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The Amish Civil Rights Movement

9/16/2008 5:38 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

A bunch of Amish people in Ohio could get a whole lot richer -- if the cops can't explain why they sent a SWAT team to storm a schoolhouse!
The Amish!

Amish residents of Bergholz, OH are suing the Jefferson County Sheriff's office for $35 mil, claiming they were deprived of their civil rights when a fully armed SWAT unit entered a schoolhouse with their automatic weapons drawn back in 2007.

In the suit, the Amish -- who almost all have the last name of Miller or Mullet -- claim the "paramilitary tactics" were authorized so the Sheriff's Dept. could pick up two children caught in the middle of what sounds like a pretty nasty custody fight. Obviously, the Amish, who don't use modern technology, claim they "suffered mental, bodily and physical distress" during the raid.

If they win their suit -- what in the Lord's name are the Amish going to do with 35 million bucks?! That's a lot of buggies and butter churners!


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Talk to the hand, cause the beard ain't listening

2190 days ago


Their last names are Mullet? That's hilarious.

2190 days ago

Canadian Comment    

I don't know what the Amish will spend this money on if their law suit is successful, but I can tell you what they won't be spending it on: twenty five million dollar houses, millions of dollars worth of bling, five hundred thousdand dollar cars, five thousand dollar handbags, thousand dollar shoes, a thoursand dollar a week coke or alcohol habit, restaurantt tabs in excess of five thousand dollars, tens of thousands of dollars for a stay at a fancy rehab facility, millions of dollars for overflowing closets of designer clothes.

The Amish may well spend some of this money buggies and butter churners, but I bet after they are finished paying the huge fee for legal services rendered, they will enhance their community with some of the money, and give the rest to the poor, in the US and around the world.

Buggies and butter churners, TMZ you show your ignorance.


2190 days ago


They already get away with not paying taxes. They will probably win this law suit and get paid with OUR TAX DOLLARS.

2190 days ago


What can they do with 35 million? Pay their medical bills! I work EMS in an area with a large Amish population, and they get hurt a lot. It seems like every day they have a drowning, or a kid kicked by a horse, or a buggy struck by a car. (I once worked a call with nine kids in a buggy struck by a truck, and we had to fly four of them by helicopter). That's a lot of huge medical bills.

Since they don't typically have medical insurance or rely on government assistance, they must pay their bills with cash. To their credit, they do... (they are, for obvious reasons, very good savers) ... but we all know how huge medical bills can sometimes be. It's certainly conceivable that they would have millions in medical bills, particularly when viewed community-wide.

Just kind of thinking out loud.

2190 days ago

Hardworking but broke    

Isn't the court system and a lawsuit considered to be MODERN TECHNOLOGY?? Don't mind using THAT I guess...

2190 days ago

I was half an inch away from doing it this weekend.    

I actually know some amish people. They are not to be made fun of. They are honest, hardworking, and noble individuals. If a swat team stormed your child's school unannounced, you would probably be more than a little peeved as well.

2190 days ago


and what else do you propose they do? in today's society the only thing that will make them pay attention and not violate their rights again is to hit them where it the's the only thing that most governments understand..they do not need the money..are not doing it for the money..but they are smart

2190 days ago


@6. LOL! the court system was actually in this country before the Amish, as it was brought over when we were just "the colonies". if you are going to make fun of people for their beliefs, try taking a 5th grade social studies class first.

2190 days ago

Baseball Junkie    

hmmmm, No the court system is not new technology. The US court system is a descendant of the English Common Law which is a descendant of the Norse Common Law which is almost 2000 years old. Not exactly new, idiot.

As far as spending the money, do you have any idea what purebred farm animals cost? Try going to a farm auction and you might learn a few things.

Go Sox

2190 days ago

Please actually read the Constitution    

#6 hmmmmm. You are a MORON. Take a World Civilizations class! And #3, they don't pay taxes because they don't benefit from government programs.

2190 days ago


to the person that stated they know the amish, so do I, I was raised around them, yes they seem honest hard working and simple. BUT, but what we dont get to ever see or hear of is the other side of these sweet kindhearted darlings, 1. childeren are worked to the born at early ages with no choice, now for those that say gee this is good for them, hey they are not mowing lawns for extra cash in summer, they are doing work that most adults outside of the amish community couldn't do, the girl are highly regulated in relations, the father and the elders decide in the end who the daughter will marry and who she want. 2. Inbreeding is a serious problem not brought up. 3. punishment in the order is stricter than a russian prison and final. 4. Child abuse and rape is NOT reported period, if it is brought up then the girl has to prove it, and if she doesn't she is deemed not of the order and shuned in other words kicked out of her community. 4. If a woman wants a divorce and leave the order guess what she isnt getting the kids, 5. Those cute homemade furniture you see everywhere and thing what neat plain people made this with love, well think of the kids whose hands bleed to put that together. The amish get away with alot more than people know they are just as much a cult as any cult but they believe in god so its ok. They should not be tax exempt and have have different legal rights as others that is the problem with america we let religon do what ever it wants and when you do that secrets get buried deep very terrifying secrets.

2190 days ago

THese sternies are mean people who have no feelings    

Good for them after all they went through they should be suing for 35 BILLION. God bless the AMISH our prayers are with ye.

2190 days ago


Amish DO PAY TAXES just like everyone else. Income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, etc. They don't pay FISA (Social Security taxes) on themselves because THEY DO NOT RECEIVE Social Security.

I guess it just goes to show that any dumkopf can leave a comment.

2190 days ago

Ayla of no people    

This is Huge and Reprehansible!!. I would really like to read more on this story, but haven't searched the net yet. There was obviously no reason for a SWAT team to invade a school house and an outlet store to take care of a Change of Custody dispute. If anyone is guilty, it is the sheriff in this case as he would have ordered this.

Yes Shawn, they may not pay taxes and may have their own (unacceptable to some) lifestyle, but that doesn't mean that basic rights should not prevail. It is well known that these are unarmed folks. No need for a SWAT team, geesh! I too know a lot about the Amish and Mennonite communities in MD, and PA. I do not agree with a lot of their lifestyle, but common decency dictates that their lifestyle be taken into consideration when planning out a military style attack for a Custody Order.

I have never heard of a divorce or custody battle within this type of community which is stunning in itself. I guess I always thought that they took care of things within the community and without the use of Court Order etc.

At any rate, although I do not think they deserve so much money, they do deserve compensation for those children who will undoubtably be having nightmares.

I may come back and comment further when I find a real article on this lawsuit. Please feel free to point me to a web report

2190 days ago
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