Pubdate: Thu, 28 Jun 2012
Source: Missoulian (MT)
Copyright: 2012 Missoulian
Author: Keila Szpaller


In a lengthy complaint with footnotes about the "f" word and being 
vegan, Jason Christ is suing the Missoula Police Department, Missoula 
County Attorney's Office, Missoula County 9-1-1, and other parties in 
U.S. District Court.

Christ, a medical marijuana businessman, is asking for $50 million in 
punitive damages, among other demands, for the defendants' "willful 
and malicious actions" that have caused him "emotional distress."

Court documents note Christ, representing himself, is so harassed by 
the law that the city and county have lost him income, "affected his 
bodily functions" and forced him to camp "down a vast network of 
unimproved dirt roads."

In 2009 and 2010, Christ gained wide recognition helping hundreds of 
people obtain physician recommendations for medical marijuana with 
his traveling one-day clinics. In 2011, his focus swung to legal 
matters and, acting as his own lawyer, he filed 13 lawsuits  mostly 
against former business associates and competitors  and he's been 
embroiled in legal action and restraining orders filed by and against 
him since.

The most recent lawsuit, however, notes Christ's legal actions aren't 
getting far. His more than 1,300 pleadings in 25 civil and one 
criminal case are falling on deaf ears, and at least one judge has 
called him a problem, according to court papers.

"The court called plaintiff a 'difficult litigant,' based solely on 
the number of pleadings, not on the merits of those papers," read 
court documents.

Attempts to seek resolution at the highest levels are failing as 
well. The "governor of the state of Montana has refused to hear any 
complaints," Christ wrote, and the attorney general hasn't responded, 
either, even though Christ sued the state for access to his medicine, 

"The AG has never returned the plaintiff's calls," reads the document.

Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg said he assumes the 
court will dismiss the lawsuit "at some point." It names as one 
defendant a "Paul" Van Valkenburg, which the county attorney said he 
believes is a reference to himself and "part of his (Christ's) ineptness."

"Basically, we disagree with all of the allegations in his 
complaint," Van Valkenburg said. "And it's just part of what we have 
to deal with in dealing with Mr. Christ."

Charges filed against Christ for allegedly threatening Verizon 
employees are pending, and Van Valkenburg said that case is set for 
trial Oct. 24.

The Verizon case involves Christ's complaints to the telephone 
company. If Verizon didn't resolve his problems, Christ said he "was 
going to come down there and 'bomb the (expletive) store.' "

In the current lawsuit, he notes defendants are using the "f" word 
out of context, and he explains in a footnote.

In another footnote, Christ discusses camping in the woods and his 
lack of weapons: "Incidently (sic), plaintiff is vegan (vegetarian) 
and does not hunt, does not own any weapons, but is not allowed to 
have any, to protect himself in the woods  from bears and such."

City Attorney Jim Nugent said the city defendants named in the suit 
haven't been served with it yet. The city referred the case to its 
pooled municipal insurance group to defend because of the high 
amounts of money involved, said Nugent, described in the lawsuit as 
"an anti-medical marijuana city attorney."

Christ is asking for $1.568 million in lost business, $50 million in 
punitive damages, $34,000 for legal defense against frivolous 
lawsuits, and $26,850 as payment for defending himself.

"He wants some pretty outlandish money," Nugent said.

The lawsuit tells a meandering saga of the events leading up to its 
filing, and it spells out charges and requests. Excerpts include:

"By 2010, plaintiff's business had served over 15,000 patients, 
Montana State Court experienced it's (sic) first jury 
nullification/mutiny with regards to criminal marijuana possession, 
causing the proseuction (sic) to lose cases."

"Law enforcement provided misinformation and heavy lobbying efforts 
in 2010 and 2011 to eliminate the medical marijuana act. As a result, 
in 2010 the Montana Legislature passed a repeal bill ... and 
frightened all but two doctors from exercising their free speech rights."

"The defendants instituted a frivilious (sic) charges against the 
plaintiff  misdemeanors and felonies, some based on a single phone 
call where the plaintiff used the word 'f*.' These calls were charged 
against the plaintiff in various forms, including an alleged bomb threat."

"In early 2012, as a result of the ongoing harrassment (sic) by the 
police and their affirmative actions to deprive the plaintiff from 
equal protection, the plaintiff was forced to leave Missoula County." 
Christ headed to the woods. "Plaintiff was camping near Lolo Hot 
Springs, about 20 miles into Mineral County, down a vast network of 
random unimproved dirt roads, near the end of one of them, in the 
middle of nowhere."

There, "one of many strangest and most frightening interactions with 
law enforcement occurred." Deputies found him and pointed their guns 
at him while he was working on legal papers in his car even though he 
was only camping.

"Plaintiff has been denied many rights during the pendency of the 
criminal charges against him. He is not allowed to have alcohol, to 
own a weapon, to use drugs, to travel, to enter bars, no contact with 
Verizon and required to hire an attorney."
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