No. 91-5304 SEPTEMBER TERM,1991 CA No. 88-3130 Mary Huddle, et. al., Appellants v. Ronald W. Reagan, et. al., Appellees.
"This claim asserts that the defendants have engaged in a concerted effort to organize and execute totalitarian police state tactics under color of an intricate regulatory scheme, with the intent to deprive plaintiffs of various rights, privileges, and immunities which defendants knew, or should have known, were guaranteed plaintiffs under the Constitution of this nation. In furtherance of the alleged plot to deprive plaintiffs of Constitutional protection, certain defendants organized a complex and far-reaching plan to evade certain constitutional safeguards provided for in the Administrative Procedures Act of Title 5 USC. The various known and unknown government agents performed the actions necessary to further the alleged conspiracy. It is al-leged that the animus of defendants' alleged conspiracy was to suppress the exercise of the primary tenet of plaintiffs' religion, and to interrupt the expression of plaintiffs' moral opposition to the defendants' personal power play of Peace Through Strength by harassment, threats, intimidation, defamation, or imprisonment. As a direct and proximate result of the alleged scheme plaintiffs have collectively suffered ... assault and false arrest, false imprisonment, seizure of property, intentional infliction of emotional distress, as well as deprivation of due process and the exercise of their freedoms of religion, communication, and association in violation of the First, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America, in violation of 42 USC 1985(3), and 1986. It is finally alleged that defendants' heavy-handed abuse of power would constitute the crimes of treason and sedition." 1/ Complaint ("Com."), filed October 27, 1991. para. 20, see also, Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Amended Complaint ("Am. Com."), filed November 23, 1991, para. 19.
1/ Taking appellant's claims as true (Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S 232, 236), appellees have, by brute force, deprived appellant (and through her, the people of the United States, Com., para. 5) of "the right to speak freely and to promote diversity of ideas ... one of the chief distinctions that sets us apart form totalitarian systems." Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 4.
It is my sincere religious belief that the most worthy service I may perform for my Creator, and thus society (see, 1 John 3: 20), is to seek truth (See, John, 8: 32). In pursuit of truth during August, 1981 I began a symbolic "continuous presence" in the public forum of Lafayette Park. Temporary Restraining Order ("TRO"), November 28, 1991, para. 25.
In the tradition of Jesus, I am indigent and have only my physical body and creative ideas with which to communicate to the general public. Signs and literature are the only effective medium available to me for mass communication. See Com. para. 25; TRO, November 28, 1991, para. 27.
My peaceable assembly has never exceeded twenty-five. Although exempted from Permit requirements, in an effort to avoid harassment from the police I have obtained permits which allowed all the activities for which I have ever been arrested. Compare, Clarification of Complaint ("CoC"), filed January 17, 1989, pp. 1-3, TRO; November 28, 1991, para. 26.
My activities have been entirely harmless. See, CoC. paras. 116, 126, 128, 132, 134, 140; TRO, November 28, 1991, para. 28. As the District Court observed, appellees and their agents "have engaged in an ongoing conflict arising from plaintiffs' exercise of their First Amendment rights...." 2/
During the course of my continuous presence I have repeatedly been arrested under color of the "camping" regulation,
2/ Owing to the unrelenting nature of appellees' actions, the appellants were forced to file an ongoing series of pleadings (e.g., Complaint ("Com."), Amended Complaint ("Am. Com."), Clarification of Complaint ("Coc"), several motions for TROs, and a Supplemental Complaint ("Supp. Com.") attempting to address appellees' ongoing assaults on our harmless expressive activities. without probable cause. E.g., Am. Com. para. 13; Am. Com. para. 15; Am. Com. para. 17; Am. Com. para. 18; Am. Com. para. 19; Am. Com. para. 20; Am. Com. para. 23; Am. Com. para. 26; Supplemental Complaint ("Supp. Com."), March 21, 1991, para. 24.
Agents of the Park Police have repeatedly disrupted my communications with the general public. E.g., Am. Com. para. 24; Declaration of William Thomas in Support of the Amended Complaint, paras. 18, 29-41; Declaration of Concepcion Picciotto, September 11, 1989; District Court Order, September 13, 1989.
It is unquestioned that agents of the Park Police have repeatedly seized by signs, literature, and other communicative materials without probable cause. E.g., Am. Com. para. 14; Am. Com. para. 22; TRO, November 28, 1989, para. 35 and Exhibit 1 and Exhibit 2 paras. 13-21; TRO September 18, 1990, pgs. 1, 2; District Court Order October 12, 1990; Supp. Com. para. 23.
