Palmer District Court.jpg

Court Personnel Especially Hostile at Ian Freeman’s Pre-Trial Hearing

Around 7:15 AM, eight individuals including myself left the Keene Activist Center in Keene, NH in order to make it to Palmer, MA District Court for a 9:00 AM pre-trial hearing for Ian Freeman of Free Talk Live. Four people in the Palmer area also made it to the hearing. Ian was arrested for filming inside of Palmer City Hall during an allegedly public tax sale on October 25, 2012. It was claimed that he was being “disorderly” by filming in the public space.

Upon entering the courthouse, the man operating the security theater (badge #245) asked what Cecelia (of Ladies in Keene) and I were there for, to which I responded, “A hearing.” After further questioning, I noted that it was a pre-trial hearing. Cecelia was told cell phones were not allowed in the courthouse, so she went to return it to the vehicle. Having emptied my pockets before entering the building, I walked through the metal detector and stepped off to the side to wait for my friends. Cecelia and Jay (who runs came through security, but Ian was questioned about why he had a tripod – as that was an indication that he had a camera. Ian shared the notice to record he had filed and convinced the man (badge #245) to hold his equipment at the desk until after the notice was reviewed by the judge; he was let through, without his recording equipment.

Around this time, court personnel noticed a couple of people in the entryway to the building were holding cameras. At the sight of video cameras, the demeanor of the public employees present immediately became aggressive, and additional court officers and police officers were called to the lobby. Unwilling to have a conversation about the fact that they are public officials in a public space or the Glik decision, a couple of court officers demanded that those with cameras leave the entryway and approached them aggressively in an attempt to force them backwards, out the door. It was pointed out that there was a camera across the room, on the ceiling, that was documenting what was taking place – the double-standard did not seem strange to the court personnel. A man by the name of Saccomani assaulted Shire TV‘s James Cleaveland by grabbing at his camera. James was told that if he stepped through the threshold with his camera again, his camera would be stolen. When two court officers hurriedly exited the building in his direction, I followed to observe. The officers, making threats the entire way, made James move towards the parking lot. Though moments before they had claimed he could not exercise his right to film inside the building, the officers now claimed that he must move off of the property entirely.

After that interaction, I passed through the security line again. A woman, (badge #202) blocked the metal detector and asked me if I was part of the group. I noted that while I was friends with some of the individuals present, I was an individual rather than part of a group. The woman told me “not to start” and her and court officer Saccomani commented to each other that yes, I was in fact part of a group. I asked the woman to try not to collectivize people so much.

Saccomani positioned himself so that he blocked the path of those in the security line –‘s Pete Eyre and all those behind him. While Pete tried to have a conversation with him, he stood unwilling to converse but willing to hold up everyone trying to pass through the security theater. At one point he stepped on the foot of another friend, Robbie, then instead of apologizing made a comment about how he should not have been in the way. Robbie was ordered to leave the courthouse with his beverage.

During the approximately ten minutes that Saccomani rudely stood in Pete’s path – Prevost closing the door on him at one point – Cecelia tried to have a conversation with the woman (badge #202) who was spouting orders to move from one location that does not obstruct traffic to another. These unnecessary orders were a common occurrence throughout the length of this ordeal, though the unnecessary orders came from a handful of different court officers. Cecelia noted that she was not in fact standing in a place that would inconvenience anybody, but when Cecelia asked her to consider her actions she responded in an extremely childish manner – by sticking her hands in her ears, the way a small child would while exclaiming, “I can’t hear you!”

Cecelia continued to share her thoughts and the woman called a court officer named Prevost to make threats. I was a little startled when Prevost, a tall man, began walking towards me in an extremely aggressive manner and threatening me with arrest for “disorderly conduct.” The woman pointed towards Cecelia and said, “Her!” The threats directed at me momentarily became directed at Cecelia, who asked why she would be charged with disorderly conduct for speaking. Just following orders is not a good thing – this man was willing to use force against an individual without having any idea what it was they had supposedly done wrong – or which individual had committed the action inaccurately portrayed to be in violation of man-made legislation. The scene resembled that of an attack dog being released and set on a victim, the owner realizing the dog was not attacking their intended target and calling the dog back to direct them to the intended victim. Among the first appearance-related observations I made about court officer Prevost was that he had very noticeable bags under his eyes, as if he has a lot of trouble sleeping at night. If I acted in such an aggressive and unaccountable manner, I would have trouble sleeping at night as well.

