Home > Uncategorized > Courthouse Camping Conviction from November

Courthouse Camping Conviction from November

...and no public defecation, either!

Who’d a thunk it?  Turns out that someone just got convicted, just yesterday, for camping at the courthouse back in November.

Kym Kemp has the details from a DA press release.


I’d thought the Board of Supervisors said it needed a new ordinance to prevent camping, and public defecation and such, but this jury seems not to have heard.  I’d thought the EPD and Sheriff were completely neutered by the DA office, but it sounds like maybe they weren’t, as they were two of the four police agencies that responded to arrest Mr. Emke back in November.  The others were CHP and Arcata PD.

Emke was sentenced to two years of court (unsupervised) probation, fines and court fees by the Honorable Judge Timothy Cissna. He is also required to do fifty hours of community service.

Curiouser and curiouser.  Well, as everyone knows, Humboldt County is a Wonderland.

"How could this be?" said the Sheriff to the Chief.

"How could this be?" said the Sheriff to the Chief.

Incidentally, for anyone interested in the DA’s guidelines regarding protest, they’re posted here.


  1. March 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Is it possible that they didn’t read the old laws either?

  2. Mitch
    March 30, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Waste ‘o time. There’s SWAT snipers to train! And I read something already, back in ’68 I think it was. Overrated.

  3. OUTLAW1
    March 30, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    lol does the protesting count as community service. how do you explain this to your fellow trash pickerupper peeps that you are there because you was tryin to use your right to protest and ended up serving your community by court order. very confusing

  4. Delicious
    March 30, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I read the Herald because it’s always posting wonderful news like this pick-me-up today. And then I get to read the know-nothings whine about the news. It’s like a four course meal followed by an ice cream sundae.

  5. OUTLAW1
    March 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    sounds like yur fed well

  6. March 30, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Great post, Mitch. It puts the lie to police complaints that the DA is refusing to press charges, which is why they say they have been refusing to enforce laws already in place.

  7. OUTLAW1
    March 30, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    seen a guy there pissing on the fence. nice for my kids to see. no wonder they had enough

  8. Chyl Please
    March 30, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Heraldo @ 7:25 says:

    It puts the lie to police complaints that the DA is refusing to press charges, which is why they say they have been refusing to enforce laws already in place.

    The admittedly-shitty-Times Standard says:

    Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos said the cited penal code doesn’t apply to Occupy signs because the code is meant to prevent commercial signs on government property. He said the office isn’t going to prosecute somebody for having a personal sign because there is no case or court decision indicating a problem.
    Gallegos said he’s trying to protect people’s rights but doesn’t have the authority to give people permission to post signs on the fence or give them immunity. He said he’s frustrated, and he knows law enforcement officials are frustrated, too.
    ”I’m not saying it’s OK; it’s just not a crime,” Gallegos said about the signs. “There’s a lot of things out there that aren’t OK, but aren’t criminal.”

    Gee, Wally, what’s a guy to believe?

  9. Harold Knight
    March 31, 2012 at 12:12 am

    “Protect and Serve”, the aesthetics of those who count trumps the Constitution.

    For awhile.

  10. Mitch
    March 31, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Chyl Please,

    The two things you quoted are consistent. The DA was properly worried about first amendment issues related to the protest; the office’s guidelines make it clear that nuisance behavior (such as camping on a downtown lawn or defecating in public or shouting curses and blocking people’s path) can be prosecuted.

    If you’re not a Constitutional scholar but have common sense, you can pretty much understand them.

    A link to the DA’s four page memo on policy w/r/t the protests is at the bottom of the post.

    I’m sure one of the professional media types in the county will provide the public with a wonderful, detailed, objective investigative report any day now. I just think you’d probably have to be at the Alibi to have any chance of hearing it.

  11. March 31, 2012 at 8:06 am

    CIVIL MINUTES – GENERAL Page 15 of 16

    Case 2:11-cv-02874-PSG -AJW Document 29 Filed 06/23/11 Page 15 of 16 Page ID






    Case No. CV 11-2874 PSG (AJWx) Date June 23, 2011

    Title Tony Lavan,

    et al. v. City of Los Angeles, et al.

