Few people understand as well as I do the sense of DEEP PERSONAL VIOLATION when authorities seize your piece-of-crap vehicle, click here for a little essay I wrote called "My Identity Is All Tangled Up In My Wheels."
Based on stuff I've read in the criminal complaint against Jerome's brother, Eric Yzaguirre, including the "crossed out, see instead revised portions" I strongly suspect Jerome's vehicle is a maroon, older model car.
Oh, my word. That's like the kind of crap I drive!
See photo, above, Exhibit A.
Could it be?
Jerome Yzaguirre? Johnny Northside? SEPARATED AT BIRTH!!??
What's crazy about this lawsuit--and, of course, "crazy" is relative when you're talking about ANY lawsuit filed by Jill Clark, at least in the last several years--but what's very odd (even for Clark) is the lawsuit names Jerome Yzaguirre and his mother, Terry yet there's relatively little in the lawsuit specifically ABOUT Jerome...
If you just want to read the lawsuit document and skip my analysis, click here.
The lawsuit starts out by blathering about Terry Yzaguirre and how she runs an "online news magazine" called Mpls Mirror. What is the difference between this "online news magazine" and a blog? Only a pretentious format, as far as I can tell. Certainly the "bells and whistles" appearance of the Mirror doesn't seem to improve the quality of the writing.
A Cracked Perspective On The Mpls Mirror And Its Role
Trying to puff up the credibility and impact of the Mpls Mirror, the lawsuit makes mention of some Mirror stories involving the Somali community. Of course, Terry Yazaguirre's writings about that community are few and far between.
The lawsuit notes, almost blandly, the Mirror writes about police issues with some of the coverage positive, some of it negative. Unable to cite any awards or critical acclaim for the Mirror, the lawsuit notes some people in the community have said they appreciate the Mirror's coverage. And some people in the community like to sniff glue.
The lawsuit notes that in writing stories for the Mirror, Terry Yzaguirre (hereinafter "The Yaz") has obtained certain confidential sources, documents, video and other materials that are a newsperson's stock in trade. Fair enough. Of course we know where this is going. Right to Yzaguirre's daughter, Nicole, and Nicole's cell phone falling into the hands of the cops.
Quick, Kids, Get Behind The First Amendment!
What would the police and OH MY GOD THE UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE want with Nicole "Miss Nicky" Yzaguirre's cell phone? Click here for that story, which involves allegations of check fraud with a United States Treasury check.
The lawsuit notes the Yaz attended a funeral on August 20, 2011 of a person believed to be a gang member. The lawsuit says Yzaguirre saw police grabbing people as they emerged from the funeral and throwing them on the hood of a squad car. A police officer asked The Yaz what she was doing and Yaz said she was "working on a story." Yzaguirre's car was allegedly searched, including under the hood of the car. The lawsuit notes Yzaguirre was not presented with a "warrant" to search the car.
Hilarious. Whoever wrote this lawsuit (oh, that would be Jill Clark) seems to share the view of many unschooled laypeople that, constitutionally, a car is like a little house rolling around on wheels and police can't just la-dee-da-dee search your little wheeled house without a warrant. This is, of course, legally ridiculous but it's too tedious to explain why. Bottom line is Clark should know better. Maybe this is a case of "representing" your client, right down to "representing" their legally ignorant mindset.
In any case, Yaz's car was reportedly searched. One of the police officers on the scene, unintentionally speaking for anybody who has the misfortune of reading Mpls Mirror, reportedly called Yaz a "liar" and said she was "insulting" him, by which he apparently meant insulting his intelligence. He supposedly told her to leave the area around the gang-infested funeral which, honestly, sounds like a pretty good piece of advice. There was allegedly a threat to tow the car. Where the car was parked, precisely, and whether that's someplace your car would get towed from if you left it there, isn't mentioned in the complaint document.
The lawsuit makes lawyer-like noises about how Yaz-a-nator's son, Eric, had "problems with some Hennepin County Officials." Here is an article which touches upon certain "problems" Eric has, click here.
Here's another, click here, touching upon "problems" that are so much worse, namely facing theft charges over a series of alleged "Craigslist robberies."
The lawsuit goes into detail about Nicole Yzaguirre and, oh my word, those awful Bloomington police who were trying to obtain Miss Nicky's cell phone records and how it was "directly communicated" to Bloomington Police that Miss Nicky was on her mother's cell phone subscription.