The numerous specific allegations relating to unprovoked, unjustified instances when I have been threatened with arrest by agents of the Park Police without probable cause (e.g., Am. Com. para. 27; TRO November 28, 1989, paras. 36-42; Supp. Com. paras. 55, 56, 57), represent only examples of a torturous routine. Declaration of Concepcion Picciotto in Support of the Amended Complaint, filed November 23, 1988, para. 22.
"Since at least as early as the summer of 1982 I have tried to remain awake twenty-four hours a day. During that period it has been my habit to remain sitting up when not standing to insure that, when I am overcome by fatigue and involuntarily fall asleep, I could not be accused of violating the 'camping' regulation merely by virtue of the fact that I had involuntarily fallen asleep. ROUTINELY, that is to say on nearly a daily basis, the Park Police pound on my signs or occasionally poke me with their nightsticks, shine their lights in my face, and threaten me with arrest for 'camping' while I am seated by my signs." Id. para. 4.
In the face of my specific allegations of repeated constitutional deprivations the District Court only commented: "In any event, if it is appropriate, plaintiffs are surely free to challenge their arrests in the proceedings in which they are defendants." Memo, pg. 21. ftn. 17. 3/
The complaint sought declaratory and injunctive relief, and definitions of "casual sleep" and "storage of property," to prevent appellees from disrupting or terminating my religiously-motivated activities by causing me to be assaulted, falsely incarcerated, unlawfully arrested, to suffer the confiscation or destruction of my signs and papers, malicious prosecution, and otherwise persecuting me by exposing me to abuse of police power in retaliation for my continuous presence in a public park.
The District Court held that "unsupported allegations, which fail to specify in detail the factual basis necessary to enable [defendants] intelligently to prepare their defense, will not suffice to sustain a claim of governmental conspiracy to deprive appellants of their constitutional rights." Hobson v. Wilson, 737 F.2d 1, 30, SEE Memo at 11.
I believe that the pleadings in this case clearly allege a definite, specific, yet, with the dismissal of this action,
3/ As the record shows, my arrests have seldom gone to trial. On those few occasions when they have gone to trial I have been unable to raise challenges to the regulations. Nonetheless any challenge in a criminal proceeding obviously would not result in civil relief.
"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." Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 149, 163 (1803).
unexplained pattern and practice which directly links appellees actions to the undisputed incidents ennumerated above.
Allegedly appellees conspired to transform my expressive continuous presence in the White House/Lafayette Park area into "criminal activity" under color of various regulations, and intentionally caused or allowed me to endure an incredible number of wrongful deprivations in violation of the First, Fourth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments. Com. para. 20.
These deprivations occurred first under color of District of Columbia "unlawful entry," "trespass," and "disorderly conduct" statutes. Later certain appellees promulgated a "camping" regulation, which was selectively enforced against me without furthering any substantial government interest. CoC. pgs. 6-9.
Government agents had many "meetings of the mind" for the purpose of "ban(ning protests and demonstrations) from Lafayette Park and the White House sidewalk and requir(ing) that they take place on the Ellipse," at which my continuous presence was a topic. SEE, Complaint, para. 35, and Exhibit 2, cross-reference CoC para. 23, also, CoC, pages 4-7, and paras. 7, 10, 11, 13, 18, 35, 37, 40, 43, 44, 45, 52, 89, 91-115, 128, 129, 131, 134.
Next, appellees promulgated the "White House Sidewalk regulation." E.g., CoC, paras. 23, 44-57, 58, 59, 64, 66, 68, 71, 106, 109, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 119, 122, 126, 130 131, 133, 137, 142. To validate this regulation, appellees presented false testimony to the Federal Court for the District of Columbia. Id. paras. 69, 73, 74, 76, 78, 77, 81, 82.
Then appellees promulgated the "Lafayette Park regulation," which they knew or should have known to be an unnecessary restriction on expressive activity. "Validation" for this
regulation was a 1700-odd-page "Administrative Record," which I allege to be a gross misrepresentation of fact. SEE, CoC, paras. 129-131, 134, also, Amended Complaint, para. 21.
Appellees also imposed "Additional Permit Conditions" which were used to arrest and prosecute me. United States v. Picciotto, 875 F.2d 345 (D.C. Cir. 1989); Notice of Filing, October 12, 1989. Appellees knew or should have known that I was engaged in harmless, constituionally-protected activity and that enforcing the regulations and "Additional Permit Conditions" against me furthered no substantial government interest, and disrupted my protected activities.
