Are You Pondering What I’m Pondering?

Narf, I think so, Brain. If you’re pondering the fact that the Court of Appeals has adjourned until the 17th without a decision on Bill Schmalfeldt’s motion to reconsider his motion to stay his peace order pending an appeal, making it necessary for Bill to have to trundle his ass into a car to be transported to Westminster, and he’s in a wheelchair because he blew out a hamstring just from standing up today, and this is caused by his tendons tightening because of the Parkinson’s disease, the progression of which was exacerbated by WJJ Hoge III’s constant threats of jail and arrest and new criminal charges, and the fact that he is now completely unable to walk, added to the fact that he almost choked to death on a glass of water last night, and he blames Hoge for the increased rate of progression of his illness and his wife blames Hoge for the increased rate of progression of his illness and his neurologist blames Hoge for Bill’s increased rate of progression of his illness, and that unless Hoge drops his stupid, useless, doomed-to-fail peace order, Bill is going to put Hoge under oath, point out his lies under oath already stated, draw out new lies under oath for Hoge to try to get away with, making an utter fool of Hoge and ruining his reputation forever as he prepares for his being sued by Brett Kimberlin.

Or were you pondering monkeys again?

Hoge Seems to Misunderstand the Purpose of an Appeal

Poor John Hoge. Such an ego, and with such little reason for it. Now I’m being criticized for “arguing a case I’ve already lost.” Dude. That’s what appeals are. He should know. He had two judges tell him “no” to his peace order demand before he finally found one who gave it to him.

I am going to say the same thing now to WJJ Hoge that I said to the Wisconsin Knotheads about their phony “Occupy Madison” website.

John, the peace order. Either give it up willingly or be humiliated when I take it from you.

I really don’t know if it’s hubris, stupidity, ego, or a mixture of all three. In my last post, I showed you this.

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 4.26.43 PMIt’s from the Maryland Legislature discussing their accomplishments of 2012. One of which was their passage of a bill that added “electronic communication” to the electronic mail harassment law.  If you look at the underlined portion, you see that the Attorney General of Maryland said that harassment online may not include Twitter.

Add to that this wrapup from the 2013 legislative session.

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 5.52.30 PMThey toughened the law in regard to minors.  But left intact the prohibition on Twitter as a source of harassment. This goes hand in hand with the US v. Cassidy ruling in the Federal courts that says Twitter can not be used to harass.

Here’s Hoge’s rebuttal.

His lawyer submitted a motion to dismiss based on the notion that the misuse of electronic communications statute the Cabin Boy writes about in his post is not one of he triggering crimes for a peace order. My lawyer’s response was that the broader harassment statute covered electronic harassment as well, that my petition was based on my being harassed, that the harassment being electronic was incidental to my petition, and that the possibility Schmalfeldt might be charged with both crimes didn’t affect my case.

The judge agreed with my lawyer.

WHAT? This doesn’t even make SENSE! I was charged under the broader harassment statute and those charges were dismissed. I was also charged with electronic harassment, and those charges were dismissed.  Just how does Hoge allege he was harassed?

BY TWITTER!!!

And the Attorney General of the State of Maryland along with the Federal Court in US v Cassidy both say YOU CAN NOT HARASS A PERSON ON TWITTER!!!

He continues.

The judge also wound up finding that Schmalfeldt engaged in harassment. That’s as much as he had to find in order to issue the peace order.

The Cabin Boy is trying to engage in an argument that he’s already lost.

Well… DUH! That’s what an appeal IS! Hoge should know that. He had to appeal an argument HE lost to get the Circuit Court judge to grant his peace order that TWO District Court judges told him he could not have.

Hoge’s sole argument seems to be, “The judge decided.” Well, if that were the case there would be no appeal courts. Judges make mistakes.  According to the Federal Court and the Attorney General of Maryland, THIS judge MADE A MISTAKE!

I’ve given Hoge a chance to back out of this and save a scrap of his face. If he doesn’t take it, he will have to deal with the results.

How Can Hoge Get a Peace Order to Protect Himself from Something That Does NOT EXIST?

I was working on my presentation to the Carroll County Circuit Court when I stumbled onto the smoking gun that just shot a great big hole in WJJ Hoge’s Peace Order, causing it to fly around like a leaking balloon, making a farting sound (and smell) as it got smaller and smaller until it just fell to the Earth with a plop.

I am looking forward to see how Mr. Hoge will answer the fact that the Attorney General of the State of Maryland says “no harassment occurred” therefore there can be no Peace Order to protect Hoge from harassment that never happened.

Let us recall that Hoge, Aaron Walker and Lee Stranahan have tried to hang harassment and electronic harassment beefs on me before. All were dismissed by the Howard County and Carroll County State’s Attorneys.

There’s a reason for that. It’s a law passed in April 2012 by the Maryland Legislature.

Go to page 176.

