TURNER RADIO NETWORK (http://www.TurnerRadioNetwork.com) - July 23, 2012 -- Radio Host Hal Turner has sent formal notice of his intent to sue the state of Connecticut and various officials in connection with his June, 2009 arrest on charges of "Inciting harm to persons or property" and "Threatening in the Second Degree." Turner was found "Not Guilty" on those charges after a jury trial in September, 2011.
In a letter sent to the Connecticut State's Attorney, Turner stated:
On or about June 3, 2009, I was arrested on a fraudulent "Fugitive-From-Justice" warrant issued by the Connecticut State Capitol Police in connection with an opinion I rendered on my New Jersey-based, talk-radio show internet web site. Even though I was not a fugitive and had committed no crime within the jurisdiction of Connecticut, I was charged criminally with a felony charge accusing me of 'inciting injury to persons" even though no incitement took place and no was injured.
As a direct result of the fraudulent arrest warrant, I was held without bail for approximately five (5) days at the Hudson County Correctional Center in Kearny, NJ until a hearing could be scheduled before a New Jersey Superior Court Judge. Being held in jail without bail denied me my liberty, interfered with my lawful personal and business activities and infringed on my Constitutional Rights to bail, due process of law, freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
The letter went on to point out that A Hearing was held before the Honorable Judge Callahan, in the Superior Court of New Jersey at 595 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306 wherein Judge Callahan determined that Turner was ** NOT ** a "fugitive. At least one official from the State of Connecticut attended that New Jersey Superior Court Hearing. After the hearing, Judge Callahan released Turner on twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) bail with instructions to report to Connecticut within three business days.
Within that time frame, Turner surrendered to Connecticut Authorities who refused to accept the Bail Bond from New Jersey, thus requiring him to secure a SECOND Bail Bond in the same amount ($25,000.) at great personal expense.
More than two years elapsed during which time Connecticut failed to proceed with their case which, Turner claims, denied him his right to a speedy trial as protected by the Constitution for the United States. He thus filed a Motion demanding a speedy trial, which was granted and a trial date of September 6, 2011 was set.
On September 2, 2011 -- just days before trial was set to commence and despite a one year Statute of Limitations on Misdemeanor Charges -- the Connecticut State's Attorney filed a second charge against Turner in connection with the same case; this new charge accusing him of Misdemeanor "Threatening in the Second Degree."
Appearing in Court on September 7, 2011, Turner entered pleas of "NOT GUILTY" to both charges. He pointed out to the court there was no Indictment against him and asserted his Constitutional right under Amendment 5 of the Constitution for the United States to not be held to answer for infamous crimes without a presentment or Indictment by a Grand Jury. (The Fifth Amendment was made applicable to the states by the fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution for the United States.)
Turner's letter then states:
"To my stunned disbelief, the Honorable Judge Carl Schuman of the Superior Court of Connecticut informed me "that right (to a Grand Jury) does not exist in Connecticut." The last time I checked, Connecticut was still part of the United States and as such, my Constitutional right to a grand Jury did, in fact, exist, but was unlawfully denied to me. The apparent lack of a Grand Jury system throughout Connecticut is a willful structural breach of Constitutional requirements and an unlawful abridgement of constitutional rights."
On September 8, 2011, Turner chose to represent himself rather than use the services of Public Defender John Stiwicki. He advised the court that he needed access to a law library which was not available at the Hartford Correctional Center (HCC) where Turner was incarcerated pending trial. Turner asked the court to be transferred to a local jail or prison where a law library was available. The court agreed to seek such a transfer from the Connecticut Department of Corrections (CTDOC).
Days passed but despite repeated requests from Turner to the court, and repeated requests from the court to CTDOC, no transfer to another jail or prison took place. At no time was Turner permitted to access a law library in his own defense. On or about September 13, the court was advised by the CTDOC that "no law libraries have been maintained at any Connecticut jail or prison for the last four years or so." Hence, there was no up to date law library for Turner as a Pro Se defendant to access in his own defense. This too, his letter claims, violated his Constitutional rights.
