Political Wrinkles  

Go Back   Political Wrinkles > Political Forums > Law & Order
Register FAQDonate PW Store PW Trivia Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Law & Order Discuss Free speech again at center of court case involving man's arrest at selectmen's meeti at the Political Forums; Long story short... Town's council had a "public input" section of their meeting...They tell the guy he has five minutes ...

Reply
 
Share LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2015, 10:09 AM
cnredd's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Philadelphia
Gender: Male
Posts: 57,168
Thanks: 2,441
Thanked 39,162 Times in 21,812 Posts
Default Free speech again at center of court case involving man's arrest at selectmen's meeti

Long story short...

Town's council had a "public input" section of their meeting...They tell the guy he has five minutes to speak his piece...After less than a minute, they decide they don't like what he's saying so they put the kabosh not only on him speaking, but the whole "public input" section of the program...He keeps talking, anyway, and they have him arrested...

Free speech again at center of court case involving man's arrest at selectmen's meeting

Quote:
LACONIA — In a case that could have huge implications, Justice James Carroll — for the second time in six months — is considering whether the constitutional right of freedom of speech can or should be limited to permit the orderly proceedings of government business.

In December in Laconia District Court, Carroll dismissed charges of breach of peace and disobeying a police officer against William Baer, a parent who several months earlier protested a ninth-grade reading selection at a meeting of the Gilford School Board.

On Friday, Carroll held a hearing on a motion to dismiss a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct against Jeffrey Clay, who was arrested Feb. 3, at a meeting of Alton selectmen.

While Clay’s attorney argued that his client was exercising his constitutional right of freedom of speech in criticizing selectmen during the “public input” portion of the meeting, both Alton police Prosecutor Anthony Estee and Alton Police Chief Ryan Heath told Carroll that Clay was taken into custody not because of what he said, but because he had interfered with the meeting.

Jared Bedrick of Sisti Law Offices, who along with Gilles Bissonnette of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire, represents Clay, said his client on Feb. 3 had engaged in constitutionally-protected speech when — without obscenities, anger or physical threats — he asked some of the selectmen to resign for doing a bad job and for violating the state’s Right-To-Know law.

Clay was given five minutes to address selectmen — Clay reportedly set a timer on his cellphone to alert him as he approached the deadline — but just 40 seconds into his remarks, Bedrick said selectmen made and passed a motion that Clay had violated the terms of the public comment by making allegedly defamatory and libelous remarks.

The selectmen’s vote also closed the public input, and when Clay continued to speak, Heath approached him and told him to stop. Because Clay continued talking, Heath issued the command a fourth time, after which he escorted Clay out of the selectmen’s meeting and placed him under arrest — even though Clay still had a minute left to make additional comments.

Subsequently charged with two counts of disorderly conduct, Clay saw one charge dropped prior to Friday’s hearing before Carroll.
__________________
"You get the respect that you give" - cnredd
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2015, 10:14 AM
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,866
Thanks: 10,814
Thanked 8,720 Times in 5,161 Posts
Default Re: Free speech again at center of court case involving man's arrest at selectmen's m

The council should lose this one big time, including their jobs.

If you can't voice your opinion at a pubic input portion of a public meeting, then where can you voice it?
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to jimbo For This Useful Post:
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2015, 10:40 AM
saltwn's Avatar
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Esto perpetua
Posts: 88,101
Thanks: 57,076
Thanked 26,855 Times in 19,306 Posts
Send a message via AIM to saltwn Send a message via MSN to saltwn Send a message via Yahoo to saltwn
Default Re: Free speech again at center of court case involving man's arrest at selectmen's m

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnredd View Post
Long story short...

Town's council had a "public input" section of their meeting...They tell the guy he has five minutes to speak his piece...After less than a minute, they decide they don't like what he's saying so they put the kabosh not only on him speaking, but the whole "public input" section of the program...He keeps talking, anyway, and they have him arrested...

Free speech again at center of court case involving man's arrest at selectmen's meeting
Sounds as if there was a breach of free speech. If there is a video of his remarks I will click the link. If not its hard to determine why such a thing would happen and I would have to side with the citizen.
__________________
On a more positive note, people still can't order dialysis w/o a referral.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2015, 10:48 AM
foundit66's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: California
Gender: Male
Posts: 25,620
Thanks: 10,112
Thanked 15,316 Times in 9,287 Posts
Post Re: Free speech again at center of court case involving man's arrest at selectmen's m

Quote:
Originally Posted by saltwn View Post
Sounds as if there was a breach of free speech. If there is a video of his remarks I will click the link. If not its hard to determine why such a thing would happen and I would have to side with the citizen.
The devil is in the details here.
The comments were described as "allegedly defamatory and libelous remarks". And I can see some statements described as such which should proceed and I can see other statements described as such which should not proceed.

