A Marine who was taken into custody by law enforcement after a psychotherapist hired by the local county said he believed the military man might be a danger – even though the two never had met and never had even talked on the telephone – is asking an appeals court to reinstate his lawsuit for damages.
The appeal has been submitted to the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by the Rutherford Institute and other attorneys helping the organization, on behalf of Brandon Raub.
As WND previously reported, Raub was approached by law enforcement officers from several agencies at his home. One officer consulted with a psychotherapist who never had met or even talked on the telephone with Raub. As a result of that evaluation, the officers took Raub into custody and jailed him.
The officers had contacted Raub mostly because of song lyrics he had posted on social media sites expressing distrust of the federal government and calling for the jailing of, for example, former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
The officers opted for a “mental health evaluation” detention after both local and federal authorities said there had been no crime committed by Raub for which he could be arrested.
As WND reported, Raub filed the lawsuit after a judge eventually dismissed the case against him, saying the officers’ concerns were “so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy.”
“Ultimately, Brandon Raub’s case tests our tolerance for free speech and those dissidents who keep the First Amendment relevant, because if we cannot proclaim our feelings about the government, no matter how controversial – on our clothing or to passersby, or to the users of the worldwide web – then the First Amendment really has become an exercise in futility,” said Rutherford Institute President John Whitehead at the time.
Raub was detained Aug. 16, 2012, by Chesterfield, Virginia, police, Secret Service and the FBI. The veteran of wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan was accused of being “mentally ill.”
The institute now is asking the appeals court to revive the lawsuit against authorities.
The lawyers are arguing Raub was unjustly deprived of his liberty and that his seizure and detention “were the result of a Chesterfield County mental health screener’s dislike of Raub’s ‘unpatriotic’ views on federal government misconduct.”
“What may sound far-fetched to the courts is a grim reality to Americans who are daily being targeted for daring to exercise their constitutional rights to speak their minds, worship as they please, criticize the government, defend themselves and their families against over-reaching government surveillance and heavy-handed police tactics,” said Whitehead, author of “A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State.”
The brief alleges authorities committed an unlawful seizure under the Fourth Amendment and violated his speech rights.
After learning from local and federal prosecutors that Raub had committed no crime, they went to his home to “discuss” his political beliefs.
He was serious and “made no threat” during the conversation, records reveal.
Then an officer called a psychotherapist, who said Raub should be brought in, even though he’d never met or talked with Raub.
The appeal notes another licensed clinical psychologist found that the earlier diagnosis was “a violation of professional standards – and grossly negligent.”
The report from the licensed clinical psychologist said what officials earlier considered “psychological symptoms” actually were “political opinions.”
“It is an unconstitutional deprivation of liberty for a government mental health worker to instigate the detention of someone for a mental health evaluation without probable cause,” the brief argues. “Indeed, ‘for the ordinary citizen, commitment to a mental hospital produces a massive curtailment of liberty, and in consequence requires due process protection.”