Decision in Higbie v. Higbie Marriage Dissolution Case on Firearms Issue
In Higbie v. Higbie, a Connecticut Superior Court Family case, the mother sought to limit the father's possession of firearms in the home beyond the limitations already imposed by law. The judge issued a decision on April 15, 2016, dissolving the marrriage and ruling against the mother on the firearms issue. Attorney Beverly Krieger of Lovejoy & Rimer in Norwalk represented Carlton Higbie in the matter. Attorney Rachel M. Baird filed a brief on the firearms issue.
American News Media Case Against San Diego County Sheriff's Department
San Diego County filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on March 25, 2016, for judgment against a Third Amended Complaint filed by American News' videographer and freelance journalist J.C. Playford. A hearing on the County's Motion is scheduled for 10:30 AM on April 22, 2016, in Courtroom 4D of the federal courtroom at 333 West Broadway, San Diego, before the Honorable Roger T. Benetiz.
Notice of Motion and Motion for Summary Judgment (filed by San Diego County)
Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Motion for Summary Juddgment (filed by San Diego County)
Separate Statement of Undisputed Material Facts in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment (filed by San Diego County)
Federal Case Filed Against City of Waterbury By Principal Acquitted of Criminal Charges
A federal complaint filed yesterday by our office on behalf of former Waterbury principal Maria Moulthrop challenges the State Department of Education to move forward in concluding its investigation of purported irregularities in the 2011 administration of the Connectifict Mastery Tests at Hopeville Elementary School in Waterbury.Nearly 42 months have passed since the SDOE commissioner found probable cause to institute formal revocation procedures against Moulthrop; however, since the SDOE commissioner has never provided the requisite statutory notice to trigger the fifteen-day period for Moulthrop to request a hearing which would trigger the sixty-day period to hold a hearing to challenge the revocation, the SDOE commissioner has purposely and maliciously denied Moulthrop a timely opportunity for hearing to clear her name and reputation to seek employment. The SDOE commissioner buttressed the unsupported findings in Attorney Dorsey’s September 13, 2011, report with Moulthrop’s June 28, 2012, criminal arrest to find probable cause to institute revocation proceedings then avoided notice to Moulthrop and the trigger of the fifteen-day period in anticipation that the June 27, 2012, criminal arrest would result in a felony plea, conviction, or agreement as part of a criminal plea negotiation to surrender her educator certificates, any of which would have resulted in the automatic revocation of Moulthrop’s four educator certifications and avoided the statutory requirement of a hearing if requested by Moulthrop after receiving notice. Moulthrop was acquitted of all criminal charges on November 12, 2014, after the submission of testimony and evidence through eleven witnesses including Slavin, McKnight, Frost, Marold, Pannone, Biolo, and a TD Bank, N.A. representative and more than 500 exhibits during the prosecution’s case-in-chief.
Today's Republican American reports on the federal complaint and related events in "A twist on 'manipulation': Former Waterbury principal says lawyer protected city in 2011 scandal."
Ex Parte Restraining Orders and Firearms - Letter to Judiciary re: Proposed S.B. No. 56, S.B. No. 650, H.B. No. 5069
In an email reproduced below to the Connecticut General Assembly's Judiciary Committee, Attorney Baird asks Co-Chairs Senator Coleman and Representative Tong and Ranking Members Senator Kissel and Representative Rebimbas to review her Letter addressing the ex parte restraining order process in Connecticut:
Dear Chairman Coleman, Chairman Tong, Ranking Member Kissel, and Ranking Member Rebimbas:
I delivered a letter to Governor Malloy in September 2014 regarding the ex parte restraining order process in Connecticut with five proposals to better protect victims of domestic violence. My letter to Governor Malloy is a blueprint for any elected official concerned about domestic violence.
The proposals I have seen this legislative session regarding the ex parte restraining order process confirm that elected officials do not know or do not care to know what happens in Connecticut courts on a daily basis.
