Jacksonville minister sues city, police over 2008 raid

By Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau | May 24, 2010

Robert James Fox

After being arrested for illegal drug possession in 2008, Robert James Fox is suing the Jacksonville police department claiming that they violated his civil rights.

Acting as his own attorney, Fox filed suit against city of Jacksonville, Mo Raissi, Robert Haberle, Kenneth Melvin, Hubert Robinson, Jeff Smith, Rob Beall, Reece Daniel, John Page, Jason Price, Travis Cearley, Daniel G. Franklin, Paul Allen, Jon Shobert, Craig Fletcher, Kathleen Stanfield, Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, John Does and Jane Roes 1-1,000.

The lawsuit was filed May 14 in the Marshall division of the Eastern District of Texas.

The suit stems from an incident that occurred in Jacksonville on May 15, 2008. Fox, a minister with the House of Israel, claims he was taking a nap at the ministry building when he awoke to find "a machine gun pointed at me" and was immediately handcuffed.In an adjacent room, a man was being arrested for parole violations.

During what Fox claims was an unwarranted search, police found antibiotics from a now-closed dental practice that had been located in the House of Israel building.

The police, which Fox refers to at various times as "armed mercenaries" and "paramilitary gangsters," arrested Fox for possession of illegal drugs.

According to reports in the Jacksonville Daily Progress, around 10,000 illegal prescription drugs were confiscated.

The paper also reports that Jacksonville police claim Fox and the House of Israel are part of a sovereignty or patriot movement and can be linked to known terrorists.

Fox claims the police were simply on a "fishing expedition," and used the arrest of the alleged parole violator to raid his building.

The entire event was staged, Fox claims, because House of Israel was trying to purchase a former Methodist church building which a prominent and influential member of the community "wanted for herself."

He alleges the "The Fake It Until You Make It Pretend Police Department" and the other defendants committed an aggravated assault and kidnapping, forced him into involuntary servitude, committed armed robbery and were acting as "pirates in a piratical enterprise," all in an alleged attempt to frame and prosecute him.

He states that the incident was degrading and humiliating and violating his liberty, freedom and religious freedom. Fox further argues that the defendants made false statement to the media and interfered with future economic third party relationships.

According to the Daily Progress, in July 2008 Fox was charged with barratry for operating an illegal law business from the House of Israel building. Police said he was offering legal advice and assistance in exchange for compensation, even though he does not have a license to practice law.

Fox made contact with an incarcerated individual and offered them a 10 percent finders fee for people that they sent to him for legal advice, according to the newspaper. Officers said it was an offense similar to a personal injury attorney hiring a nurse to send him car crash victims.

The paper also reported that Fox was declared a vexatious litigant in 2006 by the district court in Dallas, which bans him from filing civil lawsuits in the state of Texas without special permission from the judge.

Fox is asking the court for triple damages in the minimum amount of $300,000, plus punitive damages and compensation for his personal time and court costs.

He has requested a trial by jury.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the litigation.

Case No. 2:10cv00158

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