kidsnav.gif (4714 bytes)

Contact Us

Planning a defense for Trial in Federal Court - Oct 9th.

Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

From: John Murtari (
Date: Wed Oct 02 2002 - 21:10:17 EDT

This is a message from a mailing list,
Unsubscribe instructions at bottom of message.

Good People & People of Faith,

I would welcome your feedback and caselaw any of you might know
that would be appropriate to my upcoming trial in Federal Court for
the Northern District of New York, Oct 9th. Also, any way that you can
help bring any publicity or media attention to this would be welcome --
that is a major focus of this entire effort.

Most of the material is at the web site, including copies of the
building rules, arrest reports, history,  etc...  see those details at:

I just found out today that a Federal Public Defender has been
assigned to the case and I will meet with her tomorrow.

Below is a copy of a letter I sent the US Magistrate Judge on
Monday. It recaps what I think the issues will be, again, your
feedback is welcome.  This is a "small" matter in the Federal System,
the max penalty is $50 fine and/or 30 days in jail, but it will set a
huge precedent for what will happen in the future since our efforts at
the building will continue until we can arrange a meeting with parents
and Senator Hillary R. Clinton.  

------------------------------   Sep 30, 2002
Honorable Gustav J. DiBianco            
US Magistrate Judge 
RE: United States v. Murtari 
P.O. Box 7396 
Syracuse, NY 13261-7396                CC: Asst. US Attorney Southwick

Dear Judge DiBianco:

This letter contains a list of people I would like to have subpoenaed
to testify at my trial on October 9th. I'm also sending a copy to
Asst. US Attorney Southwick per your instructions that we exchange
witness lists by October 2nd. I spoke with Mr. Southwick on Thursday,
Sep 26th, and he told me I would be receiving the specific complaint
in the weekend's mail. There may have been a mail delay and it did not
arrive. I assume that I am being charged with a violation of Title 41
CFR 101-20.304 (Conformity with signs and directives).

I understand I need to justify my request for having you subpoena
people to testify. In the brief summary below I will outline my
planned defense in this matter and why each of the people could be

POINT ONE: Did a violation or building rules occur?

On July 29th my conduct was in compliance with the "Rules and
Regulations Governing Public Buildings and Grounds." The rule
prohibits "Any loitering, disorderly conduct, or other conduct on
property which creates loud or unusual noise or a nuisance; which
unreasonably obstructs the usual use of entrances, foyers, lobbies,
corridors, offices, elevators, stairways, or parking lots" No such
conduct is alleged in the information I have so far, the focus appears
to be that I was "demonstrating" or "protesting." Conduct by such name
is not even mentioned in the rules.

I was told by security staff they were acting under instruction by the
Building Manager in response to a complaint by one of the tenants
(Senator Clinton's office).

POINT TWO: If a violation is found, is the rule constitutionally valid?

We are all aware of the "free speech" protections given citizenry by
the US Constitution. But even more specific to his matter (and perhaps
deserving greater protection) is another clause in the First Amendment
which protects the right of citizens " to petition the Government for
a redress of grievances."

This is what makes the conduct that day unique. Peaceful, quiet, and
focused on a member of Congress. In his remarks during my first
appearance Mr. Southwick explained that our group had gotten a
negative answer from Senator Clinton and wasn't happy with that. There
may have been some confusion by whoever reported this to him. It
almost made it appear as if the members of the group were "harassing"
government officials.

The fact is we have received no response from Senator Clinton
addressing our concerns over the need for Congressional Hearings into
the need for reform. The immediate reason for the events of July 19th
is a failure to establish a dialog between a member of Congress and
constituents. The definition of "loitering" is vague, I had a clear
and valid purpose to be in the building at that location.

Regarding the use of the word "loitering" in the regulation, in 1999,
in the case of City of Chicago v. Morales, the United States Supreme
Court struck down Chicago's anti-loitering ordinance for a lack of a
reasonable definition of the word "loitering."

POINT THREE: Was there any intent to violate the rules?

Conduct similar to the above has been going on for the last few
years. Over 20 charges in both the Syracuse City Court and Federal
Court have been dismissed. There have been extended periods of time
where I have been allowed to conduct my actions outside the offices of
Federal Legislatorsin the building (Senator Schumer and Congressman
Walsh) with no interference from building management or office staff.

The first time I appeared in Federal Court on this matter, Asst. US
Attorney Michael Olmstead had the charges dismissed and told me my
conduct was unique and I had a right to petition my government as I
was doing.


1. Ms. Mary Jo Marceau Hawthorne - (Macedon, NY) A member of the
group, present in the building on July 29th. She will testify to what
happened that day. Will appear voluntarily.

2. Asst. US Attorney Michael Olmstead - (Hanley Federal Building,
Syracuse, NY) - should testify to our earlier conversation when
charges were dismissed that my actions were constitutionally
protected. Had also witnessed my free access to the halls. Request
subpoena to testify.

3. Building Manager Joan Grennan - (Hanley Federal Building, Syracuse,
NY) - should testify to the conduct/complaint that triggered the
arrest and also why such conduct was allowed in the past. Request
subpoena to testify

4. Ms. Kathy Calhoun, Regional Rep. of Senator Clinton - (Hanley
Federal Building, Syracuse, NY) - should testify to what conduct she
observed to trigger a complaint and to what prior communications have
occurred. NOTE - there is no intent to make this 'political' or
question 'why' on policy issues. This is just to clarify some facts
associated with the arrest. Request subpoena to testify.

Respectfully yours,

John Murtari 
635-1968, x-211

To unsubscribe from this list at anytime, send email to with the following 1 line in the
BODY of the message (Subject is ignored).

unsubscribe members

Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Thu Jan 02 2003 - 03:12:02 EST