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 4.26.43 PMWhat does this all mean? It means Hoge has no case for a Peace Order, and either the Court of Appeals or the Circuit Court will have to overturn the Circuit Court’s erroneous decision.

Now, if I sent Hoge an e-mail calling him a ragged old popcorn fart and he told me to stop sending him e-mails, he might have a case if he could prove that my intent was to harass and annoy.

HOWEVER:

Since anything I sent to the @wjjhoge Twitter account doesn’t JUST show up on Hoge’s Twitter timeline. It shows up on the timeline of everyone who follows me. It shows up on the timeline of everyone who follows Hoge. Therefore, according to Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, it does not meet the “sent to a person and received by a person” requirement for harassment.

I am going to unblock Mr. Hoge on Twitter, and if he wishes to contact me to discuss his surrender, he will find me quite accommodating.

When did WJJ Hoge tell me to stop contacting him? NEVER!

Simple answer? Never.

I like to think of these little blog posts as being instructive.  Here’s an old investigative journalist trick.

You want information and you know your quarry has an ego the size of all outdoors.

1. Play stupid or forgetful. I tweeted this morning that I didn’t recall Hoge having ever asked me to stop contacting him. I’m sure he did, but darned if I can find it anywhere in my records.”

2. Show a vulnerability. I am sure he sent me one, but my memory isn’t what it has been lately.

Then, sit back and wait until you hear the trap snap shut.  First, the blog post in its entirety, after which we will break it down and demonstrate why, if he has any hopes of not being humiliated on Oct. 16, he should pray that the Court of Appeals grants my motion, or that I die before Oct. 16. Barring that, he would need to talk to his attorney.

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 1.24.53 PMScreen Shot 2013-10-04 at 12.51.39 PMScreen Shot 2013-10-04 at 12.51.54 PMNow, let’s examine what we’ve learned here.

1. WJJ HOGE NEVER SENT ME A CEASE AND DESIST DEMAND. Oh, he sent one to Old Uncle Bastard. He also sent one to Breitbart Unmasked and Occupy Rebellion who continue to contact him to their hearts’ delight. I am the only one to have charges filed against me. But my name is NOT “Old Uncle Bastard.” A proper “cease and desist” has to be addressed to the individual you wish to stop contacting you.

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 1.38.45 PMWilliam M. Schmalfeldt never received a signed, cease and desist order from WJJ Hoge. “Old Uncle Bastard” got a “cease contact” Tweet. As far as we legally know, Hoge’s son sent it. There is no proof that would stand up in court that Hoge ever ordered that I, William M. Schmalfeldt, cease contact with him.

2. HOGE’S “SECOND WARNING” WAS ACTUALLY A “FIRST WARNING” AND HE FILED CHARGES JUST DAYS LATER. In his blog post, Hoge refers to his Feb. 15 “stop contacting me” post as a “second warning.” He links to what he says was his “first warning,” which was this…

cease-tweet

IN WHAT UNIVERSE IS “save your breath” a demand to “cease contact?”

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 1.45.41 PM

“Old Uncle Bastard” isn’t even MENTIONED in this post so how can the OTHER post be a “second warning?”  And do you see any reference to William M. Schmalfeldt anywhere in this post?  Me neither.

3. HOGE’S SCREENCAP OF “OLD UNCLE BASTARD’S” TWEET DOESN’T PROVE A THING: For one thing, the link he says proves “Old Uncle Bastard” was AWARE of the Cease Contact Demand goes NOWHERE! And the comment made in the tweet could be true of the comments in 95% of Hoge’s posts. In the Tweet do you see any reference to a “Cease Contact Demand?” Me neither.

4. DID “OLD UNCLE BASTARD” CONTINUE TO SEND MESSAGES THAT HARASSED, ALARMED OR SERIOUSLY ANNOYED MR. HOGE?  It doesn’t seem that way.  But again, let’s look at the legal definition of Harassment in Maryland.

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 1.52.02 PMDid Old Uncle Bastard “intend” to “harass, alarm or annoy” Mr. Hoge? Well, a Carroll County Circuit Court judge who didn’t even know what Twitter WAS says William M. Schmalfeldt did, but did Hoge ever tell William M. Schmalfeldt to leave him alone?  And is Mr. Hoge aware of the fact that criminal complaints are signed “under penalty of perjury”?

Screen Shot 2013-10-04 at 11.17.55 AM

A “malicious course of conduct” in which William M. Schmalfeldt “approached or pursued” Mr. Hoge with INTENT to place him in “REASONABLE FEAR OF SERIOUS BODILY INJURY OR DEATH?”

SERIOUSLY???  POOP FLAKES IN YOUR BEARD WILL KILL YOU?  Did William M. Schmalfeldt THREATEN to put those poop flakes in Mr. Hoge’s beard, or was it a vulgar but satirical observation?

