Group seeking class action lawsuit against government - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, June 5, 2020
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Group seeking class action lawsuit against government

A small-but-determined group of Alaska residents are looking for businesses and individuals to join them in what they hope will be a class-action lawsuit against the Dunleavy Administration and local governments that shut down their businesses, or denied them needed health care.

“Many Alaskans have lost their jobs, income, healthcare, businesses, and much much more due to the mandates of politicians in our state. They are facing financial ruin, health crisis, a lifetime of negative effects because their constitutional rights have been trampled on,” writes Chandra Caffroy of Anchor Point in her fundraising plea on Fundrazr.com, where she has raised $900 in four days to pay for legal fees.

“These Alaskans want to take these politicians to court and show them that we will not stand for the stripping of our constitutional rights. We stand for freedom, we stand for the constitution and we stand for those that can’t fight for themselves.  We ask you to stand with us!”

Caffroy is specifically looking for those who have been harmed financially or in terms of deferred health care because of the state and local mandates that began in March. She hopes to establish legal grounds for a constitutional challenge.

Some mandates that concern the group were the mandate forcing people to be tested for COVID-19 or facing the threat of refusal of treatment for their other health care concerns, and forced quarantines even for those who have no symptoms and who have not been screened for COVID-19.

Caffroy, who says her family’s finances are relatively stable in spite of the poor economy, is concerned about others who haven’t been as fortunate. She has heard from business owners whose companies are crumbling due to the mandates, and she has learned of one suicide that resulted from depression after the individual had lost his job.

Anyone who may have suffered financial or health damage they believe is a direct link to government mandates may reach her at Alaskanconstitutionalists@gmail.com.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • “her family finances are relatively stable…” Thanks Karen. We can fend for ourselves without your help.

  • I’m glad to hear that somebody is attempting to challenge these mandates, it should be eye opening for many. I think Anchorage would be a better target than the Governor, since the Governor has followed the emergency actions the Legislature approved for him to do and are allowed under our Constitution (State and Federal), Anchorage on the other hand…

  • If Governor Dunleavy had not declared an emergency, no federal funds would have been given for COVID-19.

    COVID-19 Shut down was in accordance with the federal government. Don’t recall any mandates by the feds or Gov. Dunleavy, nor attempt to enforce mandates. I think most governors and mayors saw a “don’t let a crisis go to waste” situation. Corrections welcomed.

    • Trump has indeed lawfully limited himself to “guidance,” but Gov. Dunleavy has issued no less than 18 mandates. These include the initial 12 Mandates that essentially suspended our Constitutional rights, specifically those articulated in the 1st and 4th Amendments.

      Dunleavy put us under house arrest: “All persons in Alaska, except for those engaged in essential health care services, public government services, and essential business activities, are mandated to remain at their place of residence and practice social distancing”(Mandate 11).

      He prohibited public and private assembly and our private behavior even in our own homes: “no gatherings of more than 10 people may take place, and if a gathering does take place people must be six feet apart from each other”(Mandate 9).

      He forcibly closed down “non-essential” businesses and prohibited personal travel within the state unless it met his qualifications (Mandate 12).

      He prohibited personal care services including health care like chiropractic and massage therapy (Mandate 9).

      He prohibited health and dental health services unless it met his qualifications as “essential” (Mandate 5).

      And these Mandates came with teeth, in spite of his declaration they would not be enforced: from Mandate 11: “A violation of a state COVID-19 Mandate may subject a business or organization to an order to cease operations and/or a civil fine of up to $1,000 per violation…In addition to the potential civil fines noted above, a person or organization that fails to follow the state COVID-19 Mandates…may, under certain circumstances, also be criminally prosecuted for Reckless Endangerment pursuant to Alaska Statute 11.41.250.”
      Additionally, under Alaska Statute 12.55.035, a person may be fined up to $25,000 for a class A misdemeanor, and a business organization may be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding the greatest of $2,500,000 for a misdemeanor offense that results in death, or $500,000 for a class A misdemeanor offense that does not result in death.

