Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lodging Trials: Judge Accepts Considering "Writ of Habeus Corpus"

Lemaster PC 647 (e) Case
Postponed until October 28th

by Becky Johnson

Santa Cruz, Ca. -- Appearing in court on Wednesday, September14th for a
pre-trial readiness hearing, Linda Lemaster still faces misdemeanor "illegal
lodging" for allegedly falling asleep at PeaceCamp2010 on a single night in
August 2010.

Her pro bono attorney, Jonathon Gettleman, filed a comprehensive writ of habeas
corpus, claiming that 647(e) is vague and overbroad, and that Lemaster's freedom
of speech was truncated when County Sheriff Deputies used the antique "lodging"
law to break up an otherwise legal protest.

Deputy District Attorney Sara Dabkowski again offered to reduce Lemaster's
charges to an infraction with zero public service as a consequence. Having
previewed the Writ a week earlier, Lemaster declined again.

In court, Judge John Gallagher, Dept 2, ordered DA Dabkowski to answer
Gettleman's "well-written, voluminous" brief by October 14th, with Gettleman's
response to hers due by October 21st. A hearing on the 'writ' is set for October
28th. If a trial is to result, the date will be set then. The hearing is to take
a closer look at the Lodging law as applied during PeaceCamp2010.

In related news, Ed Frey and Gary Johnson, convicted of PC 647(e) in May 2011,
have received the court-approved complete transcript of their trial in order to
file their appeals. Frey and Johnson still face the remainder of their 6 month
sentences should their appeals fail.

# # # #

Linda's Hearth note: I was very impressed by the "Writ of habeas Corpus", eighty pages my attorney brought together to bring the First Amendment back into these trials and hearings. As a long time advocate for homeless families and individuals, I felt a kind of validation when I saw the Jones and Eichorn cases, and the ghost of Mitch Snyner in gettleman's citing the Community for Creative Nonviolence's supreme court's decision, in this Writ.

I hope to be able to focus for a bit now, health permitting, on a fundraising
dinner. To raise money for legal costs, but this event also hopes to function as
a thank-you for both attorneys involved so far with this lodging law stuff.

I'm forming a "dinner committee" (and it 'may' not be a consensual one?). If any of
you would like to be contacted or included in planning and carrying out such an
event, e me back with your phone number or preferred contact info (I have
neither a meeting directory nor a computer in my home at present).

If you have not read "my" article in Street Spirit's September issue, here's the
URL to their dynamic website: Putting "my" in quote marks
because it was largely and sensitively edited (two stories into one!) by Street
Spirit's editor Terry Messman, who deserves equal credit on the writing in this

warmly, Linda Ellen Lemaster
Housing NOW! in Santa Cruz
P O Box 42, Davenport, CA 95017

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