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EarthFirst! may drop unresolved charges

By Chris Nichols, Daily Planet Staff
Saturday June 29, 2002

Judge considers lifting  

gag order off federal jury 


Attorneys for EarthFirst! activists Darryl Cherney and the late Judi Bari said at a federal court hearing Friday they would consider dropping unresolved charges against the FBI and the Oakland Police Department to expedite the filing of a judgment in the case.  

On June 12 jurors awarded the two activists $4.4 million for violations of First and Fourth Amendment rights by members of the FBI and OPD relating to the investigation of a car bombing that injured Cherney and Bari in 1990. The judgment, however, has not been entered into the court because jurors were undecided on several charges. 

The issue of a gag order placed on the jury by federal Judge Claudia Wilken was not resolved on Friday, though Wilken says she will consider reforming the order.  

Attorneys for the activists plan to file a motion of dismissal without prejudice on Monday relating to charges of Cherney’s false arrest after the bombing in 1990. The motion would pave the way for the appeals process to start but would not eliminate the plaintiff’s ability to revive the false arrest charges at a later date. 

Appeals are expected from both sides in the case but cannot be filed until a judgment is entered into court.