Judge Refuses To Dismiss Suit Against Feds Who Arrested Former Marine For His Controversial Facebook Posts

from the law-enforcement-can't-find-enough-laws-to-enforce,-apparently dept

Almost exactly a year ago, former Marine Brandon Raub was taken from his home by federal agents and involuntarily committed to a psychiatric ward, all because of some controversial postings to his Facebook account, including some 9/11 conspiracy-related articles and violent song lyrics.

On August 16, 2012, Raub was visited by local police, FBI agents and Secret Service personnel who questioned him about his Facebook posts. Raub was cooperative and discussed his activity with the officers, despite their not having a warrant. At some point, one of the agents made a call to Michael Campbell, a psychotherapist retained by the county who decided, despite having never met or observed Raub, that the former Marine was “potentially dangerous” and should be detained.

At that point, the collected officers cuffed Raub and took him to the local jail before having him committed to the mental hospital. Government officials later claimed Raub wasn’t arrested, but the video taken of his “not being arrested” looks for all the world to the un-government-trained eye like an arrest.

After being detained for four days, Raub appeared before another judge who ordered him to be held for 30 days for evaluation. A short while later, this was overruled by Circuit Court Judge Allan Sharrett, who ordered Raub released immediately, stating that the prosecution’s case was “so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy.” At this point, the Rutherford Institute, which had taken Raub’s case after his “non-arrest,” filed a lawsuit on his behalf against the officers and agents involved with his unlawful detainment.

Needless to say, the government has attempted to have this lawsuit dismissed. Fortunately for Raub (and the American public), the judge isn’t willing to let the involved parties just walk away from their problem.

A federal judge in Richmond, Va., has refused to dismiss from a lawsuit several FBI and Secret Service agents as well as local police officers who arrested a military veteran based on an opinion from a counselor who had never met him that he might be a danger.

The decision came from U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson, who essentially said there is not enough information at this point in the case to dismiss the law enforcement defendants. He ordered limited discovery.

Hudson said the Rutherford Institute, which is representing Raub, had alleged sufficient facts to indicate that the involuntary commitment violated his rights under the U.S. Constitution’s First and Fourth Amendments.

The government agents named have claimed that officers only have to show “probable cause that the individual poses a danger to himself or others” in order to forcibly detain and commit civilians. Hudson has rebutted this claim, stating that these agents had no previous experience with Raub and were acting solely on the claims made by a third party, unless other facts indicating otherwise present themselves during the limited discovery. That handles the Fourth Amendment claims. The First Amendment claims brought by Raub also survived the motion to dismiss.

[T]here is no dispute over whether political speech is protected or whether an arrest for political speech would adversely affect one’s ability to further engage in political expression. And the third element — causation — may be inferred from Raub’s allegation that the only knowledge the County Defendants had at the time of arrest concerned his political views.

No one has a problem with law enforcement investigating threats, but all too often lately, these agencies have proven they are quick to act on very little information, much of it devoid of any context. Raub’s case and other incidents involving social media all have one thing in common: the word “terrorist.” The government’s favorite witch hunt is hurting Americans, as zealous government entities are willing to see the implicit threat of terrorism everywhere someone tells them to look.

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Comments on “Judge Refuses To Dismiss Suit Against Feds Who Arrested Former Marine For His Controversial Facebook Posts”

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The Real Michael says:

Re: Re: Re:

Correct. From the outset of Stalin’s campaign, political dissidents were treated as if they had mental illness and were sent off to receive “treatment.” Conversely, before Hitler consolidated power, he demonized the opposing party as communists and in so doing dismantled his political opposition, creating a dictatorship. The paranoia in both countries reached a fever pitch, with campaigns/propaganda for people to spy on and rat out their neighbors.

One doesn’t have to look far to correlate what is happening here in America to what transpired in the USSR and Germany before their descent into serfdom and self-destruction.

New Mexico Mark says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Many years ago, C.S. Lewis wrote a chilling analysis of how dangerous it is to treat criminals as if they are “sick” instead of “bad”. If someone is bad, they can and should be punished. However, in general, that punishment has clear parameters and limits.

On the other hand, what would you NOT do to “heal” a sick person? Is any action too radical if it will make them better? Is any pain too much to endure? Is there any limit to the time it takes? Is there any limit to the number of different “treatments” you will try? What about others exposed to and infected by their sickness? And how much power do those in charge of this program have over these “patients”?

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: @ #1-4: Has NOTHING to do with SOPA!