    • He also set up a line for tattlers:
      “To report non-compliance, send an email to investigations@alaska.gov. DHSS will treat the sender’s identity as confidential information and protect it to the maximum extent state and federal law permit.”
      – from “COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions” on the State of Alaska Covid-19 Information page.

  • Save your money and consult with a good lawyer that is knowledgeable concerning the powers of government officials during pandemic and National Emergencies. The Supreme Court has already settled these issues and you will lose. Constitutional rights are not absolute and are subject to reasonable limitations.

    An example is the First Amendment concerning the right to free speech. You do not have a right to say anything that you want to say. Simple examples upheld by the courts are you can’t yell fire 🔥 in a crowded theater unless there is a real fire that could harm others. You cannot slander a person or fail to remain quiet in a court room if so ordered by the judge. Your rights to not allow you to act in a manner that could cause harm or death to others.

    Live with it and be happy it is only money and material things you have lost and not your life or loved one.

    Thousands have lost their lives because governments didn’t act quickly enough or correctly. We are very lucky we have a governor that did what was necessary for all Alaskans. The death toll is small compared to other pandemics in Alaska.

    Every life lost was valuable to that person and family. God bless all Alaskans and our governor. I can’t say that for our legislators who have done little to nothing to help Alaskans during the crisis.

    The government has very broad powers during national emergencies and health threats.

    You may find an attorney that will tell you that you have a case and, if enough fools give you money, you can sue until it runs out. Good luck.

    • You are wrong. The Supreme Court never said you have no right to yell fire in a crowded theater. The original court laws about free speech were done under America’s worst president, Woodrow Wilson, because he used the FBI to go after people who opposed his WWI policy. The FBI used the newly minted Espionage Act to put Wilson’s opponents in jail. Forty years later, the Supreme Court overruled those cases. It’s really difficult to convict people for speech, and the Supreme Court has consistently acknowledged that.
      As an aside, several state courts have issued stays against government’s health mandates across the nation. The latest is from Ohio. Several gym owners sued for their businesses being closed, and the state court acknowledged the Department of Health overreached.

      • Acknowledged or ruled? The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for example, makes all kinds of decisions. Federal judges do crazy things like issue injunctions against executive orders limiting immigration from terrorist generating nations which have little ability to document the people coming from their shores. They must be right too?

      • Beth is correct.

  • I wish them luck, but I think their message would be more effective if they were more explicit about the specific Constitutional Rights being trampled upon, rather than just a vague sense of being abused by government.

    • I have a right to have the government use its authority to provide for my general welfare. On days when we have a mystery pandemic spreading from the confines of a nation with a cryptic Communist regime it might even extend to stay at home orders.

      .

      The absolute “rights” of some rabid libertarians are hilariously idiotic.

  • It is about time someone stood up and laid it all on the line. I commend Mrs. Caffroy for her service to all Alaskans. My only wish is that more people had the intestinal fortitude to do what she is doing. If you can not , the least you could do is contribute on the fund raising site.

  • There’s no way I would enter into any litigation against Gov. Dunleavy. I think he’s doing the best he can with the hand he’s been dealt. He’s the best governor we’ve had in a long time. However, I would enter into litigation against Mayor Berkowitz – for requiring eating and drinking establishments to collect personal phone numbers. My opinion, his directive violates the 4th and 5th amendments to the US Constitution and other federal privacy laws. And just plain old common sense – would you consul your mother, wife, daughter sister, or any woman to give out private personal information, not to mention yourself (i.e. telephone number) to a perfect stranger – at the insistence of government, regardless of the reason? That mayoral requirement exceeds his municipal authority, as well as the federal constitution.

    • Right on Larry! How the freedom-loving people of Alaska ever elected the “little man” as our Mayor is a mystery to me. Wake up Anchorage…Berky is a Communist!

