FSC: Members Were Harmed by 2257 Inspections

PHILADELPHIA — The Free Speech Coalition today filed a motion seeking to amend its suit against the government over revised record-keeping rules that would include language that clarifies that several FSC members indeed have been subjected to FBI inspections.

FSC attorneys, in a motion to the court, said that they wanted to "provide a more complete set of allegations regarding their 4th Amendment claim" over illegal searches and seizures, particularly since the government claimed the FSC's challenge is not ripe for review.

FSC attorneys argue that the government used passages in an earlier motion that inferred that members of the suit hadn't been harmed.

Although the 14 other plaintiffs joined to the FSC's suit haven't expressly been subjected to 18 U.S.C. § 2257 inspections, other FSC members unnamed in the suit have, according to language the FSC seeks to have amended to the suit.

The FSC and the other named plaintiffs claim that the revised 18 U.S.C. § § 2257 and 2257A regulations are unconstitutional, as well as an unfair burden placed to producers to comply with the regulations.

The FSC, in today's motion to be weighed by U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson, seeks to include the following language:

"Several of Free Speech Coalition’s members have been subjected to inspections pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2257 and its implementing regulations. In each instance, a team of FBI agents came to the member’s private business premises, without a warrant or prior notice, gained access under authority of 18 U.S.C. § 2257 and its implementing regulations, entered areas of the business premises not open to the public, searched through the business’s files and records owned and possessed by the member pertaining to its sexually explicit expression and made copies of certain records.

"The agents also took photos of the interior areas of the business premises — again, all without a warrant. Inspections have also been made by FBI agents of producers who are not members of plaintiff Free Speech Coalition and, in two instances, upon information and belief, inspections were conducted at private residences of the producers because that is where their records were maintained."