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Driver files federal complaint against Texas troopers for civil rights violations after recording evidence

Driver files federal complaint against Texas troopers for civil rights violations

Also: TX Trooper violates federal law 'because I have the badge and the gun'; driver records interaction (full transcript) http://www.examiner.com/la-county-libertarian-in-los-angeles...

Martin Hill, who works part time for a large corporation engaged in interstate commerce, was in his 18 wheeler in Texas last week. He was off duty in the sleeper berth, taking his mandatory 10 hour shift break required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations. All Commercial truck drivers must take a 10 hour break between shifts, including eight uninterupted hours in the sleeper berth. The sleeper berth is generally like a small cabin which includes a bed, dresser, drawers, and may include accessories such as a small refrigerator, television, stero, etc. According to state and Federal law, drivers will be cited, fined, and possibly placed 'out of service' for not taking eight uninteruppted hours in the sleeper berth between their shifts. Driver's shifts may include up to eleven hours of driving time in a period which may last up to a maximum of fourteen hours, including breaks.

...In early November, Hill was off duty, asleep in the sleeper when his co-driver entered a DOT weigh station off Interstate 35 in Devine Texas, south of San Antonio. After less than four hours of sleep, Hill was awakened by his co-driver, who said that the female DOT insepector wanted to see their drivers licenses. Annoyed at what he considered an illegal and unnecessary interuption of his off-duty sleep time, Hill begrudgingly got out of the truck.

Audio of the incident is in three short clips. The initial interaction can be heard here. http://www.toofiles.com/en/oip/audios/wav/aguinagaaudiofinal... Click on the words 'Aguinaga Audio Final Wave' and it will start playing. The second clip is on youtube, here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BznROIY3RLI and can also be heard below. The final clip is here, Here is part 3, the conclusion with the 2nd cop.
http://www.toofiles.com/en/oip/documents/wav/trooperfinalaud... Total length of all three clips combined is less than 5 minutes.

Martin: Hi maam

DOT inspector: Is your CDL in there?

Martin: No, I didn't know what you wanted me to wake up for.

DOT inspector: I just wanted your CDL.

Martin: Oh okay. is that..

DOT inspector: Do you have it with you?

Martin: Of course I do, but I have a question first. I'm an American. You know, right?

DOT inspector: Uh huh

Martin: This is Texas, right?

DOT inspector: Yes.

Martin: Why did you wake me up when I'm off duty, I'm in the sleeper?

DOT inspector: I don't know why he woke you up, I just asked him to get your drivers license.

Martin: He doesn't have my drivers license, I have it in my pocket.

DOT inspector: Okay.

Martin: So he has to, by definition, wake me up to get it.

DOT inspector: Okay.

Martin: I'm asking why -

DOT inspector: Because I asked him to get it from you.

Martin: Is that a legal demand or a request?

DOT inspector: It is a request.

Martin: I'm not driving, so that's..

DOT inspector: Correct.

Martin: If it's a request, I'm refusing.

DOT inspector: Okay. That's fine.

Martin: Goodbye.

After returning to his truck to enter the sleeper berth and forced to completely re-start his federally mandatory ten hour off duty time, the driver was approached by a white male Texas State Trooper, who ran up to the vehicle and jumped up on the running board, demanding to see the driver's CDL. The driver, a Constitutionalist libertarian from California who supported Congressman Ron Paul for president in the 2008 election, recorded his interactions with both officers, for his own protection as well as the fact that he was in public where there is no expectation of privacy.

The driver initially pressed the video recording feature of his cell phone soon after the Texas Trooper arrived at the truck's window. The video can be seen below. Since the video recording capability only lasts twenty seconds, the driver then pressed the audio recording button, which recorded the remainder of the conversation with the trooper. Before he was able to press the video record button, he informed the the man at his window that he had already settled the matter with the female DOT inspector, and added "I don't even know who you are", to which the trooper replied "I have the badge and the gun".

Hill noted a number of cases which have been dismissed against the Department of Transportation across the country, some of them because the litigant failed to follow correct procedures. "That will not be a problem in my instance", Hill said. "So many truck drivers are annoyed and disturbed by rogue cops, yet many of them, harried and burdened with the tasks of earning a living and raising a family, have no time or knowledge on how to fight back against the system or file complaints against police. Well, I don't have that problem. I'm relatively new to trucking, and I don't even need this job. I have plenty of time to do what I need to do, thanks solely to the gracious blessings of Almighty God. This issue will be addressed by the legal system, and the officers will be held to account."

