Complaint for Declaratory and Injucntive Relief

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA


     William Thomas,                |
     2817 11th Street N.W           |
     Washington, D.C. 20001         |                          
     (202) 462-0757                 |    C.A. No.________________      
           Plaintiff pro se,        |    Judge___________________
                                    |                                  
             v.                     |         COMPLAINT
                                    |     AND PETITION FOR           
     United States of America       |   PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION,      
     William Clinton,               |     IN FORMA PAUPERIS 
     1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW    |         
     Washington, D.C.               |        CLASS ACTION
                                    |
     the U.S. Secret Service,       |
                                    |
     Robert Rubin,                  |
     Assistant Secretary of Treasury|
     1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW    |
     Washington, D.C.,              |
                                    |
     the District of Columbia,      |
                                    |
     Captain Radzilowski            |
     D.C. Metropolitian Police      |
     2301 L Street NW               |
     Washington, D.C., and          |
                                    |
     D.C. Metropolitan Police Dept.,|
            Defendants.             |
    ________________________________|


COMPLAINT
FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

This Court's jurisdiction over this matter is established by 28 U.S.C. 1331 (federal question), 28 U.S.C. 1343 (civil rights), the First, Fourth Fifth and Ninth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America ("Constitution"), Administrative Procedures Act (APA) 5 U.S.C. 553, the Environmental Policy Act ("EPA") U.S.C. __ et. seq., 36 CFR 1.5, et, seq, Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1970), and 42 USC Sections 1983 BS 1985(3),

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PARTIES

Plaintiff is an adult human being residing within the legal jurisdiction of the United States of America who, as a religious exercise, has devoted his life to regularly communicate with the general public on issues of broad concern, in Lafayette Park. To this end plaintiff seeks to be available to those who may be interested in the issues he raises on a twenty-four hour basis.

CLASS ACTION

Et. al. THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES are named as plaintiffs by virtue of the rights, privileges, and immunities guaranteed by the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Amendments under the theory that when the government acts to suppress the guaranteed rights, privileges, and immunities of any individual under color of regulation, the personal liberty of all individuals is jeopardized under color of the same regulation.

DEFENDANTS

Ostensibly, the United States of America exists to administer law to protect the rights and privileges of individuals within its legal jurisdiction.

William Clinton, is the President of the United States of America, sued in his official capacity.

Robert Rubin is Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, sued in his official capacity.

The U.S. Secret Service has responsibility for providing protection for the President of the United States.

Captain Radzilowski is employed by the D.C. Metropolitan

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Police Department, Special Operations Division.

NATURE OF COMPLAINT

This complaint seeks a permanent injunction to ban defendants from closing, or enclosing Lafayette Park, or sections thereof. Plaintiffs also seek a preliminary injunction to enjoin defendants from

(1) making any further changes to Lafayette Park

(2) enclosing Lafayette Park with any more permanent barriers, and

(3) closing the Park, except in the event of certifiable emergency, for any periods pending the resolution of this complaint, or until defendants comply with provisions governing park closures..

FACTS

1. Lafayette Park, situated directly across the street from the Presidential residence, is the foremost public forum in the United States, if not in the world.

2. Since 1981 plaintiff, in the exercise of his religious beliefs, has regularly maintained a continuous presence on the White House sidewalk and southern part of Lafayette Park for the purpose of communicating on issues of peace and social justice.

3. Pursuant to the provisions in 16 U.S.C. 1 et. seq., but subject to the provision of the Constitution, the U.S. Park Service has legal jurisdiction over Lafayette Park.

4. Pursuant to the provisions of 36 CFR 1.5, et, seq, the Superintendent of the Park Service is the individual vested with the legal power to close federal parks, or sections thereof.

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5 Beginning in April, 1992 the Executive Committee for the Comprehensive Design Plan for the White House and President's Park ("the Plan") began studying changes to the area surrounding the White House. Exhibit 1, hereto.

6. Consistent with every known legal precedent, the Executive Committee [1] recognized Lafayette Park as "a symbol of our free and democratic nation."

7. Consistent with established legal procedures, (codified at 5 U.S.C. 553, et, seq; 36 CFR 1.5, et, seq), for projected substantial alterations in the use of federal parks The Executive Committee solicited public participation in "preservation strategies ... for the(se) symbols not only of the executive branch of our Republic, but also of public access to the government." Exhibit 2.

8. Consistent with APA requirements, public comments on various proposed changes to areas around the White House were first solicited during April, 1995.

9. On May 5, 1995 plaintiff met with Ann Bowman Smith, Team Manager for the Executive Committee. At that time Thomas expressed the particular concern of preserving the symbol of our free and democratic society.


