PDA

View Full Version : Law for Backpackers 101 (2008 edition)



The Weasel
2009-12-21, 20:11
This is a fairly complete article on law and legal issues that can affect backpackers. It is the 2008 edition, and I am working on changes for 2010. Suggestions and comments are welcome.

Kanga
2009-12-21, 20:12
This is a fairly complete article on law and legal issues that can affect backpackers. It is the 2008 edition, and I am working on changes for 2010. Suggestions and comments are welcome.

:beer::beer::beer:

SGT Rock
2009-12-21, 20:19
Thanks for posting that Weasel. I'm thinking about adding a reviews and article section. Like how to draw a handgun from a ULA hip belt.

Ray
2009-12-21, 20:23
I think I've read that somewhere before. Be careful of copyright infringement.

Kanga
2009-12-21, 20:27
Thanks for posting that Weasel. I'm thinking about adding a reviews and article section. Like how to draw a handgun from a ULA hip belt.

hahaha! that's riiiiiight!

The Weasel
2009-12-21, 20:36
I think I've read that somewhere before. Be careful of copyright infringement.

Copyright was retained by me. This is the only website that has it posted.

TW

Ray
2009-12-21, 20:51
Copyright was retained by me. This is the only website that has it posted. TW Sarcasm detector broke? This is DwM, btw.

The Weasel
2009-12-21, 20:59
Recent emigres from other sites may be forgiven for being a mite sensitive. Even paranoids sometimes have enemies, you know?

Ahhh. "DwM"! How could I not have known? The "Ray" name and the "Sherlock" picture were dead give aways. Sheesh. Sorry for not recognizing you. Must be the first time that's happened, too.

(Is that enough proof that the sarcasmo-meter is working?)

TW

warraghiyagey
2009-12-21, 21:02
Anybody remember Alaskanhiker from the other site who couldn't help starting numerous copious threads everyday? . . . . Dude, seriously. . . take a breath or two. . . . your showing your cards. . . .

The Weasel
2009-12-21, 21:04
Just emptying the bag, man. No cards to show. Just dusting off my boots before stepping inside.

TW

Kanga
2009-12-21, 21:11
down warrghy..

SGT Rock
2009-12-21, 21:23
Is it me, or does Weasel look like he could be HOI's brother?

warraghiyagey
2009-12-21, 21:27
Is it me, or does Weasel look like he could be HOI's brother?

Maybe they and Gandalf are triplets. . . .

The Weasel
2009-12-21, 21:30
"I call no man brother because all men are my brothers."

(That used to really worry my Mom.)

TW

SGT Rock
2009-12-21, 21:31
they let you practice law with that beard?

Lone Wolf
2009-12-21, 21:32
Is it me, or does Weasel look like he could be HOI's brother?

fuckin' insult to hoi! kiddin'

Lone Wolf
2009-12-21, 21:33
they let you practice law with that beard?

yeah he's just practicin'. not doin' it for real. kinda like a packsniffer

SGT Rock
2009-12-21, 21:34
He could be Wolf's older brother too.

warraghiyagey
2009-12-21, 21:36
ouch. . . .

SGT Rock
2009-12-21, 21:37
Good thing they haven't read my article about draw and shoot from the ULA pack yet. ;)

Lone Wolf
2009-12-21, 21:39
He could be Wolf's older brother too.

ooohhh!

The Weasel
2009-12-21, 21:40
Beard is (alas) gone, but true story:

That was my "I'm not going to shave until I finish" beard in 2000, but I got knocked off the trail for a number of reasons, but still hoped to finish in 2001. That picture was taken at Trail Days '01, and the following week I had a case set for oral argument in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati. For those of you who aren't aware, the U.S. Court of Appeals is 'tall cotton' - it's the last step before the U.S. Supreme Court, and by my recollection, at least 7 of the existing Supreme Court justices came from one of the different Courts of Appeals. In a word, there are only 9 judges in the US with more 'rank' than these. Their Courtroom is walnut paneled, with 20 foot ceilings, and the "bench" is elevated with three different judges out of about a dozen.

