Suing The Bastards

July 30, 2013

All Posts, Features, News

There were setbacks in two biker civil rights suits last week. Both cases are being contested in federal court. One case is being heard in New Jersey and the other in Nevada. Both cases are still alive and may eventually discourage the common police practice of harassing bikers wearing colors on public roads.

The New Jersey case is titled James Coles et al. v. Nicholas Carlini et al. The Nevada case is titled Southern Nevada Confederation of Clubs, Inc. et al. v. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department et al.

New Jersey Suit

The Coles case was filed by three men named James Coles, Joseph Ballinger and Louis C. Degailler in November 2010. All three are now members of the Pagans.

The three were part of a small pack including members of the Tribe Motorcycle Club which was stopped by New Jersey State Police while going to a charity event. The Trooper in charge was Nicholas Carlini and the stop was obviously made in order to harass and intimidate the six men as a form of extra-judicial punishment for belonging to motorcycle clubs and wearing insignia of membership on their backs. Carlini lectured his detainees that the only gang allowed on New Jersey’s roads was the State Police.

Dueling Countermotions

Last February both sides in the slow-moving case asked Judge Jerome B. Simandle to issue summary judgments. Coles, Joseph Ballinger and Degailler sought summary judgment only on the question of whether “the first amendment was violated by the defendant State Troopers in the course of their ‘anti-colors’ speech delivered during plaintiffs’ custodial detention at roadside.” They didn’t seek a judgment on “whether the stop itself was pretextual and initiated in retaliation for Plaintiffs’ alleged expressive conduct.”

The State Police sought a summary judgment of the entire case in their favor on three grounds: “(1) Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity, (2) no violation of the First Amendment occurred, and (3) Plaintiffs Coles and Ballinger are judicially estopped from asserting claims for damages because they failed to disclose their potential claims when each was going through bankruptcy.”

The court listened to the lawyers argue about all this on July 7 and ruled against everybody on July 22.

Core Issues Unchanged

First the judge ruled that since none of the men actually removed his club insignia Trooper Carlini’s bullying speech was simply an “attempt” to deprive the bikers of their free speech rights. He did not rule on the issue of whether the stop itself was intended to deprive the men of their Constitutional rights.

The State Police had asked that Coles and Ballinger be denied any monetary judgment in the case because they had neglected to list a judgment in the case as a potential asset when both declared bankruptcy. The bankruptcies were filed well before this civil suit but were in their final stages after the suit was filed. Most case law indicates that whether the men could be compensated or not was almost entirely at the judge’s discretion. He ruled against Coles and Ballinger because he thought they acted in “bad faith.”

Simandle put it like this: “On the judicial estoppel issue, the key question for the Court is whether bad faith may be inferred from Coles’s and Ballinger’s nondisclosure of this litigation as a contingent asset in their bankruptcy proceedings, while simultaneously pursuing the present claims for damages. Because the Court finds that bad faith may be inferred in this case, the Court will grant Defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment, prohibiting Coles and Ballinger from seeking compensatory or punitive damages.”

However the third plaintiff, Degailler, can still be awarded monetary damages if the suit is successful.

All three plaintiffs can still obtain what is called “injunctive relief” if they win the suit – which means that Simandle will order the New Jersey State Police not to do it again.

Nevada Case

The key issue in the Nevada case was whether the Confederation of Clubs had legal standing to sue Vegas Metro and the other defendants including former Boulder City Police Chief Thomas Finn. Last Friday Judge Andrew P. Gordon ruled the COC does not. He instructed the Plaintiff’s lawyer in the case. Stephen Stubbs, to modify and refile the suit by the end of next month and he basically told Stubbs how to do it. The judge wants to see the plaintiff’s sorted by club. At the end of his ruling he wrote:

“At the July 24, 2013 hearing on the motion to sever, Plaintiffs requested that the court allow the cases to be refiled and grouped by each motorcycle club, such that each club and its related members may file a single complaint (e.g., allowing all Mongols incidents to be contained in one lawsuit, all Stray Cats incidents in another). Based on the allegations presently before the court, the cases may be grouped together as follows: all Mongols incidents may be joined in the present lawsuit (involving Espinoza’s First, Second, and Third Claims for Relief), along with the Jerald Murillo incident; all Stray Cats incidents may be joined in one complaint; all Bandidos incidents may be joined in one complaint along with the Down and Dirty Motorcycle Club incident; the Joseph Pitka incident must be filed in a separate complaint unless Plaintiffs can establish that it should be properly joined with another lawsuit. Each such complaint must be sufficiently pled to satisfy both the joinder requirements ofRule 20 discussed above, and the standing requirements for each plaintiff (including individuals and motorcycle clubs) to maintain the claims. The court does not opine at this time whether the motorcycle clubs can satisfy the standing requirements of Federal Rule ofCivil Procedure 17(b)(3) and any other applicable law.

“Plaintiffs are granted leave to amend the present Amended Complaint (as described above) by August 30, 2013. Similarly, the new and separate lawsuits must be filed by August 30,2013, and will be assigned new case numbers. The court further orders that each of the cases will be consolidated before this court for purposes of discovery. Thus, Plaintiffs shall note in the caption of each complaint that any new case filed as a result of this order is related to this base case, and should be assigned to the same judges. The parties to each of the severed actions are required to pay a filing fee.”

Stubbs Comments

When reached for comment, Stubbs said “What has happened is that Federal Court Judge Andrew Gordon granted me a ‘do over’ with some guidance.”

“Judge Gordon specifically states that all claims for relief are to be grouped by club, dismisses all claims but the Mongols claims, grants me leave to amend the Mongols claims to repair any defects, and then instructs me to file new and separate claims for the other clubs.”

Both suits are ongoing and should remain so for at least another year.


, , , , , , , ,

16 Responses to “Suing The Bastards”

  1. Road Whore Says:

    “Carlini lectured his detainees that the only gang allowed on New Jersey’s roads was the State Police.”

    Well…cops actually acknowledging the truth about themselves! Hallelujah!

    We lived up north and had encounters with both NY and NJ cops…assholes to a man. Gang, indeed.

    Ride Free.

  2. RVN69 Says:

    I read about the New Jersey suit on a different site. The judge states that a patch holder in the Pagan’s MC cannot sue for damages because he did not declare the suit as a possible source of income in his bankruptcy filing. Unless the dates in that article are not correct the Pagan member in question filed bankruptcy in 2007, the traffic stop occurred in 2009 and the civil suit was filed in 2010. Now I know we are accused of , a lot of things from drug running to using harsh language, but I never knew we could tell the future. Exactly how the fuck does that judge rule that in 2007 someone is reasonably expected to know that they might be filing a lawsuit 3 years later???? Fucking justice system, or more correctly the Just Us system.

    FTF, FTP, and Fuck Judge Shimandle.

    Violence may not be the best option, but it is still an option.

  3. PigPen Says:

    I live in that fuckhole of a cesspool New Jersey, and I can tell you, the pork here is unreal. The local bacon is bad enough, you outta see the state troopers with their SS gestapo uniforms. They really think they are the elite storm troopers. They litter the parkway every three miles, you get pulled over for sneezing in the wrong lane. They will tail you until you do something to warrant a stop. And when I say tail you, I am not joking. I told one trooper if he wanted to ride on the bike so bad, he just had to ask, he didn’t have to attach the cruiser to my fender. He didn’t find me half as funny as I find myself.
    God damn, I miss the South.

  4. AVAGOVFFV Says:

    That punk motherfucker in the family court case video needs a ass whipping to the point of a coma, once again little bully thugs with a badge.

    Sick rapist fuck… Fucking with women and babies what a piece of weak shit.

    Viva Los Vagos

  5. Rebel Says:

    Dear RVN69,

    I tried not to get into too much detail here on the plaintiffs’ personal business and in doing so I failed to be clear. The judge did not have to “estop” Coles and Ballinger from getting paid behind this lawsuit but he thought the two men were “playing fast and loose.” The bankruptcy timeline went as follows.

    Coles filed a Chapter 13 voluntary petition for bankruptcy on March 2, 2007. His bankruptcy was still ongoing and was modified on May 14, 2009.