[1 The stewardship and oversight agencies involved in the plan have been the Executive Office of the President, Executive Residence at the White House, White House Military Office, Department of the Treasury, U.S Secret Service, General Services Administration, National Park Service, District of Columbia, Commission of Fine Arts, National Capital Planning Commission, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation.]

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10. Ms. Smith assured Thomas that the Team was very sensitive to the importance of Lafayette Park and had been giving that issue "a lot of consideration." She assured Thomas that every effort would be taken to insure that the Park remained free and open.

11. Consistent with a project that threatens such monumental impacts on freedom and democracy, an Environmental Impact Study had been commissioned. According to Ms. Smith the Environmental Impact Statement would be completed by December, 1995, with a final plan for physical changes to the area to be presented in February, 1996.

12. However, at approximately 5:30 a.m. on May 20, 1995, without prior notice, and with total disregard for the appropriate measures being taken by the Executive Committee, defendants caused concrete traffic barriers to be

(1) placed across Pennsylvania Avenue, closing the street to traffic from 15th Street to 17th Street,

(2) closing Madison and Jackson Places to vehicular traffic, and

(3) enclosing all of Lafayette Park.

13. It has been widely reported that defendants intend to cause major changes to the physical structure of the area enclosed by the aforesaid concrete traffic barriers, including the construction of a fence surrounding Lafayette Park, and closure of the park at night.

14. Defendants' have committed sufficient irregularities to permit the average citizen reasonably to question the legality of

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defendants' actions. For example, a May 23, 1995 Washington Times editorial, "1600 Pennsylvania Something" described defendants' obstructive actions as "a fait accompli, imposed by presidential decree and carried out in the dead of night." Exhibit 3.

15. Notwithstanding a strong prima facie presumption that the closing of Pennsylvania Avenue might serve a substantial security interest, owing to the procedure-less process by which defendants' unprecedented closure was accomplished, it is not possible to know whether the street closing does indeed serve a rational and/or legitimate government interest.

16. Separate from the closure of Pennsylvania Avenue defendants have also enclosed of the entire Park with concrete barriers.

17. Exclusive of the Pennsylvania Avenue closing, owing also to the procedure-less process by which defendants' unprecedented enclosure of Lafayette Park has been accomplished, it is not possible to know whether the concrete barriers presently surrounding the Park serve any rational and/or legitimate government interest.

18. The 1600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue is approximately 90 feet wide. Since the closing on May 20, 1995 that section of pavement has regularly been thronged by pedestrian traffic, skaters and bicycles without interference from police. Groups of skaters have played hockey on skates, leaving ample room for police vehicles to navigate the street without conflicting with

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the hockey game.

19. The closed section of Pennsylvania Avenue is District of Columbia property, subject to D.C. law, and, therefore, under the jurisdiction of the D.C. Metropolitan Police.

20. In the afternoon of May 26, 1995 plaintiff Thomas placed a sign on the pavement of the closed section of Pennsylvania Avenue. The sign did not present an obstruction of any kind.

21. After the sign was on the pavement for approximately thirty minutes plaintiff was approached by defendant Radzilowski, accompanied by Officer R.N. Smith, both D.C. Metropolitan Police officials. Captain Radzilowski stated that plaintiff would have to remove the sign from the street because the street was District of Columbia jurisdiction.

22. Plaintiff told defendant Radzilowski that, based upon previous consultation with the D.C. Corporation Council's office, lawful demonstrations on D.C. public property are legally protected under the First Amendment, provided they do not create an obstruction to traffic.

23. Defendant Radzilowski responded to the effect that if plaintiff did not remove his sign from D.C. jurisdiction, he would be arrested.

24. Plaintiff inquired as to the legal authority upon which defendant Radzilowski relied.

25. Defendant Radzilowski replied "MR regulations."

26. Plaintiff requested to know the specific regulation

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under which defendant claimed authority to remove a lawful demonstration from public space.

26. Defendant Radzilowski stated, "I'm ordering you to remove it."

27. Plaintiff requested that Captain Radzilowski at least confer with the D.C. Corporation Council before arresting him.

28. Defendant told plaintiff that plaintiff could "confer with the judge" if he didn't move his signs

29. Plaintiff reiterated his belief that in the absence of any specific prohibition against his sign being on the pavement, defendant Radzilowski had no legal authority to issue such an order, and plaintiff had no obligation to obey an unlawful order.

27. During the time the aforesaid discussion was transpiring Captain Radzilowski also discussed plaintiff's pending arrest with agents of the Secret Service.

28. Eventually, pursuant to the direction of defendant Radzilowski, plaintiff was arrested, by Officer Steven Hebron, and charged with "Fail(ure) to obey a police officer."

