ABORTION INDUSTRY IN MELBOURNE, FLORIDA
RANEY V AWARE WOMAN
DOCKET / CHRONOLOGICAL FILE
DEFENDANTS' REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION TO SUMMARY JUDGMENT - PART OF DOC. 61
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
MEREDITH T. RANEY, JR.,
AWARE WOMAN CENTER
FOR CHOICE, INC., a Florida corporation,
EDWARD W. WINDLE, JR., and
PATRICIA B. WINDLE
CASE NO.: 97-1197-CV-ORL-19B
DEFENDANTS' REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION TO SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Defendants AWCC et al. respectfully submit this brief reply in further support of the pending motion for summary judgment.
The AWCC et al. Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment concentrates on grounds for outright dismissal under the Younger-McKusick and Rooker-Feldman doctrines of federal jurisprudence. Raney is essentially seeking collateral review of the application of a state court injunction provision (36 ft "buffer zone") which has been upheld by the Supreme Court in Madsen v. WHC, 512 U.S. 753 (1994). He has only added a damage claim. Further, Raney has neither averred nor proffered evidence of absence of probable cause. This would absolutely bar him from §1983 relief. It should do so under FACE as well. 18 USC §248. See Marx v. Gumbinner, 905 F.2d 1503, 1506-07 (11th Cir. 1990); Vermette v. Ludwig, 707 So.2d 742, 746 (Fla 4th DCA 1998). The deposition police testimony, post [AWCC Exhibit C-1 to C-24], fully elaborates the presence of probable cause. Raney made no contrary allegation or proffer.
In responding papers, plaintiff and his counsel have been less than forthcoming. Pending related cases and material prior state court history have been scarce or altogether absent from briefs.
For example, there is a pending state court case styled Raney v. City of Melbourne, No. 97-3763-CA-X (Fla Cir Ct, Brevard, filed >3-10-1997) [hereafter "Raney II"] [Exhibit A hereto is the Complaint]. This Raney II seeks damages from the same City of Melbourne for the same three "buffer zone" arrests on the three familiar dates of January 28, 1995, April 26, 1995, and January 24, 1996. Raney II involves the same facts and similar issues as the present federal case. It either seeks double recovery, or yet another relitigation opportunity.
Raney II is relevant to the abstention, preclusion, and multiplication questions before this Court. It shows an ongoing effort to relitigate, repeatedly, settled issues on the application of the Supreme Court injunction from Madsen v. WHC, 512 U.S. 753 (1994).
Plaintiff Meredith Raney has had his several days in court for injunction enforcement and modification proceedings. He lost some initially and others on appeal, in proceedings so numerous as not yet to be catalogued. [ See AWCC Exhibit B-2 post]. Still Raney continues to impose himself on this Court, the state courts, the City Police, and the victims of his multiple harassing activity.
Raney styles himself a "counselor" in his affidavit, but he reveals no legitimate credentials. Nor does the so-called counseling center where he vaguely claims some kind of training, transparently anti-abortion, against the free choice and constitutional rights of women. There is no Raney "counselor" in the Yellow Pages, nor in any State or county registry of psychologists, psychiatrists, or social workers. Legitimate counselors have patients who come to them, preferably indoors. Counselors do not yell, intimidate, and confront frightened strangers on a clinic sidewalk, then copy their license plates, surveil them, telephone them, or otherwise try to find and contact them. [See Affidavit of Patricia Baird-Windle on file, and AWCC Exhibit B-3 hereto]. Harassing-counselors would lose their licenses, but of course Raney has neither a license nor willing patients. Raney is no more than a sham counselor. Patients are frightened and run from his unwanted, bizarre confrontations, as in the similar case of U.S. v. Scott, 975 F Supp 428, 431-434 (D Conn 1997) [Scott will be particularly material on counterclaim issues].
Plaintiff Raney often boasts to the newspapers of his ongoing efforts since 1989 to close down AWCC. [AWCC Exhibit B-4]. He is as much a counselor as a vegetarian would be at Bern's Steak House, or a mad tomato at a Veggie Stand.
The previously filed Affidavit of Patricia Baird-Windle, dated May 5, 1998, documents from painful personal knowledge the insidious pattern of harassing conduct by Raney since 1989. This is one of the grounds for substantial relief on the counterclaims in further proceedings.
While quotes from Raney are currently only available from newspaper interviews, relevant facts about his behavior emerged in the two police depositions. [AWCC Exhibits C-1 to C-24 hereto]. The Police Chief and one arresting officer were deposed. (Plaintiff chose not to attend.)
Officer Smith, who arrested Raney on January 24, 1996, identified him as a frequent, intentional violator of the buffer zone [ C-6 ]. Raney was "a regular participant" in violating the zone with people named in the injunction [ C-9 ], including one named Bruce Cadle [C-12]. Raney was clear about wanting to stop all abortions [C-14]. (That is his life: fetuses, with total disregard for real women making difficult choices for their futures.)
