by Marty Hayes, J.D.
The world is sure in a mess right now and just when you think it could not get worse, something happens to prove you wrong. For example, the U.S. economy is taking a hit, with the stock market falling, inflation rising and the price of gas and diesel going through the roof.
Then, there may be the anticipated riots to come on the heels of the US Supreme Court ruling to be released soon, overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Next, unless you have been lost in the wilderness, you have heard about the two recent mass shootings, one in Buffalo, New York, of which all accounts point to an attack against the black community in order to foment more hatred and strife in our nation, and the second just a few days ago, where a mentally-disturbed 18-year-old walked into an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and killed 19 school children and several adults.
Oh, I almost forgot. The Russians invaded a sovereign nation recently, killing thousands of Ukrainians in an attempt to occupy that country, which has cast a pall over world peace.
I feel that all the foregoing gives perspective to what I have to relate to you. The Network lost its Superior Court appeal to overturn the WA State Office of Insurance Commissioner’s cease and desist order and fine.
We here at Network HQ had hoped the judicial review would put the issue to bed. We are still able to serve our existing members, both in WA and in all of the other states and U.S. Territories, and besides, this outcome is not earth-shattering news when taken in context, considering the other problems we face as a society.
Now, on a much more positive note, as I write this message, we are gathering at the NRA Annual Meeting, where we get to interact with thousands of like-minded individuals. This is always a spirit-lifting time for me, and I look forward to the next three days. By the time this eJournal is published, the meeting will be over, so I will close by saying it was great seeing you, if I did in fact see you!
Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network to Appeal Judge’s Ruling
For Immediate Release:
On May 25, 2022, Lewis County Superior Court Judge James Lawler denied a request by the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc., an Onalaska, WA based company, to quash a $50,000 fine imposed against it and lift the cease and desist order by the Washington State Office of Insurance Commissioner. The Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network is a 19,000+ member organization with members in all 50 states, with no consumer complaints against it.
The purpose of the Network is to help educate armed citizens regarding the laws of self defense, along with providing grants of financial assistance if the member applies for support after a self-defense situation.
For the entirety of its 14-year existence, the organization has steadfastly denied that membership in the Network constitutes having an insurance policy and believes that Judge Lawler made an incorrect ruling. The Network has also expected that this ruling would go to the appellate court, regardless of for whom the judge ruled. “There is no established case law in Washington State defining insurance, and if the judge had ruled in the Network’s favor, we expected to be going to the next level anyway,” explains Network President Marty Hayes.
Consequently, the Network will be appealing the ruling to the WA Court of Appeals.
According to attorney Spencer Freeman, who represents the Network, state law defines insurance as: “A contract whereby one undertakes to indemnify another or pay a specified amount upon determinable contingencies.” But, Freeman explains, when a member applies for a grant of financial assistance, they know there is no guarantee of assistance. The Network does not indemnify anyone, nor does it guarantee any specific payment upon a determinable contingency. “An act of self defense is an intentional act, not a contingent act and based upon this analysis, there is no way that what the Network does meets the definition of insurance. Thus, they are not selling insurance,” he said.
The Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network will be filing a notice of appeal long before the June 25th deadline.
For more information, please contact attorney Spencer Freeman at 253-383-4500.
To read more of this month's journal, please click here.