Seizure Of Outlaws MC Patches Upheld by Appeals Court

Published on March 1st, 2016 | by David “Double D” Devereaux

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An Illinois Court of Appeals in affirmed a lower court ruling in People v. Black in Color Leather Vest with Attached Outlaws Motorcycle Club Patches, 2016 IL App (2d) 150495 (February 23, 2016), saying that 3 Outlaws Motorcycle Club patches were properly seized under the state’s Streetgang Prevention Act after defendants pled guilty to aggravated battery and mob action. This decision does not say that the government can take all Outlaws MC patches. This decision does say that motorcycle club colors may be seized from individuals wearing them during the commission of a crime.

This Decision Does Not Apply to All Outlaws MC Patches, BUT There is Always a Catch:

 People v. Black in Color Leather Vest with Attached Outlaws Motorcycle Club Patches, 2016 IL App (2d) 150495 (February 23, 2016) McHenry Co. (SCHOSTOK) Affirmed.

Claimant, the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, appeals from circuit court judgment ordering that 3 black leather vests with attached Outlaws’ patches be forfeited. Time frame in Section 40 of Illinois Streetgang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act to initiate forfeiture proceedings begins to run when trial court enters a conviction in underlying criminal proceedings. Defendants pled guilty to aggravated battery and mob action, and agreed to forfeit their jackets. As State initiated forfeiture proceedings within 60 days of date that Defendants pled guilty, State’s action was timely. Wearing vests facilitated Defendants’ goal of intimidation, to be achieved by violent means, if necessary, to show their dominance to others. Thus, court properly found that vests and patches were derivative contraband subject to forfeiture.(ZENOFF and SPENCE, concurring.)

Although this is not the same as seizing a club’s trademark, the court says, “Wearing vests facilitated Defendants’ goal of intimidation, to be achieved by violent means, if necessary, to show their dominance to others. Thus, court properly found that vests and patches were derivative contraband subject to forfeiture.”

The Outlaws’ also contended “that as the patches on the vests belonged to the organization, not its individual members, they were not subject to forfeiture.”  But the court disagreed and concluded, “Illinois law provides that property that is put to an illegal use can be confiscated without regard to the owner’s culpability.”

The court also conceded that “testimony clearly demonstrated that the defendants’ wearing their vests did not cause the violence.” However, the court argued expert “testimony showed that wearing the vests facilitated the violence. As this is all the statute requires, the trial court did not err in granting the State’s complaint for forfeiture.”

 What Does This Mean for the Outlaws MC and All Patch-Holders?

The implications of the court’s conclusions are concerning. Merely wearing a patch on your vest can be considered intimidation through the threat of violence. What does this mean for concepts like self-defense and deadly force?

  • Does this decision mean that someone can claim self-defense for pulling out a gun and killing someone wearing a MC patch during a verbal altercation and then claim self-defense saying they were intimidated and feared violence?
  • Does this decision justify felony-style stops of individuals wearing MC patches on their vests at gunpoint for simple traffic infractions because the officers are intimidated and fear violence?

Seizure of patches is becoming a more frequent element of prosecuting motorcycle clubs and their members. With the number of instances growing, there currently seems to be a legal bright line emerging concerning patch seizures. Individuals that have themselves been found guilty of committing a serious crime while wearing club insignia may have that property permanently seized.

Although authorities are attempting to move the bright line so they can seize an entire club’s name and trademark from all members, and they are spending millions of dollars attempting to achieve this goal, currently individuals that have not been found guilty of a serious crime are not subject to having property with club insignia seized.

But always remember that everything can easily change with the next court decision.
The entire People v. Black Leather Vest decision can be found here:
http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Opinions/AppellateCourt/2016/2ndDistrict/2150495.pdf

 

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8 Responses to Seizure Of Outlaws MC Patches Upheld by Appeals Court

  • This can have drastic implications. Now they can seize patches if a crime is committed, next it will be seizure of patch in order to prevent a crime. When will it end? Our rights are slowly and sometimes quickly being erroded. I was born in a country that valued freedom and liberty. I’m wondering what our country is becoming when wearing a patch and belonging to a brotherhood is considered a crime. I want to thank Roadblock for keeping us informed. We all need to get beyond our backyard bickering and stand together for our pusuit of happiness and the lifestyle we cherish.

  • Absolute political correctness BS, It gives justification for idiots who defy cops an avenue to claim fear of the worlds largest “gang” (police) because of prior encounters where cops were in the wrong, and suspects were released because of it. They can claim fear for life, because cops were wearing uniforms (vests), attacked them before, and acted in a manner which intimidated them, (and we all know they never do this)
    This is another attempt to skirt the first amendment. They would have everyone act like sheep, and go through life doing as told, no individual freedom, complete control over ones actions, no second amendment rights, put there to protect us from tyrannical government actions. One must consider where this is happening, Illinois, the land of the Liar-in-Chief, a place where they have already suppressed freedoms, which have resulted in one of the highest murder rates by guns, more tyrannical laws on the books, and the worlds largest “gang” in non stop court battles because of their actions.

  • It looks like they’re gonna try to take vest with patches. No one will be safe. I wear a cut with a cvma proud family member patch so some smart butt can try to take it in that case. Look at the gangs their more dangerous that a mc with a patch. This is so crazy. All the bikers I have met has hearts of gold, will do anything to help you. Just don”t mess with them and disrespect. But that is with anyone patch or no patch. I love you Roadblock and you will always have my respect. Just like the biker families I have met, love you with alot of respect . Ride on and I’m very proud of the patch I wear

  • I find this appalling. that the courts can do as they please. Not only can they seize Patches, they seize Club Houses also. This is a violation of the Constitution. Where we Had rights to make our Government smaller and where we rule the Government. The Bastards work for us, not the other way around. But by sitting back on our Laurels, we have permitted this to go on for way too long! I for one Stand Up for 1%’s or Motorcyclists in general.They have rights also. We need as a People to take our streets back and our Government back. Cops looking more like Army, than the Army does!!! How much more needs to go on before WE the American Public has had enough and finally STAND the HELL UP???

    Great Quote by George Washington is: I’d Rather Die On My Feet Than Live On MY Knees

    And just remember, it’s not just the rights of Bikers, it’s the Rights of Everyone that are being stepped on!

  • Didn’t Daytona Beach also seize club house from Outlaws and have a “green light” on all clubs. They turned Outcast MC away not allowing them to even ride through. Forced to turn around and head back towards Jax.
    Clubs have maintained that the patch is property of and rightly so also maintain that the mere wearing of said cut does not constitute intimidation or a crime . What happened to constitutional rights?? Does it only apply to them ? By statute if they can take a patch then shouldn’t they confiscate patches of cops who commit crimes under the guise of the law???

  • People have to wake up. This is just wrong. I am not going to articulate because this entire issue is self explanatory. Let’s do what is right. Support your rights and support people whom fought and still fight for your rights.

  • ……Was originally a state issue…..Club got fucked there….Will be a National issue soon enough as Feds are given more power…Everybody nationwide will be fucked then….Thanx, RoadBlock for the information……Story won’t be reported elsewhere…

  • What’s next, confiscation of bikes because they have a Club sticker?

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