The attached letter with Appendix A and Appendix B invites you, the proponents of proposed S.B. 56, S.B. 650, and H.B. 5069, and members of the General Assembly to focus on legislation that will accomplish the stated purpose of affording greater protections to victims of domestic violence while at the same time providing those who have not been arrested for any crime the due process that guarantees individual firearms owners a core, fundamental right to possess firearms for self-defense. A next business day hearing in court, the same due process granted individuals who have been arrested, accomplishes both.
Rachel M. Baird, Attorney
Spotlight on Connecticut's Under Secretary of Criminal Justice and Policy
At the Connecticut Criminal Justice Police Commission's October 30, 2014, meeting chaired by Office of Policy and Management Under Secretary Mike Lawlor of group of researchers from Yale, Duke, and UCONN offered a 16-page Power Point presentation titled "Research Study of Connecticut's 'Dangerous Persons' Gun Seizure Law." In a December 11, 2014, letter to Under Secretary Lawlor, Attorney Baird wrote:
So far the Waterbury Republican American, The New Haven Register, and The Connecticut Law Tribune have reported on the project as if the research is sponsored by esteemed institutions such as Yale, Duke, and UCONN. Not one of these media outlets disclosed that the research project is in fact sponsored by the New Venture Fund and the Elizabeth K. Dollard Trust. Not one of these media outlets disclosed the association between the New Venture Fund and The Joyce Foundation. The media relied on Under Secretary Lawlor and the Commission who, similar to economics professor Jonathan Gruber, simply think the media and the public are stupid.”
For all of the details do not miss Connecticut Carry's Spotlight on Attorney Rachel Baird.
NRA CRDF Funded Film About Connecticut Firearm Owners - Coming Soon In 2015!
Our Legal Investigator Ed Peruta Makes Bloomberg News With "Unnamed" CT Attorney
In a September 26, 2014, article "Packing Pistols in Public Seen as Next Gun Control Battle," Bloomberg News reporter Joel Rosenblatt describes our legal investigator Ed Peruta:
"Peruta, a former police officer, now lives and works in Connecticut as an investigator for an attorney who handles firearm-related civil and criminal cases. On YouTube videos, he describes himself as an NRA instructor, a holder of gun permits in three states and the director of Connecticut Carry, a group dedicated to educating citizens, lawmakers and law enforcement officials about gun rights."
American News West Coast Reporter JC Playford Obtains Video of SDCSD Deputy Threatening Park Ranger
JC Playford shoots news for American News and Information Services in Southern California and is the plaintiff in a First Amendment federal complaint filed by Attorney Baird. The court in San Diego recently dismissed four of the counts in a Sepember 17, 2014, Decision but left pending First Amendment failure to train and retaliatory animus claims against the County of San Diego with leave to amend Playford's false arrest claim. The retaliatory animus count claims that Playford has been the focus of harrassment by police officers in San Diego County based on the exercise of his First Amendment right to report the news.
Playford has been following an incident in Del Mar, California and only through his tenacity in following up on Freedom of Information Act requests obtained this video ...
Letter to Governor Malloy Regarding Ex Parte Restraining Orders and Due Process
Letter from Attorney Baird to Governor Malloy in response to the Governor's comments at a September 10, 2014, Domestic Violence Roundtable Conference in West Hartford
Connecticut Firearms Litigation Update - Kuck v. Masek
[Links to Court Filings/Orders Follow At Conclusion Of Article]
M. Peter Kuck is the longest-serving member (since 1997) of the nine-member Connecticut State Board of Firearms Permit Examiners ("Firearms Board"). The Governor appoints two members of the Firearms Board from the public and seven from those nominated by statutorily-designated state agencies and private associations. One of these private associations, Ye Connecticut Gun Guild, has refused, continuously, despite Governor Malloy's requests and efforts, to nominate anyone other than Mr. Kuck to fill the place on the Firearms Board statutorily reserved for a Ye Connecticut Gun Guild nominee.
Mr. Kuck was in 2007 the most outspoken member of the Firearms Board in his public criticism of state police practices in revoking handgun permits. Mr. Kuck consistently relied upon a 2006 New York State Police audit finding many deficiencies within the Connecticut State Police including dishonesty and criminal behavior. Mr. Kuck used the official findings of the audit to question the credibility of Connecticut state police officers who appeared before the Firearms Board.
