfulness of counsels' which best explains --if not the obfuscation of fact, the prostitution of principle, the disgrace of the profession, and the failing of human judicial systems here, abroad, and historically-- then, at least, the "convoluted and lengthy development of this (particular) matter."

B) While the mind of the Court is on judicial ethics, efficiency, and authenticity, plaintiff would raise what may prove to be a sore point.

"On one occasion a camera, taken from plaintiff upon his arrest, was missing when plaintiff sought to claim his property. The Park Service undertook an investigation and discovered tha a Park Service employee had stolen the camera. That empolyee, who is not named or even mentioned in this case by plaintiff, was charged with , and convicted of, stealing that camera. Plaintiff was provided with the various investigative reports of this incident and is fully aware that defendant Lindsey had no involvement." (Lindsey's Law, at 8, footnote 2, emphasis added.

(1) Notwithstanding counsel's optimistic representations, David Hurley, that "unnamed Park Service employee," had the charges against him dropped. (see Issues In Dispute (IID), filed August 27, 1986, para ).

(2) Plaintiff is aware of involvement on the part of defendant Lindsey, and one of the purported "investigative reports" to which counsel refers (but does not include as an exhibit) attests to defendant Lindsey's personal proximity to the events in question on June 6, 1984. (see IID, para. 1).

(3) Plaintiff alleges that on June 4, 1984 he, and his associates were assualted, had their NPS permitted property destroyed, had signs destroyed, had literature seized and destroyed, suffered arrest without probable cause, and the intentional delay of presentment to the court, had evidentary film destroyed, and had his expressive activities interfered with hampered, and disrupted by agents of defendant Lindsey, and according to Sargent Wilkins, defendnat Lindsey was on the scene.(IID, attachment 1.)

(3) This is just one occasion where it can be shown that defendant Lindsey was on the scene of similar incidents.


Plaintiff submits that his claim rests on the most fundamental principles of legal theory and civilization.

"Without respect for the law there is chaos." (Judge Noel Kramer, D.C. Superior Court, August 8, l986.)

According to this theory law exists, in the first instance, to set humanity above the beasts.

[1 In fact, David Harley was not convicted, but the charges were nolle prossed. (See Issues in Dispute, filed this date.)]


"I think we all realize that there is a breakdown of civilization if people start taking the law into their own hands." (President Ronald Wilson Reagan. See Plaintiff's Opposition to Government's Motion to Dismiss President Reagan as Defendant, page 12.) [2]

On June 4, l986 Judge Louis Oberdorfer issued an order directing discovery in this matter, indicating two issues:

"1) Whether any of the named defendants conspired to deprive plaintiff of his civil rights, in violation of federal law; and

"2) Whether any of the defendants individually committed unconstitutional excesses in their efforts to arrest plaintiff pursuant to local statutes and DOI regulations." (June 4, 1986 Order at 2.)

Denying the federal defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Administrative Record, filed March 20, 1986, the Court also noted plaintiff's claim that:
"the adoption of the park (36 CFR 50.19(e)(11)(12)) regulations was ... an act in furtherance of a conspiracy to violate plaintiff's civil rights." (Ibid. at 3.)

On various occasions plaintiff had appeared before Judge Oberdorfer as a direct and proximate result, plaintiff alleges, of defendants' excesses in arresting him pursuant to local statutes and DOI regulations.

On one occasion p|aintiff explained to the judge:
"I have a belief, and by the most sacred principles of this country, I am entitled to hold my (belief), and, by the fundamental laws of this country, I am entitled to express my belief.... My burden seems to be that I hold an unpopular belief, and I insist on expressing it. I am

[2 Plaintiff notes that the Docket Sheet in this matter does not list "Opposition to Government's Motion to Dismiss President Reagan as a Defendant," filed February 15, 1985, although it does list Docket #21, the Government's Reply to that Motion. A copy of that Motion is attached hereto because (a) the legal theory contained therein is timely and (b) the Record is incomplete without it. (Plaintiff has added it to his records as Docket No. 20-1/2.)]


viewed as a blight on society as a direct result of the manner of my expression. But, being penniless in a society which traditionally demands money for expression, there is no other manner available to me for expressing my beliefs than through my body, my voice, and crude signs in a prominent place.

