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Lack of security at Clackamas County Courthouse

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by milwaukieman, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. milwaukieman

    milwaukieman SE Portland Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Please bear with my longwindedness, I am very interested in your guys opinion on this.


    So I had jury duty this week.

    Last week I called the office and asked if there are any arrangements to check in my CHL weapon for safekeeping while I'm in the courthouse, and of course they have zero accomodation for responsible citizens. I was of course informed that my weapon was not allowed inside the courthouse or the adjacent building where various offices and the jury assembly room is located. The way it sounded to me is that they consider this adjacent building part of the courthouse complex, which would make it one the very few places where I am statutorily prohibited from carrying my weapon in Oregon, even though it's not actually part of the courthouse. So I decided to only carry my S.W. 642 on my ankle while driving my short trip to downtown OC, and just left it in the center console of my vehicle while I was doing my civic duty.

    So to enter this adjacent building where the jury assembly room is, you have to go through absolutely ZERO security checkpoints. I did not see one Deputy the entire time I was there. As I am sitting there for a few hours waiting for nothing, I realized this room full of potential jurors would be a perfect target for some felon who just got out of prison and wants to get revenge on what he may see as the people who put him there. It was not comforting to know that I was completely helpless to stop some crazed criminal who might try something like that.

    I realize now that I could have been carrying my full loadout, and no one would have know the difference. Of course according to the office staff I talked to last week that would be illegal, and also if I would have had to go into the actual courthouse and pass through security, I doubt I would have had a chance to put my "contraband" back in my parked vehicle beforehand.

    So basically what I am saying is that's it's pretty jacked up to deny me my right to self defense, while at the same time providing zero security in place of my denied right. I have no problem with not carrying my weapon inside a court complex, as long as everyone in there with me passes through the same security I do. I assume the reason they keep the courthouse off limits to weapons is because it's considered higher risk, so why in the world is there zero security for the jury pool? The potential scenario I described earlier is not at all a stretch of the imagination, especially these days.

    I am wondering if we have any recourse in addressing this with county, as it is definitely something that needs to be changed before something bad happens.

    What do you all think of all this?
     
  2. Murphy

    Murphy Oregon Member

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    You should share your concern with Sheriff Roberts.

    Next time you shouldn't inquire about checking your pistol/knife. Rather ask if they have lock boxes available. In Washington courthouses have lockboxes available to the general public. Imagine my surprise when I noticed them in Snohomish County. The deputies didn't bat an eye when I left the line to go back and retrive my pistol only to return and store it inside the courthouse. IMHO this should be mandatory in ALL locations where it is prohibited by law.
     
  3. CaughtSteelin

    CaughtSteelin Oregon Member

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    I agree with you one the security part. They should have sent the jury pool people through security also. ie: x-ray/metal dector. Once everyone has been "checked" then I see really no need to have 24/7 security. But maybe a walk around by an individual once a hour or so.

    For lock boxes...my opinion is to keep them out of the courthouses. Especially in the larger cities (smaller cities I can see different as they don't get the traffic) ! Who cares if your a responsible citizen or what not. People get heated up over the simplest little things and it's a hazard to allow individuals to have guns/contraband in such a setting. If I were working there I would like to know who has the gun and know how they been trained and possibly know the person.

    Personally I think, Oregon City should go check out Multnomah County's security.
     
  4. sparkly_flea

    sparkly_flea Beaver State Member

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    Washington County has security checkpoints/metal detectors at the courthouse. Strange ANY courthouse would not. Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
     
  5. timbernet

    timbernet Boring, Oregon Member

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    The two times I have gone to the Clackamas County courthouse (2008 and 2006) (once for jury duty and once to testify on a grand jury case) I had to go through a metal detector and have my bag rifled through....

    Not sure what changed....
     
  6. milwaukieman

    milwaukieman SE Portland Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I never had to go into the physical courthouse, because they ended up not having any jury trials that day. I was in the Holman Law Center building next door, where the jury assembly/waiting room is located. I checked the ORS on this and it is definitely considered part of courthouse facility, so therefore I am prohibited from carrying my weapon. Actual courthouse or not, there needs to be security for the jury pool.