The driver, both in his Texas complaint as well as federal civil rights claim, insisted that all video and audio recording evidence recorded by the officers and DOT not be erased, destroyed, lost or discarded, as it will be later subpeanad as evidence. Knowing that officers will often falsely arrest people at roadside stops who question the legality of their tactics, the driver driver asked questions of the Trooper yet clarified that he would obey orders, meaning he was not 'resisting arrest' or 'impeding an officer'. .. [continued at link above]

Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured on LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened, Infowars, PrisonPlanet, Rense, National Motorists Association, and many others. You can view a full archive of his Examiner articles here http://libertyfight.741.com/examiner.html

Support the L.A. County Libertarian Examiner! Click the 'subscribe' button here http://www.examiner.com/la-county-libertarian-in-los-angeles... to be notified of any updates and regular articles via e-mail. Examiners get compensated based on a number of factors, including web traffic to their articles and number of subscribers. Subscribe today and fight for your liberty.

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I wonder if the curtains to the sleeper were drawn shut?If not the sleeper is fair game at that point, because your front door was left open and you are giving them permission.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

whether or not the door or

whether or not the door or curtains to the sleeper are open does not give consent, implied or otherwise, to search the vehicle or wake the driver up when he is off duty. That would be like a cop claiming he can search all cars that didn't have tinted windows. ;-)

You are either not a driver or haven't done your homework

My last position working for someone other than myself was Terminal maintenance manager for a large produce company.Out of My yard we had 100 trucks and 130 drivers.

I have produced the evidence in very many of these cases that the curtain was broken and could not be closed to make it a legal residence.

I helped win everyone of these cases for our drivers,It all boiled down to whether the curtain was closed or was it impaired so that it could not be closed.

In every case the curtain was found to be broken,I have received very many thanks from drivers concerning this law.

Now, would you like to know the most popular charge that was placed because the curtains were not closed?

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

OK, I'll bite. What's the specific

federal statute you refer to which allows dot officers to enter any sleeper berth if the curtains are open? this is fascinating. Thanks.

Let me find my J.J. Keller book

And I will get back to you,I have to find the exact code and section for you.Now these I don't have on the top of my head.The laws I do.I have been a commercial licenced driver since 1979.

In the mean time you are welcome to look for it here:


If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

Maybe the Fed regulation is the problem here.

Now did legislators or an agency draw up these statutes for drivers?

ie. the FMCSA or whatever it is?



It is an accumulation of years of society upset because they had to slow down a little for trucks that were doing their best to get up a hill.

The complaints got so bad the government stepped in and started making laws.It is a feud between "Four wheelers" and trucks that has been going on for generations.

Now the government has classified all commercial trucks as a"business",Not being "private" they have authority to control with no repercussions as far as "rights" go.At his point they realised they could make big bucks in revenue.

Most of the laws are not about safety,They are about revenue.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

I would. tell more please. At

I would.

tell more please.

At a common sense level, one would think (and I know this won't be the case, but it should be) that law enforcement should not bother people unless there's evidence of some wrong doing that warrants further investigation.


The number one was that they could search the sleeper for "Extra" log books that would violate DOT law,You are only allowed to have one in possession at a time,They had the right because the curtains were not drawn shut.They did not have the right if they were shut.I got my drivers out of many "extra" log book violations.

Second place will blow you away,In Ca.it is a violation to smoke in your truck unless you are in the sleeper with the curtains closed.Helped with many of these also.

Speeding tickets?No problem,A truck speedometer has a ten digit "Calibration" to compensate for the gear ratio of the trans,rear ends and tire size.It take just a few minutes to "Recalibrate" and send to a second party to verify.

As a certified Master tech with over thirty years of experience under my belt,This is all easy to take to court.

I have the certifications to train DOT officers in vehicle inspection and DOT laws.

I think the best law in trivia would be that in some states it is still a regulation to have nothing other than white sheets in your sleeper bunk.I know why and most officers do not.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

Sorry I'm having trouble

Sorry I'm having trouble following the nature of this story.

To request anything including the occupant from the sleeper

Berth, a Legal judge issued warrant is required,It is a personal home and cannot be breached or disturbed without a warrant.The front of the cab is free game as a commercial vehicle but not the berth or it's occupants.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

drivers are not allowed to leave the sleeper berth according to

strict federal regs; yet, the very cops employed to enforce those rules made him wake up & get out of the truck for no reason. This is unlawful, and claims have been filed against them both.