Saturday, March 12, 2016

Judge Wolke ruled; we will appeal

          Judge Wolke ruled against us, in favor of the City of Grants Pass.  We will appeal. 
          This plaintiff does not bring suit to go only halfway.  We knew from the start than any local judge is likely to find a way to rule for the city, having seen it happen too many times in the past.  
It is frustrating to see someone sue the city or the county and then drop it when a local judge obviously rules against state law.  This happened in the case of ex-Mayor Murphy appointing a quorum of our City Council after we recalled 5 of them, using a law that allowed him to appoint a single election official in order to call a special election if that official’s seat is vacant.  The previous Mayor Holzinger sued, and then pointed out Judge Baker’s conflict of interest after she ruled against him.  She was upheld by a Jackson County judge, and he dropped the case.
The interesting thing in that case was that she did not use the law Murphy cited for his authority; she just said that “exigent circumstances” allowed it, because we could not hold a special election for 6 months.  But another, authorized remedy lay within section 2 of that law.  It allowed the Board of County Commissioners to appoint a quorum if there were no councillors.  She could have ruled against Mayor Murphy, suggesting the remaining councilors resign and allow the Commissioners to appoint a quorum.
But Holzinger’s attorney did not see that remedy nor understand the reason for the law that Murphy was using, which appeared to be the possibility of a natural disaster killing a quorum of a City Council.  So Judge Baker did not have that remedy presented to her and did not have to consider it.  That was the same attorney I fired in my case before I hired a truly competent attorney out of Portland, who has won at least one appeal, Andrew DeWeese.
Mr. DeWeese works without a retainer, so I didn’t have to borrow more money to get him working on my case.  On February 22nd, I paid him the $1925.00 raised at that point on GoFundMe and in person; I still owe him $2000 before the appeal.  We both believe that we will win on appeal and get those fees paid by the city, in which case the net funds over what I previously borrowed will be held for future homegrown defense. 
But we might not win, and neither of us wants me to be paying him and the city for their costs for the rest of my life, so please donate at, or contact me below to donate by mail or in person.

March 12, 2016 protest leaflet.  Published on 

Rycke Brown, Natural Gardener          541-955-9040