UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
SCOTT ADDISON, DOUGLAS O'BRIEN,
and ARJAY SUTTON,
Case No.: 98-53-CIV-0c-10c
THE FOREST SERVICE OF THE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
STEVE BINIJER, in his official capacity
as Sheriff of Marion County, and
GEORGE E. KNUPP, JR., in his official capacity
as Sheriff of Lake County, Florida,
SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
Plaintiffs, SCOTT ADDISON("ADDISON"), DOUGLAS
O'BRIEN ("O'BRIEN") and ARJAY SUTTON ("SUTTON"),
hereinafter referred to collectively as "Plaintiffs",
sue Defendants, THE FOREST SERVICE OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE("FOREST
SERVICE", "USFS"), STEVE BINIJER, in his official
capacity as Sheriff of Marion County ("MARION SHERIFF"),
and GEORGE E. KNUPP, JR., in his official capacity as Sheriff
of Lake County, Florida ("LAKE SHERIFF"), collectively"Defendants",
1. In this case Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive
relief against targeted roadblocks and other "pro-active"
police tactics designed to interfere with public assemblies known
as "Rainbow Gatherings" in the National Forests in Florida,
to harass and intimidate Plaintiffs and other participants, and
to discourage their attendance. Defendants have used illegal searches
and seizures, heavy-handed arrests, intensive surveillance, lawsuits,
threats, violence,and various other tactics against such events
-- all of which violate Fourth Amendment protections and are designed
to chill the exercise of First Amendment rights to free speech,
expression and free exercise of religion in the National Forests
in Florida. These and related agency actions usurp authorities
of public policymaking and law, and result in systematic abuses
of personal privacy and welfare, prior restraint on protected
speech and expression, and the violation of Plaintiffs' Civil
Rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
PARTIES, JURISDICTION AND VENUE
Plaintiff, ADDISON is a sui juris individual resident
of the State of Illinois and was twice subjected to stops and
searches by Defendants on Forest Road 599 (Ocala National Forest)on
February 7, 1998, en route westbound to a pre-gathering encampment
on FR 599A at 6 PM, and again with a dog search when leaving that
encampment at 7:30 PM. He requested roadblock authorizations or
guidelines and certification of the police dog, and was refused.
Plaintiff Addison will attend Rainbow gatherings and other public
assemblies in the future, and expects that unless restrained,
Defendants will continue and intensify the use of targeted roadblocks
and stops on access roads to public gatherings in the National
Forests, and again subject him to illegal search, seizure, and
police intimidation as a participant in First Amendment protected
3. Plaintiff, SUTTON is a sui juris individual resident
of the Hawthorne, Florida, who was twice subjected to stops and
searches by Defendants on Forest Road 599 (Ocala National Forest)
on February 6 and 7, 1998 -- first by a roadblock at 6 PM, at
the junction of FR 599 and FR 599C, approximately 1.5 miles from
the 599 A Camp, then the next day as a passenger in the vehicle
of Plaintiff Addison leaving that encampment at 7:30 PM. In addition,
Plaintiff Sutton was subjected to stop and search on February
14 and 15, 1997, by Defendants' roadblock at FR 552 and FR 544
in conjunction with a public gathering near Alexander Springs,
Ocala NF. Plaintiff Sutton intends to participate in such assemblies
in the future, and to contribute in a spirit of public service.
He is intimidated personally and concerned on behalf of others
who might be deterred from participating in a public gathering
by police roadblocks and the threat of unwarranted stops, searches,
seizures, and arrests.
4. Plaintiff, O'BRIEN is a sui juris individual
resident of Jacksonville, Florida, who was subjected to stipend
search en route to a Rainbow Gathering on February 22, 1997, at
the roadblock maintained by Defendants on Forest Road 546 and
544, the only direct access to the site from the north. When informed
that interagency police roadblocks were again established against
the public gathering in February 1998, Plaintiff O'BRIEN was deterred
from attending, and is further deterred from entering the Ocala
National Forest for any purpose for fear of being personally profiled
and targeted for selective enforcement.
5. Defendant, FOREST SERVICE is a federal administrative
agency pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 701(b). It is charged by statute
and administrative regulations promulgated by the U.S. Secretary
of Agriculture pursuant to Title 16 U.S.C. § 551 with the
governance, regulation, and operation of the National Forest System
which embraces the National Forests in Florida, including all
portions of the Ocala National Forest ("OcNF") and Osceola
National Forest ("OsNF").
