New Suit in the TSA’s Favorite: US District Court :)

The TSA says that anything they write down is an “order” and above the jurisdiction of the District Courts.

Unfortunately for them, I think they might have forgot to write in their SOP that their new policy allows for false arrest, forcible searches, retaliatory searches, breaking federal recordkeeping laws, obstruction of justice, etc. — the claims in my new lawsuit from the day they kicked me out of FLL airport. I’m posting this public draft to you guys 2 days before I file it on Friday, so if you have any feedback, let me know! You don’t have to be a lawyer to help make my writing clearer, more powerful, and more likely to hit the TSA hard.

Corbett v. TSA – Public Draft (.pdf)

This suit really throws the book at them, quite carefully and with big thanks to the NYPD for forcing me to do the research on false arrests over the last several months. This 16-page, 21-count complaint charges the TSA along with Broward County for:

– A 4th Amendment violation for false arrest
– A 4th Amendment violation for reading my credit cards (no weapons in there, TSA!)
– A 4th Amendment violation for reading my books (no weapons there either, TSA!)
– A 4th Amendment violation for conducting a search in a retaliatory fashion
– A violation of the Civil Rights Act
– Assault
– False arrest (a state-law charge, in addition to the Constitutional claim)
– Falsely portraying me as a criminal in front of hundreds of passers-by
– Intentional infliction of emotional distress
– Failing to meet federal record data collection and record keeping requirements… 7 times
– Failing to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request
– Failing to truthfully respond to a Freedom of Information Act request (Broward)
– Conspiracy between the TSA and Broward for trying to hide the checkpoint video
– Running a warrant check without reasonable suspicion by non-consensually taking my ID (Broward)

If the TSA wants to stay out of District Court, they’re going to have to train their pizza box employees to abuse only within the limits of the SOP. 😉

This suit is new suit in addition to the petition I will file in the Supreme Court. This suit will not change the scope & grope policies, but it will make them be a little nicer while sexually harassing us and think twice before ordering you around. This suit (mostly) asks for large money damages rather than injunctive relief — and every dollar they pay for this suit is one less dollar they have to pay for a body scanner and one more dollar I have towards fighting scope & grope. 🙂 This suit will be entirely self-funded, and any of you who have or will donate should know that 100% of your donations will be applied to the petition to the Supreme Court to end scope & grope for all of us.

Looking forward to Friday!

45 thoughts on “New Suit in the TSA’s Favorite: US District Court :)

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  1. I hope the SCOTUS hears your case. If the Courts fail to address the TSA’s crimes, there’s going to be serious c o n s e q u e n c e s .

  2. you are missing the federal tort, 42 U.S.C. 1983; depriving a person of his Constitutional rights, without due process, under color of law. if you win that, they have to pay you legal bills. TSA is an agent of the federal gov’t. when it wrongfully imprisons you, under the power of law, w /o due process, you sue them. someone should do a class action on this one.

    1. TSA can not “imprison” anyone. That decision is left up to the local PD responsible for the airport locale.

  3. Thoughts:

    * Do not use the second person (footnote 3); remove editorials such as “creepy as they may be”.

    * The phrase “nude body scanner” may be editorializing to the point that it detracts from your argument.

    * Any available citation for footnote 4 would be useful.

    * Footnotes should be in body font.

    * A time frame (hundreds of times from X, 20xx to Y, 20yy) in section 53 would be useful. A more thorough description would be useful.

    * Scare-quoting “officer” in section 64 is potentially an excessive editorialization. Either justify why CHAMIZO is not an officer by a typical definition (i.e., he is employed by an office other than a police department), or remove the scare quotes. More information as to why CHAMIZO is the officer-in-charge would be useful.

    * Dates of reminders would make section 75 far stronger.

    * I am not sure that individuals are capable of violating the Constitution, other than by holding slaves. Counts 1 and 2, at least, may require another defendant.

    * Count 6 would be stronger if it cited relevant case law. (Actually, all of it would be.) I believe that there may be relevant case law indicating that refusal to consent to a search is not a sufficient probable cause for a search; IANAL, so I do not know it off the top of my head.

    * I read at some point that Constitutional arguments are to be relied on when there is nothing else; any other counts for consent or lack thereof might want to be filed in a form that does not involve a Constitutional argument.

    * Avoid “dominos”; make each count specify why it should hold in the event that a similar count is denied. For instance, arguments of the form like “Even if Count were not to hold, Count would hold because…” would (I suspect) strongly bolster your argument. Look up relevant case law for the proper legal phraseology.

    I would recommend having an attorney at least look over this once before you file it. The reason why these cases are not often filed is because of the risk of setting a negative precedent; you should be very careful to have everything in line before you file to avoid that. IANAL… and good luck.

  4. Thanks for doing this – it should go without saying how important this is, but in actuality it is vital I point it out. That how messed up our nation has become,

  5. Give ’em hell, Jon!
    If i had two nickels to rub together, I’d give you one to help out.
    Are you acting pro se or do you have representation?

    Liberty & Justice,


    Dum spiro pugno

  6. Refused pat down of my breasts & ya-ya in Phx – escorted from security- prior though they made a copy of my boarding pass & ID – I let them in the hopes of it helping get me through – obviously it did not – I have no idea what they did with that info- any thoughts on that? was that legal since they were not LEO?

  7. The Eleventh Circuit might be sympathetic to a claim that civil rights are violated by law enforcement’s crotch grab: they have prohibited such police behavior before. Take a look at U.S. v. Eason,

    The former chief judge of the U.S. District Court in Ft. Lauderdale, Norman Roettger, said that if someone tried to grab his genitals he would punch them. Unfortunately, Judge Roettger is no longer with us.

  8. Persuasive, not binding, in Florida, but the Ninth Circuit had a case:

    Mere refusal to consent to a stop or search does not give rise to reasonable suspicion or probable cause. People do not have to voluntarily give up their privacy or freedom of movement, on pain of justifying forcible deprivation of those same liberties if they refuse.

    United States v. Fuentes, 105 F.3d 487, 490 (9th Cir. 1997)

    1. Yep, I cited that one in one of my docs as well as U.S. v. Freeman, 479 F.3d 743, 749 (10th Cir. 2007) (“Refusal to consent to a search—even agitated refusal—is not grounds for reasonable suspicion.”). Great cases.

  9. I especially like the argument:

    “Exclusion of those who conduct non-law enforcement searches would not only require the insertion of words that are not present, but it would also render superfluous other words. There would be no meaning given to the words “investigative or.””

    Ths clearly demolishes any TSA claim that it is not subject to civil rights violations. It’s a singular indisputable demonstration that TSA searches cannot exceed Terry limits, which themselves preclude search of genitals in an external pat down.

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