5. MR. HOGE SEES MY BAIT AS AN ATTEMPT TO CLAIM A “TWINKIE DEFENSE.” Nope. It’s an attempt to prove that he never told William M. Schmalfeldt to stop contacting him, he told “Old Uncle Bastard,” “Breitbart Unmasked” and “Occupy Rebellion” to stop contacting him after lying that it was a “second warning.”

On Oct. 16, if we get that far, this is a tiny, smidgen of the evidence I plan to present to discredit and impeach Hoge’s honesty. I will use every scrap of proof I have gathered, and will continue to gather, to prove that Mr. Hoge’s “peace order” is nothing more than an attempt to use the courts as a weapon against me for the crime of pointing out the very obvious fact that he has poop flakes in his beard.

Of course, if Mr. Hoge would rather NOT be humiliated in a public setting, he knows what he has to do.  But we have the feeling that Mr. Hoge rather enjoys public humiliation, given the fact that his 13 charges against me have all gone into the dumper and he needed three shots to get a judge to agree with his constitutionally-flawed peace order.  If humiliation is what he craves, I will do my level best to deliver.

Hoge batting .091 in calling me a liar.

Poor old John Hoge. He seems to think that when someone disagrees with something he says, that makes the other person a liar.

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 5.54.09 PMLet’s go through these one at a time.

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 5.56.16 PMHow in God’s name did I “lie” here? I don’t use my Parkinson’s disease as a “shield”. I don’t REQUIRE a shield. I am protected, just like Hoge is, the ADA. The peace order limits my ability to do my job. Plain and simple. Hoge doesn’t agree? Too bad. It means he’s wrong, not that I’m a liar.

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 5.58.39 PMHe claims I am “lying” when I said I took this tweet down within three minutes. Bullshit. This isn’t even his Twitter Timeline. @Kimberlinunmasked or one of Hoge’s numerous toadies happened to have his timeline open when I sent the tweet. Once I saw that Hoge was included I removed it. The fact that it was on KU’s timeline is irrelevant. It did not show up on HOGE’s timeline, or he would have posted a screen cap of it from his OWN TIMELINE!!!

And if it ever WAS on his timeline, I believe (I may be wrong) it would still be there.  It isn’t.

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 6.03.34 PMHoge clearly does not understand how Twitter works. If I send a tweet and his timeline is open (and he would not have received this tweet anyway, unless he was following me AND following Army Twat, the fact that it was open for 15 minutes does not mean I didn’t delete it within seconds. It shows up on an open timeline at the SPEED OF LIGHT! But again, Hoge doesn’t understand the rule of the @mention.

From Twitter’s own rules.

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 6.06.17 PMNot MY rules. TWITTER’S rules.

Moving on.

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 6.10.23 PMWhere is the lie here? Akbar said you were a partner of Pundit Syndication LLC. YOU said you are a partner of LLC. So?

Hoge’s not doing so well…

Maybe there will be a clear, provable lie in this next one.

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 6.12.22 PMMatter of semantics, not a lie. The State of Maryland did not go to the Court Commissioner and lie up a bunch of lying lies and swear to them. John Hoge did that. Therefore, John Hoge charged me.

Still batting .000 there, old boy. What else ya got?

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 6.14.31 PMOK? How much of the fund did you give Tanya? In dollars and cents, how much money did Hoge GIVE to TETYANA KIMBERLIN from this fund.

NOTHING?  OK. I was mistaken about him splitting the cash with the others. Apparently he kept it all for himself.  STILL not a lie to be found.

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 6.16.30 PMHow PECULIAR that the Court Commissioner would tell him something different than they told me. I believe, if I recall correctly, I was told, “We explained to Mr. Hoge that he’d better be in actual, imminent danger or to not bother filing.” This would explain why he was so hot to trot to file on the “pingbacks” but did not. They told him to go home.  STILL not a lie in the bunch!

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 6.19.22 PMThis one is just bullshit. Hoge says he didn’t file a DMCA takedown on me. And technically that may be true. But he DID call the person who owns the copyright on the picture to tattle on me, and even then the photo was altered enough to qualify for a “transformative use” under “fair use” but the server didn’t want to fight it.  LIE? Where’s the LIE, Hoge?

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 6.21.51 PMHoge’s recollection is incorrect and self serving. Barnes yelled at me like a third grade teacher when she rhetorically leaned down to press the “play” button on the CD player. “DO YOU WANT ME TO PLAY IT FOR YOU AGAIN???”

Only one left, Hoge. It better have a lie in it.

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 6.23.36 PMFINALLY! WE HAVE A WINNER!  I told a mistruth in the hopes, the stupid hopes, that Hoge and his fellow cyberstalking trolls would leave me the fuck alone and let me work for the Examiner undisturbed by their bullshit.  They tried again today with the Digital Journal.  Which raises another issue.  But I’ll talk about that later.

So. 1 out of 11. There was one deliberate, self-serving, trying to keep a gig to put some food on the table that trolls were trying to take away mistruth here. 1 out of 11.

