Biker Lifestyle

How one clubs legal issue can affect the rest of the motorcycle club scene- Iron Order, Mongols and Bandidos. United States VS US Based M/C’s

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By James “Hollywood”Macecari

James

There are a lot of benefits to being independent. One of those benefits of being an independent? Having the ability to see a situation from all angles. After all, this is how any sort of media is supposed to view any potential story. Report the facts and let players in the story tell their side of the issue, so the reader can make up their own mind.

With that being said. There is a debate raging around a question that has the potential to affect every single motorcycle club wearing a patch today. Is a Motorcycle Club as a whole responsible for the actions of one of its members? To term it in another way. Can the motorcycle club be held civilly and criminally responsible?

There are two separate types of a burden of proof in a criminal and civil trial. In a criminal trial, you have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt someone is guilty of a crime. In a civil trial, the burden is much less. For example, OJ Simpson was acquitted of murder in his criminal trial but held responsible for the deaths in the civil trial.

Here is a case that is in the spotlight. The case is driven debate all over the internet with people on both sides of the debate putting in their two cents. Most of whom, have no connection to a motorcycle club whatsoever.

Estate of Tonya M. Focht v. Iron Order Motorcycle Club

Here is both sides of the story

Source: The Reading Eagle

This is the investigation side of the story.

Investigators said earlier this week that Focht and her fiance, Mark Groff, 45, of Shillington, instigated a fight that eventually led to Focht being pushed away. Authorities said Focht then fell backward and hit the rear passenger door of a vehicle that was slowly attempting to leave the parking lot. Focht then fell to the ground and the rear wheel of the vehicle ran over her.

The Plaintiff’s version of events

Tonya Focht, 35, of Fleetwood, was fatally struck by a vehicle June 19 at about 9:45 p.m. Outside of the Bar-B-Q Pit at 4741 Penn Ave.

The release states members of the motorcycle club had Groff pinned to the ground and as Focht tried to pull them off her fiance, Martin pulled her back and hit her in the face, knocking her into the oncoming vehicle that ran over her head.

Tonya Focht, 35, of Fleetwood, was fatally struck by a vehicle June 19 at about 9:45 p.m. outside of the Bar-B-Q Pit at 4741 Penn Ave.

The release states members of the motorcycle club had Groff pinned to the ground and as Focht tried to pull them off her fiance, Martin pulled her back and hit her in the face, knocking her into the oncoming vehicle that ran over her head.

Not Enough Evidence for Homicide Charges in the case

District Attorney John T. Adams issued a news release in which investigators said that Focht and her boyfriend, Mark Groff, 45, of Shillington started the fight that lead to Focht’s death.

“While it appears Tonya Focht’s death can be traced to the decision by her and Mark Groff to instigate a barroom brawl, we cannot find that Mark Groff knew or should have known that his poor decisions would result in Tonya Focht’s death,” investigators said.

Mark Groff is charged with instigating a fight at the Bar-B-Q Pit, which led to Tonya Focht being fatally struck by a vehicle.

These are the versions of the events involved in the case. Criminally the District Attorney found that the Plaintiffs in this suit started instigating the fight leading to the death of Tonya Focht. Civil on the other hand is a whole different story. The burden of proof, like I said earlier is much lower than in a criminal trial. This is where a civil suit like this could affect all motorcycle clubs.We now take a look at some cases currently going on with major 1%er clubs that could be affected by what’s going on in Pennsylvania.

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Major 1%er clubs who can be affected by the outcome of the Iron Order M/C Case

Before doing this article I talked to a few attorneys whom I’ve known for quite some time. One, in particular, that did legal work for me on a criminal case a while back. I asked him specifically if a motorcycle club could be held civilly liable for the actions of one of its members. His response was quite a thud over the head, to put it mildly. He pulled out his laptop and pulled out the following law in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin § 895.444. Injury Caused by Criminal Gang Activity;

To just give a quick summary of the law.

(b) Any person who suffers physical injury or incurs property damage or loss resulting from any criminal gang activity has a cause of action for the actual damages sustained. The burden of proof in a civil action under this paragraph rests with the person who suffers the physical injury or property damage or loss to prove his or her case by a preponderance of the credible evidence.

(c) The action may be brought against the criminal gang or against any member, leader, officer, or organizer of a criminal gang who participates in a criminal gang activity or who authorizes, causes, orders, ratifies, requests, or suggests a criminal gang activity. An action brought under this subsection shall also name as defendants the criminal gang and any criminal gang members who participated in the criminal gang activity. An action brought under this subsection may name, as a class of defendants, all unknown criminal gang members.

(d) The plaintiff may bring a civil action under this subsection regardless of whether there has been a criminal action related to the injury, property damage, or loss or expenditure of money under par. (a) or (b) and regardless of the outcome of that criminal action.

Current Gang Related Legislation around civil remedies

Motorcycle Clubs are NOT Gangs!!!