By authorities vested in its "Law Enforcement and
Investigations" Division, the USFS conducts, inter alia,
both ordinary and extraordinary law enforcement operations within
the National Forests, including such operations as described in
paragraph 1 of this complaint, which result directly from the
agency's official and unofficial policies and actions.
6. Defendant, MARION SHERIFF, is the acting Sheriff of
Marion County, Florida, and a county level, constitutional officer
of the State of Florida and is sued in his official capacity only.
Defendant, MARION SHERIFF, is charged with good faith enforcement
of State laws within and beyond its territorial jurisdiction,
including those portions of the County which are occupied by the
OcNF, and as requested by or provided by contract with other law
Defendant MARION SHERIFF participated in roadblocks and
other intensive enforcement actions affecting public gatherings
in the OsNF (Baker County, FL) in February 1996, in the OcNF (Lake
County, FL) in February 1997, and in the OcNF (Marion County,
FL) in February 1998.
7. Defendant, LAKE SHERIFF, is the duly elected Sheriff
of Lake County,Florida, and a county level, separate constitutional
officer of the State of Florida and is sued in his official capacity
only. Defendant, LAKE SHERIFF, is charged with good faith enforcement
of state laws within and beyond its territorial jurisdiction,
including those portions of the County which are occupied by the
OcNF, and as requested by or provided by contract with other law
enforcement entities. Defendant LAKE SHERIFF's Officers participated
in roadblocks and other intensive enforcement actions affecting
public gatherings in the Ocala National Forest in Lake County,
FL in February 1997, and in Marion County, FL in February 1998.
8. All references to Defendants shall include their various
agents, officials and employees.
9. This Court has jurisdiction over the claims raised herein
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 702,
28 U.S.C. § 1331,28 U.S.C. § 1343, 28 U.S.C. §
2201, 28 U.S.C. § 2202, 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
42 U.S.C. § 1985, and 42 U.S.C. § 1988.
10. Venue is appropriate in the Middle District of Florida,
Ocala Division, since the various acts complained of occurred
within that district and division.
11. Rainbow Gatherings are public assemblies which periodically
occur in the National Forests in Florida and elsewhere, where
participants gather to exercise the First Amendment rights of
peaceable assembly, expression, speech and prayer, in a spirit
of public service. Such gatherings are consensual assemblies in
the full meaning and intent of the First Amendment, conducted
by individual participants in cooperation, without any organizing
group or entity.
12. Most of these individuals, including Plaintiffs, attend
such gatherings in order to meet and assemble with each other
to exchange views and/or worship together in communion and to
pray for world peace in the cathedral of nature. The federal courts
have recognized that National Forest lands are a traditional public
forum for expressive activities, and the protected nature of these
13. Defendant, FOREST SERVICE, has demonstrated hostility
towards public gathering participants in the National Forests
in Florida for at least three (3) years. This hostility is consistent
with an unpromulgated national policy of prejudice and animus
toward Rainbow Gatherings nationwide since their inception in
1972. Through the years various draconian tactics have been employed
to harass and impede these events, including roadblocks, surveillance,
subterfuge, arrests, heavy police presence and provocation.
14. New federal regulations requiring a temporary Special-Use
Permit for"Group Uses" (36 CFR § 251,261) were
proposed by Defendant, FOREST SERVICE, in May 1993 [Fed.Reg, 58:86,26940],
and enacted in September 1995 [Fed.Reg, 60:168, 45257]. The final
rules require individual signers to assume vicarious liabilities,
and to accept various arbitrary terms and conditions that are
impossible for gathering participants in a free assembly to fulfill
-- thereby triggering police presence and enforcement actions
against occupancy of National Forest lands by 75 or more people
without a special-use authorization. [36 CFR 261.10(k)] The presumed
enforcement powers include authorities to interfere with traffic
and activities, identify individuals and designate liable"leaders",
prosecute selectively, legally enjoin, and physically exclude
public gathering participants from National Forest lands.