Eventually, everybody passed through the metal detector and proceeded to enter the courtroom. On my way through the door, Prevost told me to remove my hat. Although uncomfortable complying with the orders of any stranger claiming to have authority to force me to remove articles of my clothing, I did so as to not have his threats again directed at me. At some point after taking my seat, though, I returned the hat to my head – I was more comfortable that way. I was not threatened again. Another activist, Jason Repsher, was told to remove his hat as he sat down. When he stated that he would prefer to leave it on, Prevost told him to leave the courtroom. Not wanting to miss the hearing or deal with being assaulted by public officials, he removed his hat. When Pete was told to remove his hat, my observation was that he wanted to react to his initial instinct not to simply obey the arbitrary orders of the stranger claiming to have the authority to initiate force against others for not following his orders, but to discuss it. Then he seemed to decide that was not the best way to utilize his time in that particular instance.

While waiting for Ian’s hearing to begin, other cases were heard. A few different times, defendants were told by the judge that the charges against them would be dropped if they paid money. Most of the other cases also consisted of individuals being told to give “the state” money. It was made very clear what the incentive of this business (albeit one where the customers come involuntarily) is. The prosecutor spoke with Ian a couple times before the hearing. If I understand correctly, the first time he said that the misdemeanor charge would be dropped if he would plead guilty to the ‘city ordinance violation’; Ian declined. Next, the prosecutor said that he would dismiss both charges if Ian donated money to charity. At arraignment, according to Darryl Perry,

 Ian was offered a plea deal, which would require him to claim “responsibility” (apparently Massachusetts lingo for “plead guilty”). He stated that he wanted this to go away and that he didn’t want to return to Massachusetts for court. The Judge offered to let Ian pay $50, he asked if he could donate that money to charity, she denied that request and set a court date of December 10.

Since he already had to make the trip back to Massachusetts for court, Ian declined the offer. Ian was told that the misdemeanor charge would be dismissed anyway, and that they would proceed with the ‘city ordinance violation’ which was referred to as a civil matter.

The judge claimed to have not received any of the pre-trial motions submitted by Ian and for that reason, supposedly, would not allow the hearing to be filmed despite Ian’s objections to proceeding without his camera present. Hopefully these public employees will be more reasonable the next time Ian is told to appear, in late January. It was also noted that the ACLU filed an appearance.

I am very glad to be surrounded by wonderful friends and activists with the shared goal of spreading the idea that nobody has authority over anyone but themselves, regardless of their attire or place of employment.

After leaving the District Court, we all went to Palmer City Hall where Ian was arrested for filming. Most of the dozen individuals who spent a few minutes touring the building filmed the entire time. The signs stating that filming was not allowed were no longer posted throughout the building. None of the individuals who filmed in the City Hall today were arrested for the same action that supposedly justifies Ian being arrested in October.

Palmer District Court
235 Sykes Street, Suite 3
Palmer, MA 01069-1190
(413) 283-8916

  • T

    Wow. So you guys act like little kids who want to be respected but want to respect no one. And boy did you show them. Wearing your hat and everything. Just like the Boston tea party. This one is the Palmer Hat Revolt.

  • Kate

    What exactly did I do that was disrespectful?

  • Daniel

    Yes, T, the bailiffs and the judges are “fashion police.” If the judges and bailiffs would stop acting like a bunch of petty authoritarians and quit sweating the little things, there would rarely be any problems. The court’s unreasonableness is the problem. Not Ian.

  • certain

    This is one of the main problems with our justice system. Somehow we have been convinced that some people are elevated above others because of their job.

    A judge recently gave a guy 120 days in jail for contempt, because he called the judge a cock. That is freaking insane. A judge can do whatever he wants, make any decision he wants, and can not be held liable. Prosecutors can suppress evidence which would tend to prove innocence of a defendant, and face no sanctions whatsoever.

    So exactly where is this respect supposed to come from? When the court system treats everybody who is forced to deal with it with utter contempt, and every employee of the court system feels entitled to bark orders at everybody within view, no respect is, or should be, due.


    So…. lemme see if I’ve got this. The judge gave some(one) the OK to bring a camera, and then you guys show up with a van full of folks with camera’s and give security a bit of grief??

    And certain… judge’s, prosecutors….don’t work the front door the the court house. and which judge’s??? Kind of like me saying it’s OK to be a dick the guy working the counter at Burger King cause I read a story about the Manager and Mcdonalds being a dick to someone.

    No one has “the right” to be in the court room. A defendent has the right to a “public” trial. UNless you guys have some court case I don’t know about that’s ruled on this matter.

