At 10:22 AM 2/28/97 -0700, rob wrote, Tom G. wrote:
Unless I'm mistaken, last year's CIVIL case in Florida was ABOUT the regulation, and the government asked the court to declare:
>> I understand that a permit was signed, making this a legally permitted
gathering, but not a Rainbow Gathering, per se. If these people were
arrested for being a part a group greater than 75 people, and they had a
legal permit, I think they have a very good case for having the charges
> Nah, none of the arrests are over the Group Use regs. The regs are just
a civil charge, not a criminal one. That means they don't usually arrest
anyone for gathering, they just pass out tickets.>
Now, apparently, the government is proceeding on the assumption that the regulation IS constitutional. Of course, that's all academic, because no arrests for violating the Group Use rules occurred, because, rumor has it, somebody signed a permit.
However, a couple of months ago there was some nit-picking discussion on this group concerning the official distinction between "arrest" and "citation," and this still seems to be a topic of discussion.
However, with all due respect, rob, it seems to me that violation of the The Group Use regs does constitute a criminal -- not civil -- charge. See 36 C.F.R. 261 ("Penalties," providing for not more than "six months in prison and/or $500 fine"). One doesn't go to jail on a civil charge
In case anyone's interested, during that nit-picking exchange I pointed out a personal courtroom experience specifically bearing on the distinction between "arrest" and "citation."
"Pursuant to the Declaratory Judgment: Act, 28 U.S.C. sec. 2202, Plaintiff (gummint) prays that the Court:
- A. Declare that plaintiff's group use regulations, 36 C.F.R. 6 251(b) comply with the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and are otherwise legally valid.
- B. Declare that the 1996 Rainbow Family Gathering in the Osceola National Forest is in violation of plaintiff's group use regulations.
- C. Enjoin the defendants and their officers, employees, agents, servants,
contractors, and attorneys, and all those acting in concert with them, from attending, conducting or participating in any way in a gathering within the National Forests in the states of Florida and elsewhere in the United States in violation of the group use regulations.
- D. Order the defendants to take such affirmative actions as to provide notice of the injunction to Rainbow Family members inform all means of available public and private media and to inform all members of the Rainbow Family that a violation of the injunction is punishable by contempt of this court."
--- Guminemt's Complaint, February 16, 1996 (parenthesis added)..