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Case: 3:18-cv-01778-JGC Doc #: 12 Filed: 10/16/18 1 of 5.

PageID #: 70

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO

CALVIN ZASTROW and CORRIE ZASTROW,

Plaintiffs, Case No. 3:18-cv-01778-JGC

v.
PLAINTIFFS’ ANSWER
CITY OF TOLEDO; GEORGE KRAL, individually TO COUNTERCLAIM
and in his official capacity as Chief of Police, City of
Toledo Police Department; MICHAEL HAYNES,
individually and in his official capacity as a police
officer, City of Toledo Police Department; and
ANGELA KNOBLAUCH, individually and in her
official capacity as a police officer, City of Toledo
Police Department,

Defendants.

Plaintiffs Calvin Zastrow and Corrie Zastrow (collectively referred to as “Plaintiffs”), by

and through their undersigned counsel, hereby file this Answer in response to the allegations of

Defendants’ Counterclaim and affirmatively deny any wrongdoing and further assert that

Defendants’ Counterclaim fails as a matter of fact and as a matter of law and it is further evidence

of Defendants’ unconstitutional application of local and state laws to suppress Plaintiffs’ rights

protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

1. Defendants’ Counterclaim does not assert any independent factual basis. Rather,

Defendants simply state in the first paragraph of their Counterclaim, paragraph 89, that

“Paragraphs 1 through 88 of the Defendant’s (sic) answer are incorporated by reference.”

Defendants do not assert any facts in paragraphs 1 through 88 of their Answer to support their

Counterclaim, which purports to be a civil action brought under Ohio Revised Code Section

2917.11. Plaintiffs assert that at all times relevant herein, Plaintiffs were engaging in

constitutionally protected activity that cannot be prohibited under any local or state law, including

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Ohio Revised Code Section 2917.11. Plaintiffs further assert that at all times relevant herein,

Plaintiffs were peacefully praying, preaching, worshipping, distributing literature, and holding

pro-life signs on the public sidewalks adjacent to the Capital Care Network abortion center located

at 1160 West Sylvania Avenue in Toledo, Ohio, and that these public sidewalks are a traditional

public forum for this free speech activity. Insofar as Defendants allege any contrary facts, those

facts are denied.

2. Plaintiffs admit the allegation set forth in paragraph 90 of Defendants’

Counterclaim. However, Plaintiffs deny that Defendant City of Toledo has the authority to enforce

Ohio Revised Code Section 2917.11 by way of a Counterclaim in this civil proceeding.

3. Paragraph 91 of Defendants’ Counterclaim quotes, in part, Ohio Revised Code

Section 2917.11, which is a legal conclusion for which no answer is required. However, Plaintiffs

do not deny that Defendants have accurately quoted portions of Section 2917.11. Plaintiffs further

assert that Section 2917.11, specifically as quoted and relied upon by Defendants, is

unconstitutional on its face and as applied to restrict Plaintiffs’ expressive religious activity.

4. Paragraph 92 of Defendants’ Counterclaim sets forth Defendants’ “belief” and a

legal conclusion. Plaintiffs can neither admit nor deny what Defendants may or may not believe;

therefore, the allegation is denied. Insofar as the allegation sets forth a legal conclusion, no answer

is required. Nonetheless, the legal conclusion is wrong and is therefore denied. Moreover,

Plaintiffs deny that they engaged in any behavior on October 3, 2017, that “recklessly caused

annoyance, inconvenience or alarm to persons attempting to use the public sidewalk in front of

1160 West Sylvania, (sic) Ave., Toledo by obstructing the free passage of persons.” Plaintiffs

assert that at all times relevant on October 3, 2017, Plaintiffs were engaging in express religious

activity protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

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5. Paragraph 93 of Defendants’ Counterclaim sets forth Defendants’ “belief” and a

legal conclusion. Plaintiffs can neither admit nor deny what Defendants may or may not believe;

therefore, the allegation is denied. Insofar as the allegation sets forth a legal conclusion, no answer

is required. Nonetheless, the legal conclusion is wrong and is therefore denied. Plaintiffs further

deny that they engaged in, or have demonstrated any intention to engage in, any behavior at 1160

West Sylvania Avenue that “present[s] an immediate risk of harm to the public health, safety and

welfare.” Plaintiffs further assert that at all times relevant, Plaintiffs were engaging in express

religious activity protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments, and it is Plaintiffs’ intention

to engage in such behavior in the future.

6. Plaintiffs deny the allegation set forth in paragraph 94 of Defendants’

Counterclaim.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

7. Denied. Plaintiffs affirmatively assert that Defendants are entitled to no relief.

AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES

1. Defendants’ Counterclaim fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

2. At all times relevant herein, Plaintiffs were engaging in express religious activity

protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

3. Defendants’ Counterclaim is frivolous and a thinly veiled effort to silence

Plaintiffs’ expressive religious activity protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

4. Defendants’ Counterclaim is an abuse of process in that Defendants are engaging

in meritless and vexatious litigation to harm Plaintiffs and to halt Plaintiffs’ expressive religious

activity protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

5. Defendants lack standing.

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6. Defendants have no legal authority for asserting their Counterclaim.

7. Ohio Revised Code Section 2917.11, facially and as applied to restrict Plaintiffs’

expressive religious activity, violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

8. Plaintiffs are entitled to an award of their attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses for

having to defend against this frivolous Counterclaim.

Respectfully submitted,

AMERICAN FREEDOM LAW CENTER

/s/ Robert J. Muise


Robert J. Muise, Esq.* (MI P62849)
P.O. Box 131098
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48113
Tel: (734) 635-3756
Fax: (801) 760-3901
rmuise@americanfreedomlawcenter.org
*Admitted pro hac vice

THOMAS W. CONDIT (Ohio Bar #0041299)


P.O. Box 12700
Cincinnati, Ohio 45212
Tel: (513) 731-1230
Fax: (513) 731-7230
Mobile: (513) 284-9260
twcondit@fuse.net

Counsel for Plaintiffs

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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I hereby certify that on October 16, 2018, a copy of the foregoing was filed electronically.

Notice of this filing will be sent to all parties for whom counsel has entered an appearance by

operation of the Court’s electronic filing system. Parties may access this filing through the Court’s

system. I further certify that a copy of the foregoing has been served by ordinary U.S. mail upon

all parties for whom counsel has not yet entered an appearance electronically: none.

Respectfully submitted,

AMERICAN FREEDOM LAW CENTER

/s/ Robert J. Muise


Robert J. Muise, Esq.

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