Judge to Rule on Motion for New Trial Friday in False Arrest by Two Mayors Case

NOTE BY NORSE:  The Santa Cruz City Council’s slow but steady cutback of public comment time, public accessibility, and public accountability is something I’ve recently written about (and filed a formal Brown Act complaint against–see Mayor Cuts Off Comment in Consent Agenda Crackdown; Brown Act Complaint Rejected at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/06/01/18737797.php ).

This deterioration of even the semblance of democracy has profound effects on the entire community, not just homeless people, but it became noticeable to me as a homeless advocate when the Council used extreme measures eleven years ago to have me arrested for making a brief silent “don’t act like fascists” salute after a speaker was censored and threatened with arrest.Rather than apologize or change its rules (perhaps compromising its authoritarian power in some small degree), successive City Councils chose to funnel over $100,000 to the  City  Attorney’s office to fight this case in court.I was never charged with disrupting a Public Meeting (though that was what I was arrested and excluded for).   The D.A. knew a phony case (at least in this instance) when he saw one.

Motion for New Trial in Mock-Nazi Salute Case
by Robert Norse
Monday Jun 3rd, 2013 6:59 AM

The False Arrest civil trial of two former Santa Cruz Mayors, Tim Fitzmaurice and Christopher Krohn, ended in verdicts in their favor late last year in a federal courtroom in San Jose. My attorneys–David Beauvais and Kate Wells–have now moved for a new trial, claiming the jury verdict should be thrown out because it is against the overwhelming weight of the evidence and for other reasons. City attorney Kovocevitch disputes this in a shorter brief. The case will be heard Friday June 7th 9 AM in Federal Court. For those following the case , here is the transcript of last year’s trial and the motions pro and con for a new trial.

To review the documents, go to