NCOM Press: Judge Rules Government Can’t Seize Mongols Patch

The Mongols motorcycle club has won its latest round in a decade long battle with the federal government, when a California judge found that a jury’s recent decision to strip the club of trademarked logo was unconstitutional. On Thursday, February 28, 2019 U.S. District Judge David O. Carter ruled that denying Mongol members the right to display the logo would overstep the constitutional right to free expression embedded in the 1st Amendment, as well as the 8th Amendment’s ban on excessive penalties. “We are ecstatic that the Mongols motorcycle club has been able to win this 1st Amendment battle for itself and all motorcycle clubs,” said Stephen Stubbs, an attorney for the Mongols. “The government has clearly overreached into a realm that the Constitution does not allow. They tried to ban symbolic speech,” Stubbs told the Los Angeles Times. Stubbs, a.k.a. “Bowtie” as bikers call him, is a member of the National Coalition of Motorcyclists Legislative Task Force (NCOM-LTF) and is legal counsel for the Southern Nevada Confederation of Clubs (COC). In December, after a lengthy trial, a jury convicted the Mongols Nation entity as an organization of racketeering and conspiracy charges stemming from a 2008 investigation, and the ensuing guilty verdict thus allowed prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s office to pursue a court order forcing the club to forfeit the trademarked symbol that appears on their back patches and other membership paraphernalia. Judge Carter affirmed the RICO convictions, which could carry fines at sentencing in April, but his written ruling marks a setback for federal prosecutors after they convinced a jury in January to allow the government to seize the club’s patches and trademarks as criminal instruments. “The collective membership mark acts as a symbol that communicates a person’s association with the Mongol Nation, and his or her support […]

NCOM Press: Judge Rules Government Can’t Seize Mongols Patch Read More »