My case involved a very important issue of international commercial arbitration law. I was dressed in total "lawyer costume" with starched white shirt, red "rep" tie, dark blue suit with narrow pinstriping, black wingtips that looked like Rock had taught me how to polish them. But from the neck up? Hair was shining as it flowed over my shoulders, beard brushed straight down, mustache bristling straight out.

As they called our case (we were about 5th), I introduced myself with, "May it please the Court, my name is Russ Boltz." One of the judges, whom I have known for over 30 years, looked startled and said, "Have you been gone long, Mr. Boltz?" I answered with, "I have another 1600 miles to go, Your Honor." I then presented my argument.

I won, 3-0.

TW

SGT Rock
2009-12-21, 21:52
Beard is (alas) gone, but true story:

That was my "I'm not going to shave until I finish" beard in 2000, but I got knocked off the trail for a number of reasons, but still hoped to finish in 2001. That picture was taken at Trail Days '01, and the following week I had a case set for oral argument in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati. For those of you who aren't aware, the U.S. Court of Appeals is 'tall cotton' - it's the last step before the U.S. Supreme Court, and by my recollection, at least 7 of the existing Supreme Court justices came from one of the different Courts of Appeals. In a word, there are only 9 judges in the US with more 'rank' than these. Their Courtroom is walnut paneled, with 20 foot ceilings, and the "bench" is elevated with three different judges out of about a dozen.

My case involved a very important issue of international commercial arbitration law. I was dressed in total "lawyer costume" with starched white shirt, red "rep" tie, dark blue suit with narrow pinstriping, black wingtips that looked like Rock had taught me how to polish them. But from the neck up? Hair was shining as it flowed over my shoulders, beard brushed straight down, mustache bristling straight out.

As they called our case (we were about 5th), I introduced myself with, "May it please the Court, my name is Russ Boltz." One of the judges, whom I have known for over 30 years, looked startled and said, "Have you been gone long, Mr. Boltz?" I answered with, "I have another 1600 miles to go, Your Honor." I then presented my argument.

I won, 3-0.

TWCool story.

The Weasel
2009-12-21, 21:53
Maybe. But now I have to grow the damn thing back when I go try to finish.

TW

SGT Rock
2009-12-21, 21:57
Maybe. But now I have to grow the damn thing back when I go try to finish.

TW

You gotta have a hobby.

There was a lawyer on the trail in 2008 hiking with Jack. He was a cool guy and had a similar story, except in his story they screwed up his luggage as he flew in and ended up showing up to court dressed like he had just come from the Bahamas.

erin
2009-12-23, 00:53
Weasel, I just looked at your Law for Backpackers. You already know you did a great job on this article and you obviously put alot of time and effort into it. You said suggestions were welcome so here are mine and they are just additions since you have taken the initiative to put this together and it no where else really and necessary information.
1. Post it in total, with all 31 pages including the exclusionary rule and soverign immuntiy and case cites and examples. BUT distill this down to a one page tip sheet for say, a 19 year old thru hiker who may not read all 31 pages. And post it on White Blaze also. They need to carry a valid ID, be careful about substances, and not carry a concealed nine inch buck knife in a bar. Then refer them to page of your article if they want to hear the whys and law.
2. Add a section on fraud. This helps the trail merchants and hostels also. You said not to give out SSN's, but there have been ripoff's on ATM card charges, stolen gear, identity theft, and add how to report an assault, etc. These young people hitting the trail need to take the same precautions they should take at home as far as watching their debit or credit cards, cell phones, property, money, etc. And a few need to know the consequences of tearing up hotel rooms, etc.
PS. Your beard would be acceptable in any legal forum in the Missouri Ozarks.

The Weasel
2009-12-23, 12:39
Erin:

Thanks for the comments and suggestions.

1) Others have suggested the "tip sheet" too, and I've thought about it. But I've decided that's risky: Maybe especially for the "19 year old thru hiker" most of those topics need to be read in full, and not in a Cliff's Notes style. 31 pages isn't that much; it's about 1 hour of reading, maybe a bit more, about how to stay out of trouble, what to do if you are in trouble, and things about caring for yourself. Frankly, 31 pages is pretty short for those topics. And if I did the tip sheet, more people would just read that, not the full text, and then end up in worse trouble. I'm open to persuasion, but I don't think it's a service to people to over-simplify this.

