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Schumacher Furs Complaint

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Schumacher Furs owners Gregg and Linda Schumacher filed a federal lawsuit in Oregon District Court last week. The case names the City of Portland, In Defense of Animals, the Animal Liberation Front, Poeple for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Matt Rossell and several other named and unnamed individuals.

The complaint and several associated pleadings were not available on the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) until today.

Attached is a copy of the Complaint. I will post the rest of the pleadings as comments to this article.

Schumacher Furs Motion for Injunction (and Legal Brief) 23.Apr.2007 21:16

Jayson Dunlap

Here are the Schumacher Furs Motion for Preliminary Injunction and the Brief in Support

Declaration of Linda Schumacher 23.Apr.2007 21:23

Jayson Dunlap

Here is the Declaration of Linda Schumacher, filed with the Schumacher Furs complaint.

Declaration of Scott Castleman 23.Apr.2007 21:27

Jayson Dunlap

Here is the Declaration of Scott Castleman in Support of Schumacher Furs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction. Mr. Castleman is the founder of the Corporate Crime Control Association and claims he was hired by the Schumachers to "conduct a threat assessment" of the demonstrators outside the store.

Declaration of Herbert Grey 23.Apr.2007 21:30

Jayson Dunlap

Here is the Declaration of Herbert Grey (one of the Schumacher's attorneys) filed in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction.

Declaration of Gregg Schumacher 23.Apr.2007 21:42

Jayson Dunlap

Here is the Declaration of Gregg Schumacher filed in Support of the Motion for Preliminary Injunction. This is a very large document with color photos attached as Exhibits.

Some text 24.Apr.2007 11:31

Review

After 18 months of weekly (and sometimes daily) anti-fur demonstrations outside of Schumacher Furs and Outerwear in downtown Portland, owners Gregg and Linda Schumacher filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Portland, In Defense of Animals, the Animal Liberation Front, PETA, and several named and unnamed individuals. The Schumachers seek damages for violation of their free speech and equal protection rights, as well as an injunction limiting the "time, place and manner" of demonstrations during the remaining weeks of their canceled lease.

Papers filed in the District Court of Oregon reveal that Portland police officers and elected officials have blamed Gregg and Linda Schumacher for escalating confrontations with the demonstrators. In a March 2006 email to Commissioner Randy Leonard attached as an exhibit to the lawsuit, Portland police Commander Dave Benson wrote that, while "a minority of the protestors have engaged in objectionable behavior", the demonstrators are "well within First Amendment speech right[s]" and are "generally very nice people that have very strong beliefs about selling fur". Benson noted that arrests had been made.

After meeting with the Schumachers and protest organizers, Commissioner Leonard concluded that the Schumachers "are an integral part of the problem". Leonard also told the Oregonian newspaper that "they didn't burn bridges they blew them up".

fight the aeta 25.Apr.2007 11:48

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Have you been scared into submission by repressive, corporate-driven
federal criminal laws? The CLDC and another organization are
planning to file a federal lawsuit challenging the Animal Enterprise
Terrorism Act (AETA). We are looking to explore potential plaintiffs
to be involved in this litigation--both individuals or organizations.
Plaintiffs should be able to describe how the AETA has actually
chilled their exercise of 1st amendment rights (i.e. right to speak
against animal exploitation chilled). We are preferably looking for
folks within the 9th circuit (OR, WA, MT, ID, CA, NV, AZ, AK, HI,
Guam) or 2nd circuit (NY, VT, CT). Please contact Lauren (see below)
and please forward this to other appropriate people/groups as well!
Thanks!!

Lauren

PS=we are also accepting donations and funding for this critical
work--please contact Lauren if you are interested in helping us
financially.
--
The Civil Liberties Defense Center
Lauren C. Regan, Attorney at Law
Executive Director
259 East 5th Avenue, Suite 300A
Eugene, Oregon 97401
541.687.9180 phone
541.686.2137 fax
 lregan@cldc.org

Not an AETA Action 25.Apr.2007 15:39

Bill Abendroth billaben(@)teleport.com

The Schu-Dogs lawsuit is not based on the AETA, although one of the pled statement of facts contends that Schumchers is an animal enterprise as defined under that Act (They aren't). Their lawsuit is against the City of Portland, based on violation of Schumachers' civil rights and lack of equal protection. The action against the private organizations and individuals is for intentional infliction of emotional distress, interference with business relations, interference with contract relations, trespass, and nusiance.

The lawsuit seeks money damages, attorney fees from the City of Portland, and an injunction against demonstrations at Schumachers' storefront and private residence.

While in my personal opinion--not to be treated as legal advice or consultation to any persons, living or dead or even imaginary--is this action is frivilous. In general, there are two claims against the City. First, for failure to send adequate police response (almost always a loser, except where their is a special relationship, such as failure to enforce a Family Abuse Prevention Act restraining order); and second, failure to extend the same level of police protection to Schumachers as is extended to other businesses similarly situated to Schumachers....That second claim is especially difficult, because in federal law, there are basically three levels of review. First, if the failure to provide equal protection for a 'suspect class' or in violation of a fundamental right, then the court examines the violation very closely. For example, if the Portland Police refused to help the Schumachers because of their race, national origin, or religious belief. That is not the case here. Second, there is what's called an 'intermediate level of review' (Honest--I am not making this up). An intermediate level of review is not as high as with a suspect class, but courts will still consider a claim. Intermediate review claims include gender (I'm pretty sure), age, and medical issues (specifically, a guy who was fired for being on methodone maintanence). That's not the Schumacher's claim either...They are at the third level of review. The third level of review is called 'rational basis,' and that covers anything not in the top two levels--usually economic and business relations. Under that level of review, the burden is on the plaintiff to prove there is no rational basis for the government's action resulting in unequal protection. Under this third level of review, courts have NEVER ruled against the government--largely because the plaintiff must prove the Governments actions are wholly 'irrational,' or there is NO rational basis for the Government's actions. Best of British luck to you on that one, as they say on the PBS Rumpole of the Baily series.

There are a multitude of other problems with this federal claim--but they are the kind of things that would be of interest only to me and similarly situated nerd-os.

HOWEVER-----------Please do not construe anything I have said here as supporting the AETA (one of the more BS laws of our or any time) or discouraging anyone from working with or supporting Ms. Regan and the excellent and vital work of the CLDC.

There are so many lies and exaggerations in this complaint... 20.May.2007 17:48

starry sky

that I will look forward to Gregg and Linda being shown as liars in federal or state court - and paying for the privilege of doing so.

The only thing that is actually disturbing about all of this is how many people seem to believe that if the Schumachers say something in their claim, that it must be true. In reality you can say anything that you want in a claim. The downfall for the Schumachers is that, if the court system works the way it should, they will actually have to prove it.

Go ahead - sue all the activists you want. For the most part they are judgement-proof (no money), and will get attorneys for little to no money - attorneys who believe in the principle of the law, and do not wish to see chilling of free speech because of frivolous law suits by wackos like the Schumachers.

Bunnies 21.May.2007 16:17

Hop Hop

Bunnies Bunnies Bunnies Bunnies Bunnies.

Poop.