In Connecticut a government-issued permit is required to carry a handgun outside the home. An individual applies to the local municipal authority where he or she resides and once a temporary permit issues the holder may obtain a five-year permit from the state police. The permit must be renewed every five years with the state police. To obtain a permit, among other things, a person cannot be an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States. Prior to the issuance of a temporary permit and a 5-year permit to Mr. Kuck in 1982 an investigation was performed as required by state statute confirming through documentation and records that Mr. Kuck was born in New York. There has never been any evidence that Mr. Kuck, the longest-serving member of the Firearms Board and a long-standing permit holder, was not a United States citizen.
When Mr. Kuck presented himself to the state police in March 2007 to renew his permit he was denied renewal based, allegedly, on his refusal to present a birth certificate, passport, or voter identification. Mr. Kuck's possession of a permit was in fact proof that he was not an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States and no law required him to prove he was not an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States. Mr. Kuck appealed the denial in April 2007 and waited until October 8, 2008, for a hearing before the Firearms Board. His permit was renewed on October 9, 2008.
Mr. Kuck filed a federal action in September 2007 alleging a violation of his procedural due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution that was dismissed by the district court. The Second Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal in March 2010 and remanded, finding that Mr. Kuck held a liberty interest under the Connecticut constitution in his permit and the state's ability to regulate firearms did not extinguish the liberty interest at stake or eliminate the need to afford due process. The district court again on remand granted judgment in favor of the state defendants and the Firearms Board.
In November 2013 the Second Circuit affirmed the district court finding that the "undisputed evidence in the record establishes that the delays at issue resulted from routine administrative burdens that were compounded by significant and unforeseeable increases in the number of appeals before the Board, and that the Board made good faith and ultimately successful efforts to reduce those delays." The wait period for a hearing is currently 23 months and since the Second Circuit's decision, at one point, the wait period was 30 months.
As long as the right to a timely hearing is not recognized, the government will not allocate resources and will rely on the claim that it is performing at optimum level in consideration of the lack of resources to avoid its constitutional obligations. However, when a right is guaranteed under state or federal law then the resources must be allocated to preserve that right otherwise the state must forgo its regulation, in this case permits to carry outside the home, as unwieldy and incompatible with the Second Amendment.
March 23, 2010 - Second Circuit Decision in Kuck v. Danaher
October 16, 2012 - U.S. District Court of Connecticut Decision in Kuck v. Danaher
April 4, 2013 - Kuck's Appellate Brief to Second Circuit in Kuck v. Masek
Special Appendix and Joint Appendix - Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Part 1, Volume 3, Part 2
July 3, 2013 - Kuck's Reply Brief to Second Circuit in Kuck v. Masek
November 21, 2013 - Second Circuit Decision in Kuck v. Masek
December 5, 2013 - Kuck's Petition to Second Circuit for Rehearing En Banc
April 7, 2014 - Second Circuit Denial of Kuck's Petition for Rehearing En Banc
September 4, 2014 - Kuck's Petition to Supreme Court for Certiorari
Press Release: Attorney Baird And Edward Peruta To Appear on Kate Krueger Talking Guns This Sunday, 07/27/2014, At 2:30 PM EDT
Kate Krueger has invited Attorney Baird and Ed Peruta back to her live radio show, Kate Krueger Talking Guns, for a report from Connecticut. Kate and her listeners in Arizona and around the nation have taken a particular interest in Connecticut, its new gun laws, the pending legal challenge to the new laws in federal court, and also the problems that individual gun owners have that do not make it to the front pages of newspapers. Visit Kate at www.kktgradio.com to learn more about all of the issues she is involved in and to find how to listen live on the internet this Sunday.
