What Happens When You Sue the Cops for Civil Rights Violations? Update on 'Trucker Vs. TX Troopers' ID Case
Plaintiff and Cop Defendants Both File 'Motion for Summary Judgment' in 'Trucker vs. Troopers' ID Case
By Martin Hill
February 4, 2014


What happens when you encounter a power-starved, jackboot rogue cop on the roadside? I suppose it depends on the actions and temperament of all parties involved. If you're not careful, you can end up dead real quick. So the prospect of 'resisting' illegal orders or an attack from a cop, even though it is our right to the death, can be very dangerous.

And if it doesn't de-escalate into a physically dangerous proposition, what about when your rights are merely violated- such as an illegal detainment, illegal checkpoint, illegal ID check or an illegal search in violation of the 4th Amendment?

Should you just 'accept it' as 'the way things are today' and move on, with your head hung low- a submissive sheep?

Wow. That prospect just makes me sick. I don't worship cops, so I simply couldn't do that.

Two Texas Department of Public Safety officers- a trooper and a Commercial Vehicle Inspector, are in the admitted habit and practice of demanding ID from everyone in every vehicle stop. Not only is this blatantly illegal, it is a civil rights violation which no one should tolerate.

In this case, I recorded both officers with my cell phone as it occurred. They demanded my ID under threat of arrest. Since I didn't want to go to jail, after repeated protests, I eventually complied under duress when it came down to 'SHOW IT OR YOU'RE LOCKED IN THE CAGE.' After all, isn't that what it boils down to? The threat of a cage, particularly being locked in that cage for a completely unjust reason, and probably having all your belongings gone through or stolen, not to mention drugs or weapons planted by the cops, is not what any person wants to face on an average workday.

But you can comply under duress at the moment, and win without having to go to jail. By the way, if it happened again, I would NOT comply. I will call their bluff. Having experienced all of this and going to federal court over it, I have already decided that.

Right after this occurred I filed two official complaints- a state complaint with the Texas Dept. of Public Safety and a federal civil rights complaint with the U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division.

The TX DPS, to their credit, actually admitted wrongdoing in writing less than a month after the complaint was filed. and This was even with the initial so-called 'investigator' never once contacted me! He claimed he 'couldn't find me', even though the complaint itself and all other coorespondence with the department has my name, phone number, addresss, e-mail, and fax! Imagine the criminality of this absolute trash!

Nevertheless, even with that skullduggery, TX DPS still found in my favor, based on the text of my complaint. As I explain on my site,

In this case, both officers were recorded and the Texas Department of Public Safety admitted wrongdoing in writing on behalf of the two officers only one month after an internal affairs complaint was filed against the officers in November 2010. The admission letter, dated December 20, 2010 and signed by Captain Kenneth Plunk of the Waco Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, stated that "corrective action was needed" against both officers and that "additional training has been taken." [Here is the postmarked envelope the letter came in.] The driver, Martin Hill, then filed a 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit against the troopers for damages, permanent injunction, and to dissuade them from continuing this blatantly illegal practice. One of the internal police department documents which they were forced to release as a result of my lawsuit in initial disclosures revealed that the Texas Troopers officially admitted that "The passenger is under no obligation to comply with request" for ID.
Then I sued both the assholes in federal court for civil rights violations. Do you think they are still demanding ID and searching people illegally? They might be, but I kind of doubt it.

These two clown officers (who are now DEFENDANTS) have changed their stories numeroius times and gave conflicting stories repeatedly on the record. I have chronicled all of this on my site DontWakeMeUp.org so I won't repeat all the details here. But the latest update is that the defendants, who are represented courtesy of your tax dollars via the Texas Attorney General (I thought that smarmy creep Greg Abbott's job was to enforce the law, not subvert it?).. The defendants have filed a motion for Summary Judgment' which basically means they are appealing to the judge that they should win without going to trial.

