Senoia swats back at unusual lawsuit

Senoia city attorney Drew Whalen has filed a response to the March 15 lawsuit filed in Coweta County Superior Court by resident Don Rehman against the mayor and city council over a city ordinance that he maintains amounts to a requirement that all males within city limits be required to possess one ounce or more of marijuana. Whalen in the response said the city ordinance making possession of less than an ounce a misdemeanor is not in violation of state law and that Rehman is asking the court for an advisory opinion on what in his mind is a political issue or question.

Whalen in the response cited a number of reasons why Rehman’s suit was baseless. One of the areas addressed by Whalen was the constitutionality of the city ordinance.

“(Current Georgia law) is a general law granting jurisdiction to the municipal court of any municipal corporation to try and dispose of cases where the person is charged with the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana if the offense occurred within the corporate limits of such municipality,” said Whalen.

Whalen said Rehman, at best, is asking the court for an advisory opinion on what in his mind is a political issue or question.

“One cannot create the requisite controversy simply by filing a lawsuit. Even if the issue raised by (Rehman) were of academic interest, he would not be entitled to the relief requested,” Whalen said citing case law.

In other remarks in the response, Whalen said Rehman’s petition fails to conform to state law and, “is rambling, disjunctive and a political diatribe incapable of being answered by a specific response to individual (allegations) found in individually-numbered paragraphs.”

Rehman in his March 15 filing said at issue is city ordinance Section 46-7 that pertains to possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.

Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor violation under state law, Whalen said. Georgia law allows certain misdemeanors, such as possessing less than an ounce of marijuana, to be tried in city court. Possession of more than an ounce of marijuana is a felony in Georgia and is not tried in city courts, Whalen said.

Rehman contends that the wording of the ordinance essentially mandates that all males within the city limits must have in their possession one ounce or more of marijuana. Obeying the ordinance as written would make criminals out of law abiding citizens, the suit said.

Social Realist
Social Realist's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/24/2012
Frivolous

This is the type of litigation abuse that clogs our courts, adding to needless delays and has the potential to undermine public confidence if not dismissed. I can only hope the city seeks relief in this frivolous case. This person is taking needed tax dollars away from public projects and other quality programs. I'll remember this come election time.

re0046
re0046's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/21/2009
Frivolous says who!

Social Realist & thcomments; I didn't realize that you folks were still at it - but I should have known. Please refuse to ever serve on a jury, especially not on a criminal case, as your first words after being seated on the jury would probably be: "Okay, bring in the guilty person for trial".

The Newspaper is a little behind in its stories as I understand much has transpired in the filings in the case. It may all be over maybe next month since I understand that the City filed a Motion to Dismiss and Rehman filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings.

I wonder, suppose by some miracle Rehman wins and the City is forced to spend about 15 minutes rewording the marijuana ordinance and about 150 bucks to get it published - what will you be saying then - attacking the Court System next. Life must be fun for you folks - attacking someone or something day after day. Why not think positive for a change - get a life and be happy again!

By the way, I looked up the case and I understand this is what Rehman said in his latest motion:

9. EPILOGUE: The old adage may be true: “do not make a mountain out of a mole
hill!” The Respondents/Defendants certainly have allegedly already done that. Rehman fears that
this Case at Bar, instead of remaining “below the making of Case Law threshold” as it should, and
disappearing into local Superior Court Records so that everybody who is involved can get on with
Life, is instead likely to become in the future, published Case Law; as it may continue to higher
Judicial Levels. Pushed there by Respondents/Defendants with the unfortunate result of making all
our names etched permanently in “stone” and the City of Senoia “infamous” [after the public stops
laughing and saying: “The Senoia Ordinance says what?”] Thus, what started out as a simple
non-complicated Civil Action (a “mole hill”) becomes regrettably propelled into something much
larger and complex (a “mountain”). The Legal Community and the citizens of other localities then
read about how a local Ordinance in the City of Senoia [46-7] mandates that law abiding male
citizens living in or visiting that City must become criminals and carry one ounce or more of
marijuana on their person when in the City limits of Senoia; and how the current
Local Government of Senoia used all means, including considerable taxpayers’
money for legal expenses to fight one of its citizens, an 81 years old retired U.S.
Army Colonel, so that it could retain an abominably/unconstitutionally worded
Ordinance enacted about 30 years ago, probably by nobody who is still
alive to “defend” it.

Social Realist
Social Realist's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/24/2012
Rehman says what?

The suggestion that this is a mandate is ridiculous. Can you please show me where the Senoia police Dept. has arrested anyone for NOT carrying marijuana? Also, how is it that law abiding females get to smoke marijuana and males don't? Under this preposterous claim I would consider this to be discriminatory in nature and file my own suit.

"Thus, what started out as a simple non-complicated Civil Action (a “mole hill”) becomes regrettably propelled into something much larger and complex (a “mountain”)".

Its nice to see that Rehman identifies himself as the aggressor by stating that he started this entire thing. I am still scratching my head about the non-complicated civil action comment though.

12bTrue
12bTrue's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/26/2009
Frivolous says I

I interact with a number of retired veterans in the local area and I can say that none of these honored men and women act like this guy has. It is my opinion that he has taken a vindictive approach against the city to far.

"Making a mountain out of a mole hill". Remember that it was Rehman that sued the city because he appeared to lack the presentation and delivery skills necessary to sway the city government. This might be why he has never won a case that I know of as pro se.

“He who seeks vengeance must dig two graves one for his enemy & one for himself.”

thcomments
thcomments's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/01/2011
re0046 awakes

Looked up the ordinance. What I do not get is how someone can miss the specific wording of ‘unlawful for any person to have in his possession’. Doesn’t say ‘to not have’, now does it? Takes a twisted mind or a wannabe lawyer to come up with Rehman’s interpretation. Scary part is you actually defend this farce.

thcomments
thcomments's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/01/2011
On target, Social Realist!

I will also remember at election time, as this type of nonsense lawsuit serves no real purpose, just a waste. Guess there is no end to what some people will do to get attention. Either that or he is a true believer in the Gospel of Rehman. Man, the lawyer got it right on the 'rambling' description, as least from what I have seen at some of the meetings.

Noticed that other true believer, re0046, hasn't replied to your post. Maybe re0046 finally saw the light and converted. Doubt it, though.

Recent Comments