The Connecticut Bar Association And The Brady Center As Joint Amici Curiae In Shew v. Malloy
A July 9th article in The Connecticut Law Tribune reported a proposal by The Connecticut Bar Association's Human Rights and Responsibility Section to join as an amicus curiae in a brief to be filed by "advocates interested in preventing gun violence, led by the Brady Center [to Prevent Gun Violence]" in the Shew v. Malloy case pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
In a July 15th letter to CBA President Mark A. Dubois, Attorney Baird asked the CBA to consider as a threshold issue whether the CBA ethically should support one party over another in an appeal from a judicial decision written by one of its members, The Honorable Alfred V. Covello. As stated by Attorney Baird to CBA President Dubois:
Already, in predicting that the Connecticut gun law will stand on its merits, you commented on Judge Covello's decision as "well reasoned and followed the law" without acknowledging the association between the CBA and the judge. While you characterize as threshold the issue of whether the CBA should "get involved in matters that are social or political" or define itself as "a professional organization only concerned with matters affecting the practice of law," absent is a consideration of the consequence for a judge as well as the case when a voluntary association in which Judge Covello lists himself as a member files a brief, on the entire membership's behalf, supporting the side in whose favor the judge ruled. This scenario, which conjures the true threshold question, points to the only answer for the CBA: Forgo filing or joining as an amicus curiae in briefs that create conflicts for CBA members and jeopardize cases.
Subsequent to Attorney Baird's July 15th letter, Connecticut Carry, Inc. President Rich Burgess discovered that the CBA had taken a position in March 2013 in support of the new gun laws prior to the filing date in Shew v. Malloy and Judge Covello's assignment to the case.
Despite these concerns, the CBA's House of Delegates voted 34-15 on July 21st to join The Brady Center as an amicus curiae asking the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to affirm the decision by Judge Covello in Shew v. Malloy.
Attorney Baird To Attend CCDL Fundraiser For Shew v. Malloy Litigation Fund Featuring Guest Speaker Ambassador John Bolton
Information about attending the July 20th event may be found at The Connecticut Citizens Defense League website.
Attorney Baird Comments in FOX NEWS Associated Press Article on Firearms Seizure Warrants
In the FOX NEWS July 6, 2014-Associated Press article, "States look to gun seizure law after mass killings," Attorney Baird, Richard Burgess of Connecticut Carry, South Windsor Police Chief Matthew Reed, and Undersecretary Michael Lawlor comment on the example the Connecticut Risk Warrant statute presents for other states to follow.
"Rachel Baird, a Connecticut lawyer who has represented many gun owners, said one of the biggest problems with the state's law is that police are abusing it. She said she has had eight clients whose guns were siezed by police who obtained the required warrants after taking possession of the guns.
'It's stretched and abused and since it's firearms, the courts go along with it,' Baird said of the law."
"Assault Weapons" Petition for Declaratory Rulings Filed on March 25, 2014
A Petition filed on behalf of Connecticut Carry asks the Commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) to rule on two issues affecting firearms owners. The Petition for Declaratory Rulings asks the Commissioner for rulings to declare:
(1) The act of modifying a lawfully possessed assault weapon by adding features or changing characteristics is lawful and therefore not subject to criminal liability.
(2) The laws passed in No. 13-220 of the 2013 Public Acts (P.A. 13-220) on June 18, 2013, retroactively legalized firearms that had been defined since passage of No. 01-130 of the 2001 Public Acts (P.A. 01-130) on June 28, 2001, as assault weapons subject to a prohibition on possession.
According to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act (UAPA), the DESPP, as the agency served the Petition for Declaratory Rulings, shall give notice within thirty days after receipt of the Petition to all persons to whom notice is required by any provision of law and to all persons who have requested notice of declaratory ruling petitions on the subject matter of the Petition.
If the agency (DESPP) finds that a timely petition to become a party or to intervene has been filed according to agency regulations, the agency then: (1) May grant a person status as a party if the agency finds that the petition states facts demonstrating that the petitioner's legal rights, duties or privileges shall be specifically affected by the agency proceeding; and (2) may grant a person status as an intervenor if the agency finds that the petition states facts demonstrating that the petitioner's participation is in the interests of justice and will not impair the orderly conduct of the proceedings.