To the contrary. Though we in the biker community do not consider 1%er clubs gangs, the US Government does. Especially if those clubs have members who perform illicit criminal activity such as murder, robbery, selling drugs and so on. If these activities are found to have occurred within an M/C, then yes, in Wisconsin a victim’s family has the right to take the Motorcycle Club as a whole to court civilly for damages caused by that member.

Cases currently happening

Currently, three major trials involving 1%er clubs are going on. The first one involves the Pike and Portillo of the Bandidos M/C. The second and third one involves the Mongols M/C. The Mongol cases being the United States versus the Mongol Nation: An Unincorporated Association is scheduled for trial in July. This is the one known as the “Patch” Case. The Government is trying to seize control of the Mongols Trademark. The second Mongol case is a RICO one originating out of Tennessee. A brief overview of the most serious charge comes from the indictment.

Kidnapping two individuals at gunpoint in the Clarksville area on May 22, 2015, and transporting them to a cemetery in Bumpus Mills, Tennessee, where one individual was murdered by shooting the victim at least eight times, including once in the head;

When any person loses a life, it’s tragic. No mother or father should ever have to bury their child. Here are cases, both involving motorcycle clubs that two young women lost their lives. One of the women lost her life because of a fight involving her boyfriend. The other lost her life because she was murdered. Which is worse? Did someone die because of a freak accident or someone being murdered? Neither is acceptable in the overall scheme of things.

So the question becomes, tragic both deaths may be, is the motorcycle clubs as a whole, responsible for some of its member’s actions?

You have people all over the internet cheering about how this could be the end of the Iron Order M/C. Most of whom have never been a part of any club. Or to be honest, are a part of Internet group who throw on a patch they just bought off the internet. They run around acting like experts on all things motorcycle clubs. In reality, they never did any time prospecting or being involved in an M/C.

This is why you always have to take anything you see or hear on the internet with a grain of salt. Most of these people wouldn’t know how to make it out of their driveways without a map. But they want to consider themselves experts on all things motorcycle clubs. This is the kind of crap harming the M/C scene. But that is another subject altogether.

Here is actually what these people are cheering for. They are cheering for a motorcycle club to be taken down in court. Now, personally, I have issues with the dude in the Iron Order case being a sex offender. Once the club knew about it, they should’ve dotted his eye and sent him packing. The real issue for me is what such a case can do for the motorcycle club scene as a whole. If you are someone who truly cares for the M/C community as a whole than you don’t get to pick and choose which club goes down. If that was the case, then you would have supporters of the 81 hoping the Mongols get taking down in their cases. In the end, that kind of thinking will give the government all it needs to take all clubs down.

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The logical conclusion hearing anyone cheering against a motorcycle club to be taken down in a court proceeding is simple. They have no grasp of the enormity of the situation, it will cause other clubs. I wonder if those same people out there expressing their outrage with the death of Focht, calling for Iron Order to be taken down, will be the same ones holding the pitchforks and torches when a civil suit is brought against the Mongols? My guess? No.

The one thing you will always get from Insane Throttle is a middle of the road approach. You will not see us out there bashing clubs because we have some sort of agenda. We do not care what club it is, who hates who, or who did what, Insane Throttle will not give editorials or reporting based on opinions. There always has to be facts that back up anything we report.

Why do we have problems with Ray “Lollipop” Lubeski and how does he factor into this?

I had to sit here and laugh my ass off when I heard “Lollipop” give his softball interview. The dude is so full of shit that anyone who has any brains can see right through the dude. Well, maybe not, you had that cop Brian Urlacher from law abiding biker fall for his shit, then, of course, you have a whole mail order club that has, being Iron Legacy of course.

Why do we have problems with Ray “Lollipop” Lubeski? He was the one in charge of the Iron Order when Timothy Martin was brought into the club. He knew about the sex offender status of the member and did nothing at all. He let the dude stay in.

Now you have Lollipop trying to be a witness against Iron Order in this Pennsylvania case. Can anyone see the irony and fuckery of this dude? He, by the way, never prospected for a club. He made his way via the Pop-up Internet route. Oh, yeah, before I forget Lollipop. Those emails you claimed were faked lol. They came off the Iron Order message boards. Someone is fucked when they go up for cross-examination.

Conclusion

Regardless of where you stand on Iron Order. Let’s face it, they’ve been a bunch of ass-monkeys under Lollipop and it’s hard to see if they will be able to turn things around regarding how the M/C scene looks at them. With that said, if you do not look at the picture as a whole, how one court decision could affect another club then you’re foolish.

The law in the United States is blind. It does not care if you’re Iron Order or one of the big 1%er clubs. It will go after either one the same way. Think about that as your cheering and giving high 5’s or calling out someone’s praises for testifying against an M/C. After all, if you truly knew the motorcycle club scene, you would be considered cheering on a rat. Think about that, no matter how you try and twist it in your head, you’re actually cheering on people who want to do harm to the M/C community as a whole. Just like those rats who lined up to testify against Pike and Portillo.

Insane Throttle Facebook Question of The Day – Do you think M/Cs should be held civilly responsible for the actions of their members?

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