  • Kate

    PSOSGT: No, you haven’t ‘got this.’

  • Aaron

    @PSOSGT: it’s a public building – ie. paid for by all of us – conducting public business – ie. that which affects all of us. The salaries of the judge, DA and cops are all afforded by money taken from us. How do you figure we have no right to be in a court room? How do we know if “justice” is being done if we have no way to watch? You’re saying that the local school board is held to higher standards – vis-a-vis the “Open Sunshine” laws – than our courts? Should we just take the word of our judges, DAs and cops that they’re following the law and treating us with due respect according to the law? Again, how do you figure we have no right? What country do you think this is?

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  • Ed D


    PSOSGT is a costumed thug for the state; he himself is an authoritarian statist who has no compunction about using force, fear, and violence to maintain the “statist quo”. Such a person will never “get it.”

  • t.

    Kate: I’m sorry. I’m sure you were sweetly standing there, asking poient questions, directly related to the process the female bailiff was trying to preform. I apologize if I wrongly portrayed you.

    Daniel: Practicing a little decorum is lost on you. You guys like to demand accountability for “authorities”. Well, part of that is a responsibility to taxpayers. Proper courtroom decorum and respect moves the processes along in a far mor businesslike fashion. The judge is accountable….and holds you accountable. The disruptions you cause (and the demonstrations imsure you all planned) keep the business from being conducted, hence wasting taxpayer money.

    Aaron: It was public. And you nor anyone else was denied entry to said hearing. And your desire to record Ian’s part of that is one thing. Buut what about everyone else who is / was there? Many / most of those people have been compelled to be there. They very well may not want to be a star in you video posts. They may not want their sins lay bare to the world via the internet, espesicailly if they are only accused of something and they have plead guilty or been found guilty of. The records of these hearing, court proceedings are a matter of public record. But plastering their images all over the internet to try and forward your cause (which as we have seen many times on this site and elsewhere…they frequently don’t agree with and don’t want to be part of) isn’t right. And you see, your”groups” reputation precedes you. Your videos and antics are highly visible. Were I the judge, and you petitioned me to record the proceedings, I would have denied you. But if the local ABC affiliate had asked…I very well may have allowed them. Why? Because as real jounarnlists…they are recording the proceedings. Your group clearly wants to be part of the proceedings, to stage (stage…as in something preplanned) a demonstration). If by eliminating the camera, eliminates the demonstration and disruptions, I would thusly be being accountable to those taxpayers and citizens. You are missing the much bigger picture because its not what YOU want and you are clearly in the group of “only my rights count”.

  • John Q Public

    Ah, yes. The sense of entitlement and being able to do what you want at everyone else’s expense. And, you guys trying to go in a courtroom to film has nothing to do with Gilk. The courts have the right to ensure public safety and privacy. You go up there acting like a bunch of kids, you should expect to be treated that way. You can’t just go and sit down and watch what happens. You feel you need to interject yourselves into everything. In the Army this would be called snivelling, which is another word for whining when you don’t get your way.

  • shawn


    What is the big deal? One camera or 100, as long as people don’t actively disrupt a trial, it is supposed to be open to the public. cops and judges, along with a great many government officials have a phobia of their actions being documented during their duties. Funny how they think it is ok for them to document us going about our lives.

  • shawn


    what expense to others? These were public proceedings. There was only an issue because the officials wanted it to be an issue.
    What safety and privacy issues were there? Are you concerned a camera might be a bomb? Privacy? It is a public hearing, and the cases were small time stuff, not raped women and such.
    Like most such incidents, this was only an event because those in authority made it so.

  • BigPoppaAZ

    This was like reading a disjointed letter from my sister, rambling on about her day, and perceived interactions. Kate, I highly recommend Journalism 101, or possible even trying to apply the tenets of Apply a little more journalism, and a lot less “Saccomani rudely stood”. how would one, “Rudely stand”?

    As to the hubbub, presented by @t, PSOSGT, JQP, e.g. Copblock antagonists, I’ll grant that at times this motley crew appears to be the Scooby Doo and the Gang of Liberty, however, whatever the perception may be, does not take away from the substance of the issue.

    Sure, if they showed up in Professional Attire, bags in hand, etc… they may have been treated differently, but that’s not the issue at hand. “Wearing your hat and everything…” , egad, someone wore a hat inside, jurisprudence be damned! I’ve not been able to locate “Courtroom Standards” for Palmer and/or Hampden County

    @PSOSGT, All Americans have the “right” to be in a Public courtroom. There are 3 branches of government which all Americans have the right to observe and report. No one branch, is above another.

