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Africa and Aboriginal Tuesdays: Preliminary Memorandum of Law In Support of The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico's Complaint And Request For Declaratory And Injunctive Relief


Common Wealth of Puerto Rico
Plaintiff

Vs.

United States of America; Alberto R. Gonzales, in his Official Capacity as U.S. Attorney General; Robert Mueller, in his Official Capacity as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Humberto S. Garcia, in his Official Capacity as United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico; Luis S. Fraticelli, in his Official Capacity as Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigations in Puerto Rico;

Defendants

To This Honorable Court:

Comes now Plaintiff, The Commonwealth of Puertor Rico ("Commonwealth"), through the undersigned attorneys, and respectfully states and prays as follows:

I. Introduction

On this same day, the Commonwealth has filed the instant action for declaratory and injunctive relief, on the issue of defendants' arbitrary, unjustified, illegal and unconstitutional refusal to disclose material information necessary for the completion of the Commonwealth's ongoing investigation into the violent death of Mr. Filiberto Ojeda Rios. Given the fact that such suit addresses important constitutional issues of federalism, for the benefit of the Court, the Commonwealth files the present memorandum in order to briefly and preliminarily state its legal theory.

This is a suit seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to vindicate the Commonwealth's sovereign authority to enforce its criminal laws. The Commonwealth has ample power under the principles of federalism embodied in the United States Constituion to enact and enforce criminal laws pursuant to the police power reserved to the sovereign Commonwealth and States. This includes the power to investigate possible criminal behavior within its jurisdiction. Defendants cannot hide federal officers under a cloak of absolute immunity from prosecution under state criminal laws by refusing to comply with the Commonwealth's or the States' requests for information pursuant to criminal investigations.

Defendants' blanket and wholseale failure to comply with the Commonwealth's requests for information in this case, including their denial to provide even the names of the FBI agents and official involved in the incident being investigatd, constitutes an impermissible interference with the Commonwealth's sovereign power that requires this Honorable Court's immediate intervention. Thus, through the present action, the Commonwealth seeks a judgment which: (i) declares that Defendants actions are unjustified, arbitrary, illegal and unconstitutional violations of the COmmonwealth's sovereign authority; and (ii) permanently enjoins Defendants from withholding any information relevant to the Commonwealth's investigation, and orders Defendants to comply with the Commonwealth's requests and produce the subpoeaed information, objects, and documents.

The above is an excerpt from the Preliminary Memorandum of Law In Support of The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico's Complaint And Request For Declaratory And Injunctive Relief (Civil No: 06-1306 (JAG))as found on the website of The Puerto Rican Department of Justice. Click here to read the entire document (PDF).


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

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