And now, as though I haven't been editorializing so far, I will go ahead and editorialize openly. Freedom of the press is a precious thing. But what this looks like to me is that "Miss Nicky" got herself in a jam, and key evidence is on the cell phone. In order to save her daughter, the Yaz is pulling out all the stops and, really, who cares about the First Amendment except as a convenient ploy to argue the phone records shouldn't become evidence in the prosecution over the forged check? A lawsuit of this nature makes all journalists look bad and self-serving, and cheapens claims of "retaliation" for exercising First Amendment rights.
While I am reluctant to place moral blame on a mother or father willing to do anything to save their child, I will point out the article about this lawsuit by the Courthouse News Service does the public a disservice by reporting the suit's allegations with a straight face without digging further or writing a follow up about the underlying history of lunacy associated with this lawyer, this family, and this cobbled together lawsuit.
Woe, Woe To The House Of Yaz!
Back to the lawsuit itself. There is an interesting timeline documented in the complaint. On December 21, the Bloomington Police Officer being sued by Nicole Yzaguirre didn't win his motion for summary judgement to have the whole crappy lawsuit thrown out of court.
The next day, December 22, Minneapolis Police (different department, different city) were inside Yaz's home for, supposedly, one hour and 20 minutes without a warrant. Purportedly, this was enough time to search computers and copy computer hard drives.
Well, I suppose if you work quickly...sure. Why not?
Really, if Yaz wants to be paranoid I say, "Be VERY paranoid." Could some of that seized information make its way to a pro-police blogger such as myself? Well, if the information was actually seized, why not? But then how would the blogger manage to USE such information without revealing too much? These are purely hypothetical questions. OR ARE THEY?
At the time of the "one hour and 20 minute search," Jerome Yzaguirre (a convicted drug runner, click here) was arrested and taken to the Third Precinct. His cell phone was seized and there was "sufficient time to search it and download the contents."
FREE MY BEATER!
Jerome's car was towed. The lawsuit states "police still have it to this day."
Shortly after the search of the house, Jill Clark faxed the Minneapolis Chief of Police a long statement, including her suspicion police at the Third Precinct weren't picking up because they recognized her caller ID. She mentioned how police may have "some other agenda." Oh, it just wouldn't be a Jill Clark lawsuit without at least the hint of a vast conspiracy, would it?
There is talk in the lawsuit about how Eric Yzaguirre was the subject of a "PC pickup." (Probable cause pickup) and how if police want to talk to Eric, they will need to go through his attorney Jill Clark.
(Is she an attorney? Oh, yeah, she's still an attorney...for now)
There's a fascinating and cryptic little sentence in Jill's fax.
"An investigator wanting to 'talk' to an American citizen about what must be a cold case is no kind of exigent circumstances."
This makes blogger Johnny Northside's ears rotate into the upright position, and Johnny's mouth form the words, "What? Cold? Case?"
But, well, that's all we hear about it. Why did police want that car so badly? It's still an open question and the lawsuit doesn't give any answers, only asserting the police had no good reason to seize the car and hinting there's some kind of anti-Mpls Mirror conspiracy.
Imagine the DEPTHS of a conspiracy which could plant marijuana in the cars of two innocent brothers and get them arrested, nay, CONVICTED in an obscure Oklahoma town. How far reaching must this conspiracy be to forge a US Treasury check and present it to Nicole Yzaguiree to be cashed? Is the SECRET SERVICE part of the conspiracy? And what role does "the beater" play that police want it SO BADLY? Is it like the car in "Repo Man" with some kind of, what?! ALIEN POWER SOURCE in the trunk?
Only Jill Clark can discover the answer to these questions because only Clark would be loony enough to ask these questions in the first place.
Vigorous Criminal Prosecution Equals CONSPIRACY
Keeping in mind this lawsuit was supposedly about JEROME, and Eric Yzaguirre had his OWN lawsuit, this "Yaz and Jerome" lawsuit goes into considerable detail about a conspiracy against ERIC because of "vigorously litigating" against Eric in a misdemeanor case. (That would be the "baby mama drama" case, it appears, which Eric ultimately beat but he still faces charges over alleged theft)
Here's Jill Clark's two point summary of why the prosecutors are "vigorously" prosecuting the case, other than the possibility they were trying to do their jobs.