15. In September, 1998 the US District Court in Arizona
ruled that the non-commercial group use regulations are unconstitutional
as a matter of law, stating that the regulatory scheme is impermissibly
broad and subject to unbridled official discretion. Accordingly
the court dismissed an alleged 'Group Use' violation on a defendant's
motion, finding the permit requirement and enforcement thereof
to be unlawful and not binding. U.S. v. Linick, #98-4142MA,
16. Defendant, FOREST SERVICE, began nationwide enforcement
of the"Group Use" rules against a Rainbow gathering
in the Osceola National Forest (OsNF) in February, 1996. A large
multi-agency police force including Defendant, MARION SHERIFF,
was deployed around and inside this event, using various tactics
to intimidate and deter participants, including on-site patrols
and searches, roadblocks at nearby points of access, and police
"gauntlets" affecting traffic on incoming highways and
Forest Roads. Participants were subjected to seizures, searches,
and citations, with many arrests and continuing intrusions upon
gathering access and activities.
17. At the direction of Defendant, FOREST SERVICE, Officers
used personal seizures and intensive roadblocks at the OsNF gathering
in February 1996 to harass and obtain identifications of individual
participants. USFS Officials used this information for purposes
of filing a civil suit against the "Rainbow Family"
alleged as a class, selecting thirty-three (33) of these individuals
and naming them as representative defendants. This Federal lawsuit
moved that the 'Group Use' regulations be ruled valid and Constitutional,
and sought a nationwide injunction against unpermitted public
gatherings in the National Forests. It did not succeed in these
purposes, but the final ruling left 12 people under default judgment,
and lent presumptive validity to the Government's unchallenged
use of roadblocks and related police actions for purposes of 'Group
Use' enforcement and litigation.
18. The campaign of harassment continued the following
year, in conjunction with the February 1997 Rainbow gathering
near Alexander Springs, Ocala National Forest (Lake County). As
participants began to arrive on or about February 11, 1997, Defendants
deployed a large police force on and around Forest Road 544 with
aerial surveillance in support. Under color of 'Group Use' permit
enforcement, Defendants' Officers targeted intensive enforcement,
stops, and searches on incoming vehicles, impeding traffic and
using confrontative tactics to pressure participants into signing
a permit. They also seized control of the "Welcome Home"
area at the trail head into the gathering site, prohibited parking
nearby in both directions, and maintained a continuing presence
in that vicinity throughout the gathering.
19. Defendants maintained major roadblocks generally in
two locations simultaneously during high-traffic periods of both
weekends of the gathering, including February 14, 15, 21, and
22, 1997,and possibly other dates. Three principal locations were
used for this purpose, encompassing the only routes of vehicle
access to the gathering site: (A) Junction of Forest Roads 546
and 544, the only direct route to the public gathering site from
the North; (B) junction of Forest Roads 552 and 544, and (C) F.R.
552, about one-quarter mile west of 544, both on the only direct
route to the site from the South.
20. Defendants established the location and timing of these
roadblocks so as to target gathering participants specifically,
and to affect as many participants as possible during periods
of peak ingress and egress. Virtually every gathering participant
used F.R. 544 to reach the gathering site, park and handle supplies,
and depart. Conversely, few if any persons not connected with
the gathering used or were likely to use F.R. 544 at these times.
21. Plaintiff, SUTTON, was stopped twice on Forest Roads
552 and 544,on February 14 and 15, 1997. On the first occasion
he was transporting several hundred pounds of food supplies to
the event, and had to resist a dog search for reasons of public
health. The following day he was stopped again outbound to the
lake landing east on F.R. 552, and detained for thirty minutes
by Officers who harassed and demanded identification from passengers
in his vehicle.
22. On February 22, 1997, Plaintiff O'BRIEN was subjected
to an illegal stop and search while entering the site from the
North, at the roadblock maintained by Defendants at the junction
of Forest Road 546 and 544.
23. All Defendants deployed police personnel, vehicles,
and equipment in significant force at these roadblocks, with prominent
display of arms and the use of intensive area floodlights at night.
Other known and unknown agencies were involved in the roadblocks,
and numerous other units were engaged in related surveillance,
stakeouts, and enforcement actions, targeted against "Rainbows"
on-site and on tributary roads.
