Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

By Roger Gitlin – EYE ON DEL NORTE – February 21, 2022

Del Norte Sheriff Randy Waltz finds himself in an interesting predicament this election cycle. Waltz is a candidate for his own four year term after assuming the remainder of former Sheriff Erik Apperson unexpected resignation last year.

On Feb. 4, Legal Process Server Donna Westfall was attempting to serve Measure A Citizen’s Oversight Committee (COC) member Jessica Curry a Writ of Mandate at her home. Ms. Curry was made aware of the Service from an email sent earlier from COC Chairperson Steven Lyons. During mid-morning on the date in question, Curry exited her property moved to the deck of her home and in a reported hostile manner yelled at Ms. Westfall to remove herself from the property.

(Donna Westfall with Wes Nunn at Del Norte Superior County Courthouse)

Curry did so while brandishing a rifle!!

Ms. Westfall was compliant AND was unarmed during the exchange.

When I brought this to Sheriff Waltz’ attention, he defended Curry’s carrying a weapon, stating carrying a weapon was not against the law, felony or misdemeanor to brandish a weapon on one’s property. Penal Code 417 seems to be at odds with Sheriff Waltz’ interpretation.

Penal Code 417 states no one can brandish a weapon while in a state of anger or perceived hostility. The process service could most certainly be considered hostile. Trespassing complaints were filed by Curry and a counter-complaint by Westfall in preventing her from performing her duties as a Legal Process Server was submitted. There’s reportedly an investigation on-going and perhaps the Sheriff will reveal the outcome during this election cycle.

Two facts remain immutable: Curry was made aware of the impending service; Westfall was unarmed.

Is it prudent to approach an unknown, unarmed person at one’s property in a hostile, agitative manner with a rifle or pistol in your hand?

I would surmise Ms. Curry was way out line in assuming she was being ” threatened ” by the actions of an unarmed process server. The results of Jessica Curry’s action could have been tragic with just the slightest of verbal escalation.

Sheriff Waltz should not lightly skim over this Feb. incident. Deputy Sloan has yet to admonish Ms. Curry but was quick to warn Ms. Westfall not to trespass on the Curry property. As a final observation, there WERE no signs of NO TRESPASSING and to date, there remain no signage on the Curry property of NO TRESPASSING.The questions beg to be asked and answered:

Is Measure A Oversight member Jessica Curry fit to serve? AND what role does the Sheriff service in defusing explosive situations like the one noted above?

6 thoughts on “What a Predicament”
  1. OK- this article is total BS. “in a reported hostile manner yelled at Ms. Westfall to remove herself from the property.” Yelling in a hostile manner- what is that? What does yelling have to do with the firearm? I saw nothing in the description about “waving” a firearm.
    The process server was told to remove herself from the property. Once that is done, she has to leave. Period. The type of process involved also means nothing. BTW- I am an authorized process server in CA and have served hundreds of documents- state and federal. The fact that the person was armed means nothing and is within that persons rights. Is there video of the actions with the firearm?? Doesn’t seem to be.
    The process server failed and is now whining. Go away with this nonsense.

    1. So you claim to be a process server, yet you don’t appear to be aware of the specifics of Penal Code 417? Armed, showing a weapon, not even necessary to “wave it”, while visibly angry is a chargeable offense even if you are on your own private property. THE SECOND AMENDMENT only gets you so far. I suspect in this instance that even you would have been hesitant to serve the documents.

  2. Is someone Sensitive? It’s easy to be anonymous, except in your case where your ignorance is crippling. Why are people so cowardly, and so easily agitated to have to brandish a weapon. Is Ms. Curry so inflicted with fear she carries a gun all day. If so, her instability should be investigated. Don’t look, someone’s playing on your yard.

  3. I CANNOT BELIEVE that Roger Gitlin, whose level headed and consistently GREAT leadership has seen Del Norte county through good tims and bad would write something like this… If someone comes onto ur property, it is your RIGHT do defend yourself. I thought GITLIN was a SECOND AMENDMENT PROTECTOR. STAY OFF MY PROPERTY TOO.

    1. It does not give you the right to brandish a weapon while in an angry state of mind when no apparent threat exists. Having the “right” to bear arms and protect your property with said arms if threatened is not what Roger is talking about. The property owner was being served a legal notice by a process server. She came outside in an aggressive manner before the process server even got to the door. She had been told in advance to expect the process server. She went ballistic and brandished a weapon in a situation where NO conceivable threat to her or her property occurred. The property owner WAS NOT DEFENDING herself! It would be like you screaming at the postman or a cop while waving a gun around or even showing a weapon as a threat on your front porch as they approached. Is that something that you customarily do when someone comes to your door? How do you think that would play out for you? Get the facts before you jump to conclusions.

    2. The second amendment is strong, but he does have a point. “Waving guns in anger or with hostility” is no Bueno. I see this happening. My neighbor he’s jumping up and down saying blah blah blah waving gun. I take this as “this man will destroy my family and myself”. So, I destroy this man first. Crescent city don’t need that.

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