Thirty-five cents per mile

Thirty-Five Cents per Mile

When I discuss transportation options with people invariably the cost comes up, and amazingly train travel is perceived as more expensive than driving a private car, here is one example:

I have a friend that travels from the bay area to Sacramento from time to time to appear in court as an expert witness. I pointed out that Amtrak has stations within walking distance of the courts in Sacramento and my friends home in the bay area, and as usual one of the first objections was cost. The round trip will cost $60 to $64 and that seemed too expensive to my friend, after all the distance is only about 200 miles round trip.

My friend reasoned that it would only take a few gallons of gasoline to drive their private car, costing a total of no more than $30 for the round trip. This conclusion is faulty because it fails to recognize the true cost of operating a private vehicle, which must take into account not only the cost of the fuel, but also the capital cost of the vehicle, maintenance, insurance and other direct costs. There is a benchmark established by government agencies after years of experience used to compensate people for the use of their private cars, planning and tax purposes. This base figure is usually right around .35 cents per mile.

Using the generally accepted figure of .35 cents per mile, the private car will cost $70 for the 200 mile round trip. Allow another $10 or $12 dollars for parking and it becomes clear the private car will cost more than riding the train!

Next the conversation turned to time. My friend wondered how much longer the train would take, and in this case the trip is 2 hours, about the same as driving. Upon arrival there will be a time penalty to find a place to park the car, which can be a major hassle and expense on a busy day in the city. On the other hand, the train passenger will walk off the train and cross the street to the federal court in Sacramento, or walk a few blocks to the State Capitol. Taxis and buses are waiting at the station for those who need them. So really, the time thing is about the same either way, unless there is a traffic jam on the freeway.

Studies indicate traffic congestion is increasing. New terminology has entered the English language “gridlock”, ‘road-rage”, “speed trap” “hemi” and others as technology has transformed the private car from a basic transportation tool into a place people spend inordinate amounts of time in. Comfortable seating, automatic climate control and complete entertainment systems all obscure the inconvenience as more and more people accept lifestyles that include substantial amounts of time just getting from here to there. The typical short-term view of consumers refuses to acknowledge the actual cost of their trip, about .35 cents per mile.

Complaint to FAA re: Helicopters in residential airspace

To: Federal Aviation Administration, Western Pacific Region Airports Division
From: Tim Castleman, a private citizen
Subject: Helicopter traffic over residential neighborhoods

I am writing to lodge a complaint about the helicopter traffic that is allowed to take place over my residential neighborhood. I object to this practice and request it be disallowed immediately except in extreme emergency situations.

Currently both law enforcement and news media operators are abusing their FAA licensed privilege to take pictures of car wrecks for TV, as an expensive PA system, and as a giant searchlight pointing into our backyards at night. All the while making more noise than the loudest neighborhood hot rod or stereo system – even rattling windows in my home at times, the clattering machinery spews clouds of toxic un-treated exhaust fumes and droplets of various fluids and lubricants used to keep the 25-gallon an hour monsters running. I object to this in my most strenuous voice and demand reform.

All this nastiness is allowed for what, to see pictures on TV of yet another crash on the road? Law enforcement is by far the most offensive with no regard to where they will shine their high powered search light, or at what time of the night one these noisy beasts will show up a couple of hundred feet overhead in my backyard. I have in fact heard them use the PA system to help someone locate a lost child, like the PA system at a department store – but a department store PA doesn’t cost $900 an hour to operate and certainly doesn’t reach into my backyard.

Surely there must be some restraint required of these agencies and organizations to respect the right to tranquility and safety in a residential neighborhood by its taxpaying citizens. I have taken the time to compose this letter after years of tolerance – but my patience has run out. I reject this intrusion into my neighborhood just as I would the regular visitation by semi-trucks or tanks or other inappropriate machinery, and I trust that the readers will first ask themselves if they want these things clattering in and out of their own backyards before reaching for the handiest excuse or reason to duck the issue.

I eagerly await your reply and outline of how this issue will be addressed,

Sincerely,

Tim Castleman

PLAINTIFF’S SEPARATE STATUS REPORT

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

Tim Castleman,
Plaintiff,
vs.
County of Sacramento,
Defendant )
) Case No.: CIV.S 03-2319 WBS PAN -PS

PLAINTIFF’S SEPARATE STATUS REPORT

U.S.C. 42 § 1983, 1985 and 1988
Assault and Battery, Invasion of Privacy, False arrest, False imprisonment.
DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL AND
COMPENSATORY, PUNITIVE AND EXEMPLARY DAMAGES AND TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS($20,000,000.00)