Much better than his 0 for 13 in criminal charges. But still sucks as a batting average.

Now, PROVABLE LIES? LIES TOLD UNDER OATH?  We GOT those. But we’ll share ‘em with the Carroll County Circuit Court on Oct. 16.

  • Ahem (hogewash.com)

Proof that sad old stalker joined Society of Professional Journalists just because he saw that I had joined

This is really, truly sad.  I had my suspicions when WJJ Hoge claimed membership at the Society of Professional Journalists after never writing a WORD about his membership.  Suddenly, I mention on Twitter that I’ve joined, and we are treated to this blog post on Hogewash.

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 8.24.01 PMWell sir, my suspicious nature was alerted by the fact that Hoge had redacted his “join date.” It just didn’t smell right. If he wanted to rub my face in the fact that he was a member for years and years, why not list the join date… unless…

His post continues…

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 8.25.35 PMAnd, oh! The Lickspittles! They were all CERTAIN that I would explode in a torrent of rage over the fact that Hoge had long been a member of the organization. (Notice the reference to “our website” in the first paragraph?)

Well, when someone has been doing this as long as I have, one learns to ignore one’s gut at one’s own peril.  So, last night I screencapped a membership search from the website.

Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 7.58.13 PMThat’s fine.  My name didn’t show up, either last night.

Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 8.04.37 PMStill, giving Hoge the benefit of the doubt, I decided that maybe… maybe he was a member and decided to not list his information.

So, tonight, I tried again.  First my name.

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 8.31.31 PMWhaddya know! There I am!  How about Hoge. No way, right? I mean… his name still won’t show up because he’s a long-time member who opted out of having his information shared…

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 8.13.35 PMNow, someone answer this question for me.  What kind of creepy, stalking, horse’s ass drops $37.50 on a retired membership, just to annoy me?  Hoge is a journalist like I’m a salamander. He did news for a college radio station 500 years ago.  I not only have a long career in journalism, thanks to Digitial Journal, I am actually being paid for the privilege.  Hoge admitted in February he was not a journalist.

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 11.33.18 AMBut yesterday, that all changed.

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 11.36.55 AMSo, again the question. What kind of sick, twisted, stalking FUCK STICK joins an organization he has NO BUSINESS JOINING on the exact same day I joined? What kind of sick, twisted, stalking ASSHOLE gets a peace order against me, and then requests to FOLLOW MY TWITTER ACCOUNT?

Screen Shot 2013-09-08 at 10.09.44 AMHe got his peace order on June 4. He tried to follow me on July 10.  Between July 4 and earlier this month, Hoge filed 8 charges with the Carrol County Court Commissioner that I had violated the peace order.  All charges were dropped.

On October 16, unless the Maryland Court of Appeals acts first, I will ask the Carroll County Circuit Court to amend — or drop — my peace order. I will use this evidence — and tons of other evidence — to prove that if there’s a stalker in the courtroom, his name ain’t Schmalfeldt.

If Hoge wants to save himself the humiliation, he knows his lawyer’s phone number.

Sick, twisted, sad, used-up old LIAR!

 

WJJ Hoge: The man who was a journalist until he wasn’t, until I joined the SPJ at which time he was again

Far be it from me to cast aspersions on a fellow journalist.

(Pardon me. Had to pause for a moment. My wife made some tasty scrambled eggs and ham for lunch and some of it just shot through my nose and got on the computer screen. Had to wipe it off. Let’s continue.)

After being hired day before yesterday by the website Digital Journal as an independent contractor, freelance journalist

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 11.45.05 AMI decided it was about time that I joined the Society of Professional Journalists. Before filling out the application, I contacted the SPJ and asked if I was eligible to join as a retired member, even though I am not yet 62. I explained my circumstances, how I had been forced to retire by Parkinson’s disease but was staying active as a journalist as much as possible by my freelance work.  They wrote back and granted me an exemption to the age requirement. So, I joined as a retired member.

It means nothing, really. But it is nice to belong to an organization of fellow journalists. One of the requirements for joining, either as active or retired, is:

You spend more than half your time working as a journalist or j-educator.

I spend nearly every waking hour here at the keyboard, either updating my Shoutcast News/Talk station, or writing stories for Digital Journal (which pays me for doing so.)

I was proud of landing this gig, especially since Aaron Walker, Ali Akbar, WJJ Hoge, R. Stacy McCain and their legion of trolls attacked the Examiner for hiring me back and caused them to rescind their invitation to write for them.

Well, slow and steady wins the race. I won this one.

Now, imagine my surprise to read yesterday that WJJ Hoge — a retired engineer of low accomplishment — is ALSO a member of the SPJ. He posted his online status.  Tell me what you notice here.

spj_member

Notice it? The “join date” is redacted. Why would the “join date” be redacted? You would think that if Hoge wanted to rub it my face about being a long-standing member of this organization, he would SHOW the “join date” to prove he was member in good standing. After all, he referred to the SPJ website as our website.”

