OK, Gentle Reader, here’s the first installment in my side of the story. I know you tuned in looking for information on the Hoge v. Kimberlin peace order case, but in order for things to make sense, I need to begin with something about the editor of the Breitbart Unmasked website—
As those of you who have been following the Saga of The Dread Pirate Kimberlin and Team Kimberlin will remember, Bill Schmalfeldt has spent months harassing Lee Stranahan and his family with disgustingly crude filth, including incessant and impertinent questions regarding the death of a child during childbirth. On Monday, 11 February, Lee came to Maryland from Texas to file a harassment charge against Schmalfeldt. I picked Lee up at BWI airport, took him to dinner, took him to the District Court Commissioner’s Office, put him up for the night at my house, and dropped him back at the airport on Tuesday morning. BWI is just off of one of the routes I take to work.
On 14 February, I received 40 tweets in less than one hour from @BreitbartUnmask ranting about Lee Stanahan, Aaron Walker, and me. Just after midnight on 15 February, I posted a notice on this blog and on Twitter addressed to @OldUncleBastard, @BreitbartUnmask, and @OccupyRebellion demanding that they stop communicating directly with me. Note: The date/time stamps on the tweets in this post are in GMT; I’ll convert important ones to Eastern Time for clarity.
Later that day, Schmalfeldt sent a tweet via his @OldUncleBastard identity referencing my demand. He was clearly on notice.
OldUncleBastard @Xcitizen10 @BreitbartUnmask A commentator on @wjjhoge’s blog post http://t.co/uZkIc4lA explains what the right wing mafia cabal wants.
6:37 PM Feb 15th from web
Click on that link yourself and see.
He continued to send tweets to my @wjjhoge account. As a result, I filed a harassment charge against Schmalfeldt on 18 February. I also filed charges against Brett Kimberlin, Neal Rauhauser, and Bill Schmalfeldt related to another matter at the same time. This is not the place to deal with those issues.
Even though he was on notice and had had a criminal harassment charge filed, Schmalfeldt kept sending me tweets and addressed a blog post to me—not a post about me, one addressed to me. He also broadcast a threat against me on his Internet talk show as well as three other individuals. Because of that activity, I filed for a peace order against Schmalfeldt.
This the last tweet, time stamped at 8:17 am ET, Schmalfeldt sent out prior to being served with the peace order:
LiberalGrouch I wonder what @wjjhoge got by way of payment. Something to comb out the poop flakes from his beard? Hah. I kid. I’m a kidder. I kid that way.
1:17 PM Feb 17th from web
Aside from the juvenile attempt at potty humor, this tweet implies that I have been lying about being paid to blog or making money off donations or that I’ve been helping my friends Lee Stranahan and Aaron Walker from any motivation other than friendship. Let me state this very clearly: I have never been paid to write anything on this or any other blog. I have never received any donation or benefit from any of the bloggers or organizations I have promoted on this or any other blog. This blog is a hobby and an expensive one. I have personally borne all of the expense associated with it, including legal costs. I’m able to do this because I have an above average income working in a very senior engineering position. I’m getting old and may retire some day. When I do, I may put out a tip jar. But for now, my income is adequate to support this blog as a hobby.
At this point, Gentle Reader, you may be wondering what this has to do with Brett Kimberlin. Be patient. I need to lay the foundation for the story.
Schmalfeldt seemed quite agitated by the peace order. A few hours after being served, he rebroadcast the same threat he made earlier that week. @BreitbartUnmask tweeted for him to chill and “let legal handle it.”
BreitbartUnmask @LiberalGrouch @OccupyRebellion @Stranahan @AaronWorthing then don’t email him or anyone else. Let legal handle that from now on.
1:50 AM Feb 24th from Tweetbot for iOS
BreitbartUnmask @LiberalGrouch @OccupyRebellion @ Stranahan @AaronWorthing That would be a better course of action Bill. Let legal handle that.
