Monday, January 9, 2012

[SDCPJ] Fw: [OccupySD] Ray Lutz In Court over Voter Table, 9am rally at courthouse


-----Forwarded Message-----
From: Raymond Lutz
Sent: Jan 9, 2012 2:53 PM
To: copsmedia@citizensoversight.org, occupysd@citizensoversight.org
Subject: [OccupySD] Ray Lutz In Court over Voter Table, 9am rally at courthouse

OCCUPY SAN DIEGO


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: Ray Lutz   619-820-5321   raylutz@citizensoversight.org


Man Arrested for Registering Voters to be Arraigned, Jan 10, 2012

Ray Lutz was Arrested on November 29 when he set up a voter-registration table in the San Diego Civic Center Plaza

Rally will occur at 9am on the Steps  of the Superior Court on Jan 10.


January 9, 2012 (SAN DIEGO) – Ray Lutz is scheduled for arraignment on Jan 10, 2012 at the San Diego Superior Court at 202 W. Broadway, Dept 3, at 8am. However, court procedures usually start the arraignment hearing at 10am. Protestors will gather at the front steps of the courthouse at 9am, and Ray Lutz will be available for comment at that time.

Lutz was arrested on Tuesday, November 29th for setting up a voter-registration table and proceeding to register voters in the one and only town square of the City of San Diego. He was charged with trespassing on private property, handcuffed, and jailed for 11 hours.

"I didn't expect to be arrested," said Lutz. "That's why I parked in the 15-minute zone. I figured I would simply help set up the table, and train some volunteers how to register voters, like I've done many times before in several privately-owned malls. The Robbins Vs. Pruneyard Supreme Court decision defends the rights of the public to go into those malls, because they have become the quasi-town square."

The Pruneyard case has been tested in cases where the public frequents but are less like the town square, such as at a Costco and Trader-Joes. The rights of the public are less in those situations. But the case has not been tested in placed that are more like the town square, such as the San Diego Civic Center Plaza.

One portion of the plaza is denoted as private property by small metal monuments embedded in the concrete. So this is private property that is actually in the town square. By reasonable extension, the rights of the public should be even stronger than in a private mall, where the primary purpose is to promote shopping and product sales. There is no other purpose of the town square than to host the public.

On November 28th, Lutz sent a letter to the manager of the Civic Center Plaza Office Building, a building which is 91% rented for use by the city. In that letter, he provided the text of the Supreme Court Case, asserted the rights of the public to use the square for peaceful political purposes. He described how his use would not impact the operation of the office building, would be in a manner commensurate with the other uses of the plaza, and would be in a place and time appropriate for that use.

However, when Lutz attempted to set up his voter registration table, he was initially threatened with arrest under the encroachment law, SDMC 54.0110. But since the site was not on public property, the city could not arrest him at that location for "encroachment". (A ballot measure has been submitted to the City of San Diego City Council to amend that law to allow for "peaceful picketing, lawful labor activities and peaceful political activities" and will be on the agenda at the January 11, 9am rules committee.)

However, the trespassing law under which Lutz was arrested DOES have the exemption for "peaceful picketing, lawful labor activities and peaceful political activities," and therefore he asserts that his arrest and incarceration was unlawful. Moreover, the federal Supreme Court decision clearly provides for access to even privately-owned malls for political activity.

Lutz has filed a civil suit against the building management firm, CBRE, Inc. (formerly CB Richard Ellis, Inc.) for false imprisonment, and Lutz is being represented by former San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre.

"The building is apparently owned by JP Morgan Chase, and the largest share owner of CBRE Inc. is Goldman Sachs. The Chair of the Board of CBRE is Richard Blum, husband of California Senator Diane Feinstein, virtually a who's who of the Wall Street 0.1% who are subject to scrutiny by the Occupy Wall Street movement," Lutz said.

Interestingly enough, several other people were able to set up voter registration tables later that week, and both the Democratic and Republican parties set up voter registration booths every month in the plaza.

                        ###
--  --------------------------------------- Raymond Lutz, National Coordinator Citizens OVersight Projects (COPS) A 501(c)3 Nonprofit Organization 771 Jamacha Rd. #148     El Cajon, CA 92019 USA Voice 619-820-5321 http//www.citizensoversight.org 
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