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 11.56.45 AM(See, if Hoge mentions something as a matter of conversation or a point of information, that’s all it is. If I do the same, I am “bragging.”)

But this redacted “join date” stuck out like a sore thumb.  Could it be that WJJ Hoge “joined” the SPJ the same day I did? Could it be this was another attempt of Hoge’s to get me to violate the terms of his weak and unconstitutionally-granted peace order, to goad me into contacting him?

I just can’t make myself believe that he would drop $37.50 just to needle me. But then again, he has spent untold thousands of dollars in his 13 failed criminal charges against me and his defense against my motion and petition in the Maryland Court of Appeals isn’t free either. Zoa Barnes GOTTA git paid for her lies. (I don’t have Parkinson’s disease anymore because Zoa said so.)

But would someone actually be that sick, that twisted, that SLIMY as to join an organization he has no business joining in a vain attempt to get under my skin? Is Hoge a “journalist”?

It depends on which Hoge you believe.  The Hoge who posted this in February:

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 11.33.18 AMOr the Hoge who posted this yesterday?

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 11.36.55 AMSeems like the befuddled old fool can’t make up his mind.

Whatever.  We will meet in court on October 16 for my motion at the Carroll County Circuit Court to modify the peace order. Mr. Hoge will be under oath and we’ll ask him to tell the court when and why he joined the SPC, and if — in fact — the claimed victim of stalking has turned into the stalker.

A Closer Look at My Petition for a Writ of Certiorari with the Maryland Court of Appeals and Zoa Barnes’ Quarter-Assed Reply

"Because you SAY so? Really? You're gonna STICK with that, Ms. Barnes?"

“Because you SAY so? Really? You’re gonna STICK with that, Ms. Barnes?”

Moving on to my petition for a writ of certiorari with the Maryland Court of Appeals, our version of a “Supreme Court.”

My brief lays out what I think is a very carefully researched, documented, case law-cited reason for the CofA to take the appeal under consideration.

My copy of the Answer filed by Zoa Barnes, the Westminster, Md., Family Law and Education lawyer that WJJ Hoge III retained (for some reason) to defend his, IMHO, unconstitutionally-granted peace order seems like a quarter-assed, “well, I have to file a response, so here goes” sort of reply.

In my brief, five questions are raised.  I will ask them one at a time, give you the rationale behind how I want the Court to answer the question, then I will give you Barnes’ reply.

QUESTION 1: WHETHER A PEACE ORDER PROHIBITING A JOURNALIST FROM USING TWITTER TO INFORM CITIZENS ABOUT A PUBLIC FIGURE CONFLICTS WITH AND VIOLATES THE FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH.

I argue that it does conflict with and violate my First Amendment right to free speech. Since receiving his Peace Order, Hoge has repeatedly threatened me with arrest, imprisonment and more criminal charges if I inadvertently or intentionally use the @wjjhoge “at mention” in a Twitter comment about him, in a direct tweet, a reply to someone else’s tweet that already contains the @wjjhoge mention, or otherwise.  I point to several examples of how the First Amendment bars efforts to criminalize free speech. I cite the case of Texas v. Johnson and Republican Party of Minn. v. White, two Supreme Court cases. In Texas v. Johnson, SCOTUS decided that conduct FAR more egregious than my tweets to Hoge — the burning of an American flag — was protected by the First Amendment. In Republican Party of Minn. v. White, SCOTUS decided that a Minnesota rule saying candidates for judicial office could not discuss their views on disputed legal issues was unconstitutional.  I argued that the content of my tweets was protected by the First Amendment, citing Hustler v. Falwell, in which SCOTUS decided that the First Amendment’s free-speech guarantee prohibits awarding damages to public figures to compensate for emotional distress intentionally inflicted upon them. I cited New York Times v. Sullivan, in which SCOTUS established the “actual malice” standard, which requires that the plaintiff in a defamation or libel case prove that the publisher of the statement in question knew that the statement was false or acted in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity. Because of the extremely high burden of proof on the plaintiff, and the difficulty in proving essentially what is inside a person’s head, such cases—when they involve public figures—rarely prevail. I cited Boos v. Barry, in which SCOTUS stood by its longstanding refusal to punish speech because the speech in question may have an adverse emotional impact on the audience. I cited Ashcroft v. the Free Speech Coalition, in which SCOTUS struck down two overbroad provisions of the Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996 because they abridged “the freedom to engage in a substantial amount of lawful speech.” Finally, I brought out the big gun and cited US v. Cassidy, in which a Federal District Judge ruled that “tweets” and “blogs” by their very nature can not be sources of “harassment” or cause “extreme emotional distress.”

