Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The New Hampshire Supreme Court agrees with the parking meter feeders, cities haven't got a leg to stand on when harrassing "Robin Hood" types preventing the town from issuing parking tickets

In a nearly complete victory for Robin Hood of Keene, the NH supreme court has affirmed nearly all of the superior court’s decisions against the people calling themselves the “City of Keene” in the city’s libelous assault on the heroic activists who have rescued thousands of motorists from parking tickets in downtown Keene in the last couple of years.

the city’s original suit in 2013 asked for a in injunction of a 50ft radius “buffer zone” around each parking enforcer that would preclude the named Robin Hooders from being in that zone. Eventually, they reduced their request to 30ft, then 10-15ft.

The claims of “tortious interference” with the city’s “business” of screwing over people shopping downtown and the claim of “conspiracy” were shut down on a free-speech basis:

The court’s judges know that telling government bureaucrats how you feel their job is wrong is fully within free speech protections, even if the bureaucrats don’t want to hear it. Further, the court opinion backed up the Robin Hooders’ non-verbal actions as protected free speech:

The City nonetheless asserts that specific aspects of the respondents’ conduct — “following closely, chasing, running after, approaching quickly from behind, lurking outside bathrooms, yelling loudly, and filming from close proximity” — is not protected by the First Amendment… The respondents counter that “[e]ven those activities that did not involve speech [are] expressive conduct entitled to First Amendment protection,” and, therefore, are insulated from tort liability. They assert that, “absent acts of significant violence,” the First Amendment protects their non-verbal acts from tort liability. We agree with the respondents.

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