On September 15, 2011, a trial by jury was held under Docket Number HHD CR09-632655 in the Superior Court of Connecticut at 101 Lafayette Street, Hartford, CT 06106 before the Honorable Carl Schuman. At that trial, Senior Assistant State's Attorney Thomas R. Garcia STIPULATED on the record that "No one had actually been incited" and "No one had been injured." According to Turner, "these STIPULATIONS prove the state of Connecticut lacked probable cause to arrest me, the state KNEW it lacked probable cause, but arrested me anyway." On September 16, 2011 Turner was found NOT GUILTY.
The letter than lists a litany of items for which Turner will sue the state, including:
1) False Arrest
2) Wrongful execution of a false Instrument ("Fugitive from Justice Warrant")
3) Unlawful Imprisonment
6) Defamation of Character
7) Violation of the Constitutional Right to Bail
8) Violation of the Constitutional right to freedom of speech
9) Violation of the Constitutional Right to freedom of the press
10) Violation of the Constitutional right to Indictment by Grand Jury
11) Violation of the right to access a law library
12) Cruel and unusual punishment and abuse during incarceration at HCC in Hartford (Involuntary Protective Custody)
13) Medical neglect by Dr. LaPlant at HCC
14) Tortuous interference with lawful business affairs
15) Unlawful prior-restraint of protected free speech (Arrested to prevent lawful release of address info)
16) Other, to-be-specified Torts.
17) Deprivation of Constitutional Rights under color of law in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sub-Section 242, and;
18) Other Civil Rights violations in contravention of Title 42, United States Code, Sub-Section 1983
TWENTY-FIVE MILLION DOLLARS
Citing federal case law, the letter goes on to tell Connecticut how much Turner may seek in damages and why he is entitled to them. He wrote:
It is anticipated that suit will be filed in federal court. It is further anticipated that on the Unlawful Imprisonment Tort, a formula for damages held to be Constitutional in the case styled "Trezevant v. City of Tampa" will be utilized.
In that case, a motorist was unlawfully imprisoned for twenty three (23) minutes. He sued in federal court for civil rights violations and a jury awarded him Twenty-Five thousand Dollars ($25,000.) plus attorney fees. The city of Tampa Appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
The 11th Circuit UPHELD the judgment, saying ostensibly that the award of $1,087 per minute for unlawful imprisonment was reasonable to compensate for the trauma of being unlawfully imprisoned and the award of attorney fees would be a deterrent to future false arrests. The case has been the law of the land since it was decided in 1984.
Based on $1087 per minute, a full day of unlawful incarceration totals one-million, five-hundred-sixty-five-thousand, and two-hundred eighty dollars ($1,565,280) per day. I was unlawfully imprisoned for approximately five (5) days, making my claim for unlawful imprisonment approximately Seven Million, Eight-hundred Twenty-Six Thousand, one-hundred dollars ($7,826,100.00).
Since the rate per minute was based on the value of money in the year 1984, it is anticipated that, based on inflation since 1984, my actual Tort Claim for unlawful imprisonment may be upwards of forty percent (40%) higher. Of course, this does not factor-in all the other Torts outlined earlier.
As such it is therefore anticipated that the total of my Tort claim may exceed twenty-five-million dollars ($25,000,000.00)
Turner named a multitude of public officials and agencies he plans to sue and made clear that individuals will be sued in both their professional and personal capacity. Those individuals and entities are:
1) Connecticut State Capitol Police (CSCP)
2) Corporal Timothy Boyle (CSCP)
3) Former State Senator Andrew MacDonald
4) Former State Representative Michael Lawlor
5) Office of State Ethics Official Thomas Jones
6) Mr. David Bednarz
7) The state of Connecticut
8) The Connecticut Department of Corrections
9) North Bergen Police Department (NBPD) (New Jersey)
10) Lt. Frank Canelli (NBPD)
11) "John Doe" Detective (NBPD) [arresting officer]
12) Det. William Solen (NBPD)
13) Yet-to-be-identified Connecticut state officials and/or agencies.
14) The estate of former Capitol Police Chief Fallon (deceased)
Turner's letter, filed just days after his September 16, 2011 victory in court, gave the state sixty days to respond with a settlement offer. The state never replied.
Turner says he will file his lawsuit in federal court in New Jersey, where he resides rather than in federal court in Connecticut. "It ought to be interesting to see how a jury of New Jersey citizens deals with Connecticut when they hear what that state did to a son of New Jersey" he said. "If Connecticut thinks it has budget troubles now, wait until a New Jersey jury gets a hold of their budget" he laughed.
Further info will be published when the suit is filed.