    @JQP, glad to see you back and once again, presenting a fallacious argument. “The courts have the right to ensure public safety and privacy”. Where is this codified, do elaborate. The courts are there to adjudicate matters of criminal and civil law. In this case, all matters before the court were cases of Public Record, and open to the public, there is no “privacy” mandate in this matter. As to Public Safety, where is the rub, bub? Camera’s and hats, oh my?

    Court employees, as well as LEO, hold positions of public trust. They are there to uphold the Laws of the land, not apply arbitrary standards.

    Standards are voluntary consensus documents that are developed by agreement and their application is by choice unless their use is mandated by government.

  • Ed D

    Privacy? Expense? Apparently John Q. Public of the “statist quo” crowd has never heard of Court TV.

    Mr Public also fails to have read the 6th Amendment to the U.S.Constitution, which guarantees the right to a “public trial”.

    The fact the cameras have been in courtrooms broadcasting trials worldwide for the last several decades destroys your argument..not and argument really, more whine…about the issue being safety and/or privacy. Cameras are inanimate objects which neither threaten public safety nor interrupt proceedings. They sit on tripods, passively recording real-time events.

    The issue with court proceedings being recorded is the same issue that cops have with being recorded. They don’t like the fact that their behavior will be documented and that the record–unlike the judge, prosecutor, and cops–doesn’t lie.

  • Ed D

    PSOSGT: “UNless you guys have some court case I don’t know about that’s ruled on this matter.”

    United States Supreme Court, CJ Burger writing the opinion.

    Richmond Newspapers, Inc. v. Virginia
    448 U.S. 555, 100 S.Ct. 2814, 65 L.Ed.2d 973 (1980).

    “Civilized societies withdraw both from the victim and the vigilante the enforcement of criminal laws, but they cannot erase from people’s consciousness the fundamental, natural yearning to see justice done—or even the urge for retribution. The crucial prophylactic aspects of the administration of justice cannot function in the dark; no community catharsis can occur if
    justice is “done in a corner [or] in any covert manner.” It is not enough to say that results alone will satiate the natural community desire for “satisfaction.” … To work effectively, it is
    important that society’s criminal process “satisfy the appearance of justice,” Offutt v. United States (1954), and the appearance of justice can best be provided by allowing people to observe
    it. …”

    “The right of access to places traditionally open to the public, as criminal trials have long
    been, may be seen as assured by the amalgam of the First Amendment guarantees of speech and
    press; and their affinity to the right of assembly is not without relevance. …1”

    “The right of peaceable assembly is a right cognate to those of free speech and free press and is equally fundamental.” DeJonge v. Oregon (1937). People assemble in public places not only to speak or to take action, but also to listen, observe, and learn; indeed, they may
    “assembl[e] for any lawful purpose,” Hague v. C.I.O. (1939) (opinion of Stone, J.). Subject to the traditional time, place, and manner restrictions, see, e.g. Cox v. New Hampshire (1941); see
    also Cox v. Louisiana (1965), streets, sidewalks, and parks are places traditionally open, where First Amendment rights may be exercised. … [A] trial courtroom also is a public place where the
    people generally—and representatives of the media—have a right to be present, and where their presence historically has been thought to enhance the integrity and quality of what takes place.”

    And the Court’s holding?

    “We hold that the right to attend criminal trials is implicit in the guarantees of the First
    Amendment; without the freedom to attend such trials, which people have exercised for
    centuries, important aspects of freedom of speech and “of the press could be eviscerated.”
    Branzburg [v. Hayes (1972) ].”

  • T

    Aaron: You’ve almost gotten there, but in Cop Blocker style you fall short in your thinking. It is a public building, paid for by some (certainly not all as many pay no taxes).

    No one attempted to keep you from the proceedings. But your antics shouldn’t be ignored by the court and the courtroom staff. You demand accountability, and that’s what you were given. The antics and demonstrations you and your group participate in and carry out waste hundreds / thousands of taxpayer dollars. Your lack of any decorum slows the proceedings and wastes taxpayer money as well as the time and money of your fellow citizens (if their case isn’t reached due to delays you cause…direct injury to them done by you).

