City of Keene Violated Separation of PowersAccording to Motion to Dismiss filed in Keene district court. As previously blogged here, attorney Jon Meyer recently proved in court that the people calling themselves the "City of Keene" have been illegally issuing "no trespass" orders to people they don't want in Central Square. Now Meyer has filed a motion to dismiss the criminal trespass case against Robin Hooder Graham Colson. In the well-written motion, supportive memo, and supplemental memo, Meyer lays out his case about why the city's no trespass orders are unconstitutional. In essence, they have no statutory or ordinance-based authority to issue a no-trespass order in response to a skateboarding violation, because receiving such an order is not listed as the punishments for skateboarding in city ordinance - this act is basically KPD making their own law! In addition, the order that was issued by KPD and "the city" violates Graham's right to due process:
the act of prohibiting Colson from Keene Central Square violates the Due Process Clause because Colson did not have any notice that skateboarding in the Keene Central Square would result in a police order prohibiting him from entering the square.
Meyer also argues the order is an unconstitutional violation of his Graham's free speech rights as it bans him from a public common, historically used to express ideas.
Finally, in the supplemental memo Meyer points out that the no trespass order was issued without any conviction of Graham for his alleged skateboarding violation. In fact, it was issued instead of charging Graham with violating the skateboarding ordinance. This is the executive branch, via the orders of Keene city manager John Maclean, acting as the judicial and legislative branches. The city council never authorized such a penalty for skateboarding and a charge was never brought before a court, meaning Graham's due process rights were clearly violated. Legally, Keene police officer Jason Short is only allowed to allege a violation - those charges need to be proven in court. Instead, Short found him guilty on the spot and imposed punishment in the form of the illegal "no trespass" order.
The amount of government malfeasance in this case is astounding.Ian Freeman
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