    Defendant City, its agents and employees, are hereby preliminarily enjoined from doing any of the following:

    1. Seizing property in Skid Row absent an objectively reasonable belief that it is abandoned, presents an immediate threat to public health or safety, or is evidence of a crime, or contraband; and

    2. Absent an immediate threat to public health or safety, destruction of said seized property without maintaining it in a secure location for a period of less than 90 days.

    Defendant City, its agents and employees, is further directed to leave a notice in a prominent place for any property taken on the belief that it is abandoned, including advising where the property is being kept and when it may be claimed by the rightful owner.

    IV. Conclusion

    Based on the foregoing Plaintiffs have clearly shown a likelihood of success on the
    merits, that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tip in their favor and that an injunction is in the public interest. As a result, the Court ISSUES a PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION.


    CV 11-2874 (06/11)

  12. Mitch
    March 31, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Thanks for that.

  13. Just High Class & Middle Finance
    March 31, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Protests are so 1770 – 1960´s. Sure, a tremendous amount of social change came from these protests (read anything by Howard Zinn for more info) but ¨in this time¨ (love that platitude) we can not afford social disorder. I imagine for County Courthouse employees and sheriff deputies, the Revolutionaty War was a massive inconvenience. Not to mention the Civil War nor hundreds of other rebellions and protests in American history. Fortunatly for us, we can dismiss modern protests as ´´ïnsignificant and-or irrelevant´´ compared to earlier protests. Besides, if it is not as important as the Revolutoinary War, then the government is wise to tell us when and where we are allowed to have Freedom of Assembly and Freedom of Speech. We need an asterisk next to these Ammendments. ¨Time and location may vary. See the Government for more information, permission, and any necessary permits required by law.¨

  14. High Finance
    March 31, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    You are not a deep thinker are you ?

  15. Chyl Please
    April 1, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Mitch @ 7:47,
    Law enforcement stated they will stop spending resources enforcing questionably illegal behavior because the DA has stated that he won’t press charges against said behavior.
    Heraldo was calling that a lie. My quoted statements show that it is not a lie.

  16. OUTLAW1
    April 1, 2012 at 9:20 am


  17. Mitch
    April 1, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Chyl Please,

    I think the point you are missing is that law enforcement said it would stop doing ANYTHING at the Courthouse except in emergencies. And then it did, refusing even to step outside and approach some mentally ill person who had frightened someone else trying to enter the courthouse.

    The DA’s memo, and the conviction of someone this Thursday for camping, both make it clear that there was TONS of nuisance behavior that law enforcement could and should have acted against, and which the DA would prosecute.

    The only behavior the DA memo says it won’t prosecute is that where police try to take signs away from protesters. That’s not the same as refusing to prosecute for camping, public defecation, etc…

    There’s a link to the memo at the top of this thread, but here’s the top of page 3 of the memo, which makes this crystal clear:

    This is no way limits, prohibits or precludes the filing of charges associated with any other criminal activity unless that activity was specifically related to the protection of the expression of speech, assembly and the petition of government for a redress of grievances and was both legally justified and reasonable under the circumstances known or reasonably known to that individual.

    If it had wanted to do its job, law enforcement could have been citing and arresting people for nuisance behavior all along — the DA’s memo has no problem with arrests for nuisance behavior, just with taking signs away from protesters. That’s also common sense.

    But law enforcement thought, correctly, that it could push the Board of Supervisors into passing this ordinance by creating a sense that law enforcement was powerless to act without it. And that is complete, 100% pure bullshit. The only people who won’t see that are the one’s for whom it would be too inconvenient to look.

  18. What Now
    April 1, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    You nailed it, Mitch.

  19. High Finance
    April 2, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Emke was sentenced to two years of UNSUPERVISED PROBATION ? He was fined but that is meaningless since he has no job or money.

    And you guys think this means what ?

    This isn’t any punishment for breaking the law. This is pretend shit. No wonder Eureka is getting more lawless all the time.

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