1:51 AM Feb 24th from Tweetbot for iOS
BreitbartUnmask @LiberalGrouch @OccupyRebellion @Stranahan @AaronWorthing Understood Bill. Legal will deal with them
1:53 AM Feb 24th from Tweetbot for iOS
The final hearing for that peace order was held on 28 February. The judge didn’t pick up on the fact that Schmalfeldt had had proper notice, so, relying on Schmalfeldt’s false statement that he had not, the judge let him off. But with a warning. He placed Schmalfeldt on notice to leave me alone, telling him that his activity would be harassment given notice and that he now had it.
Brett Kimberlin showed up at the courthouse to attend the hearing. He was excluded from the courtroom as a potential witness. Since he wasn’t called, he did not see any of the hearing, but he was present in the hall outside when the hearing ended. As some supporters and I were exiting the courtroom, we saw and heard Schmalfeldt’s lawyer loudly lecturing his client and Kimberlin. The gist of his warning was that they had been lucky that day, but if they kept it up, they’d go to jail. Note: I have appealed this case and won’t have any more to say about it until the appeal is heard.
Schmalfeldt kept it up, and, as we’ll see below, Kimberlin joined in.
But first a bit more Schmalfeldt.
One of those supporters exiting the courtroom with me was Aaron Walker. Aaron had come up to view the hearing so that he could blog about it. (OK, I need to do another aside: At that point in these peace order cases I was proceeding without a lawyer. I am now represented by Zoa Barnes. Aaron Walker does not now and never has represented me in any legal matter in Maryland.) Because it’s a two hour drive from Manassas, Virginia, to Westminster, Maryland, Aaron and his wife stayed at my house the night before and the night following the hearing. The next day, 1 March, Aaron stopped by the Howard County District Courthouse to file an harassment charge and a peace order against Schmalfeldt. Shortly after the peace order appeared online in the Maryland Judiciary Case Search database, Brett Kimberlin appeared at the courthouse trying to intervene. When he was unsuccessful at that, he took to stalking Mrs. Walker in the courthouse parking lot. Details here. Mrs. Walker was very shaken by the experience. I went to the courthouse and escorted the Walkers back to my house to rest.
While he was stalking Mrs. Walker, Kimberlin was photographed using a iPhone to take pictures of the Walkers. Some of his photos were subsequently published on the Breitbart Unmasked website. (No, I won’t link to it.)
Normally, the final peace order hearing comes a week after the temporary order is issued. In the Walker v. Schmalfeldt case, that hearing was put off for two additional weeks because of the death of Schmalfeldt’s mother. There were some interesting Kimberlin shenanigans related to the continuance, but they’re outside the scope of this post.
Beginning on 3 March, @BreitbartUnmask sent the following:
BreitbartUnmask @LiberalGrouch @DallasDumbass At anyrate , I think I will say @aaronworthing and @stranahan and @wjjhoge about as much as I want.
7:30 PM Mar 3rd from web
BreitbartUnmask Mr. W.J.J. Hoge Has Either Been Hoaxed, Or Is Very Stupid: http://t.co/bHA1eVIjfw #p2 #tlot
8:51 PM Mar 3rd from WP Twítter
BreitbartUnmask Mr. W.J.J. Hoge Has Either Been Hoaxed, Or Is Very Stupid: http://t.co/bHA1eVIjfw #p2 #tlot
6:50 PM Mar 4th from WP Twítter
BreitbartUnmask @OsborneInk @SwitRead @NealRauhauser @OccupyRebellion none. All charges brought by bi-polar Mike Stack and Wjj Hoge who is insane.
4:41 PM Mar 10th from Tweetbot for iOS
BlogBash is a blogger party/awards ceremony that is loosely associated with other events, one of which is the Conservative Political Action Conference. This year’s BlogBash at CPAC was held at a night club a couple of blocks from the convention center. On 7 March, one week before BlogBash, the venue received a call from someone who said he was Brett Kimberlin and who told the club that if they did not “cancel this event, I’m reaching out to the over 1000 organizations I am in contact with to put you guys out of business.” The club’s representative asked, “Are you threatening us, sir?” The caller replied, “No, I’m not threatening you I’m just pissed off. The guy who owns BlogBash has threatened me and my family and I am appalled that you would host his event.” The rant continued with a warning to expect a demonstration led by a fiery imam. Those threats, combined with the threat broadcast by Schmalfeldt, were taken seriously enough by the PG County Police that they beefed up security along the block where the event was held. You can see plenty of police cars in the pictures published about the event at Breitbart Unmasked. More about those pictures in a bit.
