Gun-carrying Lebanon mom files civil-rights lawsuit
by BARBARA MILLER, Of The Patriot-News
Monday November 24, 2008, 4:27 PM
LEBANON -- The Lebanon woman who stirred controversy by openly carrying a handgun to her child's soccer game filed a lawsuit in federal court today claiming that her rights were violated and seeking more than $1 million in damages.
Meleanie Hain's concealed weapons permit was revoked Sept. 20 by Lebanon County Sheriff Michael DeLeo, who maintained she showed poor judgment wearing her gun to her daughter's soccer game Sept. 11. The permit was reinstated Oct. 14 by Lebanon County Judge Robert Eby.
Judge Eby asked her to conceal the gun when she goes to soccer games. but Hain said she planned to continue to display the gun, asserting her right under the Second Amendment.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. Middle District Court on behalf of Hain and her husband, Scott Hain, names DeLeo, his office and Lebanon County. It claims the sheriff's action violated her First, Second, Fourth, Fifth and 14th Amendment rights.
"My client has been harmed more than that court is empowered to adjudicate," said Hain's attorney, Matthew Weisberg, referring to the reinstatement of her permit in county court.
The suit seeks reimbursement of attorneys' fees and costs and lost wages, since Hain's baby-sitting business has suffered, Weisberg said. She also seeks compensation for emotional distress, punitive and statutory damages, and mandatory education for the sheriff's department on Second Amendment issues.
Hain had been carrying the weapon openly for a year, Weisberg said, but no one complained until the sheriff revoked her permit. He added that a sheriff's deputy was one of her clients.