"I am just doing my job. I am a critic, but criticism is not a bad thing. Criticism identifies problems. Identifyivg a problem is the first step toward solving it, when criticism is viewed optimistically.

"I pray this court will seriously consider whether I (accurately) represent myself as a critic, as exemplified by my life and works at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Whether or not my criticism is valid has never been at issue before this, or any other, court.... (S)hould this court sentence me to be imprisoned without ever having addressed the issue of my criticism(, I fear we shall have a sorry state of affairs)." (USA v. Thomas CR 83-186, transcript December 21, 1983, pp. 21-23.)

Judge Oberdorfer replied,
"You can stand in front of that White House, and your message can be seen all over the globe within hours, and your right to do that is guaranteed.... I a} sens)tive, perhaps more sensitive than eost, to the fact that if your country suppresses the kind of protest that you are engaged hn, wd would be jeopardizing the liberty of all of ts." (Ibid., pp. 28-29.)

and ordered,

"Because your case poses some difficult constitutional questions, the answers to which are not free from doubt, service of your sentence will be stayed until the time for appeal has expired.... It is a condition of a bond pending appeal that you will seek ... to apply for a permit and, if necessary, seek, judicial review...." (Ibid., December 22, l983 Order, p. 4.)

Plaintiff sought such a permit, was rebuffed or ignored, and finally on November 21, 1984, filed this pro se action.

"Problem," "nuisance," "eyesore," and "blight" are only a few of the less than faltering terms by which defendant Government' agents have publicly described plaintiff, or his expressive conduct in Lafayette Park ("Park") (see Issues In Dispute (IID) para , filed herewith ).

It is alleged that, because all defendants were aware (including Lindsey, one would assume, since he had sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution) that suppression of expression under color of regulation was (past tense?) legally impermissible, they also used those pejorative terms as euphemisims by which to identify the "Thomas Demonstration" (see Issues in Dispute (IID), filed herewith, para. , , ), with the alleged intent to mask their true motive: hampering, disrupting, or terminating plaintiff's rightful activities (see Amended Complaint, filed October 16, 1985, para. , see also IID, para. , , ,).

Plaintiff's contention is that the gravamen of this controversy is a conflict of ideology. Simply, plaintiff claims to be a philosopher intent on questioning the sanity of Government's nuclear weapons policies. He believes that, because defendant Government is unable to reasonably or logically refute his public comments, and views his inexpensive, effective method of expressing those views as "the wave of the future," defendant Government has employed its agents to subject plaintiff to abusive application of various regulations in an effort to silence plaintiff's bothersome truth-seeking. Defendant Lindsey was one of those agents, and the Deputy Chief with supervisory responsibility for all of the U.S. Park Police who abusively applied those regulations in Lafayette Park and on the White House sidewalk.

Historically, plaintiff submits, it is not uncommon for social critics to be seen as "problems" or "nuisances." From the heights of a monolithic power structure those who question the values of the monolithic power wielders have often, particularly in occidental societies, been viewed as pesky gnats. For the most part (e.g. witness Giordano Bruno, the Apostles, Socrates, to name but a few) the mistreatment of philosophers had been accepted as the norm.

Then, it was thought, humanity entered an "Age of Reason." Lofty words were written:
"When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with others, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect for the opinions of humankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to this dissolution.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all (humanity) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. -- That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among (humanity) deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. -- That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundations on such principles and organizing its powers so as to constructively and safely employ technology in the manner most likely to beneficially effect the the Life, Liberty and Happiness of Humanity. -- Prudence indeed, will dictate that a government long established should not be changed for light or transient reasons." (Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, July 4 (more or less), 1776; see also Complaint para. 20.)