I filed this case in summer of 2012, and it should be noted that most of these federal civil rights cases, especially with pro se litigants (people who are representing themselves) are tossed out immediately based on a technicality or lack of merit. Mine was not. It was going smoothly until I demanded discovery from the cops, They called my demands 'burdensome and harrasing', even though many of their initial disclosure requests to me were literally the exact same things I asked of them. I complied with all their discovery requests. Some of the thigns I asked of them, for example, is if they have ever been sued and to see their disciplinary records, and a list of all agencies and groupos who have trained them on the 4th Amendment. Cry me a river, I guess that's 'harrasing,' eh? What a joke.

They sought an 'order of protection' from the judge (meaning they would not immediately have to comply with discovery requests). Imagine two coward cops seeking an 'order of protection from the same guy they strongarmed on the dark roadside. They are the epitome of bitch cowards, let me tell ya.

Now they are seeking 'a summary judgment' based on 'qualified immunity.' This basically means that since they are cops, they can do whatever they want, even if it's illegal, and get away with it and avoid legal liability. However, in order to qualify for 'qualified immunity,' the cops lawyers must prove that the officers had NO WAY OF KNOWING that what they did was illegal.

Now this country has a long history of legal precedents regarding the 4th Amendment, compulsory ID checks, etc. Here are 23 of them. There have been more cases on this matter than you may realize, and it's actually a pretty interesting topic. I encourage everyone to familiarize yourselves with these matters so that if you or your family or friends are ever faced with illegal demands of ID from a cop or a cop pressuring you to search your car without cause, you will know how to react. And you will be confident because you grasp the foundation, the legal history, and the protection of our rights.

In this latest case the cops are seeking summary judgment under the pretext of The Texas Transportation Code Sections 521.021 and 521.025. This is the first time they have brought up this defense in two years, and it's actually a very weak and comical defense. The lawyers at the TX AG must be pretty lazy. Because that code states that when you're driving and get pulled over, you have to show your license to the cop.

I have never argued or contended otherwise. While I sympathize with and understand those who claim that 'driving is a right' rather than a privilege which requires a license, that is not what this case is about at all. That has never been an issue. If I had been driving I would have no problem whatsoever showing a cop my license. Even if I were in the front passenger seat of a commercial vehicle, I would have no problem whatsoever showing the cop my ID and logbook- because that is what the law requires. [Please note that people who are passengers in non-commercial vehciles are under no obligation to show their ID absent probable cause. The front-seat rule I referred to only applies to commercial rigs.]

So the defendants in this Texas case in a last ditch effort to make up a silly excuse claim that I am obligated to show my ID when I am in the sleeper berth of a commercial vehicle. A sleeper berth is akin to your bedroom at home. That would be the same as if some lunatic cop came and started banging on your bedroom window at 2am demanding to see your ID. That is insane, and you would not be obligated to show it. And as I already pointed out, the cop's employer, the Texas Dept. of Public Safety, has already admitted that I was not obligated in any way to comply with this cop's demand for ID.

So the TX Attorney General and the two TX Trooper defendants are going 180 degrees opposite of what the TX DPS has already admitted.

Both the officers admitted to demanding ID from the sleeping occupant and then they both admit they conferred about his refusal to give his ID. Yolanda Aguinaga, who initiated this whole fiasco, told her superiors in her response to the 2010 internal affairs complaint that "It is a common practice with me to always ask for the co-drivers CDL. I check these CDL's to make sure a co-driver really exists, and also to make sure they don't have a warrant." After I refused to show her my ID, here is the video of our exchange), Yolanda apparently got mad that I didn't obey, and told her partner about it. She just couldn't accept the nerve of a serf who politely declined to follow her orders.

Disclosure documents reveal that the two defendants could not even get their story straight about what happened next. Marmor stated that Aguinaga informed him via cell phone that Hill refused to show ID. However, in Aguinaga's response, she said she told him in person, at his car window:

Marmor: "I had returned to my patrol unit when Inspector Aguinaga contacted me via cell phone and advised that the co-driver had refused to present his Driver License."

