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Activist arrested for registering voters at Occupy San Diego - need legal expert

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Liberty Belle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 08:52 PM
Original message
Activist arrested for registering voters at Occupy San Diego - need legal expert
Edited on Tue Nov-29-11 08:54 PM by Liberty Belle
Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego police arrested Ray Lutz, a former congressional candidate who is active in the Occupy San Diego movement, Tuesday afternoon after he set up and sat down at a voter registration table at Civic Center Plaza Tuesday afternoon. Officers making the arrest said he was cited for trespassing and refusing to leave.

Read more: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/nov/29/occupy-s... /



I'm a journalist in San Diego. I need to interview anyone with expertise on registering voters in California. The cops just arrested the former Democratic Congressional candidate from our area for "trespassing." He was registering voters, seated at a table, in the Civic Center Plaza near Occupy San Diego. Police also took the voter registration forms.

This is public property. From what I understand, nobody else was arrested at this time -- the occupy protesters were left alone and only the man registering voters, Ray Lutz, was arrested.

My understanding is that you are legally allowed to register voters on public property, or even nonpublic property open to the public (ie shopping malls). You cannot be arrested unless you are blocking a walkway or doorway, or violate some other law.

There is a video of the arrest here: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/nov/29/occupy-s... /

I would appreciate a PM from any legal experts in CA or experts on voter registration laws. Was this an illegal arrest?
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Pab Sungenis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
1. K&R
to keep it visible for the legal types.
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lumpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. This is the most outrageous event of the year !
Freedom ??? No.
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ZombieHorde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
3. Wow, of all the cops, what are the odds a corrupt one shows up? nt
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Juneboarder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
4. Whaaat!?!?!
Ray was arrested? This country is headed in the direction of a fascist state. If you don't see it then you aren't paying attention.

I stand in solidarity with OSD.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
5. k&r
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 09:40 PM
Response to Original message
6. Excessive info here, but you're better sorting thru what you need than I.
Edited on Tue Nov-29-11 09:41 PM by elleng
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&cp=16&gs_id=19&xhr=t&q=cal...

Contact Secty of State + League of Women Voters.
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freshwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
7. K & R to resist intimidation and suppressing the vote. Where are TPs on voting? Huh?
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
8. This is what police states do
and this is a federal violation

i also wonder if this to prevent him running against hunter

he is also prominent in the county and involved in ows

any other dots
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Liberty Belle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. He can't run against Hunter anyhow; redistricting put him in another district.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
10. Respectfully, I would not take the word of a message board poster, whether or not that poster
claims to be a lawyer.

For one thing, it's very easy to get a "legal degree" on a meessage board. For another thing, even if true, not all lawyers are created equal.

I think the League of Women Voters and Office of the Secretary of State recommendation made upthread was a good one. The California ACLU is another good source.

Then, at least, you would have a source to quote that you know is both reliable and recognized by readers.
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Liberty Belle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I would always check out any poster claiming to be a lawyer.
I already had a call in to the ACLU and a couple of other key places but haven't heard back.

Sometimes DUers in the past have referred me to sources with phones and websites to check out the source first, and that's what I was hoping to find - a lawyer specializing in CA election laws would be ideal, or perhaps someone from the ACLU, Common Cause, etc.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. I'm not a lawyer but a couple of cases that might perhaps be of interest are

Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins (decided by SCotUS in 1980)
http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1979/1979_79_289

and

Fashion Valley Mall v. NLRB (decided by SCoC in 2007)
http://caselaw.findlaw.com/data2/californiastatecases/S...
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Liberty Belle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. Thanks, I knew about Pruneyard but hadn't seen the other.
Now the city's own former attorney, Mike Aguirre, is saying they broke the law.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. Thanks, that recommendation was from me, a lawyer!
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
12. As far as I know any citizen can witness and register any other citizens ...
but I do notice that our library isn't keeping the forms on display any longer --

nor do I see the Motor Vehicle having any notices up about it --


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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. more detail re CA law can be found here:
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
16. Kicked and recommended.
Thanks for the thread, Liberty Belle.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
17. Belle, this is big news, made it to Rachel's blog!
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pinboy3niner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-30-11 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
19. K&R
This should be a great investigative story--good luck!
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