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Fri Mar 29, 2013, 11:10 AM

Lawyer falsely arrested, then ordered to pay Bank Of America $50K for trying to sue

San Mateo County (San Francisco Bay Area) prosecutor Sharon Henry went to a Bank of America branch in Noe Valley five years ago to deposit a check and got arrested for check fraud because of a manager’s mistake.

San Francisco police took her to jail, chained her to a wall, did not let her take her diabetes medication and refused to let her make a phone call that might have cleared things up, then released her in two hours when the bank learned the truth.

Henry sued BofA and the police. That’s when the deputy district attorney learned a harsh lesson — not only could she not sue, but she was ordered to pay the bank’s $50,000 in attorneys’ fees for allegedly trying to chill its freedom of speech.

STORY: http://blog.sfgate.com/crime/2013/03/29/prosecutor-falsely-arrested-ordered-to-pay-bank-50k/

The judge in the case said in going to court to challenge BofA's report to police, Henry was engaging in unjustified interference with the bank's legally protected freedom of speech. On that basis, the judge ordered her to pay the bank's $50,000 legal costs.

The appeals court upheld the judge's decision (unanimously, no less), writing that "Henry's claims arise from a perfect storm of coincidences and a case of mistaken identity, and ... her actions in this matter were blameless," neither the bank nor the officers violated her rights.

It also upheld the order that she pay the bank's legal fees, for "chilling its freedom of speech."



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Reply Lawyer falsely arrested, then ordered to pay Bank Of America $50K for trying to sue (Original post)
Auggie Mar 2013 OP
JustAnotherGen Mar 2013 #1
Roland99 Mar 2013 #2
Initech Mar 2013 #9
Scuba Mar 2013 #3
R. Daneel Olivaw Mar 2013 #4
Gormy Cuss Mar 2013 #5
Dawson Leery Mar 2013 #6
AnotherMcIntosh Mar 2013 #7
City Lights Mar 2013 #8

Response to Auggie (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 11:12 AM

1. Well we have freedom of speech too

And since they continue to send credit card apps I'll make sure to print this one out and include it in the next return to sender.

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 11:14 AM

2. Wow...a CORPORATION's "Freedom of Speech" trumps that of a U.S. Citizen.

*That* is what this entire nation should be outraged by!

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 30, 2013, 12:17 AM

9. Fuck you Citizens United!!!!

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 11:24 AM

3. You can't fight city hall, which is owned by the banksters.

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 11:31 AM

4. "Corporations are people my friend."


I went through something similar, but minor in comparison. No jail time was involved, but I won out in the end. It was not because I was judged right, but because a clerical error was involved and had run past its ability to collect.

The banks and government will do whatever they can to shake you down regardless of how innocent you are. No matter how much they screw up they will try to peg you with the blame.

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 11:59 AM

5. That'll teach her. Next time, just sit quietly after you've been sent to jail over a bank mistake.

BofA should pay HER for the error. Freedom of speech my ass. They falsely accused her of a crime and got her arrested, and somehow they're the victims?

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 12:45 PM

6. Had the TARP scam never passed, BOA would be dead.

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 11:38 PM

7. The full-text of the court opinion can be found here:

 

http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/memoranda/2013/03/27/11-16927.pdf

The court opinion doesn't refer to speech. The court opinion, contrary to the blogger, doesn't say that the prosecutor "was ordered to pay the bank’s $50,000 in attorneys’ fees for allegedly trying to chill its freedom of speech."

The 1st Amendment is applicable but the First Amendment is not limited to freedom of speech issues. That Amendment, which has been interpreted as being applicable to the States in the first case argued by the ACLU before the Supreme Court (Gitlow v New York), provides in part:
"Congress shall make no law ... abridging ... the right ... to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

When an employee suspects criminal activity and has no illegal motive for contacting the police, what do you want the employee to do? What should any of us want an employee to do? Should we inhibit employees, for example, from being whistle-blowers who can be sued by the wealthy? Should we inhibit employees from taking any action?

Apparently, the court wants such employees to contact the police. Quite frankly, this seems reasonable. What the police do thereafter is determined by the police. This concept of having a right "to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" goes back centuries. As noted in Wikipedia,
"The Right to Petition, granted by Edgar the Peaceful, King of England in the 10th century, antedates the Magna Carta in terms of its significance in the development of democratic institutions. As currently conceived, the right claims that democracy cannot properly function in the presence of barriers between the governed and the governing."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-SLAPP

Some of the rich and the super-rich have brought needless lawsuits to overcome that right. Such a lawsuit is known as a strategic lawsuit against public participation or SLAPP. California responded, as did some States, by adopting an anti-SLAPP statute (Code Civ. Proc. § 425.16).

May I suggest that we do not want to weaken any State's anti-SLAPP statute. If outrage is generated by the MSM and the State legislators in California or elsehere respond with exceptions for cases in which the government failed to prove that a reported party was guilty (just think of the banksters), that is exactly what will happen.

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 11:58 PM

8. Corporations rule...people are irrelevant.

Who knew the Constitution was written to protect corporations? I learn something new everyday!


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