    We’re i the judge and you asked to bring in a camera I would absolutely deny you. If the local ABC affiliate asked, that’s a far different thing. They have journalistic professionalism. You lack that. You want to film the disruptions that your group creates…that serves no one but you. This instances is more proof positive of the “only my rights matter” maxim shown / demonstrate over and over by those claiming to cry for freedom on this site. They only want freedom for them to do as they please and care not for their fellow man

    Shawn: It is public. Correct. But most of the people there are being compelled to be there, they aren’t there of free will. And while the charges and results of the proceedings are public records, that is far different than you plastering their images all over the Internet. Many people can have their records “expunged” for first offense and all record of it disappears. With you placeing it forever on the Internet, the court can’t expunge that. Your fellow citizens still have the right to their dignity, which your filming, especially in the typical cop blocker style, strips away.

  • BigPoppaAZ


    Antagonistic, to say the least. “It is a public building, paid for by some (certainly not all as many pay no taxes).” All pay taxes big guy, you buy a pack a smokes, hot dog, soda, beer, Oil, Gas, etc… at the convenience store, city, municipality, state taxes apply. All may not pay Federal/State Income tax on payroll, i.e., they don’t meet the threshold, and receive a refund. However, you make a purchase in town/county/state, you’re paying for the locality.

    “We’re i the judge and you asked to bring in a camera I would absolutely deny you. If the local ABC affiliate asked, that’s a far different thing. They have journalistic professionalism.” Thorough discrimination, pure and simple.

    t, where in the Constitution does it state “journalistic professionalism”? I seem to recall a line, “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble.”

    t, really? The style and fashion of filming is now of consequence. ABC does it good, Fox Ambush journalism, Independent Journalism, Vlog, Blog, New Media, etc… left out? Where and with whom do you draw the line?

  • John Q Public

    You see it all the time where even legitimate press isn’t allowed into the courtroom so they have artist’s renderings of the trial. You guys would probably plaster jurors’ pics all over the internet if you could, which is illegal. Why not go to court, sit down, behave, and witness the proceedings? I guess that would be anti-dramatic.

  • BigPoppaAZ


    Press is allowed in the courtroom all the time. We’re not talking about a Murder 1 case or Rape, though CNN, et. al, were allowed in those. Think OJ, Kennedy’s Nephew…

    There may be parameters as to what areas can be filmed, i.e., Ademo only allowed to film Witnesses in his trial in Mississippi. However that doesn’t negate the case for Camera’s to be allowed in.

    Painting with a broad brush, does not an argument make.

  • BigPoppaAZ


    As to:

    See here: PART 29. Electronic Recording And Audio-visual Coverage In Court Facilities And Of Court Proceedings

  • Backfire

    BigPoppaAZ, why can’t you just go in, be polite, observe a few common courtesies, and simply observe the proceedings? Why does it need to turn into such a circus?

  • T

    @poppa: Unlike Aaron, you missed big time. And I know that you know better.

    In video after video posted here, on this site and on others you see so called / self described “free journalists” being part of the story, not reporting on it. That’s a very big and legitimate difference. As shown here often, the plan is to be there to record the demonstrations that are planned by those recording it. ABC, Fox, whomever, even if they do some crazy hatchet job report don’t go in intending to alter / become part of the story.

    As for discrimination. You completely missed (or more likely chose to ignore) the fact that you are known by what you have done in the past and often by the company you keep. In this case, the participants are known demonstrators,,,,heck the hearing is about disruptive demonstrators at a public building for crying out loud. You need to keep perspective about things.

    And your absolutely right about free press, and the right to PEACEABLY assemble. A d that is where they fail over and over and why they should have been excludd from filming.

  • bogus

    I agree so much with the activism but I am turned off and almost glad that some of you get arrested because you bring it upon yourselves. Taunting the cops is stupid and its not the way to win your battles with the public in general… I am loosing respect for such activism done in “gangland style” .. and dont tell me you do not understand because I know you do. If you go to court in groups behave like adults and stop taunting these people into arresting or kicking you out of the court rooms.. The battles must be fought but the way I see it been going why would anyone want to risk their freedoms for dummies who constantly taunt court employees etc… I am not saying I agree with them but man have some damn civility..

  • G. Asher

    CS, you need to quit being JQP and go back to being CS.

    Author, I understand your intent and admire your persistance, but you can’t reason with a pack of dangerous dogs, nor should you trust them to act like anything but.


    Aaron.. that’s right. public building and public hearing. Again define public hearing. Ed has gotten close. His court case involves an established media group. i.e. the “press”. Why don’t you walk into court with a shot gun?? Your right to bear arms isn’t it?? Then again, as with any “constitutional right” there are limits. You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater. You can’t carry a gun onto specific gov’t property, and when you go to court, you have to follow thier rules. My guess, is that if the 1 guy that got permission to film was the only 1 with the camera, this wouldn’t be a story. Ya’ll had to press the issue, piss off security.