On 14 March, the date of BlogBash, @BreitbartUmask retweeted this from @OsborneInk:
OsborneInk .@ali @AaronWalker @wjjhoge Look out, it’s the Ides of March ! Obviously that means someone will explode Blog Bash w/their mind
1:25 PM Mar 14th from SocialOomph retweeted by BreitbartUnmask
Beginning at 6:21 pm that evening, he tweeted the following:
BreitbartUnmask @wjjhoge @Kimberlinunmask Zieg Heil Hoggy, Get your Nazi uniform on for zeee cameras you dumb piece of shit. Wait, you live in shit.
10:21 PM Mar 14th from web
BreitbartUnmask @Xcitizen10 @AkbartheFraud @ LiberalGrouch @yidwithlid Then it will be FILM AT 11..
10:22 PM Mar 14th from web
At around 9 pm, the threatened “demonstration” happened—a single guy with a camera who began accosting people coming and going from BlogBash. The photographer, who is believed to be Craig R. Gillette of Washington, DC, did not seem to be fully aware of everything that has been going on with Team Kimberlin’s harassment of bloggers. This is somewhat surprising given that Mr. Gillette has been associated with Justice Through Music Project for over seven years.
Gillette was not the only person there in support of the “demonstration.” @BreitbartUnmask was there as shown by this tweet which was sent around 10:28 pm that evening:
BreitbartUnmask @catsrimportant @LiberalGrouch Seriously, the music sucks. Sorry for those who prefer piano bars, but my ears are hurting at off key music.
2:48 AM Mar 15th from web
Gillette was not the only one taking pictures either, and several pictures from across the street were published on the Breitbart Unmasked website. I won’t go into any detail here, but forensic evidence links pictures taken at the Howard County District Courthouse and at BlogBash. I believe that evidence shows that Brett Kimberlin is @BreitbartUnmask.
Meanwhile, back with Schmalfeldt, because of his continued tweeting to me in spite of being put on warning by a judge, I filed for a second peace order, and when he kept at it after that, a petition for contempt.
On 22 March, the Walker v. Schmalfeldt peace order case came up in Howard County. The final order was denied when the judge bought the theory advanced by Schmalfeldt’s lawyer that since Schmalfeldt was a journalist and Aaron Walker was a public figure, Walker had to put up with the harassment. Hold on to that idea that Schmalfeldt is a journalist, at least in the eyes of his lawyer.
On 25 March, my second peace order case with Schmalfeldt came up. This time the defense offered by Schmalfeldt’s lawyer was that neither Schmalfeldt nor I are journalists; we’re just a couple cranky old men having a shouting match on the Internet, and, in any case, the peace order statute doesn’t cover electronic harassment any way. The judge bought the electronic-harassment-isn’t-covered argument and denied the peace order.
Note: On Friday, Schmalfeldt’s a journalist worthy of protection. On Monday, he isn’t.
Moving back to Kimberlin, between 1:32 pm on the afternoon of 21 March and 9:42 pm that night, he sent these tweets:
BreitbartUnmask @Xcitizen10 @Stranahan @wjjhoge @AaronWorthing Hoge has things. Walker=garnishment Stranahan =default judgment he will skip out on.
1:40 AM Mar 22nd from Tweetbot for iOS
BreitbartUnmask @Xcitizen10 @Stranahan @wjjhoge @AaronWorthing All pretty close
1:40 AM Mar 22nd from Tweetbot for iOS
BreitbartUnmask @Xcitizen10 @wjjhoge Could it be that Hoge is on mental disability? Either way he will soon be feeling a hot poker up his wallet.
1:42 AM Mar 22nd from Tweetbot for iOS
The next day, I filed for a peace order and a second criminal harassment charge against Kimberlin. The criminal charging document only listed the harassing tweets. However, he was charged under the general harassment statute. At the beginning of the hearing on 29 March, Kimberlin’s lawyer, the same lawyer who defended Schmalfeldt, offered a motion to dismiss citing the previous Monday’s ruling in the Schmalfeldt case. The judge agreed and dismissed the case without a hearing on the merits.
