Baseball season is here but a trial in William Anderson's ticket-scalping lawsuit against the Mariners is not. The 2009 case is plodding along, sort of like the M's, and won't be heard until next year, it now appears.
He seems to have a reasonable complaint: City Hall repealed its anti-scalping law in 2005 and Anderson says he legally sells game tickets on private property near Safeco Field. Nonetheless, off-duty cops, working for the Mariners, seized his tickets and wrote him a few of their own, claiming he's in criminal violation of vending in a no-vending zone and, furthermore, lacks a permit to do so, since the city won't issue him one.
It's unconstitutional and a violation of his civil rights, says Anderson, who notes in his lawsuit that he's a "married adult African American male citizen." He has gone to criminal court numerous times and gotten the charges dismissed but never gets back his tickets or compensation for them.
The city and the Mariners deny he has a case and are now waiting to hear if a federal judge will toss it out. They are merely enforcing the law, they say, not harassing someone who undercuts their sales. But if a trial is held, they demand it be heard by a jury of their peers. That would likely include baseball fans. Considering the Mariners are 6-7 and in their typical also-ran position, that may be why the M's agreed to have the trial next January, between seasons.