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Joe Francis is Fighting for Your Rights

[La Times Blogs]- “Girls Gone Wild” creator Joe Francis is fighting for our rights!

No, not our right to party. Our constitutional rights.

And today, he filed suit against the Panama City, Fla., legal officials whom he says falsely accused him, violated his civil rights and wrongfully imprisoned him for 11 months.

The suit, filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that a federal judge in Panama City worked in cahoots with the opposing attorney to coerce Francis to pay a ransom before he was let out of solitary confinement.

Francis claims he was falsely imprisoned as part of a civil case that resulted when his company Mantra Films was in the town in 2003 shooting segments for a “GGW” episode involving the spring break antics of college girls.

Speaking today to the Dish Rag, Francis says: “What this judge did was criminal. You cannot, he did, but you cannot put someone in jail in a civil lawsuit and hold them without bail for 11 months. I was denied a trial. No trial, no bail. they just threw me into jail. I had to stay in jail until I paid money to the judge’s ex-law partner.”

According to Francis, the truth can be found on his website, meetjoefrancis.com. And he wants people to know that he is fighting for their rights as well as his own.

“If they let this action, this settlement stand, one that was executed from jail under duress and was a ransom order, this will single-handedly undermine the entire judicial system in the country,” Francis says.

“It will mean that you get in a car wreck, getting a divorce, a judge can tell without a trial, without a jury, no judication or testimony, you pay or go to jail, and then stay put in jail until you pay.”

According to Francis’ attorney Bob Barnes, this is a landmark case. “This case eats away at the very core of our civil justice system. It’s unprecedented. We cannot find a circumstance in the history of the republic where someone was thrown in jail in a civil case so that they could be coerced and held until they wrote a sufficiently large seven-figure check to the judge’s former law partner.”

So, ask not for whom Joe Francis fights. He fights for us all.

“Joe Francis is fighting for all the average Joes and Jills out there who do not have the resources to fight this, or the access to a law firm,” Barnes adds.

What do you think? It should be very interesting to see how this case plays out and what will be uncovered.

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