A.) Because Eric Yzaguirre hired Jill Clark, which Eric Yzaguirre has a constitutional right to do.
Seriously. It's in the Constitution. The part about how you have a right to hire Jill Clark.
B.) Because Eric Yzaguirre is suing Hennepin County and others to vindicate his rights.
Yes, the minute one of Jill's loony clients files a lawsuit, prosecutors are supposed to back off, otherwise it's a deep dark conspiracy. It's kind of like the "conspiracy" to take away Clark's law license because she's running for Chief Justice of the State, even though disciplinary proceedings were well underway before Clark filed her loony candidate papers.
Where were we? Oh, yes, in the midst of a vast conspiracy against Clark and her clients, a significant percentage of which are named "Yzaguirre."
FURTHER EVIDENCE OF THE CONSPIRACY IS AS FOLLOWS, according to the lawsuit. The Minneapolis City Attorney's Office is having "police and/or its own investigators frequently call the woman who Eric Yzaguirre alleged assaulted him."
Of course, this woman was the only witness in that "baby mama drama" case against Yzaguirre. Somehow, calling a witness and keeping track of a witness is a conspiracy against a defendant in the loony world of Jill Clark.
You can almost hear the breathless conspiratorial tone as the lawsuit says, "Recently, Eric Yzaguirre's defense team learned that the woman had been called by police or investigators and asked whether Eric Yzaguirre has ever used Terry Yzaguirre's phone." The lawsuit says police are trying to create a factual basis to search the Yaz's phone records. And in almost the same breath, the lawsuit notes (drug runner) Eric Yzaguirre's phone is on the Yaz's account.
Be Paranoid, Be Very Paranoid
The lawsuit documents how Clark fired off another of her crazy faxes to the prosecutor and asked, "Are you asking Minneapolis Police (or do you have knowledge of them on their own) trying to get phone records or tap on the phone of Terry Yzaguirre?"
What a messy sentence.
When the prosecutor denied being aware of "any investigatory steps taken against Terry Yzaguirre," Jill Clark characterized this as a "non-answer" and made loud shrieky lawyer noises how nothing was being done to "reassure" the Yaz. This "right to reassurance" is also in the United States Constitution, not far from the part about your right to hire Jill Clark.
Beater, Beater, Who Has My Beater?
The lawsuit says Clark tried calling Sgt Annoni to track down Jerome's beater and was told to call Paul Scoggin, an assistant Hennepin County Prosecutor. Click here for a case in which he was involved.
Clearly, nothing proves a conspiracy like one bureaucrat deferring to another.
By email, Clark asked why the car was being held and when it would be "sprung." Scoggin wrote back and said, "I assume it is held as an instrumentality and evidence of a crime."
The lawsuit notes no "forfeiture" action has been started over the car. Reading the lawsuit, I find myself wondering, "Why, indeed, is that car being held?" Of course, that doesn't mean I'm siding with Clark. Just the opposite. Scrutinizing the lawsuit and in particular that mention of "cold case" and "instrumentality of a crime" I find myself wondering...
Seriously. Why did the police seize that car?
What the hell allegedly HAPPENED in that car?
So there you have it, readers, and sorry about the long delay in completing this post.
Many Eggs In One Legal Basket
Currently, Nicole Yzaguirre is facing bad check charges. Clark is the lawyer. Eric is facing theft charges. Clark is the lawyer. God knows why police wanted that car and how it involves Jerome, but it appears CLARK is Jerome's lawyer.
What happens to the Yzaguirre family if Clark loses her law license as a result of the current disciplinary proceedings? Do they say, "Well, you helped us as much as you could, really, and we appreciate it"?
Or do they try to figure out if they can shake money out of a malpractice insurance policy? And is it malpractice if a lawyer files a lawsuit on your behalf, then gets suspended and can't handle your lawsuit, and the lawsuit is so crazy no other lawyer wants it?
The same question can be asked of MANY Clark clients who have lawsuits in motion. What happens if Clark loses her license? Is it like when the crazy cat lady goes to a nursing home, and nobody wants the collection of mangy felines? Are they just (hand across throat motion).
Whatever happens, you will see the gory details here. Stay tuned for more on Clark's disciplinary proceedings, including documentation of a previous "admonishment" by the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board.
And eventually I'll publish that jail roster. Really.