Police Chief Chandler acknowledged that the City and State courts were no longer enforcing the buffer zone, because of a few lower state court dismissals of charges [C-18]. This shows that State remedies for AWCC have turned out to be completely inadequate, as suggested in the legislative history of FACE, 18 USC §248.
Chief Chandler identified the neutral City enforcement policy generally. It belies any suggestion by Raney of police-clinic agency [C-24]. Raney proffers no contrary evidence whatever to support his unusual and frivolous theory. AWCC has no control over the Police, or the injunction would be enforced.
Chandler further explained that Raney had been arrested at the clinic "several" [C-21] times, and was observed to be "acting in concert" [C-20] with persons expressly named in the injunction.
In sum, the background for summary judgment is clear, even without the reluctant non-deponent plaintiff Meredith Raney. Rooker-Feldman is strong because Raney has not appealed in his many opportunities in state court. He just keeps coming back at the trial level. McKusick-Younger is equally strong. Raney is asking this Court to decide matters previously or still in litigation in state court, including aspects of the very same three arrests. Federalism is stood on its head by Raney. He would have this Court vitiate earlier injunctive enforcement and predetermine pending and future state court proceedings involving the same subject matter.
PLAINTIFF DOES NOT REBUT THE ROOKER-FELDMAN CASE LAW
One legal avenue of summary judgment for AWCC is the well-known Rooker-Feldman doctrine. This is suggested as applicable in the AWCC memorandum supporting summary judgment. Raney's Memorandum in Opposition does not examine nor show any appreciation of the impact of Rooker-Feldman.
Plainly, Raney had ample state trial and appellate remedies for seeking modification of the 36 ft buffer zone, as applied to him through Madsen v. WHC, 512 U.S. 753 (1994). He failed in that undertaking instead, Raney goes from state trial court to federal district court on the same underlying matrix of facts, not once, but several times. Rooker-Feldman is a total bar to such a path. Accord, Craddock v. Circuit Court, 112 F.3d 508 (4th Ci-r. 1997)(per curiam); Hoover v. Wagner, 47 F.3d 845 (7th Cir. 1995)(adopted in this Circuit).
PLAINTIFF DOES NOT REBUT THE McKUSICK-YOUNGER CASE LAW
Raney cites one of the McKusick opinions, reluctantly, but only to decry it as "irrelevant," without a word of explanation. Such dismissive argumentation is inadequate and an imposition upon the Court. To the contrary, the relevance of McKusick-Younger is outlined in the AWCC Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment, and again here. Except for one feature, an injunctive instead of a damage prayer, McKusick is identical. Its holding, but not its dicta, is dispositive. The injunctive prayer either makes this a Rooker-Feldman case, or is upon examination a distinction without a difference in outcome. McKusick is as close as one gets in Eleventh Circuit guidance, although not so close as the even more nearly identical Fourth Circuit case of Craddock v. Circuit Court, 112 F.3d 508 (4th Cir. 1997)(per curiam)(full opinion on CD-ROM). Craddock was not discussed at all by Raney, nor was Hoover v. Wagner, 47 F.3d 845 (11th Cir. 1995), adopted by this Circuit in McKusick.
Much of the alleged fact-category argument by plaintiff Raney misses the several points of the summary judgment motion and memorandum, and widely so. Abstention, preclusion, and duplication are questions of federal law. Raney's pretensions to counseling and forced-volunteer work in the adoption field somehow do not respond to the Rooker-Feldman / McKusick-Younger issues. Nor do they accord with his vow to close down AWCC through what might be characterized as incessant harassment and intimidation. His comments about adoption are out of place, and misguided. There is no active adoption agency at AWCC. The need never developed. Raney is woefully unqualified in any event. He is avowedly a full-time anti-abortion activist with no legitimate health care or counseling background. Indeed, this very federal court action by him is so lacking in merit as to suggest an intent to burden and intimidate AWCC, not to seek legitimate redress. Far from asserting a meritorious civil rights claim, plaintiff Raney has burdened this Court with old, overlitigated issues, the same matters he faced in injunction proceedings often, and brought forth against the City too in yet another repetitive damage action. This Court should cut through the confusion and grant summary judgment dismissing Raney's action with prejudice.
Roy Lucas <signed>
DC Bar #153957
c/o PO Box 1433
Melbourne, FL 32902-1433
Susan A. England <signed>
Fla Bar #0186081
2805 Lakeview Drive
Fern Park, FL 32730-2007
ATTORNEYS FOR DEFENDANT-COUNTERCLAIMS AWCC, et al.
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE: This "Reply of Defendants to Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition to Summary Judgment" has been served this 30th day of June, 1998, by First Class mail sent to Christopher Sapp, Esq., PO Box 1012, Lehigh Acres, FL 33970.
By: Roy Lucas <signed>
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