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The Courts Government News Technology

Man Wins Partial Victory In Circuit City Arrest 788

JeremyDuffy writes "Michael Righi, the man who was arrested at Circuit City for failing to show his reciept/driver's license, has fought a moral battle against the city for almost a month now. The case has already been settled and he emerged victorious... sort of. It turns out that he's already spent almost $7500 and would have kept fighting them too, but because his family would have been dragged into it, he was forced to take a deal. They've expunged his record and dropped all charges, but he had to give up his right to sue the city to do it."
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Man Wins Partial Victory In Circuit City Arrest

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  • nice (Score:2, Informative)

    by svendsen ( 1029716 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @11:43AM (#20697149)
    Don't sure us for screwing your rights over and we promise we won;t take you to court on those same made up charges. WTF?!?!?!?

    He caved and basically has done nothing to prove the system wrong. he was so gung ho about not showing his licensee because it was a law and his right YET he has no spine to follow through cause his family might suffer?

    News break: Your family is already suffering from it. Do you believe in what you did? Then sue the city. Oh it was all show, just wanted your 15 mins, and when push comes to shove you are a coward now? Go away.

    THe money you would get would A) show the city it can;t mess around B) help your family (invest, emergancy funds, etc) and C) feed the poor lawyers.
  • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @11:44AM (#20697167)
    nice Alice ref ;)

    I never - never ever - show my receipt to the door nazis (they really are called that!) at frys, CC, BB, etc. I keep on walking and never have I been stopped. I look the other way, I ignore them - they ask 'for my papers' and I keep walking. never an issue.

    you HAVE the right to just leave and ignore the pimply teenagers at the door. they're a joke and have no real authority.

    just keep walking. it works. (and its almost fun, in a way).
  • by Cornflake917 ( 515940 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @11:56AM (#20697379) Homepage
    He isn't a freedom fighter. In fact, he lost one of his own freedoms in the process. Now if the same incident happens again, he can't sue the city.

    Circuit city still asks to see your receipt, and cops still ask for you identification, and still take you to jail when you aren't being cooperative. This guy has done nothing for our freedoms, except reminded us that we have the freedom to start flame wars over unimportant stories like this.
  • by jtroutman ( 121577 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @11:57AM (#20697387)
    Well, there is the .Pdf of the legal release [michaelrighi.com], FTFA.
  • Working hard (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 21, 2007 @11:58AM (#20697427)
    How much have YOU donated to the ACLU?

    They are simultaneously fighting many cases on many fronts. They only have so many people on staff, with so many hours in the day. If they are to fight more cases, they need to hire more people, which costs money.

    So, they can only do as much good as they are paid to do, and they have to pick the biggest issues (like challenges to the PATRIOT act itself, over specific infringements for specific individuals).

    If you want them to do more, pay them more.
  • by Slashdot Parent ( 995749 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @11:59AM (#20697445)

    Where's the ACLU when you need 'em? I would think a case like this would be right up their alley.
    Why should they agree take up his case?

    Read the blog post. The guy claims to have the resources to pay for his own defense, and more importantly, the case would establish no new legal precedent (there are already two Ohio precedents that cover this situation).

    The ACLU has zero reason to waste their limited resources on this case.
  • Re:nice (Score:4, Informative)

    by Volante3192 ( 953645 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @12:10PM (#20697653)
    His family may have been 'suffering' as you put it, but they weren't directly involved. If you read the article (yea, I know where I am...) it would've involved flying in his sister from California and his father cancelling a European business trip.

    If that wasn't a factor I'm sure he'd've kept fighting.

    Personally, I don't even see why they'd need to get involved, but the prosecutor probably is hoping for a victory on delay and cash rather than just lose on merit early on.
  • Re:It's o.k. tho... (Score:1, Informative)

    by ak3ldama ( 554026 ) <{james_akeldama} {at} {yahoo.com}> on Friday September 21, 2007 @12:18PM (#20697795) Homepage Journal
    I don't know how this guy was moderated so promptly. Perhaps ending a comment with "Fuck the ACLU" is harmful a post's moderation status. But the sad fact is that he is correct, the ACLU doesn't agree that a common citizen/person deserves the right to own or carry arms for the defense of his person or nation. They basically agree with the supreme courts stance of taking a no stance and prefer to not face this issue. They agree with earlier decisions limiting the personal ownership of arms and with continually limiting what arms are allowed. So in closing, Fuck the ACLU. [aclu.org]
  • by CrashPoint ( 564165 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @12:19PM (#20697823)

    what is wrong with the world today is self-involved hysterical twits who's delicatef lower nature is deeply affronted and go apeshit, because... drum roll please... are you ready for the massive assault on rights and personal liberties?: SOME RENT-A-COP JUST ASKS YOU FOR A RECEIPT
    You are illiterate and/or lying. The infringement of rights did not come from being asked for a receipt, nor did Righi claim that. It came from being illegally detained for not showing the receipt (which he was under no obligation to do).