2) I like the suggestion about a section on fraud and will do that for the next revision, and also on tearing up hotels. Good ideas.

3) This article and its previous versions were on WhiteBlaze for about 3-4 years. I took it down last week when I decided not to be involved there further. I left a reference there that if anyone needs a copy they can E-mail me, or I'm sure many who have such an interest will see it here.

Thanks for the comment on the beard. I wish I still had it, but Mrs. The Weasel is happy I don't.

TW

erin
2009-12-30, 22:41
Hi Weasel,
Thanks for responding. I was in no signal land for the holidays.
I didn't know the post was on White Blaze. It should be on the thru hiker tip pages.
I understand your point about not wanting to do a tip sheet....basically the people that really care will read the 31 pages and the ones that don't won't pay attention to a tip sheet anyway....be courteous, don't openly break the law, etc. But I will still try to talk you into a shorter version. One reason is because I know where you are coming from and my non-lawyer friends will not read 31 pages of case cites either.
Anyhew, you did a really nice job on it. When you post your fraud section, I will look for it too and definitely refer people to your post as it is so needed for hikers and supporters and trail folks alike. Thanks, Erin

The Weasel
2009-12-31, 21:25
Erin ---

You're welcome, and appreciated. Welcome back!

As I said, the article was on WhiteBlaze, but I've taken it down and posted it here instead. You can feel free to tell others where ever they are that it's here, though.

At 31 pages, there aren't any "case cites" (well, maybe one or two, but that's it). I could make it very terse and blunt, but that's not good, either. I put in the table of contents so that people could read what they want to and ignore (at their peril) the rest.

When I revise it, though, I'll see what I can do. Enjoy walking!

TW

SGT Rock
2010-01-01, 00:54
I just re-read your article Weasel. I admit it has been a while since I gave it a good read, and I recently completed the DOE instruction for Security Police Officers, so it was very interesting for me looking at authority to search, searches vs "pat downs", detaining someone for questioning etc.

Something I found interesting during school, and something I hadn't understood until then, was warrant-less arrests. I've heard people ask the question before "I told the officer what the guy had done, but he didn't arrest the guy". Unless the offense was a felony, an officer generally cannot arrest someone for a misdemeanor unless they witnessed the offense or they get a warrant for arrest. I also learned that officers (generally) will not go around just looking for arrests to make because of liability for wrongful arrest. Unless they can cover themselves with a warrant, or can make a case with their statement, then arresting someone for something they didn't do isn't in their own interest either. Of course there are officers that don't get it - there are bad people in any group.

Since I mentioned felony, an officer can generally arrest someone for a felony without a warrant if he has reasonable belief that the person committed a felony. That could get into a whole 'nother line of thought into what is "reasonable".

Also, generally if an officer stops you to ask you what you are doing, he has legitimate authority to stop someone for questioning if he has probable cause to believe a crime has been, is being, or is about to be committed. Failure to comply could be grounds for arrest for interfering with an officer in an investigation. As you stated in your article, cause the officer problems and they can usually find something to arrest you for and then perform a search.

Thanks again for that article.

enviro
2010-01-01, 16:29
Weasel are there Clift Notes for this?

The Weasel
2010-01-01, 16:45
Rock --

Not to turn this into a law enforcement thread (if that happens, no biggie), but one of the reasons for traffic stops for "trivial" issues (loose license plate, for instance) is that those are critical law enforcement tools to check drivers and sometimes even occupants if there is suspicious activity going on, whether DUI, fugitive (failure to appear) warrants, immigration (in some areas), visible drug paraphanalia and so on. They are generally legitimate as long as there is some objective reason for the stop.

This can occasionally involve a hiker; if, for instance, a hiker is doing something very minor that is wrong (e.g. litter, off trail in restricted areas, etc) it may justify an 'officer stop' and patdown, as well as fieldchecking names and so forth. With increasingly good technology, including cellular, this can include computer/LEIN checking 'in the outback.' Law enforcement rangers for the NPS do this frequently, particularly in border and drug-growing areas.

