Suave writes to ask about the legal battle over the Mongols name and patch – the collective membership marks: “Anything new Rebel?”
George Steele is now representing Mongols Nation Motorcycle Club Inc.
As has been the case from the very start, the government attorneys are infuriatingly stubborn.
In a nutshell, the government insists that the Mongols Motorcycle Club was a hierarchal, criminal racket run by Doc Cavazos – in the same way that Avon Barksdale used to own the heroin racket in the East Baltimore in the fictional HBO series The Wire. Cavazos agreed that this was the case in a closed court hearing in January 2009. Cavazos promised Judge Cooper he would completely cooperate with the DOJ and the ATF in that hearing and he confessed that he owned the Mongols, the Mongols patch and the name “Mongols” when applied to a motorcycle club. He also promised to always be on time for his interrogations. The government has further reinforced its argument that the Mongols is a racket by citing every single plea deal in which a Mongol has pled guilty to Count One of the indictment, the racketeering count, as proof that even the Mongols agree that they are a racket.
The Mongols argue that Doc never owned the Mongols. The argument is that since 1969 the Mongols have always owned the Mongols and that the patch and name are not trademarks but collective membership marks.
The issue was apparently settled once, in July 2009, by Judge Cooper but then she died so the government got a new opportunity to steal the patch with a new, and possibly stupider Judge, the Honorable Otis D Wright, II Some people allege that Wright might not be the brightest ball on the Christmas tree.
Basically the government just refuses to give up. I have been told by a couple of very smart guys that the government does not have a legal leg to stand on but they just keep punching.
Doc Still Cooperating
On June 9, Doc – who has a very nice signature by the way – filed a declaration in which he stated that he controlled the marks, that he decided who could wear the marks, that he owned the marks through a corporation named Shotgun Productions, that he is the sole owner of the marks, that everybody in the Mongols knew this, and that his ownership of the marks was inseparable from his “operation, control and participation in the Mongols as described in the indictment.” The indictment describes the Mongols Motorcycle Club as a hierarchal, criminal racket.
On June 15, the government filed a motion of forfeiture. Mongols Nation replied with a motion that seeks to vacate the temporary restraining order against the Mongols patch and name that Judge Cooper signed in October 2008.
On July 31, the government filed a motion which states: “MNMC seeks an order amending or vacating the Preliminary Order of Forfeiture entered by the Court on June 15, 2010 (“POF-TM”) (see Docket No. 3854), which ordered the forfeiture of two registered trademarks associated with the Mongols criminal gang/enterprise.1 See MNMC Petition filed July 20, 2010 as Docket No. 3946. This motion is made on the ground that the evidence already before the Court, together with the factual and judicial admissions made in the MNMC Petition and in earlier filings in this action, demonstrate that MNMC has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, and the government is entitled to judgment on the petition as a matter of law.”
Various parties to the case were deposed on August 10, 11 and 12. I was not there. My invitation must have gotten lost in the mail. To the best of my knowledge Doc was not there either.
Off the top of my head, I believe there will be a hearing on this matter in open court in September 13. I will be there and I will report what happens to you then.