GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

June 19, 2013

Court denies appeal in Rockport weapons case

By James Niedzinski
Staff Writer

---- — ROCKPORT — The U.S Court of Appeals has stood behind an initial ruling that essentially dismissed a case against the town and a cornucopia of other institutions brought by a Broadway man who once faced numerous charges himself.

James M. Atkison’s case against the town stems from an arrest in 2009. At that time, he was facing charges of global theft, weapons larceny, and a number of other charges, since dropped, after a Swiss company did not receive $32,000 in payment for equipment.

Atkinson, of 31R Broadway, previously told the Times his business — Granite Island Group — serves as a go between for other companies, and that he had sent the money to Tennessee-based Research Electronics International, which manufactures and ships counter-surveillance equipment.

Although Granite Island Group does not have any filings listed on the Secretary of State’s website, Atkinson’s site indicates he specializes in counter-surveillance removal and has spoken nationally on the subject.

The Swiss company contacted the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, who alerted Rockport Police.

When police entered his home in 2009, they found a cache of weapons, which they seized; Atkinson was arrested.

Once the charges were dropped in May 2012, Atkinson went on to file a civil lawsuit against the town in November 2012, claiming he was illegally recorded, wrongfully arrested and wrongfully had his license to carry a weapon revoked by police.

The claims against the town were dismissed during a March clerk magistrate hearing in Newbury District Court.

Atkinson appealed that ruling, but his appeal was shot down.

A judgment issued by the First Circuit Court Of Appeals states the court has reviewed the appeal and a number of the defendants have filed for a summary disposition, including Research Electronics International, which essentially means the court ruled without a legal opinion.

Atkinson’s fourth amended complaint in the appeal process was 2,173 pages and “suffers from the infirmity cited by the magistrate judge,” the court ruling reads, meaning the fourth amended complaint did not address the magistrate judge’s issues with the third amended complaint.

“There are simply too many parties, too many unrelated claims merged into one pleading, too many conclusory charges and too many unsubstantiated assertions of wrongdoing,” the document states.

The court document states Atkinson failed to provide the complaint with his motion to file it.

Tuesday, Atkinson still described the Rockport Police Department as a “criminal enterprise,” and he said he has since filed another appeal.

James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3455 or jniedzinski@gloucestertimes.com.