24. Defendants maintained these roadblocks on the pretext
of conducting vehicle "Safety Checks", resulting in
many participants being subjected to interrogation, demands for
passenger identifications, misuse of detection dogs, searches
without warrant, cause, or consent, and prosecutions on alleged
cannabis "traces" or"paraphernalia". On information
and belief, many citations were issued on petty infractions, or
where no violation had occurred. A number of public strip searches
were conducted, a young woman was sexually molested by a female
police officer, numerous arrestees reported mistreatment in the
Lake County jail, and friends coming to the courthouse to assist
were harassed in Tavares.
25. On Saturday afternoon, February 22, 1997 a small group
of about 20 gatherers staged a peaceful demonstration and Vigil
at the F.R. 552 roadblock site, observing procedures and encouraging
new arrivals who were being stopped. At no time did Vigilers impede
traffic or interfere with officers in the conduct of their duties,
nor did any of them cross police lines when officers confined
them to a small area. A few arrests were made against people unwittingly
returning to their cars or just trying to get through the area.
Defendants' officers then jumped the police lines and began arresting
and macing Vigilers, observers, and photographers, chasing a man
fleeing through the woods, manhandling detainees on the ground,
dragging some through the mud by their hair. Twelve (12) people
were arrested in the Vigil incidents that day; most were charged
with "obstructing" or"resisting without violence",
although a 90-pound young woman faced two felony charges of assault
against officers, high bail, and spent thirty-three days in jail.
26. Defendants' roadblocks and related police actions at
the Alexander Springs gathering site (OcNF) between February 11
and February 24, 1997 resulted in the arrest and incarceration
of about ninety (90) known participants in that gathering, many
violations of civil rights, and a climate of fear around this
First Amendment event.
27. Beginning in late January, 1998, individuals began
arriving in the OcNF situated in Marion County, Florida, in order
to prepare for and participate in a public gathering, which was
expected to continue for approximately two (2) weeks through late
28. On or about February 2, 1998, a public announcement
was posted on the Internet identifying the location of the gathering
at Juniper Prairie in the ONF from February 11th to February 25th,
and providing directions via Forest Road 599 to a separate temporary
campsite on Forest Road 599A.
29. On or about February 4, 1998, Defendant, FOREST SERVICE,
issued notice of an impending "prescribed fire" at Juniper
Prairie to be carried out on February 5-6 as a technique for restoring
native prairie ecology, with public warning to stay out of the
designated area during the fire and thereafter.
30. On February 5 and 6, 1998, crews of 'Burn Specialists'
authorized by Defendant, FOREST SERVICE, conducted controlled
burns of surface vegetation extensively in the Juniper Prairie
Wilderness, through large areas of land sections east of F.R.
65, and south of F.R. 10. The fires left the meadows, pond sides,
and some forest understory scorched, blackened and smoldering
into the weekend. That area included the intended gathering site,
right at the time intended participants had planned to go there
and prepare. This created much fear of extreme official measures
to deter a gathering, and much concern over impacts to this sensitive
site. Plaintiffs believe and therefore allege that the controlled
burn of Juniper Prairie was conducted in response to the announcement
of the proposed gathering site.
31. Defendants further mobilized their forces in response
to the temporary campsite, and established and maintained police
roadblocks on Forest Road 599 within the OcNF, near the boundary
of Marion and Lake counties.
32. This sector of F.R. 599 provided the main direct means
of vehicular access to and from the temporary "holding"
encampment on F.R. 599A. Virtually every camper or visitor in
the '599A' holding camp had to use that road to reach the campsite
or depart.Conversely, few if any persons not connected with the
temporary camp used or were likely to use Forest Road 599 at this
33. By the location and timing of the roadblocks on FR
599, Defendants targeted travelers on the only direct route to
and from the '599A' camp. These actions were intended to intimidate
and harass people staying at or visiting that camp, on the presumed
grounds that they were likely to participate in a public gathering
to commence in mid-February at a nearby OcNF site.
34. On February 6, 1998, the roadblock was established
at the junction of F.R. 599 and 599C, approximately 1.5 miles
from the '599A' Holding Camp. Reportedly Defendants stopped and
temporarily detained pedestrians walking on the road, as well
35. On February 7, 1998, Defendants again established a
roadblock on Forest Road 599, on this occasion at the junction
of F.R. 562, less than one-half mile from the '599A' Holding Camp.
