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Category: Legal Filings

VICTORY: Boone County Produces Records, Pays Court Costs

VICTORY: Boone County Produces Records, Pays Court Costs

P.O. Box 693      Mexico, Missouri      www.mofreedom.org        (314) 604-6621 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                            CONTACT:               Dave RolandAugust 27, 2020                                                                                    (314) 604-6621 Mexico, Missouri— Just two months after​ the Freedom Center of Missouri ​filed a lawsuit on behalf of the family of Ahmonta Harris, a Columbia community activist ​who​ was killed in November of 2018​, ​Boone County has produced to the family audio and video recordings it had withheld from them for more than a year.  Although Missouri’s Sunshine Law gives family members…

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Activist’s Family Sues Boone County to Obtain Records Related to His Death

Activist’s Family Sues Boone County to Obtain Records Related to His Death

P.O. Box 693 Mexico, Missouri www.mofreedom.org (314) 604-6621 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                            CONTACT:               Dave Roland June 30, 2020                                                                                        (314) 604-6621 Despite a Missouri state law that gives family members the right to obtain “complete unaltered and unedited” copies of records involved in the investigation of a death, Boone County has for months refused to produce audio and video recordings related to the death of Ahmonta Harris, a Columbia community activist who was killed in…

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Missouri Courts Must Uphold Citizens’ Right to Possess Firearms for Defensive Purposes

Missouri Courts Must Uphold Citizens’ Right to Possess Firearms for Defensive Purposes

In 2014, Missouri voters passed Amendment 5, which updated Article I, Section 23 of the Missouri Constitution, which protects “the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories typical to the normal function of such arms, in defense of his home, person, family and property[.]” The amendment was explicitly designed to give this right the most extensive protections possible, requiring courts to subject to “strict scrutiny” any restriction on citizens’ rights of self-defense, and obligating the…

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U.S. Supreme Court Will Consider Whether to Review Suspicionless Stops Case [[UPDATED]]

U.S. Supreme Court Will Consider Whether to Review Suspicionless Stops Case [[UPDATED]]

On June 3, 2013, Ron Calzone was driving his farm truck to gather gravel for his daughter’s chicken coop when a Missouri State Highway Patrol officer pulled him over. Had Calzone been speeding? Did he change lanes improperly? No. The officer admitted that he had not observed any violation of the law. So why had he pulled Calzone over? Because he could. Missouri law authorizes highway patrol officers to stop and inspect almost any kind of vehicle on Missouri’s highways…

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VICTORY: Eighth Circuit Rules First Amendment Protects Citizen Activists’ Speech

VICTORY: Eighth Circuit Rules First Amendment Protects Citizen Activists’ Speech

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 1, 2019 CONTACT:  Dave Roland, (314)604-6621 Eighth Circuit: First Amendment Protects Unpaid Activists Who Share Policy Ideas With Legislators Nearly three years ago the Missouri Ethics Commission ordered Ron Calzone, an unpaid grassroots activist, to pay a $1,000 fine and prohibited him from discussing policy with lawmakers until he registered and filed reports as though he was a professional “lobbyist.” Because the First Amendment guarantees the freedom to share one’s policy ideas with public officials, Calzone…

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Eighth Circuit: Farmers Surrender Fourth Amendment Rights When Driving Their Own Trucks

Eighth Circuit: Farmers Surrender Fourth Amendment Rights When Driving Their Own Trucks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                         CONTACT: Dave Roland July 26, 2019                                                                                          (573) 567-0307 Eighth Circuit: Farmers Surrender Fourth Amendment Rights When Driving Their Own Trucks Mexico, Missouri—Today a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a person surrenders their Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures simply by getting behind the wheel of any vehicle the state defines as a “commercial vehicle” – and that this applies to farmers who…

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Freedom Center Challenges St. Louis City’s Brazen Defiance of Transparency

Freedom Center Challenges St. Louis City’s Brazen Defiance of Transparency

Tragedy struck Darla Nieder in October 2017 when her daughter fell victim to a double-murder in St. Louis City. In February 2018, desperate to learn whatever she could about her child’s death, Nieder exercised her right to request unredacted, unedited copies of records related to the investigation of her daughter’s death.  State law says that a law enforcement agency receiving such a request must within thirty days either produce the requested materials or file a motion with the circuit court…

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VICTORY: St. Louis County Drug Task Force Admits Violating Sunshine Law

VICTORY: St. Louis County Drug Task Force Admits Violating Sunshine Law

14779 Audrain Rd. 815            Mexico, Missouri            www.mofreedom.org              (573) 567-0307 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                      CONTACT:  Dave Roland April 19, 2019                                                                                                   (573) 567-0307 VICTORY: St. Louis County Admits Drug Task Force Violated Sunshine Law, Bringing Strategic Litigation Campaign to Successful Conclusion Mexico, Missouri—Late Friday afternoon St. Louis County Circuit Judge Thea Sherry signed a Consent Judgment approved by the parties in Malin v. St. Louis County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force, et al. The Consent Judgment reflects the County’s…

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BLOOMING RIDICULOUS: Federal Judge Rules Property Rights Not “Fundamental,” Okays Twenty-Year Prison Sentences for Growing Harmless Flowers

BLOOMING RIDICULOUS: Federal Judge Rules Property Rights Not “Fundamental,” Okays Twenty-Year Prison Sentences for Growing Harmless Flowers

14779 Audrain Rd. 815            Mexico, Missouri            www.mofreedom.org              (573) 567-0307 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                     CONTACT:  Dave Roland March 29, 2018                                                                                                      (573) 567-0307   BLOOMING RIDICULOUS: Federal Judge Says City May Force Senior Citizens to Grow Plants That Make Them Sick, Twenty Years in Prison for Noncompliance Not “Excessive”   Mexico, Missouri—Late yesterday afternoon U.S. District Judge John Ross ruled that even though the U.S. Constitution says that it protects citizens’ property rights, cities can force homeowners to devote…

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Briefing Completed in Cutting Edge First Amendment Case

Briefing Completed in Cutting Edge First Amendment Case

On December 21, 2017, the Freedom Center of Missouri and our co-counsel at the Institute for Free Speech filed our final brief on behalf of Ron Calzone in our Citizen Activist Speech case.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to hear oral arguments in this case early next year – we will post an announcement when the court sets the date for those arguments. Last month we shared a video in which Ron explains the importance of this case,…

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