    The traffic stop was two months after that on 7/30/2009.

    Ballinger filed for bankruptcy on May 15, 2010. His bankruptcy plan was approved on August 12, 2010. He was still in bankruptcy when the suit was filed.

    The civil rights lawsuit was filed four months after that approval, on November 23, 2010.

    But at the time the suit was filed neither bankruptcy had yet been “discharged.” Coles filed to have his bankruptcy “discharged” a month after the suit was filed and he did not list the suit as a potential asset on that form. His bankruptcy wsa finally discharged on March 2, 2011. So, although he filed for bankruptcy on March 2, 2007 he was still in bankruptcy until four, full years later.

    A reasonable person who is not a federral judge understands that bankruptcy is complicated and both Coles and Ballinger or their bankruptcy lawyers made honest mistakes. The judge treated it as a chance to play “Now I got you you sons of bitches.” But his decision was legally defensible.


  6. Prospect Says:

    @ Road Whore
    Yep, cops are gangs. I was 16 years old and downtown Orlando riding my BSA chopper. Felt pretty salty. Cop’s pulled me over and spread me out on the pavement. After all the bullshit, cop wanted to know what gang I rode with?! WTF! No patch and I’m 16 and fresh off the farm in Indiana. Barney told me that “there is only ONE gang in this town. That’s us.”
    So there ya have it. Straight from the mouth of a pig.


    Prospect 139 days

  7. Paladin Says:


    The good news is that the POS was fired and that the investigation is still on going. There may be a few more Clarke County employees relegated to flipping burgers in the fast food industry before all is said and done.

    Long May You Ride (to those that deserve to),


  8. RVN69 Says:

    Thanks for that info Rebel, I doubt they feel any better about getting fucked in a legally defensible way.

    FTF, FTP, Fuck Judge Shimandle with a law book.

  9. OC VAGO Says:

    Another fucked up county in the great state of Nevada. There’s a saying; “nothing stays the same, things get better or they get worse”.

    Guess what?

  10. LoneBiker Says:

    Crooked ass cops make me sick! And the video of that woman getting searched that way is happening alot and the pigs rarely serve any time. Bullshit.

  11. Ol'Goat Says:

    Once remarked to a kop in a cop club “enforcers” cut in the grocery store checkout line that I thought cops and bikers were “opposites”. He replied something like ‘not really cops are the biggest gang in the world’.

  12. Big Ragu Says:

    If you are going to Pull me or my Chapter for MV infractions, fine, have at at. Simply inform me what MV infraction(s) I/We committed & explain whether is a ticket or Summons(Paper arrest) until to my forth-coming court date.


    You do not allow me to state, mention, discuss either the merits of why you stopped me Nor do you allow me to discuss wether you should have painted your Kitchen a soft yellow or powder Blue & do you put the dishes away after you wash them, aaahhhhh, No you don’t .

    So, if I was speeding( and you don’t when your not working) Simply write the ticket, press hard for both copies & keep it moving.

  13. Rahlow Says:

    We/I live very near the SC/NC state line, SC is no helmet, NC requires one. Country road cuts across state line and right back into SC in about 2 miles.
    Cop pulls my son for no helmet and he can see the state line from where he pulled over. Asshole would not write the ticket and let him proceed that 200 feet. Had to call a brother to bring a lid, then he writes the ticket.

  14. DD1% Says:

    That video is crazy ! The judge should be put in jail!

  15. Meh Says:

    Been harassed by a search lately?

    Here’s a gem from Texas:

    “Ashley and Angel Dobbs claim the trooper used the same blue latex gloves while searching both of them.”

    Good thing the Holder DOJ is “protecting” us with friendly prosecutorial discretion. Worth a read and keeping in mind when observing future Federal dog-and-pony shows:

  16. 10guage Says:

    That video is disgusting…The female judge turns her back and the obese scumbag pig comes in to arrest her!

    These are the scumbags that make life changing decisions for ” the good of the people” ….and they wonder why we follow a different set of rules…FTP

    You got a hole in your belly and gun in your hand
    Sleepin’ on a pillow of solid rock
    Bathin’ in the city aqueduct

Leave a Reply