Defendants FOREST SERVICE, MARION SHERIFF, and LAKE SHERIFF were
all present and participating in this roadblock. Plaintiff, ADDISON,
was stopped at this location with one passenger in his vehicle,
while entering the campsite at about 6 PM. Defendants' Officers
visually inspected the interior of Plaintiff's van, demanded identification
of Plaintiff and his passenger, conducted a vehicle safety check,
then allowed Plaintiff's vehicle to pass.
36. At about 7:30 P.M. on the same evening, Plaintiff,
ADDISON, was stopped at the same location again while leaving
the '599A' Holding Camp with two passengers. Defendants demanded
vehicle papers and ID's a second time; Plaintiff asked to be allowed
to proceed, stating that he had just passed through a check point
inbound at 6 P.M., and questioning legal authorities. Defendants
then directed Plaintiff to pull over for a search by a drug detection
dog. Plaintiff denied consent, but was compelled to pull to the
side; police handlers brought over a dog and walked it around
the vehicle, but the dog did not indicate a "hit". Plaintiff
requested the dog's certification for use in official searches,
but Defendants refused to provide such proof.
37. On February 10, 1998, Defendant, FOREST SERVICE, erected
"No Parking" signs along F.R. 10 on the north perimeter
of the gathering site, limiting supply access via the shortest
trail approximately 1.2 miles west of F.R.65. Gatherers then had
to set up the main gate at the head of a longer trail off F.R.65,
about one (1) mile south of F.R. 10, at the junction F.R. 76 abutting
F.R. 65 from the west.
38. Thereafter, on information and belief, Defendants established
roadblocks on February 13, 14, and 20, 1998, and possibly other
dates, at the following three (3) locations surrounding the entrance
to the Juniper Prairie gathering site:
a) F.R. 65 approximately 600 feet south of the main gate;
39. By virtue of their temporal and spacial proximity to
the 599A camp and the Juniper Prairie gathering sites respectively,
the Police roadblocks which Defendants maintained on F.R. 599,
F.R. 65 and F.R. 76 differed substantially from ordinary roadblocks:
They were not designed or likely to serve any generalized law
enforcement objectives, nor to serve as safety checks, but were
instead targeted at those who were believed by officials on the
basis of personal appearance and association to be likely attendees
at this public gathering, while deliberately avoiding or strictly
minimizing any imposition on the residents of Marion and Lake
counties, or other visitors to the Ocala National Forest.
40. On information and belief, Defendants conducted systematic
surveillance on this gathering and its participants, by various
means including police stakeouts, undercover observers, on-site
videotaping, radio monitoring, aerial photography, and remote
41. The roadblocks referenced above have been established
and maintained at such times and places whereas to selectively
target Plaintiffs and other persons who attend Rainbow Gatherings,
while minimizing or avoiding any intrusion, search or seizure
of persons not connected with such gatherings.
42. Defendants and others affiliated with them have historically
maintained an intensive and chilling police presence including
roadblocks around public gatherings in Florida, as a matter of
deliberate policy. Defendant, FOREST SERVICE publicly stated in
November, 1997 that "the agency puts up roadblocks every
time the Rainbow Family gathers in a national forest." (The
Daily Commercial, Leesburg FL, 11/14/97)
43. According to public documents relating to published
notice of roadblocks by Defendants, the only major, multi-agency
roadblocks which have occurred in the National Forests in Florida
since 1996 have been timed so as to coincide with Rainbow Gathering
activities, traditionally in February each year.
44. Defendants used threat of violence and prosecution
to compel unauthorized persons to sign Group Use Permits for the
OcNF gatherings in February 1997-98, yet maintained roadblocks
targeting participants, despite the fact that these events were
legal and authorized under permits issued by Defendant FOREST
45. Each of the roadblocks referred to above have included
a requirement that the drivers and passengers of the stopped vehicles
identify themselves and produce their vehicle registration and
insurance documents. This practice has continued despite the fact
that Defendant, FOREST SERVICE, has stated officially that "...it
is not necessary or appropriate to search cars entering the Gathering
or to verify the driver's car registration, insurance, and license."
[Fed.Reg., 8/30/95; 60:168,45266.]
46. The searches and seizures occurring at these roadblocks
were unlikely to promote any actual, legitimate law enforcement
goal or objective, and they constituted a serious intrusion upon
the reasonable expectation of privacy on the part of Plaintiffs
and others who were stopped, searched and seized.
