Selected Articles from our
The C.A.S.H. Courier
ARTICLE from the Fall 2008 Issue
Jan Haagensen Helping To Stop Deer Hunting In East Goshen, Pa
By Jan Haagensen, Esq.
What follows is a report from the battlefield demonstrating what it
takes in time and energy for the foot soldiers to get to square one:
OPPORTUNITY FOR A HEARING.
It sounds fundamental, doesn’t it? It is:
The East Goshen plaintiffs initially challenged the constitutionality of
their community’s deer hunt “reduction initiative” in state court. They
received no notice from any state court judge setting a hearing for
consideration of their request for preliminary injunctive relief (to
stop the hunt BEFORE it was supposed to start). Plaintiffs filed on
September 3, 2008, well before the hunt was scheduled to take place on
Because the days went by and they still were not noticed by any state
court judge as to time of hearing on their request, they asked for special
emergency ex parte injunctive relief on September 16, 2008. Again, they
heard nothing from the court.
The hunt began in East Goshen’s parks on September 22. Plaintiffs had
been afforded no opportunity whatsoever to be heard. On September 29,
Plaintiffs filed an action in the United States District Court, based on
gross violations of their First Amendment right of access to the court BY
THE COURT, and based on East Goshen’s infringement of their First Amendment
right of free speech through implementation of its deer kill. Plaintiffs
also based their federal action on violation of their Fourth Amendment and
Fourteenth Amendment rights. The plaintiffs then asked for a temporary
restraining order to stop the hunt, and return to the status quo, pending
resolution of these issues on their merits. The first opportunity provided
to them for such hearing has been scheduled by a federal court for November
On September 30, a day after the plaintiffs had filed in a federal court, a
state court judge published an order summarily, without explanation, denying
their request for emergency injunctive relief stopping the hunt. Plaintiffs
were never given any opportunity to be heard before this decision came down.
Plaintiffs immediately appealed this final order to the Commonwealth Court
of PA. Jurisdiction then lay in the appeals court, and no further action
could go forward, after the appeal was taken, in the lower state court.
The Commonwealth Court is now at least considering the plaintiffs’ request
for an immediate stay of the deer hunt, pending resolution of the merits of
The federal judge will also hear their request for a temporary restraining
order, on the 20th of November. The hunt has been underway for almost two
months. Plaintiffs have gone through this struggle just to get a fair chance
to be heard SOMEWHERE, either in the state appellate court system OR in a
federal court, instead of being completely thwarted.
You can help fund Jan Haagensen’s legal work to reverse the PA hunter
harassment statute by contributing to C.A.S.H. Just earmark your check on
the note line for the “Legal Fund.”