Now, I don’t want anyone to think I am paraphrasing Zoa Barnes’ answer to any of these questions. So I will copy and paste her actual reply to the very complicated, well-cited question posed above.  This is from her actual answer that I got in the mail yesterday, that the CofA will receive Monday,

Screen Shot 2013-09-22 at 9.49.20 AMThat’s it. That’s the answer. No case law. No reason given. No citations. No proof. Not even a rebuttal about the applicability of any of the cited SCOTUS or Federal District Court cases.

Just “Because I Said So.”

QUESTION 2: WHETHER THE PEACE ORDER IN THIS CASE CONFLICTS WITH THE PLAIN LANGUAGE OF THE PEACE ORDER STATUTE BY PROHIBITING ONLINE CONTACT.

I argued that the Peace Order statute lists a series of nine acts that justify the issuance of a peace order. Bodily harm, fear of bodily harm, assault, rape, stalking, false imprisonment, harassment, trespass and malicious destruction of property. I have been charged with harassment. All charges have been dropped. I have never been convicted of harassment. And nowhere in the Peace Order statute is there a mention of online communication as being a source of harassment. In fact, I take you back to US. v. Cassidy which says Tweets can NOT be considered harassment.  However, the Carroll County Circuit Court decided, on appeal from Hoge, that despite the lack of a conviction, despite the settled law of US v. Cassidy, that tweets DO constitute harassment, and issued the peace order. Since the legislature did not see fit to include electronic communication as “harassment” in the Peace Order statute, the CCCC erred in expanding the peace order statute to INCLUDE electronic communication.

Once again, Ms. Barnes responds.

Screen Shot 2013-09-22 at 9.56.22 AMThat’s it. That’s her answer to the argument. “It does, because I say it does.”

QUESTION 3: WHETHER THE WORK OF A JOURNALIST FALLS UNDER THE “PEACEABLE ACTIVITY” AND “LEGAL PURPOSE” EXCEPTIONS OF THE PEACE ORDER STATUTE.

I argued that since I am a freelance journalist, even though I officially retired due to Parkinson’s disease, I can still call myself a journalist according to “The News Manual: A professional resource for journalists and the media.”

Screen Shot 2013-09-22 at 9.59.54 AMI argue in my supplement that the “peaceable activity” and “legal purpose” and “intended to express a political view or provide information to others” carveouts in the two state harassment laws are met.  And they are met WHETHER OR NOT I am a journalist. But in asking uncomfortable questions, as a journalist, I am engaging in my first amendment right to free expression — a “legal purpose.” If the subject of my questioning on Twitter doesn’t like the questions, they can ignore me, block me, tell me to piss up a rope, or any combination thereof.

Zoa’s answer? In it’s entirety?

Screen Shot 2013-09-22 at 10.06.24 AMSo, it is Zoa Barnes who decides who is or is not a journalist. Not the above mentioned reference and dozens of others. ZOA says I am not a journalist, therefore I am NOT a journalist. How can the CofA argue with THAT logic? No citations. Nothing to prove against the overwhelming evidence that I am and have been a journalist in some form or another for over 30 years. Just like she did with my Parkinson’s disease in her answer to my motion to reconsider the CofA’s denial of my motion to stay the peace order pending appeal, Zoa Barnes has ERASED 30-plus years of history. Astounding.

QUESTION 4: WHETHER A PEACE ORDER PROHIBITING A JOURNALIST FROM CONTACTING THE SUBJECT OF A STORY CONFLICTS WITH THE RULES OF ETHICS PERTAINING TO JOURNALISTS.

The Society for Professional Journalists has an official code of ethics.

There are a lot of them. Here’s the second one listed.

Screen Shot 2013-09-22 at 10.11.53 AMNow, how does a journalist — encumbered by a peace order, “diligently seek out subject of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrong doing” when the subject of a news story can PUT YOUR ASS IN JAIL FOR ATTEMPTING TO CONTACT HIM?  Imagine this scenario.

“Woodward? Bernstein? Just got a call from Nixon. He says you are harassing him, so he’s slapped you with a peace order. If you contact him about Watergate OR ANYTHING ELSE, FOR ANY REASON, he can put you in jail. Got it?”

Well, not THAT’S a frightening scenario, is it not? Journalists being forbidden from contacting news sources under threat of arrest? I think so, too!

Zoa says it’s irrelevant.

Screen Shot 2013-09-22 at 10.15.12 AMThat’s it. There’s her answer to the question. It’s irrelevant. The right of a reporter to legally contact a source, in accordance with the rules of ethics of the Society for Professional Journalists. Irrelevant. Wow.

QUESTION 5: WHETHER THE PEACE ORDER ISSUED BY A STATE CIRCUIT JUDGE AGAINST A DISABLED PERSON UNDER THE THREAT OF IMPRISONMENT CONFLICTS WITH THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT.

