Dear Suave

August 31, 2010

All Posts, Editorials, News

Suave writes to ask about the legal battle over the Mongols name and patch – the collective membership marks: “Anything new Rebel?”


Not really.

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.

Settled Once

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.


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13 Responses to “Dear Suave”

  1. suave Says:

    Thanks keep up the great work

  2. Big Bry Says:

    Thanks for the update. Everyone should keep a close eye on this case because if the government is successful, they will try and use their unlimited money to try to steamroll other clubs!

  3. Dante Says:

    Excuse my ignorance here but didn’t the Mongols MC and their patch exist before Doc was even around?

    And if so, isn’t that enough to show that Doc could not possibly have the rights to the coleective membership mark?

  4. BigV Says:

    Dante: That’s precisely the underpinnings of the collective membership marks argument- ie the argument why it shouldn’t be seized.

    Otis Wright is only looking at the fact that it was made a registered trademark for the first time(from what I can research so far) by Rueben Cavazos Senior.

    Via lawyer logic, Doc’s registration must mean that Doc owned the Mongols MC and Mongols patch. So Wright has ordered the marks seized.

    The man is a fool. Registration is not tatamount to ownership, and his right to registration surely couldn’t hold up in court.

    For the sake of free speech, let’s just hope this pans out for the Mongols.

  5. Shyster Says:

    What courthouse and courtroom? I wish to exercise my constitutional right to be present!


  6. suave Says:

    I agree, be nice to see some people show up, where is this going down rebel?

  7. MJ Says:

    Thanks for keeping an eye on this for us Rebel. It is unbelivable, that they are milking this case to the bone. It wasnt enough that Judge Cooper saw thru thier injustice and was trying to put a stop to it.
    Too bad she couldnt finish up the case. It would have been interesting to watch them all squirm in front of her as she questioned the integrity of thier case.
    So much wrong was done by them that they had to bully the guys into agreeing with them. They dont wanna be wrong………cause it sure was and expensive hunch.

  8. Rebel Says:

    Dear Suave, Shyster and others,

    The hearing on the Mongols patch will be held in the courtroom of the Honorable Otis D. Wright, which is courtroom 11, in the Spring Street Courthouse at 312 North Spring Street in El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles. The last I saw, the hearing is docketed for Monday, September 13 at 9:30 am. I will post a reminder on September 10.

    Personally, I think the issue is bigger than the Mongols. Save me a seat. With any luck, all my favorite ATF trolls will be there.


  9. Rebel Says:

    Dear Dante,

    I am not a lawyer but it seems to me that the beating heart of the government’s argument is that the ATF and the DOJ are seizing the Mongols patch and name to punish Doc Cavazos. Doc agrees. I will post Doc’s June 9th declaration on the front page within the hour.


  10. suave Says:

    You the man rebel…Cant wait for you’re post about Sep 13th

  11. Shyster Says:

    I will be present and I look forward to meeting the Rebel in the flesh!


  12. JAMES Says:


  13. Hlywd Marc Says:

    if the feds do seize the Mark, will the Govt. then go after Cop clubs who wear a similar patch(3 piece)and act worse than the real deal clubs? i think not, but i can wish. Good luck to the Black & White.

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