The Minuteman Protection Program: USJF succeeds in defending Minuteman members

September 15, 2008 @

Posted by: Admin on Monday, September 15, 2008 – 07:30 AM PST

The UNITED STATES JUSTICE FOUNDATION (USJF) today announced that it had once again been successful in defending the constitutional rights of a member of the MINUTEMAN CIVIL DEFENSE CORPS (MCDC), ROBERT USSERY, in expressing his constitutionally protected rights to oppose illegal immigration.

Mr. Ussery had been sued by a company which Mr. Ussery believed had been hiring illegal aliens. Mr. Ussery contacted the company, informing them of the concern and also contacted the relevant law enforcement authorities. Despite being advised, in writing, by MCDC General Counsel GARY G. KREEP of USJF’s MINUTEMAN PROTECTION PROGRAM (MPP) that Mr. Ussery had a qualified immunity from civil litigation in the matter, due to his good faith belief in the statements made by him, the company sued.

The trial judge, although confirming the qualified immunity of Mr. Ussery, nevertheless issued a Judgment against Mr. Ussery for $1,000.00. Mr. Ussery appealed and, using attorneys retained by MPP, was successful, the Judgment was overturned, and the case was dismissed by the Appellate Judge.

Specifically, the Appellate Court held:

“Robert Ussery … is the Des Moines Chapter leader of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. This is the largest neighborhood watch group in America. The goals of this group include educating the public about illegal immigration, changing immigration laws, enforcing laws and identifying employers and landlords who they believe are breaking the law, and building a fence on the border. …

A qualified privilege exists with respect to statements that are otherwise defamatory if the following elements exist: (1) the statement was made in good faith; (2) the defendant had an interest to uphold; (3) the scope of the statement was limited to the identified interest; and (4) the statement was published on a proper occasion, in a proper manner, and to proper parties only. …

Ussery clearly believes in the goals and purpose of the Iowa Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. One of those goals is to identify employers who are violating immigration laws. This could certainly be considered a legitimate interest. The letter was directed to government agencies that would have an interest in such matters and to no one else. … Further the letter was limited in scope to the issue of employment of illegal aliens and the applicable law. The Court therefore concludes that a qualified privilege attached to the letter.

A qualified privilege constitutes immunity from liability for defamation. …

In this case Ussery sent the letter based on information he received from a person he believed to be credible. He had known this person for five years. He received other information from other co workers that seemed to corroborate the information.

(T)here is no evidence that Ussery entertained serious doubts as to the truth of the information when he sent the letters. … The letter was not sent to competitors, newspapers or the media. But, rather, it was sent to those agencies that would have an interest in the matter if the allegations were true and the authority to act. …

IT IS THE ORDER OF THE COURT that the decision of Magistrate Joseph Seidlin is REVERSED. This matter is dismissed.”

According to USJF Executive Director GARY G. KREEP, who heads the Minuteman Protection Program, “We are pleased to have been successful in protecting the constitutional rights of Mr. Ussery.

In the past two years, USJF has successfully defended five (5) individuals sued by various individuals and entities for simply exercising their constitutional right to oppose illegal immigration. To date, USJF’s Minuteman Protection Program has not lost a civil law case. We have, likewise, been successful in every criminal case that we have taken on, on behalf of MCDC members, and we are proud of this record.”

USJF is a nonprofit, conservative, legal action, foundation, headquartered in Ramona, California. Since its founding in 1979, USJF has been involved in the protection of the constitutional rights of United States citizens and in the protection of the public from governmental corruption and government enforced political correctness. For more information, please contact USJF at 760-788-6624, or access our Website at www.usjf.net.

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