Updated - A January 18 snow trek through the snow-covered forest in a northern Wisconsin county is felony bailjumping (Wisconsin Statute 946.49), according to Iron County (Wisconsin) District Attorney Martin Lipske, the precise sort of prosecutor with a history of misconduct Judge Richard Posner—judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit—had in mind when Posner wrote his crucial opinion hitting absolute immunity for prosecutors in Fields v. Wharrie and Kelley, (2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 133) (No. 13-1195).
District Attorney Lipske routinely files felony bailjumping (and other ludicrous) criminal charges, and these charges are not the result of meticulous investigations and objective gathering of facts and evidence by law enforcement.
Two days after January 18, District Attorney Lipske decided, without an investigation, that he had no choice but to file a felony bailjumping charge the day before an environmental protester was to be sentenced for Lipske's latest abuse of process, one could even say a malicious prosecution.
Lipske just wanted more control over the life of the anti-mining activist, Katie Krow Kloth, and this despicable model of a jurist had no compunction that the actions of his office inflicted pain on the 27-year-old Ms. Kloth, and on her family and friends, hence this site's recent characterization of Lipske as a psychopath.
The District Attorney's office of Iron County in Hurley is run by a little man, Martin Lipske, animated by spite, vindictiveness, and caprice, and whose criminal charges typically are not proceeded by investigations of any kind, just a vague contemplation of how Lipske can use contrived charges to achieve his ends as he revels in his world of Iron County.
The gravity of this situation is easily overlooked by Wisconsin media as Iron County is an isolated and sparsely populated county in far-northern Wisconsin, and Wisconsin has myriad issues of the moment demanding attention of the media, the political system and the citizenry.
Martin Lipske is part of the problem.
Martin Lipske's prosecutions slip through the cracks, giving Lipske carte blanche to run his office on personal whims with appalling results, and the regulatory Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Investigation is a case study in administrative law "capture theory," a state of affairs more insidious when the purpose of regulation and the rule of law is the Sovereign embodied by the District Attorney—"the power and might of the government," as noted by an out-of-state jurist.
I have spoken with victims of Lipske's over the last several years, and the shattering trauma of these victims is common in Iron County for both the legally exonerated and the morally exonerated.
DA Martin Lipske Fronting for the Proposed Gogebic Taconite (GTAC) Mine
District Attorney Martin Lipske threw the book at GTAC mining protester, Katie Krow Kloth, for actions at a June 2013 mining protest that would have brought a civil citation of disorderly conduct in most any other Wisconsin county.
But not Lipske.
Kloth was recently sentenced to serve nine months in the Iron County jail, after being charged with four criminal offenses for these actions at a rally against the proposed mine.
Advocating for GTAC and subsequently for the criminally operating Bulletproof Securities, Inc, (Marley, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) Lipske defended Bulletproof at a 2013 hearing of Kloth's, a window into Lipske's mindset and corruption of the judicial process for the benefit of GTAC.
Subsequently, Lipske violated a Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule [SCR 20:3.6 Trial publicity] in his pursuit of Kloth, (Mal Contends); vis:
Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule [SCR 20:3.6 Trial publicity]: "(a) A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter."
"Acting Judge Sam Filippo set [a $5,000 signature] bond recommended by Lipske under conditions that Kloth have no contact with the [alledged] victim, nor threatening behavior to GTAC or Idea Drilling employees," notes Ralph Ansami (Lakeland Times).
Now, Lipske on top of the four criminal charges, claims that Ms. Kloth allegedly entering the forbidden zone in the public managed forest land in the Penokee Hills last Sunday constitutes "bailjumping."
The "forbidden zone" reference is to the Republican-passed law, 2013 Wisconsin Act 81, effective January 2014 that the GOP designed for GTAC to test-drill and load and transport bulk samples (Wisconsin Public Radio). [Here is the link to Act 81's legislative history and record of committee proceedings.]
This is a not a criminal statute.
"All the right-winger media was abuzz about supposed so-called 'No Go Zones' that Muslim people have set up in cities in Europe where non-Muslims aren't allowed to go. Turns out, the real No-Go Zones are set up by the Corporate Persons in America where non-Corporates aren't allowed to go," noted Bobby L. Clark, a Wisconsin citizen in Iron County and member of the group, Citizens Concerned about the Proposed Penokee Mine.
The proposed mining zone language is basically a trespassing statute that outlines what constitutes a trespass for "Proposed Ferrous Mining Sites, (2m)," as has been widely noted by clean water advocates.
GTAC gets a 600-foot buffer in which to test-drill and transport bulk samples from its proposed iron ore mine.
Wisconsin "Trespass to law" is still the law used to enforce any alleged trespassing.
Trespassing is a civil infraction—and it is quite a stretch for Lipske to call a civil infraction, bailjumping.
It would be silly to contend that Lipske conducted an investigation just after the hours of the alleged infraction and found that Ms. Kloth trespassed, and then conclude a felony bailjumping charge must be leveled.
Wisconsin's trespassing law requires some kind of notice. This means if the owner approaches people and says you are trespassing on land and can go no further, you will advance at your own risk.
If you are not actually told this, signage is also required, and the state trespassing law says you need each 40-acre parcel marked, ridiculous for Lipske to mesh these requirements with the "600-foot rule" that the special forbidden zone legislation created, with absolutely no investigation conducted, as Lipske has admitted.
The Trespass to land law reads in part:
(2)(am) A person has received notice from the owner or occupant within the meaning of sub. (1m) (b), (e) or (f) if he or she has been notified personally, either orally or in writing, or if the land is posted. Land is considered to be posted under this paragraph under either of the following procedures:
943.13(2)(am)1. 1. If a sign at least 11 inches square is placed in at least 2 conspicuous places for every 40 acres to be protected. The sign must provide an appropriate notice and the name of the person giving the notice followed by the word "owner" if the person giving the notice is the holder of legal title to the land and by the word "occupant" if the person giving the notice is not the holder of legal title but is a lawful occupant of the land. Proof that appropriate signs as provided in this subdivision were erected or in existence upon the premises to be protected prior to the event complained of shall be prima facie proof that the premises to be protected were posted as provided in this subdivision.
2. If markings at least one foot long, including in a contrasting color the phrase "private land" and the name of the owner, are made in at least 2 conspicuous places for every 40 acres to be protected.
Lipske would have had to investigate and first determine which 40-acre parcel the 600-foot rule affected, ensure that each 40-acre parcel has the required signage, as required by statute, and that Ms. Kloth then intentionally violated the Proposed Ferrous Mining Sites, (2m) and conditions of her bond.
Each 40-feet forbidden zone is not marked, Iron County residents have confirmed.
This Proposed Ferrous Mining Sites law merely creates a right of the owner to close off the land to the public.
Lipske likely will be informed that the state will not be able to sustain a trespass charge against Kloth, meaning there was no violation of her bail conditions in this respect (i.e., no law violated).
As far as the specific conditions of Kloth's bail forbidding her from entering a mining site on GTAC's premises, there is neither a mining site, as defined in state law, nor a premises owned by GTAC that was ventured into by Kloth or anyone else, and moreover no one was encountered Sunday, January 18, as one would expect in the middle of the forest in the middle of January in far-northern Iron County Wisconsin.
That the conditions of Kloth's signature bond were violated is at best silly conjecture accomplished with no investigation, and to file a felony bailjumping charge is an abuse of process intended to cause Kloth harm.
Lipske had operated in this manner for years, thus demanding, at the least, that every case he has prosecuted be examined by an outside agency.
Hyperbole? I wish.