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Category: Legal Filings

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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Ron Calzone Explains Our Citizen Activist Speech Case

Ron Calzone Explains Our Citizen Activist Speech Case

In the above video, Ron Calzone explains in his own words the basis and critical importance of our Citizen Activist Free Speech case.  This case involves a Missouri statute that requires citizen activists to register as lobbyists and (under threat of huge fines and criminal penalties) to file regular reports with the government regarding efforts to talk to government officials about public policy – even if no one is paying the activist to speak on their behalf.  The Missouri Ethics…

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Congratulations, You Won! Now Pay Up.

Congratulations, You Won! Now Pay Up.

On paper, Missouri’s Sunshine Law offers hope that if a citizen can prove in court that the government unlawfully denied a citizen’s access to public records or a public meeting, the citizen might recover the expenses they incurred associated with the lawsuit as well as limited civil penalties.  In practice, however, it is very, very rare for courts to award expenses or civil penalties – although it does sometimes occur, as in our Cole County Prosecuting Attorney case.  To win…

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Briefing Completed in Suspicionless Stops Appeal

Briefing Completed in Suspicionless Stops Appeal

Several months ago the Freedom Center began its appeal in our Suspicionless Stops case, in which we are challenging a state law that allows certain law enforcement officials to randomly stop almost any vehicle and driver, anywhere and at any time along a state highway or interstate, “with or without probable cause” to believe that the vehicle or driver are in violation of any laws.  Today we filed the last of the briefs in this appeal, and we wanted to make…

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Good News for Government Transparency!

Good News for Government Transparency!

Last year the Freedom Center of Missouri expanded its mission to include not only constitutional litigation, but also litigation under this state’s Sunshine Law, which guarantees citizens the right to obtain open public records and to attend – and record! – open public meetings of government entities.  The Freedom Center’s Director of Litigation, Dave Roland, had already been handling several Sunshine Law cases, and the Freedom Center recently adopted four of those.  That is why we are very pleased to…

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Blooming Ridiculous, Phase Three: The Duffners’ Challenge to the Turf Grass Mandate Moves to Federal Court

Blooming Ridiculous, Phase Three: The Duffners’ Challenge to the Turf Grass Mandate Moves to Federal Court

On Monday December 19, 2016, the Freedom Center of Missouri began Round Three of its battle to end the unconstitutional Turf Grass Mandate in the City of St. Peters, re-filing the case in federal court. The move was necessitated because, even after the Missouri Court of Appeals admonished St. Charles County Circuit Judge Daniel Pelikan for improperly dismissing Carl and Janice Duffner’s constitutional challenge, Judge Pelikan refused to let the Duffners present their claims under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments…

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Appellate Brief Filed To End Suspicionless Vehicle Stops

Appellate Brief Filed To End Suspicionless Vehicle Stops

Today the Freedom Center filed a brief at the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in our Suspicionless Stops case. The judgment we are appealing ruled that because professional commercial truckers are subject to extensive regulation, the Fourth Amendment allows law enforcement officers to randomly pull over and inspect almost any vehicle driving on Missouri’s highways and interstates – even if the drivers and vehicles are not involved in the professional commercial trucking industry, and even if the officer has no…

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PRESS RELEASE: Protecting the Right to Protest

PRESS RELEASE: Protecting the Right to Protest

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:    April 8, 2016 CONTACT:  Dave Roland PROTECTING THE RIGHT TO PROTEST: Candidate Challenges Laws That Keep Political Protesters Off Election Ballots Mexico, Missouri—In 1999 the U.S. Supreme Court held that refusing to register to vote is an expressive act protected by the First Amendment because “there are those individuals for whom the choice not to register to vote implicates political thought and expression.”  Rachel Johns is one of those individuals. “In 2014, as an African American…

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VICTORY: St. Louis County Can No Longer Ban Minor Parties, Independent Candidates From Ballots

VICTORY: St. Louis County Can No Longer Ban Minor Parties, Independent Candidates From Ballots

St. Louis County officials may no longer ban minor parties and independent candidates from special election ballots. In an important victory for voters and candidates dissatisfied with the two major political parties, U.S. District Judge Ronnie White has signed an order that permanently prohibits the county and its election officials from enforcing a charter provision that limited voters’ choices to only candidates representing the two major political parties. Last January, the Constitution Party of Missouri attempted to nominate St. Louis…

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