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Author Topic: "COPSLIE" license plate: N.H. Supreme Court amicus announcement  (Read 18542 times)

realhuman

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The N.H. Supreme Court is soliciting briefs amicae for a free speech case they're currently hearing.  I thought some people here might be interested in the case.  It could be a relatively low-cost/low-risk opportunity for anyone thinking about doing some legal activism.  Here's the court's announcement (further information follows):

Quote
THE SUPREME COURT IS SOLICITING AMICUS BRIEFS OR MEMORANDA IN THE FOLLOWING MATTER PENDING BEFORE THE COURT:

Case No. 2012-0624, David Montenegro v. New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles

The petitioner in this case applied for a vanity license plate from the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that would have read, "COPSLIE."  The DMV denied the request pursuant to a regulation prohibiting any vanity license plate that "a reasonable person would find offensive to good taste," reasoning that the request advanced an "accusation of moral turpitude."  Instead, the DMV issued the petitioner plates bearing his alternative choice of "GR8GOVT." The trial court upheld the DMV's action over the petitioner's challenge to the "offensive to good taste" standard as unconstitutionally vague and overbroad, and argument that the DMV's decision constituted unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.

The court is soliciting amicus briefs or memoranda from interested persons on the following issue: In denying the petitioner's requested vanity license plate on the basis that a reasonable person would find it offensive to good taste, did the DMV violate his rights under Part I, Article 22 of the New Hampshire Constitution or the First Amendment to the United States Constitution?

A copy of the trial court's order is being posted with this announcement.  Amicus submissions are due on or before June 24, 2013. Persons filing amicus briefs are expected to comply with the requirements of Rules 16 and 17 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire. To assist the court, amicus briefs should focus on the ramifications of a decision and not solely on the interests of the parties filing such briefs.

Interested persons shall file an original and ten copies of their briefs or memoranda in the Office of the Clerk, New Hampshire Supreme Court, One Charles Doe Drive, Concord, New Hampshire 03301. The court will provide a copy of any amicus brief or memorandum to each of the parties.

Here's a link to the announcement on the NHSC Web site: http://www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/amicus/2012-0624.pdf

Here's a link to the trial court's order: http://www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/amicus/2012-0624-order.pdf

(For the benefit of those who aren't attorneys, N.H. Supreme Court Rule 16 can be found here: http://www.courts.state.nh.us/rules/scr/scr-16.htm. Rule 17 can be found here: http://www.courts.state.nh.us/rules/scr/scr-17.htm. All the rest of the N.H. Supreme Court's rules can be found here: http://www.courts.state.nh.us/rules/scr/index.htm.)

For further background information, PDF copies of briefs filed in the trial court, briefs filed with the supreme court, the joint stipulations of fact, the trial court's order, etc. can be found here: http://yourfreedomisfake.com/link/COPSLIE/

The Concord Monitor just ran an article on this, "Dover man headed to Supreme Court over license plate message."

Feel free to distribute/repost this invitation elsewhere... CC-SA.
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realhuman

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Re: "COPSLIE" license plate: N.H. Supreme Court amicus announcement
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2013, 01:39:24 am »

In response to the recent flurry of interest in this case, I've posted a bunch of info about it, including a list of vanity plates permitted/denied by the NH DMV.  I've also posted a wiki version of the list, to which anyone may contribute, on Libertapedia.

As you can see, the DMV's decisions to allow or disallow vanity license plates are very often arbitrary and capricious. You'll probably be quite surprised by many of them, for example this obscene vanity plate seen in Dover.  (The image is hidden behind that link, so no one can accuse me of being obscene on the forum. :) )
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KBCraig

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Re: "COPSLIE" license plate: N.H. Supreme Court amicus announcement
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 03:00:36 am »

In response to the recent flurry of interest in this case, I've posted a bunch of info about it, including a list of vanity plates permitted/denied by the NH DMV.  I've also posted a wiki version of the list, to which anyone may contribute, on Libertapedia.

As you can see, the DMV's decisions to allow or disallow vanity license plates are very often arbitrary and capricious. You'll probably be quite surprised by many of them, for example this obscene vanity plate seen in Dover.  (The image is hidden behind that link, so no one can accuse me of being obscene on the forum. :) )


There's nothing even vaguely obscene about "BIGTDIS". It's a Volkswagen. TDI injection.

As for the WMUR slideshow, there's no evidence any of those were actually denied; I think they just found them "unavailable", which might mean someone is currently using those.
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RidleyReport

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Re: "COPSLIE" license plate: N.H. Supreme Court amicus announcement
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2013, 12:44:47 pm »

I've been wondering what the latest is on this!   
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http://RidleyReport.com
http://NHexit.com - If Britain can do it, New Hampshire can do it

realhuman

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Re: "COPSLIE" license plate: N.H. Supreme Court amicus announcement
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 11:55:10 pm »

Update:

The NH Supreme Court has scheduled this case for oral argument this
Thursday, November 7, 2013.  The court will be giving me 5 minutes to
make my case.  They're giving the Attorney General's office 15 minutes.
Amicus curiae New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union will be getting 10
minutes.

There's an article about this which appeared on the front page of the
Portsmouth Herald on Sunday, October 13, 2013:

  http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20131013-NEWS-310130329

Oral argument will be at the NH Supreme Court at 1 Charles Doe Dr. (just
off of Hazen Dr.) in Concord, NH 03301, during the morning session...
which essentially means whenever the court wants, between 9:00 A.M. and
12:00 noon.  The official oral argument schedule can be found on the
Supreme Court's Web site:

  http://www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/orals/nov_2013.pdf

Oral argument should also be webcast live via the court's streaming
video feed:

  http://www.courts.nh.gov/cstream/index.asp

As always, proceedings in court are "free" and open to the public (for
some definition of "free"...).
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realhuman

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Re: "COPSLIE" license plate: N.H. Supreme Court amicus announcement
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2013, 04:13:18 pm »

Oral argument for this case took place at the NH Supreme Court in
Concord, NH, this morning.  Judging by how the justices behaved, it
looks certain that they'll be striking down the DMV's regulation as
unconstitutional.

The court room was chocked full of reporters and other spectators.  You
can expect to see coverage of this on WBZ and WMUR, tonight, as well as
just about every newspaper imaginable tomorrow.  I was amazed to see
just how much interest this case has generated.

For those wishing to watch oral argument (which consisted primarily of
the justices interrupting the litigants!), a video recording of it
should be available through this Web page:

  http://www.courts.nh.gov/cstream/index.asp

Enjoy!
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freedomroad

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Re: "COPSLIE" license plate: N.H. Supreme Court amicus announcement
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2013, 11:53:06 pm »

Keep up your activism. Glad the ALCU was on your side.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 10:19:22 pm by 1DayAtATime »
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realhuman

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Re: "COPSLIE" license plate: N.H. Supreme Court amicus announcement
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2014, 09:11:57 pm »

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has issued an opinion in which it declared the DMV's regulation to be unconstitutional.

Some news articles about the decision ran in the Concord Monitor, the Union Leader, and the Portsmouth Herald.

It also appeared on WBZ, and on WMUR on 2014-05-07 and 2014-05-08.
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realhuman

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Re: "COPSLIE" license plate: N.H. Supreme Court amicus announcement
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2014, 12:21:27 pm »

For those who may be interested, a status conference for this case has been scheduled for 9:00-9:15 on 2014-07-22 in Strafford Superior Court.
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