Within sixty days after receipt of the Petition , the agency (DESPP) shall: (1) Issue a ruling declaring the validity of a regulation or the applicability of the provision of the general statutes, the regulation, or the final decision in question to the specified circumstances, (2) order the matter set for specified proceedings, (3) agree to issue a declaratory ruling by a specified date, (4) decide not to issue a declaratory ruling and initiate regulation-making proceedings, under section 4-168, on the subject, or (5) decide not to issue a declaratory ruling, stating the reasons for its action.
For more information about the UAPA as it applies to a Petition for Declaratory Rulings see General Statutes § 4-176.
Press Release: Mack, Krauser, Peruta, Baird, Burgess and Korwin on New Episode of Talking Guns Radio 3/23/2014
Mack, Krauser, Peruta, Baird, Burgess and Korwin on New Episode of Talking Guns Radio 3/23/2014
Talking Guns Radio and Kate Krueger will be joined Sunday 3/23/2014 by a group of great Americans and patriots starting with Sheriff Richard Mack former Graham County Sheriff and speaker, Shane Krauser radio show host and founder American Academy for Constitutional Education (AAFCE), Ed Peruta of Connecticut Gun Rights , Rachel M. Baird, CT Attorney , Rich Burgess, Pres. Connecticut Carry Inc. and Alan Korwin author and speaker. This is stacked up to be a very powerful show.
Tune in to Kate Krueger Talking Guns at www.kktgradio.com and click on the microphone to listen live on Sunday’s at her new time 10AM-Noon AZ Time or visit anytime to download the archives. For those with Smart Phones go to your podcast app search for Kate Krueger Talking Guns and subscribe.
About Kate Krueger:
Kate Krueger, Talking Guns host, firearms instructor, competitor, writer and patriot has been featured in National Review, Politico, Shooting Industry, Outdoor Channel and numerous publications, served as a panel member at NSSF Shot Show 2014 “Marketing to Women” and speaks locally to groups like the Oath Keepers. Today she brings all that passion and skill together for you with Talking Guns!!!
Press Release Courtesy of ArizonaShooting.com.
Forecast 2014: Gun Owners Worry About Enforcement Of Laws
The Connecticut Law Tribune asked Attorney Baird at the end of 2013 to submit a commentary on her forecast for the year ahead for gun owners in Connecticut. An excerpt from the commentary addresses the deficiencies at the state police Special Licensing and Firearms Unit, the agency tasked with implementing and administering the new laws related to firearms in Connecticut:
"The chaos in the Firearms Unit will become even more apparent after Jan. 1, 2014, and doubtless be attributed by apologists to the burdens placed upon State Police in implementing complex new laws. But the new statutes have simply exposed what any attorney with a firearms practice in Connecticut has known for years: the Firearms Unit does not know the law, and holds local police departments, the legislature, courts, and ultimately firearms owners at its mercy because few have the courage and confidence in their own knowledge of the law to question State Police about firearms matters."
Read more from the December 27, 2013, commentary by Attorney Baird at http://www.ctlawtribune.com/id=1202635142961/Forecast-2014%3A-Gun-Owners-Worry-About-Enforcement-Of-Laws#ixzz2wFtaScrn
Gun Owners of America Executive Director Larry Pratt Interviews Ed Peruta
Congratulations to Our Legal Investigator Ed Peruta
In 2009 our legal investigator Ed Peruta applied to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department for a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public. The County denied Ed's application for lack of "good cause." Ed retained San Diego attorney Paul Neuharth, Jr. and filed a federal lawsuit but the trial court ruled in favor of the County and Ed lost. With the support of the National Rifle Association and the Long Beach law firm of C.D.Michel & Associates Ed's case was appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the February 13, 2014, Peruta v. San Diego decision the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Ed and his claim that the right to carry outside the home is protected by the Second Amendment.C.D.Michel & Associates and the Court of Appeals continue to provide updates to Ed's case as the State of California, after remaining silent on the issue for more than four years while Ed's case was pending, is now attempting to intervene to reverse the decision.