SOPA and ICE were alright to mention, because it’s a great similarity – law enforcement officers taking action against someone solely based on the word of a third party without doing any real investigative work.
Google though is something you CAN avoid simply by not using any Google service at all. I honestly want to know how many times you have to be told that before you understand.

Anonymous Coward says:

surely this shows just how easy it is for the government and/or the representatives can have a person arrested for the flimsiest of excuses. he was lucky that an order for his release was made, otherwise he would have just fell off the Planet! just because he made remarks that certain government officials didn’t like doesn’t give them the right to have the person arrested or committed. it also shows just how easy and quick certain people are to aid the government in what they want to do, just to stop someone stating his views.
i just wonder how many of ‘like’ instances have occurred and the person never heard of again? i also wonder how many instances of government reacting in this sort of way have to be executed before it is actually admitted that the USA is now nothing other than ‘a Police State’!

Alt0 says:

“Michael Campbell, a psychotherapist retained by the county who decided, despite having never met or observed Raub, that the former Marine was “potentially dangerous” and should be detained. “

This guy, Michael Campbell the “Dr.”
That guy ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ right there.
Should loose his practice, be removed from the county’s employ, and lose his license to practice whatever quackery he engages in. Even the cops had nothing until he was involved.

I would be first of all suing HIM.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Rights vs Terrorism

Obama and his leftist minions are waging war on conservatives, and fundamentalists Christians. Ignoring the real terrorist threat of Islam, they point to those who want to restore the Constitution to its rightful place as the problem.

Conservative presidents are notorious for aiming to diminish the rights of those who do not conform to fundamentalist Christian values, so in that regard the feeling is mutual.

But the Obama Administration’s continuation of the development of the surveillance state is not a war on conservatives, it’s a war on everyone, and it will be used by any radical in power after Obama to challenge the rights of anyone with which they disagree. (The fact that this is a continuation of the Bush plan, and would have been continued regardless by Romney, who was not an civil-rights man, himself, is not lost here.)

I may disagree with you on some ideas, but the surveillance state is the enemy of us both, and the longer this goes unnoticed, the harder it is going to be to dissolve.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Rights vs Terrorism

:wtf: really??

It’s not the fundies or so-called “conservatives” (corporatists): it’s the so-called “liberals” (populists) who are the real targets–people who are tired of being sold out to the highest bidders; people who are tired of being poisoned by the very same corporations that you fundies champion as being the solutions to all out problems; people who are discriminated against because they refuse to believe as you fundies do: and people who are tired of being ignored and repressed when they demand justice for crimes against us, and are instead vilified as “terrorists”, “communists”, or worse.

You’ve been sold a bill of goods, by a bunch of thieving politicians who have punched your “god” buttons and convinced you that your ilk are the only people in the world, when in fact there are far more of “us” than there are of “you”. Obama has little to do with it, except that the Corporatist (republican) spy nets are coming out under his watch, and now you fools think it’s his fault, when in fact it’s been around since before Johnson.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Can He Do It??

If that’s his goal, then he’s doing a really crappy job of it. His opposition is strong and thwarts almost everything he tries to do, the legislative and judiciary branches still exist, he’s much too eager to compromise with his opposition to consolidate his power — which is, remember, unusually weak when compared to what most heads of state can do.

All in all, if your concern is that he’s going to be a dictator, you have nothing whatsoever to fear. Also, you’re worried about the wrong thing — the tyranny we’re staring in the face isn’t dictatorship at all.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Can He Do It??

The same thing was speculated about the Bush administration during the more fear ridden segments of the Bush era. Only we expected that it was the guys behind Bush that were propping him up and telling him what to do (because he was really good at listening and obeying, and would make a good patsy once the worm turned.) It didn’t happen.

And it won’t with Obama.

Rather someone else is going to get elected and he or she is going to carry out the exact same policies, because the entities in power (corporate interests, mostly, but more than a few old white men) would rather maintain the illusion of a people’s democracy than dispense with all illusions and risk open insurrection with foreign support.

So long as they can convince the under-educated public that the real issues are what people do with their genitals and whether the bible should be taught in public schools, they can dismiss anti-surveillance activists as radicals and alarmists (or as basement geeks, which is the derision-flavor of the month) and still rule by the purse strings to siphon away our civil rights in small increments.

History tells us it’s only a matter of time until the function of the NSA’s database goes from searching for foreign terrorists to searching for internal deviants and subversives that are destroying the fabric of American freedom from within and then it’s just a matter of time before we turn on the showers and fire the ovens.

So yes, be paranoid, but not because Obama is a criminal mastermind, but because he’s the stooge of a criminal elite.

Same as the old boss.

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