PLAINTIFF’S SEPARATE STATUS REPORT

Plaintiff, Tim Castleman has prepared and respectfully submits the following Status Report pursuant to the Court’s Order dated December 22, 2004.
Plaintiff has attempted in good faith to negotiate a settlement outside of the courtroom since the beginning of this incident. Plaintiff’s attempts to find common ground with the County of Sacramento have only been met with escalating levels of legal defense, with the one exception occurring in the office of County Supervisor Muriel Johnson, who clearly agreed with plaintiff and promised certain actions that were never fulfilled. In addition to plaintiffs attempt to reconcile at each deposition taken, a final attempt was made on April 6th by e-mail to the four attorneys for the defense listed in the Court’s April 4, 2005 Order. There has been no reply.
In order to comply with the Court’s Order, Plaintiff submits this separate Status Report, a copy of which will be sent to defendant’s attorneys.
(a) Service of Process: Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint has been served on defendant COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO. Defendant COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO filed its Answer on January 21, 2005.
(b) Joinder of Additional Parties: Plaintiff reserves the right to enjoin additional parties.
(c) Amendment of Pleadings: Plaintiff reserves the right to amend his pleading at any time, but is prepared to present his case to a jury now.
(d) Jurisdiction and Venue: Jurisdiction is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. sections 1331 and 1343. Jurisdiction of plaintiff’s state law claim is predicated upon 28 U.S.C. section 1367. Venue is proper under 28 U.S.C. section 1391(b).
(e) Anticipated Motions and Scheduling Thereof: Plaintiff has no anticipated motion at this time, other than to demand a trial by jury.
(f) Anticipated Discovery and Scheduling Thereof, Including Disclosure of Expert Witnesses:
i. Initial disclosures will be made according to Rule 26(a)(1)
ii. Discovery has commenced as defendant has taken depositions of plaintiff, two third party witnesses and the county employees and officials involved. Further discovery will continue to cover all aspects of liability and damages and will include subpoenaed documents and further depositions of material witnesses, some of whom are hostile to plaintiff.
iii. Plaintiff reserves the right to use all depositions and testimony given to defendants counsel in a public trial by jury.
(g) Future Proceedings, including setting appropriate deadlines for discovery, motions and scheduling the pre-trial conference and trial: Plaintiff is not opposed to the Court setting reasonable deadlines for discovery and motions, and scheduling the pretrial conference and trial dates.
(h) Estimated length of trial: 1 day
(i) Modification of standard pretrial procedures specified by the rules due to the relative simplicity or complexity of the action or proceedings: None
(j) Whether the case is related to any other case, including any matter in bankruptcy: This case may be related to other war protestor cases, especially in relation to abuse of the 5150 statute in California, but also to false arrest and confinement for protesting the war anywhere in the United States of America.
(k) Whether a settlement conference should be scheduled: Despite several attempts by plaintiff to negotiate a settlement, defendant seems uninterested. Plaintiff remains willing to discuss a settlement.
(l) Any other matters that may add to the just and expeditious disposition of this matter: None at this time.

Dated April 12, 2005

By Tim Castleman, PRO SE

First Amended Pleading

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

Tim Castleman,
Plaintiff,
vs.
County of Sacramento,
Defendant )
) Case No.: CIV.S 03-2319 WBS PAN -PS

First Amended COMPLAINT

U.S.C. 42 § 1983, 1985 and 1988
Assault and Battery, Invasion of Privacy, False arrest, False imprisonment.
DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL AND
COMPENSATORY, PUNITIVE AND EXEMPLARY DAMAGES AND TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS($20,000,000.00)

