THE MAINE FORUM – FIRST AMENDMENT CASE (Part 2)

This is a continuation of The Maine Forum First Amendment Case article where the MCLU filed a complaint against the city of Biddeford for violation of my right to freedom of speech by pulling “What Price Justice” from the air.
See the 1st amendment complaint here.

This case ties into the theft of my home (under the guise of a “foreclosure”) by the City of Biddeford officials’ “behind closed doors” tactics in concert with Tim Q. Ly, York County DA Mark Lawerence and Judge Arthur Brennan, my forced removal from my home by an armed and masked 13 member swat team and unlawful arrest of criminal trespass upon my own property. (For more info, see the categories “City of Biddeford”, “G. Arthur Brennan” and “Christine Foster”).

Then former mayor Donna Dion and then councilor James Gratello (prior Mayor) were successful in removing me from Biddeford public access in which I produced and hosted a talk show, The Maine Forum. This initiated the first amendment case. I continued my program until spring of 2002 when city officials “blacked out” public access to all producers.

This First Amendment Case was filed in October, 2001. During the course of these proceedings, on summary judgment motions the magistrate judge’s recommended decision partially favored me and partially favored the defendants. Both sides objected to the recommended decision. US District Court Judge Brock Hornby “issued an Order to Show Cause why he should not dismiss my lawsuit as moot, or stay further proceedings until Biddeford determined how it would administer the channel in the future. After receiving responses from the parties, he did not dismiss the case. Instead, he stayed all action and required the parties to report every 60 days on what Biddeford was doing. In August , Biddeford reported that it was actively considering the issue and would probably reach a City Council decision in September. In October, the City explained that the untimely death of the Public Access Director had delayed matters and that recommendations should be submitted to the City Council later that same month. During this period, Biddeford had reopened the public access channel to broadcast meetings of the council, school committee and planning and zoning boards, but still allowed no access to private producers. Biddeford failed to give any explanation of further inaction and that a stay was no longer justified.” Biddeford asked the court to dismiss the case as moot.

On December 18, 2002 Judge Hornby dismissed the case as “moot” stating “now that there is no such access, any relief I might grant concerning that defunct process would be meaningless.”  Judge Hornby did “have a nagging concern whether Biddeford was dealing with this lawsuit in good faith.”  After this decision, Biddeford did open public access to all producers after a nearly two year “blackout.” However, Donna Dion and James Gratello were not finished with me. I had caught them at their game, in concert with bankers, attorneys and judges. Next would come the “taking” of my home “behind closed doors.” More on that to come.

On January 16, 2003 I filed an appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals, pro se.
See appeal.

The order of the district court dismissing the case was vacated and the matter remanded for further proceedings.
First Circuit Court of Appeals order.

To note, Harry B. Center, Attorney for the City of Biddeford, left his position. I learned, not to long ago, Atty. Center found his way back to Biddeford and is partnered with the law firm of Woodman Edmands Danylik Austin Smith & Jacques, P.A.

“The loss of First Amendment freedoms for even minimal period of time
unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury”: Elrod v. Burns, 427 US 347,
373, 96 S.Ct. 2673 (1976).

Stay tuned………to be continued.

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