47. The searches and seizures of Plaintiffs were conducted
in the absence of probable cause or any individualized articulable
suspicion to believe that Plaintiffs or other had committed any
offenses which would justify detention, questioning or arrest.
48. The roadblocks referenced above have been punctuated
by incidences of unreasonable use of force, strip searches, sexual
harassment, abuse of pregnant woman, searches of small children,
illegal canine tactics and illegal arrests.
49. Defendant, FOREST SERVICE generally manages such gatherings
by forming an "Incident Command Team", composed of selected
USFS Law Enforcement and 'Line' staff from the region and elsewhere,
with local authorities derived from the District Ranger via written
and/or verbal waivers. De facto policy decisions to establish
roadblocks on public gatherings have been made principally or
unilaterally by Law Enforcement personnel of Defendant, FOREST
SERVICE, on these general authorities and broader powers to fund
and enact interagency law enforcement agreements to such ends.
50. The vehicle roadblocks or "safety checks"
occurring coincidentally at or near Rainbow Gatherings are not
supported by any approved Forest Service Policy.
51. There are no official guidelines authorizing or governing
the conduct of the above referenced roadblocks in the National
52. As further evidence of the pattern of harassment and
animus toward Rainbow Gathering participants, in late-June and
early July 1996 Defendant, FOREST SERVICE established roadblocks
less than a mile from the entrance to the Ozark Rainbow Gathering,
in Mark Twain N.F. (MO). Despite formal appeals to remove them,
stops and seizures targeting participants continued nearly throughout
the event, resulting in 31 arrests and 499 citations. The Forest
Service alone spent $300,000 on roadblocks and law enforcement
at this Gathering. On July 23, 1996 a civil suit was filed in
Federal District Court (Kansas City) against the Forest Service
and collaborating State and County police agencies, seeking declaratory
and injunctive relief from targeted roadblocks and related Fourth
Amendment violations. [Park v. Forest Service, et. al; #96-3288-CV-S-3;
U.S. District Court,Kansas City, MO].
53. In September 1997 Defendant FOREST SERVICE moved for
a Stay of proceedings in the Missouri roadblock case cited above,
pending formation of a "National Check Point Policy"
by USFS administrators. On information and belief, this planned
'Policy' would empower USFS officers to conduct roadblocks on
public events in the National Forests, with broad discretions
as to the purposes and conduct of such actions, and create new
enforcement authorities not heretofore held independently by this
54. On September 24, 1997 certain officials of Defendant
FOREST SERVICE issued a document entitled "Region 8 LE&I
Vehicle Checkpoint Policy", asserting powers of USFS Law
Enforcement & Investigations personnel operating within that
Region to establish vehicle "checkpoints" on their own
discretion without prior notice or authorization, and in violation
of existing USDA guidelines and Fourth Amendment constraints.
55. Despite pending civil litigation against such practices,
roadblocks resumed in Ocala N.F. in February 1997, and again in
February 1998, with the Stay in Missouri case proceedings still
in effect. By these measures Defendant, FOREST SERVICE acted in
bad faith on its stated intent and public mandate to desist from
such tactics while related legal and administrative issues remained
to be resolved.
56. On February 20, 1998, this Court found that evidence
adduced at the preliminary injunction hearing strongly suggested
the Defendant, FOREST SERVICE had selectively targeted its enforcement
efforts against Plaintiffs, and that its actions may not be in
accordance with the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the
United States. Preliminary Injunction at p.2. Accordingly, the
Court enjoined the practice of safety checks and/or motor vehicle
stops and searches except in particular circumstances.
57. Defendants, MARION SHERIFF and LAKE SHERIFF, also agreed
to this injunction.
58. However, even after the issuance of the injunction,
Defendant, FOREST SERVICE in conjunction with State of Florida
law enforcement officers, continued to maintain roadblocks on
F.R. 65 so as to target participants of the Rainbow gathering
at Juniper Prairie on February 20, 21, and possibly February 22,
59. A month later, Defendant FOREST SERVICE mounted aggressive
roadblocks and other actions against a small regional gathering
in Homochitto National Forest, Mississippi, with Copiah and Hinds
County Sheriff's Departments and Federal Marshals participating.
