Federal Suit-Daniel vs. Goliath

“are you aware that animal seizures and rescues are being conducted by a very sophisticated network of organized crime who have developed a very sophisticated scheme by which they are criminalizing longstanding animal owners; divesting them of ownership of entire herds of livestock and commercially valuable animals.

-all of this done at taxpayer expense?!?” -b

http://humanewatch.org/index.php/site/post/daniel_vs._goliath/

David vs Goliath

We’ve written several times about the federal racketeering lawsuit in which HSUS and two of its attorneys are defendants. But that’s not the only piece of litigation that HSUS is defending against.

HSUS, CEO Wayne Pacelle, and ex-employee Scotlund Haisley are defendants in a $5 million federal lawsuit stemming from a September 2009 “raid” on a South Dakota hunting dog breeder named Daniel Christensen. A judge later ruled the raid illegal because the search warrant was wrongfully obtained by an animal control officer who had “intentionally misled the issuing court.”

All of the animal cruelty charges against Christensen were dropped. But he didn’t get all of his dogs back. Some died after they were seized; others apparently were adopted out.

Court documents now shed more light into what happened on September 2, 2009.

According to news reports, HSUS was “collecting evidence” and “safely and humanely removing” the Christensen dogs. As is usual, HSUS touted its involvement by issuing a press release. However, this didn’t go over well with the local prosecutor, Tiffani Landeen-Hoeke.

Here’s part of an email from Jordan Crump, then a public information officer at HSUS, to Landeen-Hoeke on the day of the raid (emphasis added):

I have drafted the attached (and below) press release for today’s rescue. Obviously, more specifics need to be added in once we get on scene. But this should be very close to the final version.

So HSUS wrote the press release before it even got on scene. And in that draft release, HSUS was calling Christensen’s operation a “puppy mill” with “horrendous conditions” and alleging that “These animals were clearly lacking proper medical care.” How could it know that for sure if it hadn’t been on the scene?

Landeen-Hoeke asked HSUS not to put out a press release at all, writing via email the day of the raid:

I do have serious concerns about presenting information that heightens public condemnation of either Dan Christensen or David Christensen. These people are innocent until proven guilty in a court….I prefer the press release written by Second Chance [ed.: a local group] and would request that it be utilized. I completely oppose any video or photos being released to the public.

The final HSUS press release—yes, HSUS put one out anyway—doesn’t appear to have changed much from the draft, claiming that there were “unsanitary conditions” at an “alleged puppy mill” and that “These animals were clearly lacking proper medical care.” HSUS also put up video on its Facebook, Myspace, and YouTube accounts and gave B-Roll footage to local TV news, according to court filings.

We’ll note that HSUS claims in an interrogatory response that Landeen-Hoeke gave her approval to put out the press release and release photos/video “via telephone on September 2, 2009.” But this is the only paper-trail evidence we have seen, and it is of Hoeke objecting on Sept. 2 to the release of this information. In fact, Hoeke says in a Nov. 23 email to an HSUS assistant general counsel that she “asked over and over again that there be no press releases or on-camera interviews….the moment this started to look like a fundraising event, my case was injured, possibly irreparably.” (In court filings, defense counsel claims that HSUS never solicited funds “to help care for dogs rescued on September 2, 2009”—but that qualifier doesn’t exclude the possibility HSUS used the raid to solicit funds for other reasons.)

Crump’s reply to Landeen-Hoeke on the day of the raid was that HSUS wanted to keep its members updated. But HSUS could do that in its membership magazine or via email. A press release is by definition meant for the press, not members.

That leads us to wonder: What was the real goal here? The evidence seems to support the idea that HSUS wanted media coverage and a fundraising opportunity. We won’t feign surprise.

This already looks bad for HSUS. And there are apparently thousands of pages of emails currently under a court confidentiality order—for now—while they are sent to Christensen’s lawyer. We can only imagine what’s in those, but we’ll have to wait and see if this thing goes to trial.

That’s an unfortunate irony of the case—HSUS had a full-court press after the raid, releasing video and photos and doing on-camera interviews. Christensen didn’t have a chance against this well-oiled PR machine. And now, HSUS successfully asked the court to keep confidential emails that might make them look bad.

Ever hear of the Golden Rule? Karma, perhaps? Innocent until proven guilty? That concept apparently doesn’t exist in HSUS’s world—not when the opportunity to get press is on the line.

We certainly hope Christensen sees this case through to trial. The case is dragging on, and meanwhile, Christensen went to bankruptcy court last year. It’s probably crossed the minds of HSUS to offer him a settlement deal at some point, with a gag order that Christensen can’t speak about the case. But if he guts it out, the long-term effects could be enormous.