    Personally, If i was a judge I’d set up close circut tv’s and let you all watch court on a 12 inch monitor from the hallway. And you can bring all the camera’s you want. Still public, and you can film. Sound like a swell plan?? Or u can work WITH the system instead of arguing with a security guard trying to feed his family.

  • Aaron

    @t: Do you know how you become “accredited” as a journalist? You print a badge for yourself. I’ve done it. There are certain circumstances where you have to be cleared by an agency, typically by an event organizer before you can attend the event, or in some jurisdictions, like NYC, or as a reporter of military events. But in the vast majority of cases, for public events, any one of us is a much a “professional journalist” as another.

    And you’re arguing privacy? They’re already in front of a judge. They’ve probably already been written up in the paper. Unless the judge is going to make them strip down to the nubbins right there in court, I’m not sure what privacy they can expect that the court proceedings will not provide. Besides, if it’s a sensitive matter, judges routinely clear the court.

    @PSOSGT: Everyone’s camera has a gun hidden inside? How many times has that actually happened? Additionally, many modern high-quality cameras are barely large enough to hold a gun. Maybe a single-shot small cal handgun – a ladies pistol.

    Bigger point: If I’m not impeding anyone else’s experience at trial, simply by recording events that are public in nature, then why should I be excluded? Frankly, I wouldn’t mind a TV feed for those so inclined – camera gear gets heavy – but that’s not for you to decide. My rights trump your expediency.

    There’s no justification for harassing law-abiding people who happen to have cameras. If people like you lived up to the standards you swore to uphold, we citizens wouldn’t feel the need to record you and your judicial brethren. IE. Stop being a dick, and we won’t have to record you.

  • Aaron

    Hmm. Not sure where I got the “guns in cameras” idea.

  • Common Sense

    Cameras in the court room have nothing to do with the 1st Amendment, it deals with the 6th. Some courtrooms allow them and others do not. And I would hedge a bet that if you call a judge a cock in any courtroom, you’ll be either ‘asked’ to leave, or ‘caged.’

    Is this just another case of ‘they can do something and I can’t’ mentality? I know discovering that life isn’t fair comes as a shock to the liberal, but you’ll get used to it.

  • t.

    Aaron: Again you missed it. I’ll go all @wolf on you for a second to explain (this goes for @ED D as well)… YOU WERE NOT DENIED ACCESS. YOU CAN GO IN AND REPORT ON THE PROCEEDINGS ALL YOU’D LIKE. And again, just once more….YOU WERE NOT DENIED ACCESS.

    Wow, all those caps tired me out.

  • Common Sense

    Sorry G, I’m the only one. I have many fans I admit, but there’s only one Common Sense.

  • BigPoppaAZ

    Got it, you’ve decided to classify the “press” as those whom report, and those whom become part of the story. The framers didn’t classify “free press”, “mainstream press”, “left/right press”, etc… it’s “freedom of the press” plain and simple.

    It appears that Court Security in Palmer got intimidated and flustered by the public support for Ian, in this matter, and in reaction to such, became overzealous in their response. Where are the Town of Palmer court standards regarding audio/video, attire, decorum, etc…

    As to the criminal charges against Ian, which were dropped by the way, he was charged with disorderly conduct for filming in a public place. Had the town leadership, not placed an unlawful and illegal posting, i.e., no audio/video recording allowed, in order to obfuscate for a Public Auction, a posting which has now been removed, there would have been no issue, to begin with.

    This whole case, and the follow-up actions by Court Security, which have been called into question, is the issue at hand. LEO and Court Security are positions of public trust, the public trust has been violated by intimidation tactics, and you will RESPECT MY AUTHORITY” i.e., I’ll arrest you unjustly (as in Ian’s case, and many others here), in order to not allow you to do something we don’t want you to do. Bottom line.

  • t.

    Wow, really, really way off.

    In this incident, no one was denied anything. No freedoms taken. Period.

    In the incident that started this…no ones freedom where taken. If he wanted to attend the auction, all he had to do was register as a bidder. Simple.

    As for your little press rant. I couldn’t possibly care less who writes what as long it not defamatory. But saying that you are going there as “press” when what is really going on is that you want to be part of the demonstration is disingenuous at best. Go, demonstrate, peaceably as is guaranteed you by the first amendment. Disrupting court…not nessecarily peaceable assembly.