On March 20 and 21, 1998, and possibly other dates, multi-agency
roadblocks were set up with a large number of police personnel
and vehicles in front of the gathering entrance, conducting illegal
searches and seizures, direct intimidation, and physical and sexual
assaults on gathering participants. On March 21, 1998 police officers
entered the site with personal and vehicle identifications concealed,
and carried out a full-scale raid on encampments near the parking
area -- entering private vehicles and shelters without warrant
or probable cause, and seizing photographic and written documentation
from participants. Between 30 and 40 people were arrested as a
result of police actions that weekend, many of whom were held
for several days in the Copiah County jail,until a civil rights
suit was filed with the Federal Court in Jackson,Mississippi.
60. Plaintiffs fully intend to attend future Rainbow Gatherings
and other public assemblies which may be held in the National
Forests in Florida within this District, and to participate in
pre-gathering site preparation and/or post-gathering site restoration
and stewardship efforts.
61. Based on their past conduct, Defendants will, unless
restrained by this Court, again establish and maintain police
roadblock operations similar to those described above whenever
there is a Rainbow Gathering. Plaintiffs and others will also
face unreasonable searches and seizures by Defendants as they
travel to and from the sites of these future gatherings.
62. All conditions precedent to the bringing of this action
have been performed, waived or excused.
63. Plaintiff, O'BRIEN has retained the undersigned firm
to prosecute this action and is obligated to pay said firm a reasonable
fee for its services. Plaintiffs Pro Se, ADDISON and SUTTON have
acted as co-counsel, and have incurred reasonable expenses in
pursuing legal remedy on their own behalf.
64. The spiritual and cultural activities engaged in by
public gathering participants in the National Forests in Florida
constitute free speech, expression and religion and are therefore
fully protected by the First, and Fourteenth Amendments to the
United States Constitution.
65. The police tactics referenced above are selectively
targeted for use upon Plaintiffs and other participants in the
66. The police tactics referenced above chill the exercise
of free speech, expression and religion by Plaintiffs and others
attending the Rainbow Gatherings in the National Forests in Florida.
67. The climate of fear generated by the police tactics
referenced above has created a prior restraint on free speech
and expression which is presumed to be unconstitutional.
68. The police tactics referenced above violate the Fourth
Amendment's proscription against unreasonable searches and seizures.
69. Federal law does not allow for the roadblocks utilized
by Defendants on federal lands.
70. Defendants' failure to utilize specific written guidelines
when conducting the above referenced roadblocks itself results
in a Fourth Amendment violation.
71. The delays incurred by persons waiting in line at the
above referenced roadblocks, or being interrogated and searched
while not free to leave, constitute an unconstitutional temporary
deprivation of liberty.
72. The roadblocks are operated in such a manner so as
to unnecessarily delay motorists, detain passengers, and impede
pedestrians in travel.
73. Defendants have enacted an unpromulgated "policy"
regarding treatment of roadblocks as applicable to Rainbow Gatherings
which constitutes an unlawful delegation of legislative and/or
administrative authority by the Defendants.
74. The "Region 8 LE&I Vehicle Checkpoint Policy"
dated September 24, 1997 assumes regional authorities not previously
held by USFS officers, usurps existing USFS guidelines and national
policymaking by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and was promulgated
without public notice or opportunity for public comment or hearings,
thereby violating provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.
75. Defendants conspired with and among each other to commit
the civil rights violations alleged herein in violation of 42
U.S.C. § 1985, and have demonstrated a clear animus against
the class of persons desiring to attend "Rainbow Gatherings"
based solely on attendees' appearance, creed, and ways of religious
and political expression.
76. The manner in which the roadblocks were deployed, searches
conducted, and arrests made constitutes objective evidence of
Defendants' bad faith.
77. The actions of Defendants are motivated by a predominantly
censorial purpose based on the spiritual and cultural creed exercised
by Plaintiffs and other public gathering participants, and the
desire to wage a war of attrition under color of law, and put
an end to future Rainbow Gatherings through harassment, intimidation
and other illegal law enforcement conduct.
78. Plaintiffs re-allege the allegations contained in Paragraphs
1 through 77, inclusive.
79. This is an action for declaratory and supplemental
relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § § 2201 and 2202, asking
the Court to declare the respective rights, status, and other
equitable and legal relations between Plaintiffs' and Defendants
with respect to their individual and collective actions.