____________________________________________

You might want to read: https://topcatsroar.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/judge-pushes-for-progress-in-animal-rescue-center-lawsuit/

via I Love Animals But Hate Animal Rights Activists

His lawsuit, which demands $5 million in damages, claims that former shelter director Rosey Quinn conspired with the national animal rights group to seize his property and defame his character, manipulating the state’s legal system under the largely complacent eye of Turner County officials.

The agency had refused to release reams of documents and emails without the protection of confidentiality.

Opening the documents to public scrutiny before any determination of wrongdoing could unfairly damage the group’s reputation and fundraising efforts, according to agency lawyer  Eizabeth Hertz

________________________________________

Protective orders are pretty standard in lawsuits…But why protect animal rights extremists especially HSUS…Much of this has already been exposed anyway…Just another excuse from HSUS attorneys to keep this case from moving forward. Seems pretty ridiculous when it’s already been on the Internet and still circulating!!! In other words why bother arguing about this?!?

http://www.argusleader.com/article/20121108/NEWS/311080041/Judge-pushes-progress-animal-rescue-center-lawsuit

judge pushes for progress in animal rescue center lawsuit

The judge in a long-delayed civil lawsuit against Turner County, the now-defunct Second Chance Rescue Center and the Humane Society of the United States told the parties Wednesday to “make it a priority” to ready the case for trial.

Former Hurley dog breeder Daniel Reed Christensen filed his federal complaint in 2010, shortly after a Turner County judge ruled a search-and-seizure operation on his property was the result of an illegally obtained warrant.

Christensen had been charged with 173 counts of animal cruelty after his hunting dogs were seized by Second Chance, with the assistance of the Humane Society of the United States.

His lawsuit, which demands $5 million in damages, claims that former shelter director Rosey Quinn conspired with the national animal rights group to seize his property and defame his character, manipulating the state’s legal system under the largely complacent eye of Turner County officials.

The shelter closed its doors in 2010, less than six months after Christensen’s criminal case was thrown out.

The parties to the federal case have clashed in written filings for more than two years. The most recent set of motions dealt with which documents will or won’t be produced for perusal by Christensen’s lawyers and used in the jury trial.

“This case is a little more than two years old,” U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier told lawyers during a telephone hearing in her chambers Wednesday morning. “It needs to become a top priority for you all.”

During that hearing, Schreier granted HSUS a protective order allowing it to hand over internal emails and documents to Christensen’s lawyers but shield them from public view. The agency had refused to release reams of documents and emails without the protection of confidentiality.

Opening the documents to public scrutiny before any determination of wrongdoing could unfairly damage the group’s reputation and fundraising efforts, according to agency lawyer Elizabeth Hertz.

Brian Radke, Christensen’s lawyer, argued that HSUS deserved no such protection, noting that photos and videos of the Sept. 2, 2009 raid on Christensen’s Hurley farm were disseminated to the media immediately, and that those items continue to circulate online.

No trial date has been set. After the hearing, Radke said the nearest possible jury trial date would be next year.

______________________________________________

**So after warrant-less searches and with the press as part of the ‘posse’ for the raid-it was a RAID!!!…seems to me that is exactly what the smaller groups are doing as they attempt to grow and build say…a 37,000 square ft building in a county of 12,000 pop or so with Humane Societies already established in the next nearby county-and theirs an Animal Control there as well that DOES provide services when reqiested!!! I wonder if these other Humane Societies  had to lie, cheat and steal for their buildings-One bad worm spoils the golden apple!!!

More from Moron County… https://topcatsroar.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/the-tale-of-moron-county/

“…Even without permission from the court to take the first picture or video; the press will come…No matter of concern for ALL those signs that read NO TRESPASSING -they came by helicopter…Anything can happen in Moron County and happening else where!!! And the accused heard nothing…only what he saw…No one was mirandized because it happened in Moron County…”

**Disclaimer connected to this blog…Things said are of my opinion and the opinion of others…Stay tuned and follow this blog…There will be more…There always is  Best  -B

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~ by topcatsroar on February 14, 2013.

2 Responses to “Federal Suit-Daniel vs. Goliath”

  1. Abuse of animals and abuse of power continues in this state. Right now 2 pointer mix dogs are suffering abuse at the hands of Sioux Falls animal control. Locked inside a kennel now for over 8 weeks without any necessary exercise. City attorney refuses to release dogs even to foster care for appropriate care while owners try for appeal to circuit court. Dogs were locked inside home during alleged incident. City appeal hearing revealed no evidence to the contrary, yet hearing officer found in favor of city. Clear abuse of powers. Need immediate help. Have not been able to find local assistance. URGENT – Time could be up for the dogs at the end of this week. If you have ideas, or help, send email to bszuke@yahoo.com Thanks

    • Off course it is. Had I not experienced it I never would have believed it!!! Hard not tot my imagination run wild for all the abuse going on!!! Or is that a fact?!? Scary thought!!! -B

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