"When a government assumes a position in which, as Ronald [6] Wilson [6] Reagan [6] said on June 6, 1982, the 'end of mankind...or at least the end of civilization as we know it' is viewed as a viable option to insure that Government's continued existence, the duty of a reasonable people is to alter that form of government or, failing that, to end one's individual continued submission or contribution to that government, a duty shich can be seen a neither light nor transient.

"Plaintiff has suffered, while the evils were sufferable, a long train of abuses and usurpations with invariably the same object-- the negation of individual freedom secured by the Bill of Rights -- under color of mindless bureaucratic regulation, [selective police-state enforcement,] and a clear design to stifle individual freedom and personal excellence." (See Complaint para. 19-21; see also Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, July 4 (more or less), 1776.)


Rule 4(j) Fed. R. Civ. P. provides that a complaint should be served upon a defendant within 120 days, and if a plaintiff "cannot show good cause why such service was not made within that period the action shall be dismissed as to that defendant without prejudice upon the court's own initiative..."

Service in this matter was made, pursuant to Rule 4(B)(i), by the United States Marshal. Plaintiff, unfamiliar with judicial procedure, and in good faith, believed that the U.S. Marshal would effect process correctly, and had done so.

On more than one occasion, as justification for an enlargement of time, the U.S. Attorney has made the claim that the Justice Department was "processing the representation requests ... for all federal defendants" (e.g. Memo in Support of Motion for Enlargement of Time, filed January 29, 1985, at 1). Again, we must proceed on the presumption that the U.S. Attorney's Office would operate in good faith. Since the U.S. Attorney's Office has been representing defendant Lindsey, and has made no challenge to Service of Process with respect to him until this late date, plaintiff assumed that there were no problems in respect to service.

For the Court to dismiss this matter without prejudice as to defendant Lindsey will only unnecessarily delay this litigation. Plaintiff would humbly suggest that if the Court thinks it necessary for Defendant Lindsey to be provided with a copy of the Complaint, perhaps the most expeditious, economical and just course to follow at this time would be for the Court to direct the U.S. Marshal's Service to effect Service, as should have been done in the first place.


Counsel is correct in stating that "plaintiff's allegations focus on Lindsey's supervisory responsibility over officers who did arrest (plaintiff)," (Lindsey's Law at 6); however, various precedents indicate that plaintiff's allegations are certainly sufficient to state a claim.

In the first place plaintiff has repeatedly (e.g. Amended Complaint, October, 1985, para. 34; ______________________, p. _____) asserted jurisdiction of this Court over the individual defendants by virtue of the doctrines articulated in Alvarez v. Wilson, 412 F. Supp 137:

"For purposes of (42 USC 1985(3)), a defendant is personally involved in the acts of his subordinates if he had knowledge of conduct, and consented to it; he need not have taken part."

and Glasson v. Louisville, 518 F2d 906, 1000 (1975), US App 6th Dist.:
"Where police officers ... acting pursuant to general notice given at (a) meeting at which police chief was present, destroyed (a) protest sign ... police officers were liable for violation of protester's right to free expression and police officers and police chief were liable under civil rights statute prohibiting conspiracies to deny equal protection."

Further, while counsel admits it is sufficient cause "when agents carry out an official government policy" (Lindsey's Law, ftn 1 at 6), he is in error to state that plaintiff "does not specifically allege that Lindsey was carrying out an official government policy." (ibid).

"Defendants viewed plaintiff's creative communication as the 'wave of the future' (see. Parr, X Document, p. 46-49). To quash that wave defendants first tried simple harassment, intimidation and arrests. When their initial attempts to drive plaintiff out of the Park failed, some defendants realized that it would become necessary to subvert the fundamental principles of the Constitution -- and international law -- at least as relative to plaintiff's rights to be in a public park, display signs, and exercise other forms of nonviolent communication.

"On January 13, 1983 defendant Watt wrote a memo to Moody Tidwell codifying a DOI/NPS administrative policy which has, in practice, guided those agencies to this day...." (Amended Complaint, para. 10 and 11; see also 12-22).