Dated this 21st day of April, 2004

By Tim Castleman, PRO SE

COMPLAINT
Introduction
1. This is an action for money damages brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 1988, and the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and under common law of the State of California, against Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, the County of Sacramento, Officers M. Taylor and Onai, Doe’s 1 – 50, The Sacramento County Mental Health Crisis Center and Sacramento County Doctor Dalida. Jurisdiction is based upon 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 1343 and on the pendent jurisdiction of this Court to entertain claims arising under law.
2. It is alleged that the individual sheriff officer defendants made an unreasonable seizure, and false imprisonment of the person of Tim Castleman, without probable cause, under the color of law, violating his rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and that these defendants assaulted and battered Tim Castleman. It is further alleged that these violations and torts were committed as a result of policies and customs of the County of Sacramento.
3. It is also alleged that individual medical practitioners committed acts of battery and false imprisonment while attempting to render medical care without my consent.
PARTIES
4. Tim Castleman at all material times is a resident of Sacramento County, in the State of California, in the United States of America and of full age.
5. Defendants Officers were at all times relevant to this complaint duly appointed and acting officers of the Sheriff department of the County of Sacramento, acting under color of law, to wit, under the color of the statutes, ordinances, regulations, policies, customs and usages of the State of California.
6. The County of Sacramento is the public employer of the said officers and medical practitioners.
7. Sacramento County Mental Health Crisis Center is a facility funded and controlled by Sacramento County.
Statement
8. On Saturday, April 26th, 2003, I was standing on the NW corner of Marconi and Fulton in Sacramento, CA, protesting the war on Iraq. Across the street from me was a separate group holding banners and signs also protesting the war on Iraq.
9. Soon a man claiming to be the owner of the Exxon gas station, which I was standing on the sidewalk in front of, came out and asked if I had changed the numbers on his price sign from $1.91 to $9.11. I told him that I had not changed the sign. He and his assistant then changed the sign and left.
10. Within a few minutes I was approached by two Sheriff Deputies, one from each side. As they approached me and asked for my attention I asked why they were detaining me. They then stepped closer and each deputy took hold of one of my arms to escort me off of the sidewalk to the gas station parking lot.
11. I again asked why I was being detained and they responded that they had a report I had changed the sign and was running around in traffic, and therefore they were taking me into custody because I was a danger to myself.
12. I was handcuffed and confined to the rear seat of the patrol vehicle with the doors closed and locked, thus preventing any reasonable means of escape.
13. While I was confined in the patrol vehicle the officers appeared to be questioning the owner of the gas station.
14. I was later transferred to another patrol vehicle, and delivered to the Sacramento County Mental Health Crisis Center without my consent and while I was still being held in confinement.
15. Diagnostic medical procedures commenced without my consent.
16. I was searched again and my wallet and accoutrements were confiscated.
17. I was ordered to disclose my private medical history.
18. I was then transferred to a holding cell with other prisoners where I was physically confined with no reasonable means of escape.
19. I was then transferred to a cell block where I was issued a bunk. In the cell block I was also confined and had no reasonable means of escape.
20. The following day I was ordered to submit to another medical examination without my consent.
21. The County Doctor told me I had to support our president and that I should not protest so loudly next time.
22. During the discharge process the County attempted to coerce me into relinquishing my constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.
23. I was then released from custody at which point no notice to appear was issued nor were any formal charges filed.

COUNT I
42 U.S.C. § 1983 Against Individual Defendants
24. Paragraphs 1 through 23 are incorporated herein by reference as though fully set forth.
25. Plaintiff Castleman claims damages for the injuries set forth above under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants for violation of his constitutional rights under color of law.

COUNT II
Assault and Battery Against Individual Defendants
26. Paragraphs 1 through 23 are incorporated herein by reference as though fully set forth.
27. Defendants Officer M. Taylor, Officer Onai, County Employees and County Doctor Dalida assaulted and battered Tim Castleman.
28. As a result of this assault and battery, plaintiff Castleman suffered damages as foresaid.

COUNT III
False Arrest and Illegal Imprisonment Against Individual Defendants
29. Paragraphs 1 through 23 are incorporated herein by reference as though fully set forth.
30. Defendants Sheriff Officers illegally arrested and illegally imprisoned Tim Castleman.
31. As a result of this false arrest and illegal imprisonment, the plaintiff suffered damages as aforesaid.

COUNT IV
42 U.S.C. § 1983 Against County of Sacramento
32. Paragraphs 1 through 23 are incorporated herein by reference as though fully set forth.
33. Prior to April 27th, 2003, the County of Sacramento developed and maintained policies or customs exhibiting deliberate indifference to the constitutional rights of persons in Sacramento, which caused the violation of Castleman’s rights.
34. It was the policy and/or custom of the County of Sacramento to inadequately and improperly investigate citizen complaints of police misconduct, and acts of misconduct were instead tolerated by the County of Sacramento.
35. It was the policy and/or custom of the County of Sacramento to inadequately supervise and train its sheriff officers, including the defendant officers, thereby failing to adequately discourage further constitutional violations on the part of its police officers. The County did not require appropriate in-service training or re-training of officers who were known to have engaged in misconduct.
36. As a result of the above described policies and customs, sheriff officers of the County of Sacramento, including the defendant officers, believed that their actions would not be properly monitored by supervisory officers and that misconduct would not be investigated or sanctioned, but would be tolerated.
37. The above described policies and customs demonstrated a deliberate indifference on the part of policymakers of the County of Sacramento to the constitutional rights of persons within the County, and were the cause of the violations of plaintiff’s rights alleged herein.
WHEREFORE, the plaintiff prays that this Court:
a. Award compensatory damages to plaintiff against the defendants, jointly and severally;
b. Award costs of this action to the plaintiff;
c. Award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to the plaintiff on Counts I and IV of the complaint;
d. Award such other and further relief as this Court may deem appropriate.
e. Award punitive damages in the sum of Twenty Million Dollars.
The plaintiff hereby demands a jury trial.

Dated: April 21, 2004

Tim Castleman