UNITED STATES,             )
        plaintiff,         )
    versus                 )      CRIMINAL NO. 87-60
                           )      Judge Charles Richey
WILLIAM THOMAS,            )
          defendant        )



1. On December 22, 1987, while engaged in a round-the-clock demonstration, defendant William Thomas (Thomas) and six other individuals were cited for camping in Lafayette Park 1/.

2. On February 18, 1987 an Information was filed in this Federal District Court charging Thomas with violating 36 CFR Section 7.96 (i)(1986).

3. On March 3, }387, predicated upon the premise that "defendants participated in the same act, that is , sleeping ... that constitutes the offense . . . " 2/, the United States, by and through AUSA Chapman, filed a Motion To Consolidate For Trial.

4 . On March 10, 1987 Judge Joyce Hens Green issued an Order

1/ Camping is defined in the regulation as: "the use of park land for living. accommodation purposes such as sleeping activities, or making preparations to sleep ( including the laying down of bedding for the purpose of sleeping), or storing personal belongings, or making any fire, or using any tents or shelter or other structure or vehicle for sleeping or doing any digging or earth breaking or carrying on cooking activities . The above-listed activities constitute camping when it reasonably appears, in light of all the circumstances, that the participants, in conducting these activities, are in fact using the area as a living accommodation...."

2/ Government's Motion To Consolidate, at page 2.

directing that a Hearing on pre-trial motions be held in front of Judge Richey on March 25, 1987.

5. On March }3, 1987 Thomas filed a Motion To Dismiss For Lack Of Offense, with a copy served by mail on AUSA Chapman.

6. At the March 25th hearing before Judge Richey arguments on the Government's Motion for Consolidation were presented by all participating parties. 3/

7. In addition, Thomas made representations with respect to his Motion To Dismiss For Lack Of Offense, and presented Defendant's Exhibits 1, 2, and 3 to the Court in support of that motion.

8. Ms. Chapman did not contest those representations or exhibits.

9. On March 28, 1987 Thomas received Government's Opposition To Defendant's Motion To Dismiss For Lack Of Offense (Government's Opposition), filed and, we are led to believe, served on March 23, 1987.


10. Since June 3, 1981 Thomas has been devoting as much of his time and energy as possible to communicating opinions with respect to the relative insanity and impracticality of genocidal weapons. Both to illustrate his sincerity, as well as to pursue personal moral perfection, Thomas has taken a vow of poverty and lives without accommodations as a symbolic statement vis-a-vis the morality of protecting an individual or national life-style

3/ A defendant identified as Philip Joseph was not present.

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through the expedient of force and violence. So that he may be available to the general public for purposes of communication, Thomas spends as much time as possible in Lafayette Park, a traditional public forum.

11. According to AUSA Chapman, United States Park Police officer Peter J. Ward observed "seven people at approximately 10:00 p.m. on December 21st lying in or under sleeping bags and blankets on or near the south sidewalk in Lafayette Park. " 4/

12. Further, Ms. Chapman claims, officer Ward observed that Thomas and Ellen Thomas "appeared to be conscious at times of goings-on around them." 5/

13. Finally Ms. Chapman alleges that approximately eighteen "items were observed in the area around the seven defendants," but makes no indication of who, if anyone, was in possession of which item, not to mention whether or how any item may have been related to "living accommodations." 6/

14. Notably absent from the Government's "facts" are any mention of acts which might reasonably be considered "living accommodations," e.g., making any fire, using any tents or shelter or other structure or vehicle for sleeping, doing any digging or earth breaking, or carrying on cooking activities.


15. In her argument Ms. Chapman relies entirely on the premise that punishment "can be imposed regardless of whether the United

4/ Government's Opposition, at page 1. Thomas disputes the accuracy of this "fact."

5/ Ibid, at page 2.

6/ Ibid.

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States can show it was injured." 7/ Under this sort of "logic'' it could also be argued that a defendant should be punished for "murder" even if no one was killed, or that someone might justly be punished for "robbery" even if nothing were taken.

16. To support this fantastic proposition Ms. Chapman, necessarily, relies on her own fabrications. For example:

"The defendant also claims ... that even if he was 'camping,' his conduct constituted expressive activity which is worthy of First Amendment protection." 8/

17. Without speculation as to why Ms. Chapman might have made that misrepresentation, the literal fact remains that defendant merely claimed that even if he had been sleeping, which he denies, "sleeping" does not constitute "camping, " and the act of "sleeping" cannot reasonably "offend" the government (SEE Motion To Dismiss For Lack Of Offense, at page 3).

18. Perhaps it was only inexperience which led Ms. Chapman to write:
"No case before this court, or before the United States Supreme Court has ever resulted in a holding that ' sleeping' constitutes protected speech in any context." 9/

19. As this court is well aware, the Appeals Court for this District has held:

"(I)n the unusual circumstances of an individual demonstrator's round-the-clock vigil incidental sleep which occurs during the course of the vigil must be considered sufficiently expressive in nature to implicate First Amendment scrutiny in the first instance." United States v. Stacy Abney, 534 F.2d 984 (1976). (See Also Defendant's


7/ Ibid, at page 3 .

