N.H. Supreme Court Set To Rule On 'Robin Hooders' Case

Jun 8, 2015

The state’s highest court will rule Tuesday on whether the so-called “Robin Hooders” of Keene, who go around feeding expired parking meters, are protected under the First Amendment.

A scene from one of the videos of "Robin Hooding" in Keene.
Credit YOUTUBE.COM

The New Hampshire Supreme Court will decide whether the city has a right to mandate how far protesters can come to parking meter attendants on the job.

Back in 2013 the Cheshire Superior Court ruled that Keene cannot create a buffer zone to protect these workers.

This libertarian group, better known as Free Keene, have spent more than a thousand dollars in change feeding parking meters and spent countless hours following meter attendants who patrol the city streets.

City officials argue these protesters were harassing attendants – at times even bumping into them or showering them with profanities.

But “Robin Hooder” James Cleaveland denies these claims – saying they were only exercising free speech.

“We have to realize as a society that unpopular speech also needs to be protected. That is really when you need the first amendment.”

Lawyers for the city say they are not interested in arresting protesters but rather enforcing certain guidelines to protect workers.