Thursday, April 27, 2006

 

Times Leader Sues Haggerty


Legal Experts Say Law Suit is frivolous (20thsenatorial Exclusive)

The schizophrenic Wilkes-Barre Daily filed a law suit in federal court against Kingston Police Chief Keith Keiper and Kingston Mayor Jim Haggerty over the lack of a police blotter. 20thsenatorial spoke to two lawyers who have read the law suit and both say "frivolous" may be too kind of a word to use to describe it.

Our first legal expert who reviewed the law suit said: "You can only get into federal court on one of two conditions. First, the law suit must be between parties from two different states. This clearly does not exist, because both Haggerty and the Times Leader are from Pennsylvania. The second way to get into federal court is with a "federal question." The Times Leader is suing, as best I can tell, for a violation of a Pennsylvania statute. That is not a federal question."

He also questioned the timing of the law suit. "The newspaper files a law suit on a fact pattern that has existed for three and a half years. To file something 20 days before the Senatorial election is quite suspect, and at least to me, shows some ulterior motive. If they had this problem three and a half years ago, why not file the suit then? If their cause of action just arose, and they are being irreparably harmed, they could have filed for an injunction."

Our other attorney source said: "It appears the Times Leader wants Kingston to produce something just for the use of the Times Leader. State law does not require this. The State Police don't produce a police blotter. Why isn't the Times Leader going after them? This appears to be a personal vendetta against Haggerty. The state law also requires a written request. The Times Leader does not attach such a request as an exhibit to their law suit."

The Times Leader also accuses Kingston of conducting "secret arrests." We can only assume that these arrests must be done by secret police upon secret defendants, represented by secret defense lawyers, prosecuted by secret district attorneys, and then tried in secret courts by secret juries and secret judges.

We have not been able to confirm whether or not the Times Leader will be calling in the firm of Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe (pictured above) as co-counsel to Attorney Ralph Kates, but then again, that may be a secret, too.

Comments:
Norton. Where do you get this stuff? You got my vote for a Pulitzer.
 
The Times leader loves insiders therefore loves Baker
 
I'm sorry but according to Haggerty (Sue Henry show a few weeks ago)--- " there is no such thing as a frivolous lawsuit"
 
That was regarding medical malpractice, jerkoff. Obviously, when there is a missing limb, there's a reasonable consideration that something might have gone wrong.

This sounds like Iseman's last ditch effort...he'll be collecting unemployment this time next year. Oh well, guess the Leader will be owned by the Lynett's soon.
 
The Times Leader is really staffed by slagged jawed troglidyes who haven't seen the light of day since the Johnson administration, and I'm talkin' Andrew, not Lyndon. If they're not a bunch of inbred Neanderthals, I don't know who is. If you drove a nail into that Dave Iseman's head, it would bend over like a genuflecting Catholic at at Pope John Paul II memorial service.
 
Fuck the Times Leader. That editorial staff brings a whole new meaning to the word "inbred"
 
George, that was a crude comment, but we can't stop laughing at it here at 20thsenatorial. I do however believe the term is "slack-jawed troglodytes"
 
just because the state police don't produce a police blotter, doesn't mean they aren't required to produce one. any member of the press -- or the public for that matter -- is entitled by the federal open records act to be able to walk into any police department and see a log of every call into the police department that day or any other day within 5 years. the fact that people are laughing at this suit is not only sad, but an indictment of the state of democracy. i don't like the times leader, but if they're not getting want they are entitled to get, they should sue. and hopefully, for all of us, they will win.
 
Dear Anonymous:

We'll let you say anything you want, but when you get the facts wrong, we feel obligated to correct you. Opinions are one thing, but opinions based on incorrect information is another. For example, to say that Jim Haggerty is the worst Mayor in the history of Kingston is your opinion. To say that Jim Haggerty is the worst Mayor in the history of Honesdale is just factually incorrect.

Here's some points from our discussions with the lawyers.

1. There is no federal "open records" law that covers police records at the state level.

2. No police force is required to produce a police blotter.

3. The fact that the Times Leader is suing because they are too lazy to do the work themselves, doesn't make them champions of democracy.

And finally Number 4, THEY WILL LOSE!!! They'll be lucky if they don't end up paying Chief Keiper and Mayor Haggerty's attorneys' fees along with a bunch of money in damages.
 
"Jim Haggerty is the worst Mayor in the history of Honesdale is just factually incorrect."
That is incorrect becuase Norton is the worse mayor in the hostory of Honedale and that is fact no one can deny
 
Times Leader: "Haggerty okayed clandestine CIA flights of Al Qaida operatives from Hamilton Park."

sidebar: Baker once welcomed Charles Lindbergh to Forty Fort airport.

Page 3: Kingston to pay Brian Grove 6k a month for counsel on new swing set at Hamilton Park.
 
not quite sure what your lawyers are telling you. but there is an "open records" law, and here is what the pennsylvania open records act says. it regards ANY AND EVERY government agency that receives taxpayer funding. it includes the state police.

-------

A requester, often a member of the media, approaches an agency representative and requests, either verbally or through a written request,7 to inspect specified documents for any reason. The request must be sufficiently specific, or it may be denied. Depending on its characterization as either “Commonwealth” or “non-commonwealth,” an agency has either
ten days or five days to respond to the request,8 after which the request is deemed denied if not
denied in writing or honored. The written denial of the agency must specify the reason for the
denial, including citation of legal authority, information regarding the agency authority that
denied the request, and information regarding the appeal process. The agency must make the
record available for inspection and duplication by the requester in the medium in which it exists,
and is NOT obligated to prepare reports or documents or otherwise ‘create’ records. If,
however, a public record is available routinely only by electronic means, the agency must
provide access to the record at an office of the agency and must, upon request, duplicate the
record on paper. An agency may redact portions of a record that are not “public.” Act 100
also adds several provisions providing for reasonable duplication and “enhanced electronic
access” charges and limits. Once a request is denied or deemed denied, the requester may file
exceptions with the “agency head” for a final agency determination as regards disclosure
within 30 days of the date the exceptions were mailed.

-------

there are exceptions to this, but they are pretty strict. basically, unless getting this information would result in the loss of federal funds, if it poses a threat to health or security or if releasing information would impede an investigation. if an investigation is over and an arrest is made, the last condition cannot apply.

if you think the times leader isn't doing its job b/c they aren't at 3 a.m. drug busts, you are insane. i would imagine it is impossible to be at every arrest in police department every day.
 
Thank you, Mr. Helper, but you miss one of many points. You don't sue in federal court to enforce a state law (that is frivolous), the request for records must be in writing -- it never was, and police agencies are not required to keep blotters. We're not defending Haggerty alone, we're just saying the Times Leader should get its facts straight before it files a "politically motivated" law suit 20 days before an election.
 
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