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The C.A.S.H. Courier

ARTICLE from the Fall 2008 Issue

Jan Haagensen Helping To Stop Deer Hunting In East Goshen, Pa

By Jan Haagensen, Esq.

What follows is a report from the battlefield demonstrating what it takes in time and energy for the foot soldiers to get to square one: OPPORTUNITY FOR A HEARING.
It sounds fundamental, doesn’t it? It is:

The East Goshen plaintiffs initially challenged the constitutionality of their community’s deer hunt “reduction initiative” in state court. They received no notice from any state court judge setting a hearing for consideration of their request for preliminary injunctive relief (to stop the hunt BEFORE it was supposed to start). Plaintiffs filed on September 3, 2008, well before the hunt was scheduled to take place on September 20th.

Because the days went by and they still were not noticed by any state court judge as to time of hearing on their request, they asked for special emergency ex parte injunctive relief on September 16, 2008. Again, they heard nothing from the court.

The hunt began in East Goshen’s parks on September 22. Plaintiffs had been afforded no opportunity whatsoever to be heard. On September 29, Plaintiffs filed an action in the United States District Court, based on gross violations of their First Amendment right of access to the court BY THE COURT, and based on East Goshen’s infringement of their First Amendment right of free speech through implementation of its deer kill. Plaintiffs also based their federal action on violation of their Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The plaintiffs then asked for a temporary restraining order to stop the hunt, and return to the status quo, pending resolution of these issues on their merits. The first opportunity provided to them for such hearing has been scheduled by a federal court for November 20, 2008.

On September 30, a day after the plaintiffs had filed in a federal court, a state court judge published an order summarily, without explanation, denying their request for emergency injunctive relief stopping the hunt. Plaintiffs were never given any opportunity to be heard before this decision came down. Plaintiffs immediately appealed this final order to the Commonwealth Court of PA. Jurisdiction then lay in the appeals court, and no further action could go forward, after the appeal was taken, in the lower state court.

The Commonwealth Court is now at least considering the plaintiffs’ request for an immediate stay of the deer hunt, pending resolution of the merits of their appeal.

The federal judge will also hear their request for a temporary restraining order, on the 20th of November. The hunt has been underway for almost two months. Plaintiffs have gone through this struggle just to get a fair chance to be heard SOMEWHERE, either in the state appellate court system OR in a federal court, instead of being completely thwarted.
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You can help fund Jan Haagensen’s legal work to reverse the PA hunter harassment statute by contributing to C.A.S.H. Just earmark your check on the note line for the “Legal Fund.”

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