Anti-war activists raided by FBI in 2010 planning legal challenges on First & Fourth Amendment grounds

Two anti-war activists who had their residences raided and pillaged by FBI agents on 24 September 2010 have declared their intent to file a civil action challenging the raids as unlawful and lacking in probable cause. They also claim to have been victimized by a “chilling” effect that has impeded their First Amendment rights. They have revealed this in a legal motion to compel the federal government to unseal the affidavits and other evidence used to obtain the search warrants that authorized the raids. Jessica R. Sundin and Michael Kelly have also attached affidavits containing their own person statements on the matter.

From the memorandum:

Petitioners assert that they have suffered harm as a result of being subjected to an unreasonable search and seizure in violation of the fourth amendment. Although their physical property has been returned to them, the FBI continues to retain copies of their personal journals, diaries, lists of friends and professional contacts, political literature, and lists of members, contributors and supporters of various organizations to which petitioners belong. Petitioners contend that they have a property interest in this information which is retained by the FBI and that they should be able to seek return of such property pursuant to a motion under Rule 41(g) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Upon information and belief, Petitioners allege that the searches carried out by the United States went beyond the scope of the warrant and the supporting affidavits, that the warrants were issued without a proper showing of probable cause, and that the warrant applications contained deliberate and material false statements.

From the Affidavit of Michael Kelly:

I also desire to bring a civil action at a future date, asserting a violation of my rights under the First and Fourth Amendments, pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). I require a copy of the Application for Search Warrant and supporting affidavits in this matter in order to bring such an action, based in part on the contention that the warrants were issued without probable cause, that the supporting application and affidavits contained materially false statements, and that the items seized exceeded the scope of the warrant.

Needless to say, the allegation that the supporting evidence for the search warrants contained false statements would be particularly damning if proven true.

Legal Filings:
Post-hearing memorandum in support of motion to unseal, 14 January 2014
Affidavit of Michael Kelly, 14 January 2014
Affidavit of Jessica R. Sundin,14 January 2014
Memorandum in support of motion to unseal search warrant applications and supporting affidavits, 30 October 2013
Motion to unseal search warrant applications and supporting affidavits, 11 September 2013

Further Reading:
Anti-war activists fight government secrecy in push to unseal documents on FBI raids, Fight Back! News, 1 November 2013
Anti-war activists demand probe basis, Politico, 11 September 2013

Related Post:
FBI documents on criminal investigation of anti-war activists released, 19 May 2011


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