I’ve received several questions about the status of the Hoge v. Schmalfeldt peace order case. Here are the facts as I understand them:
On 14 June, 2013, Judge Stansfield of the Circuit Court of Maryland for Carroll County issued a Final Peace Order against Bill Scmalfeldt requiring that he not contact, attempt to contact, or harass me for six months. There are details of the case here.
On 8 July, 2013, I presented evidence to a District Court Commissioner detailing some of Schmalfeldt’s behavior from 14 June through 7 July. The Commissioner found that there was probable cause that Schmalfeldt had violated the terms of the Peace Order. She charged Schmalfeldt with five counts of violating the Order. That means that in the narrative I provided she found five instances of Bill Schmalfeldt either contacting me or attempting to contact me or harassing me. Any of those things violates the Peace Order.
Note: Bill Schmalfeldt either doesn’t understand or is trying to mislead folks about the contents of the Order. It can be read here. The Order says nothing about @ mentions on Twitter. Including @wjjhoge in a tweet is one way to contact me. It isn’t the only way. There are lots of ways to attempt to contact me that have nothing to do with Twitter. There are plenty of other ways to harass me without an @mention on Twitter. The @ mentions are only important if the State’s Attorney’s Office decides to refile the criminal charges that were originally associated with the Peace Order. The @ mentions might help support an enhanced penalty under the Misuse of Electronic Communication statute.
Since then, my lawyer has received a Notice of Appeal from Schmalfeldt and a frivolous Motion to Modify Peace Order. He appears to be proceeding pro se (that is, without a lawyer) with both. The appeal will drag on for quite a while, and the Order may expire before the appeal is heard. The Motion to Modify has been source of bemused amusement for most of the lawyers who have seen it. Their consensus is that it is poorly drafted, full of non-germane material, and actually helps me make my case. My lawyer will deal with it.
Meanwhile, the Peace Order continues in effect. The criminal charges for violating the Order are in the hands of the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office.
And I have nothing further to say about the matter for now.