I argue in my petition that it does so by limiting my ability to engage in my employment, limited as it is. My neurologist and any competent Parkinson’s doctor will tell you that keeping a Parky’s mind engaged and working is therapeutic. I have the right, under the ADA, to engage in my employment up to the level of my ability to do so and the government is required to accommodate my disability. I’m not seeking any special accommodations. But the Peace Order does exactly the OPPOSITE by restricting and limiting my ability to work, to engage in my employment, to supplement my meager retirement income with freelance work if the subject of a story can slap a peace order on me preventing me from doing what the Code of Ethics DEMANDS of me.

No biggie, Zoa says.

Screen Shot 2013-09-22 at 10.20.44 AMBecause… say it with me… SHE SAYS SO!

Now, to be absolutely fair, she does take a whole page to argue her case for her sniffing dismissal of my questions.

Screen Shot 2013-09-21 at 6.17.27 PMAnd the final insult comes on the signature page.

Screen Shot 2013-09-21 at 6.24.46 PMA friend of mine lobbied real hard for me to make another filing, an affidavit perhaps, proving that I am and have been a journalist. But I declined. The CofA has all the info it needs to make a decision. And at any rate, I don’t expect a decision on the petition for a writ for awhile.  They don’t seem to have a “set in concrete” standard for when they consider petitions, but a check of their website shows they tend to accept petitions on the third Thursday or Friday of the month, and reject petitions the following Monday.  There are instances where a single petition is granted on a single day that is not the third Thursday of the month. But I don’t expect that will happen here. I would think the earliest they will decide on my petition for cert would be Oct. 18.

And despite Hoge’s contention that the CofA will almost CERTAINLY call for briefs (and for his sake, he’d better hope he’s wrong because Zoa won’t do that for free), there is a much broader list of what the CofA could do when and if they accept the petition.

According to Maryland Rule 8-303(f)

If the petition is granted, the Court shall:

(1)  direct further proceedings in the Court of Appeals;

(2)  dismiss the appeal pursuant to Rule 8-602;

(3)  affirm the judgment of the lower court;

(4)  vacate or reverse the judgment of the lower court;

(5)  modify the judgment of the lower court;

(6)  remand the action to the lower court for further proceedings pursuant to Rule 8-604 (d); or

(7)  an appropriate combination of the above.

Personally? I hope they DO direct further proceedings. I would LOVE to get a hotshot free speech attorney interested in this case and watch him go up against Family Law and Education Attorney Zoa Barnes in front of the Court of Appeals.  But I suppose it’s just as likely that, if they grant my petition, they could go with what they’ve got already and vacate or reverse the Circuit Court decision re: the Peace Order, send it back to the CC to look at it again (unlikely since the CC has already set a date to consider modifying the PO).

You never know what a court is going to do until they do it.  I believe this next week will be very telling. If they deny my motion to reconsider their denial of my motion to stay the peace order pending appeal, I will see that as a setback but not a fatal one. If they deny cert? Oh well. We go on as before, Hoge continues to harass and goad me, and I just have to take it.

We shall see.

The Wheels of Justice Turn Slowly, but Grind Exceedingly Fine

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Now that everything is done but the deciding, let’s take a look at the nuts and bolts of what the Maryland Court of Appeals has on its plate in the case of Schmalfeldt v. Hoge.

On Friday, Sept. 20, the clerk told me that the Court already has their hands on my motion to reconsider their decision to deny my motion to stay the peace order pending appeal, as well as my supplement to the petition for a writ of certiorari (asking them to consider my case).

It seems likely that we’ll get a quick ruling on that, so let’s review the issues presented in that motion.

In my initial motion to stay the PO, filed Aug. 27, I argued that I am a journalist, although officially retired with advanced Parkinson’s disease. But I still take on the occasional freelance assignment. I argued that up until the peace order, my sole contact with Hoge was via Twitter, and that since the peace order was issued, Hoge continues to write about me, to taunt me, in my opinion, to goad me into violating the very broad terms of the PO that he believes to be in effect. I argued that Hoge had filed 8 new charges against me since the granting of his PO, all of which were eventually dismissed by the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s office. I argued that the PO has a chilling effect on my first amendment rights to write stories about Mr. Hoge’s involvement with a right wing hate group, since the code of journalistic ethics requires that I attempt to make contact with the subject of my story to get his side, his comment, and now I was legally — albeit in my opinion, unconstitutionally — forbidden to contact him.  The peace order ignores the part of the state’s harassment statute that says it does not apply to “peaceable conduct” done with the purpose of “expressing a political view or providing information to others. I brought up the Federal District Court‘s decision in US v. Cassidy which stated that “Tweets and blogs” can not be considered harassing conduct.

