• Back at the office or school? Still working from home? Need to vent, or just connect with other planner and built environment types? Come join us!

    Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing or masks required.

Working ✍️ Public instigation of a confrontation and subsequent lawsuit

SlaveToTheGrind

Cyburbian
Messages
1,621
Points
29
Had a few over the years of people recording interactions with public employees and trying to get lawsuit material. Have any of you experienced this?
 

TOFB

Cyburbian
Messages
2,958
Points
39
I had some goobers claim they secretly videotaped me (yes, that long ago) saying they were 'tricked' into signing an annexation petition. The State's Attorney asked them to produce the evidence. Crickets.
 

MD Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,058
Points
49
OMG yes. We are the subject of attention of one of those YouTube guys right now. He had an interaction with our PD and then put all this stuff on YouTube saying his rights were violated etc. He was never arrested or even detained but you'd be amazed how many people buy all of it. For about 2 weeks we had so many crackpots calling us and emailing making all kinds of threats and just trying to stir up trouble so they can manufacture some sort of lawsuit. He was just here again two days ago filming license plates in the parking lot, looking in windows etc. But he never came in because that wouldn't fit his agenda. There are some seriously disturbed people out there.
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
10,133
Points
45
"1st Amendment Auditors" are all over the place these days. They tried it here...but we were prepared for it...
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,422
Points
60
We haven't had an issue with it..yet...and I hope it stays that way.

But we've keep our regulatory development boards/commission in-person the whole pandemic, which required alot of attention to protocol on my staff and me.
 

DVD

Cyburbian
Messages
15,501
Points
53
We had one of those 1st amendment auditors a couple years ago. The started walking behind the counter to the cubicles. They were told to leave the employee area and stay in the public area. They can film all they want, just don't bother the employees, their working. The video I saw later came out that we "passed".
 

dw914er

Cyburbian
Messages
1,562
Points
21
"1st Amendment Auditors" are all over the place these days. They tried it here...but we were prepared for it...

We had one happen right before a holiday, so the few people that were here were not prepared. It didn't get too bad from what I understand, but the staff members were legitimately scared.

I've seen planning friends at other cities get the audits - they held their own but were also confused and annoyed with the tactics. These happened prior to Covid, so the customers getting planning help were in shock.
 

arcplans

As Featured in "High Times"
Messages
6,742
Points
35
Yup.. ended up on one looney tune's website, along with a wanted poster.


Guy tried to have me sign an "affidavit" and try to perform a "citizen's arrest" on me.
 

HomerJ

Cyburbian
Messages
1,144
Points
18
The video I saw later came out that we "passed".

Congratulations?


This is pretty common in Texas. Most of what I've seen is fairly harmless, but every now and then those recordings can be very successful in that they generate a lot of suspicion towards otherwise benign statements. When someone knows they are being recorded, and clearly with ill intent, it will make them very careful about what they say, which then of course makes them look suspicious because what is it they aren't telling us? :think:
 
Top