Aguinaga: "When Trooper Marmor began to drive by me, I stopped him and mentioned that the co-driver was refusing to give me his CDL, and that he was angry for being woken up."

Marmor was more aggressive, invoking jail if the ID wasn't presented. What the recordings actually reveal, however, is that Marmor stated

In a TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY INTEROFFICE MEMORANDUM from Captain Kenneth Plunk dated 12/15/10, in addition to admitting that "unless you have an articulate reason regarding your or other's safety or criminal activity is present, the passenger is under no obligation to comply with this request," Plunk also wrote about re-training his officers on proper procedure:
"At no time did Trooper Marmor state to Mr. Hill that he would be arrested, however he did tell him that it was a "jailable offense" for Failure to Identify. The charge of Failure to Identify under Penal Code 38.02 would not be applicable to this contact. Sergeant McGuairt has addressed with Trooper Marmor his requirements to identify himself properly on future contacts. Sergeant McGuairt will also address with Trooper Marmor proper procedure and additional training regarding the offense of Failure to Identify and how it relates to roadside contacts."

Below are the three documents:

The TX Attorney General's submission of Defendant's motion for summary judgment based on 'qualified immunity' and the Texas Transportation Code Sections 521.021 and 521.025

Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment 02/03/14

Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment 2/3/14.

Here is a short excerpt from the Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment 02/03/14.

In their Motion for Summary Judgment, Defendants state: "The Texas Transportation Code Sec. 521.021. LICENSE REQUIRED. A person, other than a person expressly exempted under this chapter, may not operate a motor vehicle on a highway in this state unless the person holds a driver's license issued under this chapter."

Defendants additionally claim:

"The Texas Transportation Code section 521.021 states that �[a] person, other than a person expressly exempted under this chapter, may not operate a motor vehicle on a highway in this state unless the person holds a driver�s license issued under this chapter.� Furthermore, section 521.025 states that �[a] person required to hold a license under Section 521.021 shall: ... (2) display the license on the demand of a magistrate, court officer, or peace officer.� These sections of the Texas Transportation Code have never been declared unconstitutional. It was objectively reasonable for the Defendants to rely upon these laws when Aguinaga merely requested and Trooper Marmor later demanded Hill�s CDL and therefore they are entitled to qualified immunity from this claim.�
However, the Defendants employer, The Texas Department of Public Safety has acknowledged in writing as a result of the internal affairs investigation of this case in December 2010 that neither The Texas Transportation Code section 521.021 or Sec. 521.021. apply to this case, because the Plaintiff was never operating a vehicle, was under no obligation to show ID, and was not in the passenger seat of the commercial vehicle at the time of the stop. Both the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Defendants themselves have acknowledged that Plaintiff Martin Hill was not driving and that he was off duty in the sleeper berth at the time the Plaintiff's partner pulled in to a weigh station and was cited for having an overweight load. Defendants Marmor and Aguinaga then forced the Plaintiff to exit his bed, come out of the sleeper berth, and demanded his ID unlawfully, clearly in violation of the 4th Amendment

Defendants also list Section 521.025, yet conveniently neglect to include the first line of the Code, Section (a)(1), which states:
(a) A person required to hold a license under Section 521.021 shall:
(1) have in the person's possession while operating a motor vehicle the class of driver's license appropriate for the type of vehicle operated;...

Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened.com, Infowars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association, AmericanFreePress.net, RomanCatholicReport.com, WorldNetDaily, OverdriveOnline.com, Educate-Yourself.org, TexeMarrs.com, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show, Strike-The-Root.com, Pasadena Weekly, ActivistPost.com, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640, IamtheWitness.com, Redlands Daily Facts, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense.com, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, CopBlock.org, DavidIcke.com, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer, Antiwar.com, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com and DontWakeMeUp.Org.

web analytics