Plaintiff has alleged unconstitutional defects in relation to several arrests with which defendant Lindsey was involved. There is documentary support already in the record for at least one of these allegations (see Wardlaw Affidavit, X Document, p. 99-100; see also IID, para. ).

Counsel also assumes the position that "(A) warning -- followed by an arrest and conviction is simply not an actionable event" (Lindsey's Law at 7). Plaintiff agrees that would usually be the case, but observes clearly unusual circumstances involved here.

Plaintiff alleges that the "warning" was actually a threat intended to intimidate him into abandoning his lawfully protected behavior, and, when plaintiff refused to be intimidated, defendants fulfilled their threat. Plaintiff further alleges that defendant Lindsey went on to illustrate an allegedly profound disrespect for due process and human dignity by giving obstructive testimony to convince a court that probable cause existed for the arrest, when the defendant knew, in fact, none did exist. (See Complaint para. 47(a)(b)(c)).

As the photographs on Complaint pages 50 and 88 illustrate, there was no need to "disassemble" plaintiff's NPS permitted Mobile Communications Unit to "transport them away from the White House." (Lindsey's Law at 7.) Photos in the Administrative Record of the confiscation of the same mobile speaker's platform on May 9, 1985, show clearly that it was easily transportable intact. (See attachment ____.)


The first object of inquiry is whether the plaintiff has asserted a valid right.

Plaintiff contends that whether he is a "problem," a "philosopher," or a "protester," (Lindsey's Law at 2) is a matter of fact to be determined at trial. Regardless of how plaintiff might be described, his expressive conduct was protected under the First Amendment, unless a threat to some "substantial government interest." As far as "being in the park on a continuous basis," that right accrued to plaintiff under the Ninth Amendment. The factual accuracy of these allegations is borne out by historical occurrences of the arrests of plaintiff, Stacey Abney, and the Quaker Vigilers (to name but a few), and the fact that those arrests did not result in sustained convictions prior to the enactment of the scheme attributed to defendants in this action.

"If an expressor has a constitutional right (to make certain expressions), it cannot be denied that he may make subsequent expressions for the same purpose. If his right exists plaintiff does not lose his right by exercising it." (Near v. Minnesota 283 US 720).

This brings us to the second inquiry; if one has a right and that right has been violated, do the laws of the country afford him a remedy?

"The very essence of civil liberty certainly consists in the right of every individual to claim the protection of the laws, whenever he receives an injury. One of the first duties of government is to afford that protection. (The) Government of the United States has been emphatically termed a government of laws, and not of men. It will certainly cease to deserve this high appellation if the laws furnish no remedy for the violation of a vested legal right....

"Is the act of delivering or withholding a (right) to be considered a mere political act, belonging to the executive department alone, for the performance of which entire confidence is placed by our constitution in the supreme executive, and for any misconduct respecting which, the injured individual has no remedy?

"That there may be such cases is not to be questioned, but that every act of duty to be performed in any of the great departments of government constitutes such a case is not to be admitted...

"(W)hen the legislature proceeds to impose on (an) officer other duties; when he is directed peremptorily to perform (or to refrain from performing) certain acts when the rights of individuals are dependent on the performance of those acts; he is so far the officer of the law; is amenable to the laws for his conduct; and cannot of his discretion sport away the vested rights of others...

"(W)here a specific duty is assigned by law, and individual rights depend upon the performance of that duty; it seems ... clear, that the individual who considers himself injured, has a right to resort to the laws of (the) country for a remedy...." (Gunther Constitutional Law, University Casebook Series, Tenth Edition, pages 4 and 5, citing Marbury v. Madison 1 Cranch 137, 2 L. Ed. 60 (1803)).

Respectfully submitted this _____ day of _____________, 1986.

William Thomas, Plaintiff Pro Se
1440 N Street NW, #410
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 462-3542

Case Listing --- Proposition One ---- Peace Park