Bradley Jardis, a New Hampshire activist, is planning a courageous act of civil disobedience at Plymouth State University on Friday, 9-Dec-2011. He has done meticulous research to show that a ban on guns and knives on campus is not only unconstitutional, but also violates the New Hampshire statutes.
His latest article, from FreeKeene.com:
I have a very simple response to those who are calling me incorrect when I’ve repeatedly claimed that the University System of New Hampshire is a “political subdivision” and therefore its firearm and knife regulations are illegal under New Hampshire law.
Well, actually, the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire and the University System of New Hampshire itself is the one with the response to this particular criticism. The response is found in University System of New Hampshire v. U.S. Gypsum 756 F.Supp. 640 (1991):
For purposes of this motion, the amount in controversy is not at issue. The issue is whether USNH is a citizen of the state of New Hampshire for the purposes of diversity jurisdiction. Defendants argue that USNH is a mere “arm” or “alter ego” of the state, and as such cannot be a citizen of New Hampshire for the purpose of diversity jurisdiction. Plaintiff USNH contends that under New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated (“RSA”) 187-A:1, it was established as a “body politic and corporate,”7 and thus, although it is a political subdivision of the state, it is not an “alter ego” of the state, and is therefore a citizen.
Based on its review of the status of USNH vis-a-vis the State of New Hampshire, the court finds that USNH is a governmental corporation of sufficient autonomy to escape designation as an alter ego of the state. USNH is therefore a citizen of New Hampshire, subject to the diversity jurisdiction of the federal court.
That’s right: the University System of New Hampshire argued in the United States District Court back in the early 90′s during an attempt to invoke federal diversity jurisdiction that it is a “political subdivision” of the State of New Hampshire. The court agreed with USNH’s argument.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind the University System of New Hampshire’s General Counsel (who will undoubedly be advising the Plymouth State University Police how to handle Tommy Mozingo and my information distribution on Friday) that this is still controlling law here in New Hampshire.
Quote United States Magistrate Judge Landya B. McCafferty in the 08/25/10 non-published opinion of John Collins, v. University of New Hampshire and Bruce L. Mallory (Civil No. 09-cv-78-LM) “While Univ. of N.H. vs. U.S. Gypsum Corp. is nearly 20 years old, it remains good law.”
I apologize for getting all legal-eezy on you all about this. It unfortunately is necessary given the legaly-eezy nature of the issue.