Sunday, March 6, 2011

You Snooze You Loose in Santa Cruz

Housing NOW! in Santa Cruz's
Linda Lemaster Loses Hearing to
Demur 647(e) Friday, March 4, 2011

Today, I went to Santa Cruz County Superior Court in hopes of convincing
Judge Rebecca Connolly that the County's Sheriff's use of 647 ( e ), an anti-lodging State law, is unconstitutional.

I still believe the lodging law as used here is overly broad, vague, and undefined. A person can't really know, based on reading this law, even with research alongside one's reading, whether her behaviors are intended as "lodging". Too chilling!

In the face of my personal right to, and need for, freedom of speech, and other particulars of this case, I am disappointed by Judge Connolly's decision.

The judge said, "I can't believe this statute is vague. Regarding unconstitutional
issues, I don't think it's so vague it would influence the 1st amendment. I find
the statute as written is sufficient on its face.

"As to the citation, it's sufficient to address the charges -- it says it's illegal to lodge -- with respect to 647(e), (it) is not void for being overbroad. I'm going to deny the demurrer."

Attorney Mark Garver, my Public Defender, made a compelling presentation for my long- awaited demurrer hearing in court Friday morning. Becky Johnson and Gary Johnson, both Peace Camp 2010 participants provided support and solidarity, for which I am grateful.

Superior Court Judge Connolly wrapped the whole mess up by sending my lodging "violation" to Judge John Gallagher's court next door, in Dept. 2, 8:30am March 11th, because. she said, he has "the other" lodging law cases from Peace Camp 2010.

I am unhappy with her decision mostly because the Judge didn't even care enough to wonder, or ask, what situation(s) could lead us to raise the question of whether this law is viable for it's application last summer during an ongoing demonstration to protest the dangerous and even deadly sleeping-camping ban cherished so long by the City of Santa Cruz.

For more information on the demurrer hearing, check out Becky Johnson's "One Woman Talking" article also on

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