TW

SGT Rock
2010-01-01, 19:54
Very good point Weasel. Since it is wrong to "profile", a legitimate reason to stop someone that looks suspicious is found. So a white kid driving around the bad part of town can't be stopped because it is obvious he is there looking for drugs, but he can be stopped for crossing the fog line on suspicion of DUI or reckless driving which could lead to finding the drugs the cops suspected he had.

As you said - stay polite and positive. It goes a long way.

Bulldawg
2010-01-01, 20:49
Speaking of traffic stops for "trivial" reasons reminds of a story from years ago involving myself. When I was young, 17 to be exact, I ran around in a hot rod car. I had a terrible habit of driving far from the posted limit. Well one night the state patrol gave chase and I outran them. Well, you never "out run" the state patrol, you just sometimes get lucky and out smart them. Anyway the officer knew who I was and confronted me a few days later while we were both playing pool in a local billiards hall. He told me "I know that was you, and since I cannot prove it there is nothing I can do about it right now, but I will get you." Being polite I just said "yes sir". Well sure 'nuff three days later we both meet at a four way stop in town. I tried to allow him right away by waving him through. He was determined to get me though and waved me through. He pulled me over right away with the bogus charge of a burned out taillight. Happens I had a friend with me who I asked to check the lights while I looked from the outside of the car with the State Trooper. Seems all my taillights worked. I told the officer it must be a short and thanked him for bringing it to my attention and told him I would get it checked as soon as I could. He wasn't going to be blown off that easy. He wanted to search the car. Which I allowed since I had nothing to hide. As I knew, he found nothing. He finally 45 minutes later found the only thing he could cite me for, slick tires. Funny thing, he is still a state trooper but not nearly as young and gungho. We have a laugh over the whole incident when we see each other out in town now.

The Weasel
2010-01-03, 17:30
Very good point Weasel. Since it is wrong to "profile", a legitimate reason to stop someone that looks suspicious is found. So a white kid driving around the bad part of town can't be stopped because it is obvious he is there looking for drugs, but he can be stopped for crossing the fog line on suspicion of DUI or reckless driving which could lead to finding the drugs the cops suspected he had.

As you said - stay polite and positive. It goes a long way.

Actually, not (on the first point). LEOs can't stop someone for suspicion of DUI (or reckless driving) unless there has been an driving defect (swerving over a lane, weaving, etc) observed by the LEO him/herself, and not just by a 'call in.' Any stop on pure suspicion of DUI or whaterver is going to be a 'bad stop' and likely will not be a valid stop/arrest.

And Bulldog's story is funny, but he obviously knows that false-pretext stops are bad ones, too. If a taillight ISN'T out, then the stop for it is bad, and car-cams make such things harder to fake. But a good LEO will likely see SOMETHING objectively wrong, and do it the right way.

These are lessons hikers should follow.

As for the "OK to search" that's foolish in almost all cases. People that are "sure" there is nothing to be found (or that CAN be found) are often wrong.

Good advice about being polite, though; rude/hostil behavior can be transmogrified into "interfering with a LEO" and become grounds for arrest and searches, even when there is nothing else wrong.

TW

Hooch
2010-01-03, 21:49
......."May it please the Court, my name is Russ Boltz." Rusty Boltz? Really? I guess it's true, there are some things you just can't make up. :angel:

SGT Rock
2010-01-03, 21:54
Until you pointed that out I never noticed it.

The Weasel
2010-01-03, 22:12
Rusty Boltz? Really? I guess it's true, there are some things you just can't make up. :angel:

Yes. Really.

Coulda been worse. My Dad's best friend when I was born was a guy named Bunky Knudsen. Dad wanted to name me after him.

TW

Bilge Rat
2010-01-04, 11:16
Yes. Really.

Coulda been worse. My Dad's best friend when I was born was a guy named Bunky Knudsen. Dad wanted to name me after him.

TW

Good thing they named you "The Weasel" instead...........

jhick
2010-01-04, 13:01
http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/v226/581/6/n1250357725_2938.jpg


grow the beard back.... ;)

saimyoji
2010-01-04, 13:18
http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/v226/581/6/n1250357725_2938.jpg


grow the beard back.... ;)

whats that famous quote about facial hair? :albertein

jhick
2010-01-04, 13:21
I'm not sure.....

saimyoji
2010-01-04, 13:36
I found it....: try to guess who said it......



