Statement of Claim: Oosterman Vs Attorney General
IN THE DISTRICT COURT HELD AT ROTORUA
BETWEEN SIMON AART OOSTERMAN union organiser of Auckland Plaintiff
AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF NEW ZEALAND For and on behalf of the NEW ZEALAND POLICE Defendant
STATEMENT OF CLAIM
Presented for filing by: Graeme Minchin Barrister acting
Auckland STATEMENT OF CLAIM THE PLAINTIFF by his solicitor says:
GENERAL ALLEGATIONS 1.0 THE plaintiff is involved in the opposition to genetic engineering.
2.0 THE defendant is sued in respect of acts of officers of the New Zealand Police. The acts of the police officers are more fully described herein.
3.0 On Sunday 30 January 2005 at the Forest Research Institute’s premises at Sala Street Rotorua the plaintiff took part in a demonstration against genetic engineering. The plaintiff had been involved in extensive liaison with Sergeant Ratapu of the Rotorua police in regard to the demonstration which included a briefing on where it was permissible for the demonstrators to conduct their protest.
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION – BREACH OF THE PLAINTIFF’S RIGHTS UNDER THE NEW ZEALAND BILL OF RIGHTS ACT
4.0 At approximately 1.00 pm on 30 January 2005 the plaintiff saw a woman demonstrator, Ms Perry, being pulled from the crowd and handcuffed by a police officer. The police officer’s manoeuvre caught a leather handbag which was around Ms Perry’s chest and pinned it under her arm which appeared to be very painful as it caused her to scream out in pain.
5.0 The plaintiff approached the arresting officer, police constable Bennet and asked him to stop hurting Ms Perry and being so rough as Ms Perry was in obvious distress.
6.0 The police constable continued to handcuff Ms Perry in an aggressive manner and as she appeared to the plaintiff to be in danger of falling over the plaintiff propped her up.
7.0 The plaintiff was then arrested by police constable Yorkney for obstruction. After the plaintiff had been arrested police constable Yorkney was assisted by another police officer, whose name is unknown to the plaintiff, in removing the plaintiff from the scene of the arrest. As the plaintiff was being taken from the scene of arrest constable Yorkney and the other police officer pulled the plaintiff’s arms in opposing directions and one of the officer’s attempted to trip the plaintiff up.
8.0 Constable Yorkney then pepper sprayed the plaintiff in the face.
9.0 As a consequence of this mistreatment the plaintiff went limp in pain.
10.0 THE plaintiff does not allege that by reason of the actions of the defendant he suffered personal injury by accident in New Zealand nor does he claim to recover any damages arising directly or indirectly out of any personal injury by accident in New Zealand.
11.0 IN THE premises the defendant in breach of the Plaintiff’s rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act:
subjected the plaintiff to torture and/or cruel and/or degrading and/or disproportionately severe treatment and/or punishment.
12.0 BY reason of the forgoing premises the defendant failed to treat the plaintiff with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of his person causing him mental and bodily suffering, loss, damage, anxiety, severe shock, distress and humiliation. WHEREFORE THE PLAINTIFF CLAIMS THE FOLLOWING RELIEF: (1) Damages in the sum of $30,000 (2) Interest (3) Costs SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION, FOR ASSAULT 13.0 THE plaintiff repeats and re-avers the allegations set out in paragraphs 1 to 9 hereof and says further:
14.0 IN THE premises that the actions of the police officers in pulling the plaintiff’s arms in different directions, attempting to trip him up and pepper spraying him amounted to assault.
15.0 BY reason of the foregoing premises the plaintiff has suffered loss and damage.
WHEREFORE THE PLAINTIFF CLAIMS THE FOLLOWING RELIEF: (1) Damages in the sum of $20,000 (2) Interest (3) Costs
This statement of claim is filed by Graeme Minchin, barrister, whose instructing solicitors are Marshall Bird Curtis. The address for service of the abovenamed Plaintiff is the office of the instructing solicitors.
Documents for service on the abovementioned Plaintiff may be left at the above addresses for service or may be: (a) Posted to PO Box 78274 Grey Lynn Auckland;