    Sure he could have just showed his receipt. But he wasn't obligated to. The store manager, however, could have let him walk right on out whether he showed the receipt or not, and damn well was obligated to.

  • by Bud Dickman ( 1131973 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @12:23PM (#20697897)
    Most losses that retail outlets incur come as the result of theft committed by employees - not customers. Why is it that you believe receipt checkers are effective against shoplifting?

  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @12:52PM (#20698383)
    As much as I detest racism and bigots and racists, people are allowing idiots like Sharpton and Jackson and the news media to deceive them. The position they are taking is "you let some white kids go for hanging nooses in a tree, but you imprisoned some black kids who beat up a white kid".

    While I'd be up for beating the hell out of any little snotty racist asshole that would hang nooses in a tree in an attempt to intimidate an entire group of people, I have to acknowledge the facts. And these facts are that:

    1) These were unrelated incidents that occurred FOUR MONTHS APART.
    2) Hanging a noose in a tree is not the same as beating someone up and sending them to the hospital.
    3) The legal requirements for charging a youth (not an adult) with a non-violent "hate-crime" is far higher than charging a youth for assault and battery.

    So we need to establish that these two events were NOT RELATED. So stop using the results of one to justify the desired results of the other.

    Now, after we have done that -- let's look at what reportedly happened that landed these black kids in prison: The white kid was at a gas station and felt threatened by the black kids. So, instead of leaving the scene to avoid a conflict, he went to his truck, pulled out a shotgun and then returned, where they promptly beat his stupid ass.

    Now, if some hick went to his vehicle and came back to me with a shotgun (especially in an area where I felt intimidated and threatened routinely because of my skin color), I would surely defend myself by beating his ass and disarming him before waiting to see if he intended to blow my fucking skull clean off my spine.

    So should the kids be released? I believe so. But not because of ANYTHING relating to the supposed hypocrisy of the noose-tree incident.
  • by Changer2002 ( 577488 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @12:53PM (#20698401)
    Probable cause in shoplifting cases is generally accepted to consist of 6 things, including seeing someone conceal an item. Not showing your receipt is probably not sufficient probable cause. See http://www.expertlaw.com/library/security/shoplifting.html/ [expertlaw.com]This link
  • by 808140 ( 808140 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @01:02PM (#20698553)

    For the record, this is the fourth amendment to the US constitution:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Notice that this amendment does not in any way restrict only the activities of the state; it does not say "... shall not be violated by the state but may be violated by private citizens or corporations if the people stand on their private property ..." or other such libertarian nonsense.

    Once I (or anyone else) has purchased an item from a store, and paid for said item in full, the item belongs to me. It does not still belong to the store simply because I am still on the store's property, nor does the store magically have the right to search me or my belongings simply because I am still on their property.

    Your property argument, to me, is a bit like saying "You knew you were going to be raped if you came to 808140's house; there is a sign on the door that indicates his depraved intentions clearly. If you didn't want to be raped, you shouldn't have gone to his house." The problem with this statement is that rape is illegal, no matter what I have posted on my front door. Private property or no, sign or no, I will (thankfully) be unable to justify my rape of you in court simply because you deigned to enter my home.

    This situation is much analogous, except the statute is the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. You may think I'm arguing in extremes, but you'll notice that the founding fathers did not think to decry rape in that highest document in the land -- but they did think to protect my right to be secure in my person.

    I understand that receipt-checking makes it easier for the business to catch shoplifters; I empathize with their motives. I also understand implanting a tracking chip in every man woman and child in this country would make felons easier to apprehend. Thankfully, we Americans have, historically at least, been unwilling to sacrifice our civil liberties simply to make law enforcement easier for those tasked with enforcing it.

    This practice of checking receipts and belongings when you leave the store is completely unacceptable. Furthermore, there is no reason to do it. Many stores are designed so that the only way to exit the store is by passing through checkout, and have an aisle specifically for people with no items to purchase. This aisle can be observed and if a shoplifter is suspected security can then detain him. The result is just as good as Circuit City's or Fry's policy, I'm sure. Better, perhaps, because the latter's only protects against shoplifters who clandestinely add an item they didn't purchase into their shopping bag, and does nothing against the shoplifter who simply places an item into his inside pocket, for example.

