From the March 2001 Idaho Observer:

Bonner county pro se turns petty charge into fact finding mission

SANDPOINT -- Because he refused to accept his December, 2000 arrest for “obstruction” when he was merely a passenger in a vehicle pulled over for a dirty license plate that would not identify himself to police, pro se litigant Steve Aver, 42, of LaClede, has been on a fact finding mission that has borne some very curious fruit.

Aver has amassed enough documents related to his case to fill up two three-inch binders.

Last February 16, Magistrate Judge Justin Julian entered a plea of “not guilty” for Steve and set a trial date for May 30, 2001, and a pretrial date of May 2, 2001. Both events will be held in the Bonner County Courthouse and both of them promise to be interesting to the audience.

Though Sandpont Police Records Clerk Tania Riley has admitted in writing that she tampered with the citation before sending it to the courthouse and Steve has filed a Notice and Demand to Abate on several grounds, he has received no written communication from the person who is acting as the Sandpoint city attorney.

Steve has also filed motions that challenge the jurisdiction of the court that have been ignored. He is not concerned, however, because U.S. Supreme Court rulings hold that jurisdictional challenges must be answered. There is also an Idaho Supreme Court case, Donaldson v. Donaldson which holds that a litigant may continue to defend himself without waiving his right to challenge jurisdiction if his jurisdictional motions were denied or ignored.

Perhaps the most interesting development in this case came after Steve filed a Motion for Discovery. The motion was answered by a private attorney, Peter Erbland of the Coeur d' Alene firm Paine, Hamblin, Coffin and Brooke.

“Since this is just a motion for discovery and as such there are no claims of injury loss or damage, this private firm cannot tresspass on this case,” said Steve.

There is no indication from the city that it has solicited the services of the private firm in this matter. Steve believes that Paine, Hamblin, Coffin and Brooke represent ICREMP, the county insurance association.

In a letter to Erbland dated February 21, 2001, Steve stated, “I am requesting that you provide me with Notice as to whom you are representing in this matter. If representing an insurance company, Steve requested, among other things, a document that would authorize the authority for them to trespass on this case.

It would appear that the state knows it is in the wrong here, but is too arrogant to dismiss the petty charge. Steve plans to challenge the authority to prosecute a bogus charge all the way to the end. And, in the process, he plans to uncover a lot of interesting details.

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