In her motion to dismiss my motion, Zoa Barnes of Westminster, Md., a family law attorney Hoge — for some reason — chose to represent him in this case, she makes several material misstatements of fact. Out of the box, she claims that I had filed an appeal with the Carroll County Circuit Court to modify the peace order. She even notes that the appeal was transferred to the Court of Appeals on August 9.  She notes that my motion to the CCCC was filed on July 11, a month before the case was transferred to the Court of Appeals.  Then she says that the CCCC would need to hear my request to modify the PO before the CofA could act on my motion to stay. She said that, instead of filing a motion to stay with the CofA, which she admits the appeal had been transferred to as of Aug. 9, that I would have to ask the CCCC for a motion to stay first. Of course, I did ask the CCCC for a modification of the PO on July 11, so she steps on her own argument.  She outright lies (in an artful, legal fashion) by saying the CCCC was “already considering” my motion — not true since the CCCC isn’t scheduled to even hear the motion until Oct. 16.

The CofA received her motion the same day I got my copy, and denied my motion believing that the case was “already being considered.”

Now, at this point I figure, well, that’s that. Let’s see what the CofA does with my petition for a writ of certiorari. But on Sept. 9, I received a very nice letter from the Clerk of the Court of Appeals saying that if I wanted to ask the court to reconsider their denial of the motion, they would entertain that reconsideration. She also suggested that the court may wish to expedite my petition for a writ of certiorari if I got my supplement to them sooner rather than later.

So, I filed a motion for the CofA to reconsider their denial.  In the motion, the first thing I mentioned is that the CCCC is NOT “already considering” my motion to modify since they don’t even hear the case until Oct. 16.  During that time between now and then, I remain under daily threat of criminal prosecution. Hoge had stopped waiting for actual accidental slipups and had started CREATING reasons why I had violated his precious PO.  I reminded the CofA that 8 charges had been filed and dismissed since the PO, but the threat for more remained, including a note from the Carroll County SA telling me to mind my P’s and Q’s if I didn’t want to end up in the dock!  This “sword of Damocles” would dangle by the merest thread for as long as the PO remained intact.  I explained again how Twitter works, and how Hoge could block me any time he wants to and how he attempted to FOLLOW my Twitter timeline after getting his PO. I explained how Hoge was already threatening more criminal charges once all the dust had settled from the appeals. I explained how this was detrimental to my Parkinson’s disease symptoms, not only the physical having to be dragged to and from Carroll County, but the emotional stress of having a constant threat of prosecution dangling over my head and how stress causes PD to worsen at a more rapid rate. I reminded the CofA that since it had taken charge of the appeal, that it was silly to expect that I would file a similar appeal with the CCCC.

Zoa Barnes’ answer was brief, succinct, and full of misstatments.

1. She denied that Twitter works the way that Twitter says it works.

2. She denied that attempting to contact Hoge via Twitter was “peaceable” and “for a legal purpose.”

3. She ADMITTED that, oh yeah! Hoge is gonna bust my chops any time he feels like it once these matters are settled.

4. SHE DENIED THAT I SUFFER FROM ADVANCED PARKINSON’S DISEASE, which will come as quite a shock to my neurologist, the Social Security Administration, the Office of Personnel Management and my wife.

5. SHE DENIED THE MEDICAL SCIENCE THAT SAYS STRESS INCREASES THE RATE OF NEURAL DEGENERATION IN PARKINSON’S DISEASE!!!

6. And, again, she said that even though the case had been transferred to the CofA, I needed to file an appeal, which I already had, to the CCCC before the CofA could entertain my appeal.

Again, the Clerk told me that the CofA would receive her answers to my motion and to my petition on Monday.  I expect a very quick turnaround on the motion to stay the PO pending appeal.  No official predictions, but I like my chances. I would expect that by this time next week we’ll know whether or not the Court of Appeals agrees that the Peace Order is an unjust infringement on my rights, or if it’s OK that Hoge is using the courts like his own personal spanking paddle.

But the CofA moves on its own schedule regarding petitions for writs of certiorari, which I will discuss in my next entry.

 

Zoa Barnes Invokes ‘Because I Said So’ Doctrine in Her Answer to My Petition for a Writ of Certiorari with the Maryland Court of Appeals

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Well, she cured my Parkinson’s disease, so I guess she has that kind of power.

Let’s allow the documents and my embedded comments to speak for themselves.

Screen Shot 2013-09-21 at 6.12.45 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-21 at 6.17.27 PMScreen Shot 2013-09-21 at 6.24.46 PM

The Court of Appeals now has everything they need to make their decision.  If they decide to grant cert on Monday, they can overturn the Peace Order right then and there. If they decide they want to mull this over a bit, they could grant my motion to reconsider their denial of my motion to stay the peace order pending their decision. But honest to God. If the court BUYS this pack of bullshit baloney, I officially have no faith in Maryland’s system of juris prudence.

I did some research on Ms. Barnes’ history as a practitioner of the judicial arts. She is a Family Law and Education attorney. She has argued once, that I can find, in front of the intermediary Court of SPECIAL Appeals and came away with a split decision.  I can only imagine how much she is charging Hoge for this… Hogewash.

Your thoughts?