ALLEGATIONS

Incorporating by reference paragraphs 1-16 plaintiff alleges:

COUNT ONE

Defendants plan to replace the temporary barriers that have surrounded Lafayette Park since May 20th into a more permanent barrier. Such a transformation would convert the symbol of "open government" into a symbol of closed government and chill, disrupt

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or terminate the exercise of plaintiff's constitutionally- protected expressive religious activities in the world's premier public forum, in violation rights and privileges guaranteed plaintiff, and the class under the First Amendment.

COUNT TWO

Any closure or diminution of access to Lafayette Park will violate the unenumerated right to remain undisturbed in a public park, guaranteed plaintiff under the Ninth Amendment of the Constitution.

COUNT THREE

Defendants' actions in restricting access to the areas closed on May 20th violate the APA requirement requiring that proposed rulemakings be published in the Federal Register.

COUNT FOUR

Defendants' actions in restricting access to the areas closed on May 20th violate APA requirements for public comment on proposed regulations.

COUNT FIVE

Defendants' actions in restricting access to the areas closed on May 20th violate the APA requirement that a final rulemakings be published in the Federal Register.

COUNT SIX

Defendants' actions in restricting access to the areas closed on May 20th violate the APA requirement of a thirty day delay of effectiveness before enforcement of a new regulation may begin.

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COUNT SEVEN

Particularly in light of the facts that Lafayette Park is symbolic of a "free and democratic nation," and "public access to government," extremely important aspects of the American tradition, defendants' hasty closure actions of May 20th violate EPA requirements regarding Environmental Impact Statements.

COUNT EIGHT

Defendants' actions in restricting access to the areas closed on May 20th violate the requirements of 36 CFR 1.5, which govern the closure of public parks.

COUNT NINE

Incorporating by reference Defendants' actions in COUNTS THREE - EIGHT defendants have denied plaintiff and the class of due process guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.

FURTHER incorporating by reference paragraphs 17-28.

COUNT TEN

Separate from the closing of Pennsylvania Avenue, restricting access to the Park by surrounding it with barriers violates requirements that a government regulatory action be justified by a "rational connection between the facts found and the choice made (Burlington Truck Lines v. United States, 371 U.S. 156, 168)), and the guidelines articulated by the Supreme Court in United States v. O'Brien, 391 U.S. 368.

COUNT ELEVEN

The arrest of plaintiff by order of Defendant Radzilowski

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deprived plaintiff of rights guaranteed under the First Amendment of the Constitution.

COUNT TWELVE

The arrest of plaintiff by order of Defendant Radzilowski deprived plaintiff of rights guaranteed under the First Amendment of the Constitution.

COUNT THIRTEEN

The arrest of plaintiff by order of Defendant Radzilowski deprived plaintiff of rights guaranteed under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.

COUNT FOURTEEN

The arrest of plaintiff for having his sign on the closed street, under the order of Defendant Radzilowski, while skaters, bicyclists, and pedestrians were not disturbed by police for occupying space on the same closed street, deprived plaintiff of rights guaranteed under the Ninth Amendment of the Constitution.

NECESSITY FOR RELIEF

Plaintiff believes testimony and evidence at trial will show that in restricting access to the areas within the traffic barriers erected on May 20, 1995, without regard to due process, defendants have treated the public street and park as if it were their own private property.

At issue here is the baseline status quo. First, as President Clinton stated in announcing the new security measures, this is "the first time since the beginning of the Republic that this street has been closed."

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Second, The status quo relies heavily on the presumption that the government will abide by the law. The facts of this complaint illustrate that defendants have violated that presumption.

Finally, in arresting plaintiff for displaying signs in a public place manner, without serving any legitimate interest, defendants deprived plaintiff, and others, of First, Fourth and Ninth Amendment rights.

It is necessary that relief be granted to insure that democracy is not crushed in an environment of police discretion unbridled by law.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE plaintiff hereby prays the Court to issue an Order to permanently enjoin defendants from

(1) erecting any fence, wall or other obstruction which would unnecessarily or illegitimately restrict access to the (symbol of our free and democratic nation) Park,

(2) closing the Park for periods during the day or night

(3) arresting plaintiff, or others, for engaging in lawful First Amendment activity under color of D.C.M.R. "failure to obey an officer regulation, or any other D.C. or Federal Regulation, and, if testimony and evidence adduced at trial so indicates (8) from closing Pennsylvania Avenue.

A proposed Order is attached.

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Respectfully submitted this 30th day of May, 1995,

___________________________________
William Thomas, Plaintiff pro se
2817 11th Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 462-0757

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

On May 30, 1995, I caused a copy of the foregoing Complaint and Petition For A Preliminary Injunction to be served, by hand delivery upon the office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia at 555 4th Street NW, Washington, D.C., and upon the office of the Corporation Council for the District of Columbia.