If the guy got up and said something politically inconvenient, I think the council screwed up royally and should get their arse handed to them.

If the guy got up and started talking about how councilman John was a f****t and a p***y for his position on that last bill. And he probably f*****d his neighbor's wife too while stealing the city's money ...

Then, who would think that should be allowed to disrupt the meeting?
The devil is in the details.
__________________
“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”
~Abraham Lincoln
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2015, 11:01 AM
cnredd's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Philadelphia
Gender: Male
Posts: 57,168
Thanks: 2,441
Thanked 39,162 Times in 21,812 Posts
Default Re: Free speech again at center of court case involving man's arrest at selectmen's m

Quote:
Originally Posted by foundit66 View Post
The devil is in the details here.
The comments were described as "allegedly defamatory and libelous remarks". And I can see some statements described as such which should proceed and I can see other statements described as such which should not proceed.

If the guy got up and said something politically inconvenient, I think the council screwed up royally and should get their arse handed to them.

If the guy got up and started talking about how councilman John was a f****t and a p***y for his position on that last bill. And he probably f*****d his neighbor's wife too while stealing the city's money ...

Then, who would think that should be allowed to disrupt the meeting?
The devil is in the details.
From the OP...

Quote:
his client on Feb. 3 had engaged in constitutionally-protected speech when — without obscenities, anger or physical threats — he asked some of the selectmen to resign for doing a bad job and for violating the state’s Right-To-Know law.
__________________
"You get the respect that you give" - cnredd
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2015, 11:20 AM
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,866
Thanks: 10,814
Thanked 8,720 Times in 5,161 Posts
Default Re: Free speech again at center of court case involving man's arrest at selectmen's m

Quote:
Originally Posted by foundit66 View Post
The devil is in the details here.
The comments were described as "allegedly defamatory and libelous remarks". And I can see some statements described as such which should proceed and I can see other statements described as such which should not proceed.

If the guy got up and said something politically inconvenient, I think the council screwed up royally and should get their arse handed to them.

If the guy got up and started talking about how councilman John was a f****t and a p***y for his position on that last bill. And he probably f*****d his neighbor's wife too while stealing the city's money ...

Then, who would think that should be allowed to disrupt the meeting?
The devil is in the details.
I've sat through more than my share of public hearings. Nearly all have public input portions. The rules vary. But if this guy was allowed to speak, and he was within the time limits, then what he had to say is not an issue.

The single unacceptable issue is unacceptable language. Stuff with asterisks in the word is unacceptable. Calling out a council member for his vote, calling for impeachment, pointing out incompetence, etc, is not grounds for cutting off speech, let alone arrest.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2015, 11:24 AM
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,866
Thanks: 10,814
Thanked 8,720 Times in 5,161 Posts
Default Re: Free speech again at center of court case involving man's arrest at selectmen's m

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnredd View Post
From the OP...
his client on Feb. 3 had engaged in constitutionally-protected speech when — without obscenities, anger or physical threats — he asked some of the selectmen to resign for doing a bad job and for violating the state’s Right-To-Know law.

IMO, not only is that speech protected, but is what these public input sections are all about.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2015, 12:33 PM
MrLiberty's Avatar
professional curmudgeon
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Gender: Male
Posts: 30,506
Thanks: 21,953
Thanked 18,613 Times in 11,939 Posts
Default Re: Free speech again at center of court case involving man's arrest at selectmen's m

Politicians like college students today seem to think that any speech they don't like needs to be censored. Maybe the politicians will create "safe zones" where they don't get their little feelings hurt.
__________________
Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.

Donald Trump
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 06-10-2015, 12:40 PM
PW Enlightenment
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Gender: Male
Posts: 12,866
Thanks: 10,814
Thanked 8,720 Times in 5,161 Posts
Default Re: Free speech again at center of court case involving man's arrest at selectmen's m

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLiberty View Post
Politicians like college students today seem to think that any speech they don't like needs to be censored. Maybe the politicians will create "safe zones" where they don't get their little feelings hurt.
They sometimes do.

I've seen a few supervisors suddenly have to take a potty break when a speaker is not speaking to the supervisor's liking.

Never seen a speaker arrested or told to cut his speech short due to content, however.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
again, arrest, case, center, court, free, involving, man, meeti, selectmen, speech

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0