8/ Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss For Lack of Offense, at page 3.

9/ Ibid, at page 4, COMPARE Motion to Dismiss For Lack of Offense, at page 2.


Exhibits 1 and 2, submitted at the Motions Hearing on March 25, 1987, AND Motion to Dismiss For Lack of Offense, at pages 2 and 3. )


20. Ms. Chapman's arguments concerning the constitutionality of "sleeping" serve to highlight the relevance of the issues currently being litigated in Thomas v. USA, USDC CA 84-3552, and strengthen Thomas' position in regard to consolidation and certification to Judge Bryant (SEE Response Of Defendant William Thomas To The Motion Of The United States To Consolidate Cases For Trial, filed March 13, 1987, at pages 2 and 3).

21. Counsel's arguments as to the constitutional nature of "sleeping" are misplaced in the Motion To Dismiss For Lack Of Offense. 10/ Here, defendant respectfully submits, the Court should address itself solely to the questions of (A) whether defendant is reasonably charged with an "offense"; (B) whether defendant can conceivably conduct a meaningful defense without some indication as to what injury or damage his actions have caused, or what "legitimate and substantial government interest" 11/ his actions might have threatened; and (C) whether it is just, civilized, or rational to impose punishment in the absence of injury.

22. Despite her chilling idea that the government may legitimately punish without showing injury, Ms. Chapman

10/ As Ms. Chapman agrees (Government's Opposition at page 6) the first step taken in the analysis of this argument must be whether the regulation was "being applied because of disagreement with the message presented." If necessary defendant is prepared to undertake that argument in a separate Motion to Dismiss For Selective Enforcement.

11/ Government's Opposition at page 7.


dichotomously relies on the argument that the Supreme Court determined the "government's interest was substantial in (a case where demonstrators proposed to sleep in tents) -- substantial entough (sic) to justify the restriction on camping" 12/ The fallacy of this argument should be readily apparent.

23. In the past the Government has clearly articulated its position with regard to the issues and injury of this offense:

A) "The position of the Department of Interior is that the demonstration is proper, a symbolic campsite is proper, a continuing presence is proper." Defendant's Exhibit 2, at page (numbered) 38, lines 24 thru 26.

B) "I am not sure what determination is made if someone lays down to sleep on a park bench ... but that is really not the issue here.

"What is at issue here is camping in the park and conducting what would be typical camping activities in Lafayette Park." Ibid, at page (numbered) 39, lines 16 thru 22.

C) "Camping" defined as the use of park lands for living accommodation purposes. The regulations banning the use of parks for living accommodations are designed not to stifle First Amendment expression, but to protect undesignated parks from activities for which they are unsuited and the impacts of which they cannot sustain." Federal Register, Vol. 47, No. 108, page 34302.

24. Black's Law Dictionary, 4th Ed. 1968, at page 1232, defines "offense" as "a crime or misdemeanor, a breach of the criminal Law."

25. "Crimes are those wrongs which the government notices as injurious to the public and punishes in what is called a 'criminal proceeding' in it's own name" 1 Bish. Crim. Law, Section 43, re Jacobi, 74 Ohio App. 147, 57 NE.2d 932,. 934.

26. "A crime or misdemeanor shall consist in a violation of a public law in the commission of which there shall be a union or joint operation of act and intention, or criminal negligence." Code Ga. 1882 Section 4292. Pen. Code 1910 Section 31.

12/ Ibid at page 6.


27 . Ms. Chapman agrees (Opposition at page 7) that time, manner and place restrictions on expressive activity must first of all be reasonable. REASONABLE, Thomas submits, is a key word for this Court to bear in mind during its deliberations of this case. Thomas submits that a regulatory enforcement action which does not further a substantial Government interest or address some other damage or injury is unreasonable, and that for this court to condone unreasonable enforcement actions would severely cripple the interests of a sane society.

28. Once again the Court should bear in mind that defendant not asking whether the regulation itself is capable of justification, but only questioning whether he should be exposed to punishment, under color of a regulation, merely because the U.S. Attorney makes the artful shorthand representation that "apparently sleeping" constitutes the "offense" of "camping."


Thomas believes that his own time is important, and is sure the Court will agree that the Court's time is valuable.

THEREFORE Defendant urges the Court to save a lot of people a lot of time and energy, while promoting justice, civilization, and rationality, by refusing to condone the concept that punishment is legitimate in the absence of injury, and to dismiss this meritless charge. -

Respectfully submitted this ___ day of April, 1987.

William Thomas,
Defendant Pro Se
1440 N Street NW, #410
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 462-0757