Lee Stranahan has been informed that the Howard County State’s Attorney is dropping the harassment and misuse of electronic communication charges that were filed against Bill Schmalfeldt. The State’s Attorney’s theory is that since CBBS is “journalist,” he has the right to continue to send emails to someone even if he has been asked to stop.
The Howard County State’s Attorney’s understanding of the law is very different from the one articulated by Judge Rasinsky during the Hoge v. Schmalfeldt Peace Order hearing. The judge warned Bill Schmalfeldt that there is no exception in Maryland’s harassment law for “journalists.” He put Schmalfeldt on notice that while he has a First Amendment speak and right to write about me, I have a right to be left alone that allows me to insist that that he not speak or write to me.
According the victim’s rights brochures published by the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention, complainants have the right to be notified of court hearings and to be notified of the closing of a case. Lee Stranahan was not notified that the hearing scheduled for 30 April had been moved to 22 March. Although he had an appointment with the State’s Attorney on Monday, he was not informed that the case was being dropped until he called from Texas this afternoon to check on the status of the case.
Oh, and Aaron Walker wasn’t informed by the State’s Attorney that the hearing on the charges he filed against Schmalfeldt which was scheduled for 1 May had been moved to this Friday either.