  • Re:One question... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Mr. Slippery ( 47854 ) <tmsNO@SPAMinfamous.net> on Friday September 21, 2007 @02:16PM (#20699727) Homepage

    The nooses were hung on Sept 1. The fight occurred on Dec 4th. That's three months. The events are definitely related.

    The events are only related if the guy who got beat down was involved in hanging the nooses, and I'm unaware of any allegations that he did. Collective guilt doesn't wash; something somebody else did three months ago is no excuse for a violent attack on someone today.

    None of the statements taken by the DA said that the assault was caused by the nooses. [thetowntalk.com] It bears many hallmarks of an after-the-fact justification.

    The guys hanging the nooses were assholes, and their behavior should not be tolerated by the school. Three day in-school suspension, with no public statement by the school, may well have been much too light. But calling trying to get the FBI involved, is amazing overreaction.

    A six-on-one aggravated assault goes far beyond mere assholery; it is a serious crime, and if convicted those involved should be dealt with accordingly. It's wrong to portray the assailants in this case as some sort of innocents.

    However, the charge of "attempted murder" is clearly trumped up. In Mychal Bell's case, time served plus probation is probably plenty.

    as well as the charge of shotgun theft when defending themselves against someone pointing a shotgun them (another totally unrelated incident, I'm sure).

    Again, was the victim of this beating involved in that incident? Then yes, it is a totally unrelated incident.

    Grabbing a shotgun from someone threatening you is a justified act of self-defense, regardless of how much melanin anyone involved has in their skin, or what sort of discrimination they or they ancestors have undergone.

    A six-on-one beatdown is a serious crime of violence, regardless of how much melanin anyone involved has in their skin, or what sort of discrimination they or they ancestors have undergone.

  • by Khaed ( 544779 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @02:58PM (#20700509)
    Um. The guy with the shotgun and the guy who got beat by the six are not the same, at least not according to Wikipedia. They're two separate incidents. The beating that is the focus and result of the "attempted 2nd degree murder" charge (that was reduced) happened at the school. Just thought I'd throw that out there. They didn't beat up the guy with the gun -- they just took it from him.
  • Re:wrong? (Score:3, Informative)

    by bkr1_2k ( 237627 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @03:19PM (#20700803)
    yes, it takes two seconds, but you've either not read the linked blog or you missed the point completely. you shouldn't have to show your receipt and you definitely shouldn't have to show ID to a cop when you were the person who called for help.
  • by Sylver Dragon ( 445237 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @05:34PM (#20703915) Journal
    The US Supreme Court disagrees with you:
    Carter v. Kentucky [justia.com]
  • by vistic ( 556838 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @06:28PM (#20704953)

    Alternatively, if you find your self exiting a store and are surprised by the rent-a-cop asking for your receipt here's a more productive thing you can do:
    1. Refuse to comply.
    2. When they insist they cannot let you go without seeing your receipt, ask if they can let you go after you return your items and get your money back.
    3. Return your goods and attempt to leave.
    4. Any attempt to prevent you at this point is an unlawful arrest, call the cops.

    I thought the point of this whole thing is that it's equally as unlawful to stop you from leaving when you purchased something and don't want to show your receipt (unless they have reason to believe you shoplifted, such as seeing you take an item and attempt to leave without paying for it; and no, refusing to show a receipt is not a reason to believe you shoplifted) as it is to stop you from leaving if you didn't buy anything at all (and of course the same thing about reason to believe you shoplifted).

    You don't have to return it for it to become wrong for them to detain you.

    But I do agree that they might be more receptive if you threaten to return the merchandise if they don't leave you alone, and actually return it when they don't leave you alone.
  • Re:wrong? (Score:3, Informative)

    by jp10558 ( 748604 ) on Friday September 21, 2007 @11:22PM (#20707667)
    I think the point in this case is you can demand whatever you want, but once someone has concluded his business with you (bought the item) you can't force him to do anything else but leave.

    You cannot hold him (kidnapping), search his person, force him to give the products back(theft), or otherwise harrass a person lawfully attempting to exit your property.

    In general, you can require whatver you want of people to stay on your property, but the only enforcement you can do is asking them to leave. In this case, CC was preventing him from leaving. They cannot legally do this.

    As I understand the results of this and other such reports if you demand a recipt from someone and they refuse you can force them to leave and deny them readmittance. If you think they are stealing something, you can call the police and report the theft.

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