    As for the no camera order. How was it an “illegal order”?

    As for “court security” and the police being one of the public trust. You are absolutely right. All of the public. Not just you. They are there to protect the public order as well. The certainly planned demonstration goes against the order of the court. They are protecting the rights of the others that are there. Its not just about him and his friends. Its about everyone. He wanted to be a deadbeat and not pay his fare share. The town lawfully acted on that. They want to demonstrate, OK. They weren’t stopped from filming as everyone came to see the house. But this groups actions, activities and commando tactics are well known. The police and court officials were right to protect the rights of everyone else from them. Their rights don’t outweigh everyone else’s. Again, simple.

  • Ed D

    Common Sense, you are ignoring the plain language of the U.S. Supreme Court decision I cited above. The 6th Amendment right to public trial certainly, in this day and age, does have relevance to cameras being allowed in the courtroom. But, the most relevant amendment allowing for cameras, newspaper reporters and the general public in the courtroom is rooted in the 1st Amendment.

  • Ed D

    PSOSGT: You write that I, “have gotten close”, about a right to cameras in the courtroom, but you go on to write that the case I cited refers to “the press”. By this, I would interpret you to be asserting that only the press have a First Amendment right to courtroom access, while individual members of civil society do not have such a right.

    Within the text of the SC decision I quoted above it is obvious that the Court did not make a distinction between a “press” right to access vs. an individual right to criminal trial access. I’ll quote the relevant part again:

    ” [A] trial courtroom also is a public place where the
    people generally—and representatives of the media—have a right to be present, and where their presence historically has been thought to enhance the integrity and quality of what takes place.”

    Note that the court identifies two classes of people (1. “people generally” and 2. “representatives of the media”) who have a right to be present at criminal trials.

    It is rather plainly demonstrated that the general public and members of the public employed by and acting on behalf of media both have a right to attend public trials.

    To assert that in criminal court cases that only media (I take that to mean government approved media) have a 1st Amendment right of criminal court access would mean that all claims to 1st Amendment rights (assembly, petition, speech, religion) belong only to media. It is well-established, however, that the rights claimed by the People within the 1st Amendment are individual rights.

  • Robert Hope

    Hey John Q. Public. My name is Robert Hope. What is yours? Oh, that’s right, you’re a bitch!

    Man, this guy really has nothing better to do with his life.

  • t.

    @ED D: Again, because you clearly missed it. NO ONE WAS DENIED ACCES !!! Those presen weere free to exercise their first amendment right and be “press”. And, BTW…..NO ONE WAS DENIED ACCESS.

    And did you hear that NO ONE WAS DENIED ACCESS ??? That’s the rumor going around. It was posted on Cop Block.

  • t.

    @ED D: Again, because you clearly missed it. NO ONE WAS DENIED ACCES !!! Those presen weere free to exercise their first amendment right and be “press”. And, BTW…..NO ONE WAS DENIED ACCESS.

    And did you hear that NO ONE WAS DENIED ACCESS ??? That’s the rumor going around. It was posted on Cop Block.


  • BigPoppaAZ

    Dude, you have been shot out of a cannon, today! Sadly, off target once again. Adjust elevation 4 up, 5 right.

    Initial Incident, “Disorderly Conduct” charge at a Public Auction. Public Auction = Event open to the public, i.e., all of the Public are welcome. In order to bid, one must register, one does not have to register to attend, as it’s a Public Auction. Simple.

    A. It was not a “no camera order” it was a Piece of Paper taped up in the Town Hall of Palmer, which stated “No Video Taping”, as referenced by Officer Tenczar in his report

    B. The Town of Palmer, and it’s civic leaders cannot immediately enact a Town Ordinance of “No Video Taping” in a Public Building, in order for a Town Ordinance, of which this would have to have been, to be enacted it must be motioned, seconded, posted for discussion, voted on by the Town Council, posted for implementation, and then enacted on a date to be determined.

    C. According to the town records, this did not occur. Therefore, it was an illegal/unlawful posting for a one-off event in the Palmer Town Hall. As mentioned in the record above, this supposed Town Ordinance, on the day in question in October, has been removed.

    On your last premise, we’ll agree to disagree, I viewed it as a group of friends and supporters travelling to Palmer to support Ian on the Criminal Charges. You view it as a group of rapscallions attempting to disrupt a judicial hearing. We both know, that any attempt to disrupt these proceedings would have found the individuals warned, and then arrested for Contempt of Court. Remedies, which the court has at hand in order to ensure order and continuity. I’ve yet to read and/or hear of any issues within the Court Room during the Preliminary Hearing and other associated cases.