Most recently appellees exhibited continued regulatory interest in my communicative activities, and rationalized yet another unnecessary rule-making by stating, Supp. Com. March 21, 1991, para. 83,
"the National Park Service stopped imposing (an improper) rule when the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed the criminal conviction against a defendant charged with a violation of the rule.... United States v. Picciotto, 875 F.2d 345 (D.C. Cir. 1989)" Federal Register Vol. 55 No. 193, October 4, 1990, pg. 40680.
Neither the appellees nor the District Court make any reference to this allegation.
"The essence of a civil conspiracy is participation in a common and unlawful plan whose goals are known to all members -- even if all parties are not privy to each individual act taken in furtherance of the scheme." Hobson v. Wilson, 737 F.2d at 55.
Plainly the allegations suggest an unlawful plan -- the criminalization of constitutionally-protected activity under color of regulations -- and an act in furtherance of the conspiracy; for the purpose of depriving, either directly or
indirectly, me of the equal protection of the laws, or of euqal privileges and immunities under the laws; which was motivated by some class-based, invidious, discriminatory animus; whereby I was injured or otherwise deprived of a right or privilege. District Court's Memorandum ("Memo"), May 24, 1991 at 12, citing Hobson v. Wilson, 737 F.2d at 14.
"Petitioner argued that although she had no knowledge of an agreement between [appellees], the sequence of events created a substantial enough possibility of a conspiracy to allow her to proceed to trial, especially given the fact that the non-circumstantial evidence of the conspiracy could only come from adverse witnesses." Adickes v. Kress, 398 U.S. 144, 157.
In Adickes there was only a single incident, here there is a discernible pattern and practice, plainly focused on the same object; the elimination of appellant's presence, signs, and literature under color of the various regulations.
"We expect that the relationships between the actors and the actions (... the duration of the actors' joint activity} are relevant in inferring an agreement in a civil conspiracy." Halberstam v. Welch, 705 F. 2d 481, parentheses in original.
To hold, as the District Court has, that, "there is no factual support for plaintiffs' conclusory allegations that defendants knowingly violated the law, or ... (t)here is nothing to reflect that defendants acted other than reasonably in pursuing what they believed constituted regulatory violations" (Memo, pgs. 20, 21), is simply to ignore my fundamental contention that appellees concocted and/or selectively enforced those very regulations for the purpose of violating my rights.
I believe the District Court was in error because it simply referred to CCNV v. Clark 468 U.S. 288 (which was inappropriate because only the application, not the constitutionality of the "camping" regulation was at issue, see, Plaintiff Ellen Thomas'
Motion to Supplement the Representation of Plaintiffs' Constitutional Claims against the Regulations at Issue, filed December 13, 1989); White House Vigil v. Clark, 746 F.2d 1518 (which was inappropriate because appellants had alleged that appellees presented false testimony and evidence to the courts in support of that regulation, an allegation unconsidered in ERA).; and United States v. Musser, 873 F.2d 1513 (which was inappropriate because appellants claimed that the Administrative Record in support of the Lafayette Park regulation was also a gross misrepresentation, an allegation unconsidered in Musser).
Given the undisputed facts and specific allegations of this case, coupled with the fact that although the regulations at issue may have received some limited review, the conspiracy alleged by this complaint has never been considered. I believe it is perfectly clear that appellants presented an entirely plausible claim to which appellees should have been required to mount an intelligent defense.
"Whether this is all steam, or whether there is some substance depends on the proof offered either at trial or on motion for Summary Judgment demonstrating that there is no controversy." Richland v. Harper, 302 F.2d 324 at 326 (5th Cir. 1962).
Upon the foregoing discussion, appellant submits that summary reversal is not merited in this case, and appellees' motion should, therefore, be denied.
Concepcion Picciotto, pro se
P.O. Box 4931
Washington, D.C. 20008
No. 91-5304 SEPTEMBER TERM,1991 CA No. 88-3130 Mary Huddle, et. al., Appellants v. Ronald W. Reagan, et. al., Appellees.
I, Concepcion Picciotto, hereby certify that, on January 3, 1992, I served copies of the Appellant Concepcion Picciotto's Opposition to the Federal Appellees' Motion for Summary Affirmance upon AUSA Robert Shapiro, by mailing it first class U.S. mail, postage pre-paid to Judiciary Square, 555 4th Street NW, 4th floor, Washington, D.C. 20001, and upon Assistant Corporation Counsel for the District of Columbia, Victor Long by mailing it first class U.S. mail, postage pre-paid to the District Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Rm. 314, Washington, D.C.
Concepcion Picciotto, appellant