Arizona Rancher Ordered to pay illegals $77,000 - Not $32 million
Chelsea Schilling, WorldNetDaily, provides the update:
Sixteen illegal aliens who sued an Arizona rancher, claiming he violated their civil rights and falsely imprisoned them by holding them at gunpoint on his property along the border, have lost their case. According to the complaint, Barnett, who owns 22,000 acres along the border in southeastern Arizona, approached the group of illegals on an all-terrain vehicle March 7, 2004. He allegedly began yelling at them in English and broken Spanish while aiming his gun at the group. While Barnett's dog barked at the intruders, the illegal aliens accused him of ordering the dog to attack. One of the women said the rancher kicked her because she refused to get up. The jury ruled in favor of Barnett on the battery charge as well.
Barnett detained the trespassing illegals until Border Patrol agents arrived. The lawsuit claimed that the rancher never told the illegals they were trespassing and failed to post a sign notifying them that they were on private property. MALDEF claimed the family attacked, harassed, threatened and held the illegals against their will, because they were motivated by racial and class-based discrimination. The complaint said the Barnetts allegedly caused the group "severe emotional and mental distress," including fear, anxiety, humiliation, stress, frustration and sadness. Each illegal alien sued for $1 million in actual damages and $1 million for punitive or exemplary damages. . . .
The rancher was held liable for limited damages involving assault and emotional distress. Two illegal aliens were given $1,000 plus $10,000 in punitive damages each. Two more received $7,500, plus $20,000 in punitive damages each. . . . [T]he judge left out one part of instruction to the jury that should have been included, and it will be the basis of their appeal. "The law is skeptical of infliction of emotional distress because everybody gets their feelings hurt at times," he said. "So one of the requirements was that whatever is done must be so severe that the average person would be physically disabled by the distress – suffer a complete mental breakdown. The judge wouldn't put that in the instruction. That's straight Arizona law."
Also, two of the plaintiffs received $1,400, and two were awarded $1 each for assault. The term "assault" is legally applied when a person has simply put someone in fear of a harmful contact. According to the attorney, Barnett did carry a gun, but the judge did not include their self-defense argument in the instructions to the jury – another basis for appeal. All together, the illegals received only $77,804 of the $32 million they requested . . .