  • Ed D

    @T…In case you missed it, it is clearly alleged in the article that law enforcement/court security personnel prohibited entry into the courtroom with camera, ejected people from the building under threat of arrest, and demanded that no recording take place outside the building, as well. Those who wished to enter the courtroom with cameras were denied access. Unfortunately, you either are unable to comprehend that fact or you are making a weak attempt at sophistry.

    Having a badge does not grant one the right to trample the rights of others!

  • Ed D

    Why the double post, T? Feeling especially (T)yranical today, are you?

  • t.

    @ED D: Normally I reserve the idea of referring to people as stupid to those such as @certain and @centurion, for they are clearly stupid. Your last comment however has elevated you to that status. If you are gong to call me out about something….at least get your facts right. I will refer you to the very first sentence of paragraph 8 of the posted article. I’ll wait while you scroll back…… …. …. …. …. Done? Now I refer you back to totally wrong, stupid…bare I say lie that you posted at 12:11. Done with that one big guy? So now we can all see that not only can you not grasp the large ideas and concepts involved, you can’t even get the “facts” involved right. Have a nice day though.

  • t.

    Poppa: not me dude. Right in the ten ring all day.

    Again, the auction was open to any and all registered bidders. Real simple.

    Second, town officials can, and do have the rights and authority to limit access to area of public buildings and functions. Financial records, while available for public scrutiny ( as are personnel records, police reports, etc..) they can’t and don’t just let people rummage through the stacks of records on their own. Town councils ha e closed doors meetings (as required bylaw in most places) as do personnel committees. There are areas set aside in court buildings for attorneys to meet with the clients on private (but still within that public building).

    At the initial incident, the officials where smart enough to realize the Iran and any of his crowd where coming to cause a problem and disrupt the proceeding. If they wanted to demonstrate (which they were clearly allowed to do outside of the house), do it outside and film away. They have a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of that town to get the auction conducted (the town was paying that auctioneer somehow…time is money). The disruption / demonstrations that are known to be associated with Iran and his associates shouldn’t be allowed to waste resources…just because they want to. The same goes for court.

    Now we can discuss it all day. I will consistent state, that your rights don’t outweigh anyone else’s. The action demonstrated over and over by the group depicted shows that these activists care only about their own rights or those of their friends. And its OK that they feel that way. But the rest of us don’t have allow that to be the case. I can’t allow that to be the case. I can’t put anyone rights above anyone else’s.

    So to sum:
    No ones rights were denied in this incident.
    Its clearly established that access and activities can clearly be controlled / restricted in public buildings and spaces (don’t believe me? Just watch the news and see where Christmas is being outlawed for public space everyday)

    BTW, if you havent read about any disruption or demonstrations ijn the court, re-read the posted article and my earlier comment about the Palmer Hat Revolt.

  • BigPoppaAZ


    Looks more like Maggies Drawers, to me.

    I’m not sure where the confusion lies between a Public and Private Auction. Public Auction = Open to the Public, pretty straightforward and simple. In order to bid, mind you, an individual would have to register, not to attend. If this was a Private Auction, you bet, it could be limited by Invitation only, which would exclude access to those not invited. Public Auction- An announced public meeting held at a specified location for the purpose of selling property to repay a mortgage in default.

    I agree, portions of Public Buildings, may offer limited or controlled access due to secure information. However, as this was a Public Auction, there was no need to limit access, as it was an advertised public meeting. The limitations applied, and later criminally charged to Ian, were one off, and did not meet the specificity for implementation as mentioned earlier. This would explain why the charges against Ian were dropped.

    Ah yes, the great Hat debate. Egad, the horror, hats! I’ve yet to see the Court Standards for the Palmer Court House, however, I’m sure if they are indicative of other Standards around the country, it would read as the following in Camp Verde, AZ: “If you are a male wearing a hat, please remove it upon entering the court room.”

    A request to remove said article, not an order. If Court Security felt the need to ensure safety and respect from hats by imposing a request, that would be considered overreaching, wouldn’t it?

  • t.

    Poppa: I guess..Thanks for agreeing with me.?

  • BigPoppaAZ


    I think it’s time to Pop a top, and enjoy the day.

  • t.

    Don’t drink much, but hope you enjoy yours

  • Jenna

    “I am loosing respect for such activism done in “gangland style”…”

    Indeed! That’s why I do all of my activism in Gangnam Style. Much more cosmopolitan!