I believe that the judge erred as a matter of law, so I appealed the case to the Circuit Court. The case was set for today.
On 23 April, I received a copy of a motion filed by Brett Kimberlin seeking to have his case consolidated with Bill Schmalfeldt’s. He filed that motion without bothering to tell his own lawyer. Now, it’s OK to write your own motions, but if you are represented by a lawyer, all communication with the court and the opposing party is supposed to go through your counsel. I immediately contacted Kimberlin’s lawyer and asked what was going on, but I received no reply.
I responded to Kimberlin’s motion on 25 April. The net of my response was that I see the two trials as dealing with separate acts by different individuals at different times and that I believe they should be tried separately. However, I had no objection to trying the case on the same day, so long as that date is no sooner that the 14 June date of the Schmalfeldt trial. At the same time, I also submitted a Motion to Reinstate Peace Order Pending Appeal citing the error I believe that the District Court had made and seeking to have the temporary peace order reinstated if the Kimberlin trial is delayed a month or more.
The normal flow of motions in the Circuit Court would bring Kimberlin’s motion, my response, my motion, and any response he filed before a judge on last Monday, 13 May. The judge found technical deficiencies in both of our filings and left the case scheduled for today.
Since filing those papers on my own, I have hired Zoa Barnes to represent me in both of the Kimberlin and Schmalfeldt peace order appeals. A couple of days ago, I received service on a Motion to Strike from Tae Kim, the lawyer who had handled the cases for Schmalfeldt and Kimberlin in the District Court, saying that he had been let go as Kimberlin’s lawyer and asking to be removed from the case. Kimberlin had decided to proceed pro se. Kimberlin filed a Motion to Dismiss based on the same theory that Kim had used to get him off in District Court.
A subpoena duces tecum was served on Bill Schmalfeldt ordering him to attend the hearing as a witness and to produce certain documents related to the case against Kimberlin. Kimberlin was served with a subpoena duces tecum for related documents as well. The hearing was scheduled for the Historic Courthouse in Westminster, Maryland, which is an old (1838) building with lots of stairs and no elevators. At my lawyer request, the case was moved from the main courtroom upstairs to a small courtroom on the main floor in order to accommodate Schmalfeldt’s disability. He didn’t bother to show up.
The hearing was before Judge Stansfield. He announced that he was deferring a ruling on the Motion to Dismiss until after he heard the evidence. I was the only witness. On direct examination, I testified to my qualifications to do forensic analysis, on the tweets that I had received from BreitbartUnmask and their annoying and alarming nature, and on results of the forensic analysis of data contained in the tweets and a certain blog post that tied the BreitbartUnmask identity to Brett Kimberlin.
On cross examination, Kimberlin asked a series of mostly non-germane questions. (For example, he wanted me to identify the person who blogs as Kimberlin Unmasked. For the record, I don’t know who that is.) He asked why I believed he was BreitbartUnmask and I explained a bit of the process.
And the Petitioner rested.
Before Kimberlin could offer any testimony, my lawyer pointed out that he was a convicted perjurer. She reminded the judge of MD Courts & Judicial Proc. §9-104:
A person convicted of perjury may not testify.
The look on Brett Kimberlin’s face when he realized that the judge wasn’t going let him testify and that there were no other witnesses he could question to get evidence into the record … priceless!
Kimberlin ranted for a while about how this was a clear violation of his First Amendment rights, yada, yada, yada, … (Ah, no. The Fifth Amendment is the one about due process.) Then the judge asked if he had any other witnesses. Since there were none, the case proceeded to closing arguments.
My lawyer did an effective summation of the facts and the law. We asked for a show-cause order against Schmalfeldt for his noncompliance with our subpoena. Kimberlin delivered another rant about his First Amendment rights and how he’s not the harasser. He’s the one being dragged into court by people like Aaron Walker and Walker’s surrogates like me.
The judge took the case under advisement. He will deliver a written ruling. I look forward to it.
So that, Gentle Reader, is a bit of my side of this story, but only a bit. It’s as much as I can tell you for now.