A member of the People’s Oversight Committee that was sentenced for disrupting Stevens County District Court in 2014 is appealing his sentence and has filed documents in court questioning the authority of the officers who arrested him.
Dennis Patterson, 58, was found guilty of disorderly conduct and interference of court in a jury trial in April 2015.
According to court records, Patterson, Constance June Thew and Charles Ransier attended the regular session of Stevens County District court on Jan. 5, 2015, sat in the front row and Patterson began reading loudly from a printed page. Patterson ignored Judge Tveit’s order to stop, trying to “talk over her,” according to court documents.
Once Patterson was removed from court, Thew and Ransier also attempted to stand up and read the document and also had to be removed by Stevens County Sheriff’s Deputies. The trio were all charged with Contempt of Court, Criminal Trespass in the First Degree and Interference of Court.
Patterson had a jury trial on the charges on April 13, 2015 and acted as his own lawyer. The jury was allowed to view video and audio recording of the disruption. After two days, the jury found Patterson guilty of Disorderly Conduct and Interference with Court Process. Patterson was sentenced to 10 days in jail and a $750 fine. However, as an appeal has been filed on the case, the sentence has been stayed until the appeal is addressed by the state appeals court.
Patterson filed the appeal for this sentence in April 2015 and recently filed an additional document against “state officers.”
In the May 12, 2016 petition “against state officers,” Patterson argues that Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rassmussen, Deputy Prosecutor Lech Radzimski, Deputy Prosecutor Jessica Taylor-Reeves, Stevens County Sheriff Kendle Allen, Stevens County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Loren Erdman and Stevens County Superior Court Judge Allen Neilson all “colluded to subvert the United States of America and the State of Washington’s prohibition against abridgement of my right to redress grievances.” Patterson said the officers listed acted “without jurisdiction or consent” which caused him harm.
Patterson also claims that Allen and Erdman were given advance notice of Patterson’s plan to address Judge Tveit in court but arrested and imprisoned him anyway.
The last public communication from Patterson is detailed in a Jan. 2015 post on the POC blog, https://protectingpeoplesrights.wordpress.com/.
Patterson said he has been “criminalized” for exercising his right to a peaceable assembly.
“We have been criminalized for exercising our right to peacefully assemble and redress a grievance with our county government by reading it aloud,” he wrote. “We are being cast as dangerous people because of our belief that our elected have to follow the same law they hold over us. You can see why reading the truth to the public scared the (expletive) out of them to the point they resorted to violence against us–they are socio-pathic tyrants wielding way too much power and control without accountability due to all the special immunities and privileges they have granted themselves. Many of you have sensed there is something terribly wrong with our governments–this is it. We are exposing it. Every revolution to make the world better starts this way. Good people being arrested and abused for speaking truth to power. When confronted by truth and justice Tyrants always resort to using their goons with guns.”
A hearing date regarding Patterson’s appeal in his case has not yet been set.
By Jamie Henneman/The Independent Staff