80. Plaintiffs contend that the campaign of bad faith harassment,
heavy-handed police tactics and illegal roadblocks directed at
Plaintiffs' First Amendment protected activities constitute a
violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and § 1985, and in conjunction
with related official actions to establish public policy by police
fiat, further constitute a violation of 5 U.S.C. § 501 et.seq.,
§ 553, and § 706 of the Administrative Procedure Act
81. Defendants will likely contend that their actions are
legal and constitutional.
82. There is an actual, bona fide dispute between Plaintiffs
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs request that this Court grant the
a. Enter a declaratory judgment determining that the campaign
of bad faith harassment, heavy-handed police tactics, illegal
roadblocks, and unlawful policymaking violate 42 U.S.C. §
1983 and § 1985,and 5 U.S.C. § 501 et.seq., § 553
and § 706.
b. Grant such further relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2202
as is equitable and just under the circumstances; and
c. Enter an Order awarding Court costs incurred in prosecuting
this action including a reasonable attorney's fee and pro se expenses
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1988.
b) F.R. 65 approximately 600 feet north of the main gate;
c) F.R. 76 approximately one-quarter (1/4) mile west of the maingate.
Permanent Injunctive Relief
83. Plaintiffs re-allege the allegations contained in Paragraphs
1 through 77, inclusive.
84. This is an action for permanent injunctive relief.
85. This Court entered a preliminary injunction against Defendant,
FOREST SERVICE on February 20, 1998, prohibiting some of the challenged
conduct by Defendant, FOREST SERVICE.
86. Defendants, MARION SHERIFF and LAKE SHERIFF thereafter
stipulated to the entry of the same preliminary injunction against
87. In the absence of a permanent injunction, Defendants
will continue to intimidate, threaten, harass and otherwise violate
the First and Fourth Amendment rights of Plaintiffs and other
Rainbow Gathering participants in the absence of a permanent injunction.
88. Prospective injunctive relief is appropriate upon the
declaration by this Court that the above described conduct constitutes
a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and § 1985.
89. Loss of First Amendment rights, even for minimal periods
of time,constitutes irreparable injury per se.
90. The loss of constitutionally protected speech, expression
and/or religion is not readily valued or measured, and thus any
legal remedy is per se inadequate when depravation of First Amendment
rights are involved.
91. The granting of a permanent injunction would be consistent
with the public interest since it would serve to protect the First
and Fourth Amendment rights of Plaintiffs and other participants
in the Rainbow Gatherings in the ONF. On the other hand, the denial
of permanent injunction would be contrary to the public interest
since it would result in the denial of cherished constitutional
rights and freedoms.
92. Any harm to Defendants by the inability to continue
in their campaign of harassment and intimidation is outweighed
by the harm to the Plaintiffs and other "Rainbow Gathering"
participants by the inability to exercise their freedoms without
harassment, intimidation and violation of their civil rights.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs request that this Court grant the
a. Issue a permanent injunction prohibiting Defendants
from committing additional constitutional violations through their
targeted law enforcement tactics, roadblocks, searches, seizures
and arrests; and
b. Enter an Order awarding court costs incurred in prosecuting
this action including a reasonable attorney's fee and pro se expenses
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988.
DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
93. Plaintiffs hereby demand trial by jury on all issues
Scott Addison Lawrence G. Walters
pro se Florida Bar No.:0776599
508 E. Kirkwall Lane 228 Park Avenue North, Suite B
Schaumburg, Illinois 60193 Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407)539-1140 WASSERMAN & WALTERS
(407)539-1126 fax Attorney for Plaintiff OBRIEN
110 E. Cowpen Lake Point Road
Hawthorne, Florida 32640
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of the foregoing
has been furnished , by U. S. Mail to Reginald Luster, Esquire,
Attorney for Defendant, The Forest Service, Office of the U.S.
Attorney, Sun Trust Bank Building, 200 West Forsyth Street, Suite
700, Jacksonville, Florida 32202 and Caroline Ann Falvey, Esquire,
Attorney for Lake and Marion Sheriffs, Post Office Box 2720, Ocala,
Florida 34478-2720, this ________ day of December, 1998.
Lawrence G. Walters