  • If this group was formulating a lawsuit against the Alaskan legislature, I would have been in. But if they include the Governor – I’m not sure, yet, if he is doing a bad job. The so-called legislature in Juneau DEFINITELY is doing a bad job. ~ Who are the people organizing this? Is it being funded by “outside sources” ? I’m all in for a class-action lawsuit against the House of Reps in Juneau, but need to know a little more.

    • it will likely be the mayors and some un-elected officials under Dunleavy. Even then the precedent is the prize. Case law for the future.

  • Spend your money and time to go after the legislators who denied the legal full payments to qualified Alaskan residents. The Governor has done an excellent job during this pandemic time.

  • Well anyone filing a lawsuit is going to find out that it is going to be tough with our judicial system to win a lawsuit over the shut down. Most agreed. The whole world was shut down and if you look on the states website you will see that the mandates were not mandated at the state level. There were as many businesses that were as afraid of the virus as the Governor. It is a scary think nationwide and I agree the government didn’t have the right to do. The better question is why we as a nation are so fearful.

    • Can’t hit a home run unless you go up and swing the bat.

    • Yes, the AK mandates were indeed issued at the state level. I have read every one of them. Dunleavy has spoken out of both sides of his mouth, threatening $25,000 fines and a year in jail for people exercising their constitutional rights to assembly, and to liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the enjoyment of the rewards of their own industry” (that’s from the AK Constitution), while at the same time claiming “Alaskans are in this together” and he’s “not being heavy-handed” or “ordering people around.”

      Issuing mandates with severe penalties and then claiming you”re not going to enforce them is nigh schizophrenic, and among other things, contributes to the destruction of people’s respect for the rule of law.

      Businesses agreeing to shut down is not the same as martial law imposed by governor. Mike Dunleavy has turned out to be a wanna-be dictator who favors martial law to “protect” citizens. He has shown an appalling lack of respect for the state and US Constitutions, for the Alaskans who elected him, and for their abilities to think for themselves and decide how best to protect themselves, their families and their neighbors. Instead he has driven multiple wedges into already fractured communities – see the mask shaming issue. He has crippled the Alaskan economy and damaged personal relationships by pitting people against each other, ghoulishly restricting social interaction even in our own homes, and setting up ways for people to tattle on their neighbors. Where has my right to privacy gone? (Oh, wait, Dunleavy made sure that after a brief show of “not giving PP any special privileges,” although he never enforced it, one of the very first activities he permitted was “elective surgery” – a code word for abortion. How pro-life Alaskans can continue to support him after that is beyond me.)

      I am glad Dunleavy is moving in the right direction now, but after being an initial supporter and campaigning for him, I will never trust him with my vote again. South Dakota’s Governor Kristi Noem did it right when she refused to issue a lockdown and said “”The people themselves are primarily responsible for their safety.” And South Dakota’s death rate is lower than Alaska’s!

  • Important to get this to court before the deep state orders our Governor to get “back on the breaks”.
    Contact tracing, forced testing, extended social distancing rules, and eventually mandatory vaccines are all violations of the U.S. constitution (as was the lockdown and decimation of small businesses across the country).
    We do have precedence in America (Mulberry vs Madison 1803) that states cannot make laws that go against the constitution.
    The states cannot continue to “side step” the law by over burdening us with mandates that will linger long after this flu cycle has past.
    This whole response was planned for years, just search “event 201” and you can watch highlights from the Johns Hopkins conference in NYC back in October of 2019.
    The head of CDC, Bill gates foundation, Marriott hotels, Johnson &Johnson company and many other “global planners” all weighed in on how a pandemic response should occur…
    Right down to limiting what they deem to be “misinformation” online?

    • I agree with you, Steve. Bill Gates has been advocating for contact tracing for a long time. I’m sure his computer business would benefit for this. Maybe more billion dollar grants from the feds.

    • Yeah, because contact tracing is stupid!!!

      .

      Welcome to Costco! I love you.

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