"An issue with beards that guys hiking the AT probably don't usually consider:

With all the horny guys out hiking the AT who haven't gotten laid for weeks or months, do you really want to make your mouth look any more like a ****** than you can help?

For normal (straight) guys, here's how that idea would presumably strike them: [shocked smilie] [angry smilie]


For guys from San Francisco, though: [dancing banana] [welcome sign]


Plus, if any guy with a beard keeps it 24 hours or more past when he hears about this possible consideration with having a beard, well, perhaps that tells you something about him (and his hopes and fears)? "

jhick
2010-01-04, 13:40
HAHAHAHAHAHA..... I never heard that before, but...

Big Mac
2010-01-04, 16:10
Minnie Smitty

saimyoji
2010-01-04, 16:18
Minnie Smitty

yepperdoodle

Bearpaw
2010-01-04, 16:20
I found it....: try to guess who said it......



"An issue with beards that guys hiking the AT probably don't usually consider:

With all the horny guys out hiking the AT who haven't gotten laid for weeks or months, do you really want to make your mouth look any more like a ****** than you can help?

For normal (straight) guys, here's how that idea would presumably strike them: [shocked smilie] [angry smilie]


For guys from San Francisco, though: [dancing banana] [welcome sign]


Plus, if any guy with a beard keeps it 24 hours or more past when he hears about this possible consideration with having a beard, well, perhaps that tells you something about him (and his hopes and fears)? "


Minnesota Smith has more hangups than an economy size hat rack.

Big Mac
2010-01-04, 16:26
Minnie Smitty


yepperdoodle

That was an easy one, I remembered seeing it the first time and thinking "What planet is this guy from?".

The Weasel
2010-01-04, 18:16
http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/v226/581/6/n1250357725_2938.jpg


grow the beard back.... ;)

When I got up Saturday morning, I shaved off the beard I'd been growing all year.

TW

SGT Rock
2010-01-04, 21:16
You look good with the beard.

saimyoji
2010-01-04, 21:23
You look good with the beard.

hmmmm....what would MS say to that??? :ahhhhh:

Hooch
2010-01-04, 21:23
You look good with the beard.
http://putxitonkaiola.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/borat_not.jpg

SGT Rock
2010-01-04, 21:27
hmmmm....what would MS say to that??? :ahhhhh:

Who gives a shit what Smitty thinks, except Smitty and his mom. :bootyshak

Hooch
2010-01-04, 21:37
Who gives a shit what Smitty thinks.......Matthewski. :ahhhhh:

SGT Rock
2010-01-04, 21:41
Matthewski. :ahhhhh:

He only pretends to care, so Smitty feels better.:adore:

saimyoji
2010-01-04, 21:42
Who gives a shit what Smitty thinks, except Smitty and his mom. :bootyshak

i'm guessing the cuttlefish industry....???? :bike:


forgot to add the flacid fries industry....if there is one.....is there one??? there can't be.....flacid fries......:afraid:

SGT Rock
2010-01-04, 21:44
It is a burgeoning industry.

Hooch
2010-01-04, 21:48
i'm guessing the cuttlefish industry....???? :bike:


forgot to add the flacid fries industry....if there is one.....is there one??? there can't be.....flacid fries......:afraid:I was at Dot's last week for lunch and came pretty close to asking Pam for my fries flaccid. I figure I'm strange enough as it is. :biggrin:

Lugnut
2010-01-04, 23:04
I figure I'm strange enough as it is. :biggrin:

True dat!

Hooch
2010-01-04, 23:06
True dat!
Word. :beer:

Lugnut
2010-04-13, 22:58
Is The Weasel still around? :angel:

SGT Rock
2010-04-13, 23:16
Sometimes.

saimyoji
2010-04-14, 09:08
Is The Weasel still around? :angel:

as long as there is poop to be packed, ole weasel will be sniffin it out.....:bootyshak

sailingsoul
2010-04-20, 17:19
Great write up TW. thanks. SS

TOW
2010-04-27, 08:10
TOW be back around now............

MonkeyBoy
2010-04-27, 09:37
'sup TOW?

TOW
2010-06-02, 08:43
dead thread?

SGT Rock
2010-06-02, 09:00
Mostly.