As another court date for a particularly dreadful pro se litigant approaches, this recycled episode has a certain resonance.
NARRATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
MUSIC: Up, then under …
NARRATOR: You’re a Detective Sergeant. You’re assigned to Internet Detail. An adjudicated harasser had agreed in mediation to abide by the terms of a peace order and withdraw his appeal of an extension of the order. He has reneged on his agreement and is pursuing his appeal. Your job … get the facts.
MUSIC: Up then under …
ANNOUNCER: Blognet … the documented drama of an actual crime. For the next few minutes, in cooperation with the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Department, you will travel step by step on the side of the good guys through an actual case transcribed from official files. From beginning to end. From crime to punishment. Blognet is the story of the good guys in action.
MUSIC: Up and out.
SOUND: Elevator door opens. Footsteps in hallway.
FRIDAY: It was Monday, April 28th. It was rainy in Annapolis. We were working the day watch out of Internet Detail. My partner’s Liz Smith. The boss is Twitter Town Sheriff W. J. J. Hoge. My name’s Friday. It was 2:26 pm when we got to the fourth floor of the Maryland State Law Library. The Court of Appeals Clerk’s Office.
SOUND: Footsteps across lobby and into office.
DEPUTY CLERK: Hello. May I help you?
FRIDAY: Good afternoon. I’m Sergeant Friday. This is my partner, Detective Smith. We’d like to look at the case file for Number 29 on the September petition’s docket.
DEPUTY CLERK: Do you know if it’s been submitted to the judges yet?
SMITH: I doubt it. The Respondent hasn’t answered it yet. In fact, we’re not sure that the Petitioner has all his paperwork in yet, but it’s due today.
DEPUTY CLERK: Then it’s probably still with the intake files. I’ll be right back.
SOUND: Footsteps away.
SMITH: It’s kinda convenient having both the Court of Special Appeals and the Court of Appeals in the same building as the State Law Library.
SOUND: File draw opens in background.
FRIDAY: Uh, huh.
SOUND File draw closes in background. Footsteps approach.
SMITH: And this office is surprisingly small.
DEPUTY CLERK: Yes, it is, but we have a much smaller case load than the trial courts do. Here’s the file. There’s not much there. You can use that table to look through it.
SOUND: Chairs pulled out.
SMITH: She’s right. There’s not much here. It’s just the paperwork that he filed with the Court of Special Appeals and the court papers involved in their kicking the case upstairs to this court.
FRIDAY: That so?
SMITH: Yeah. Look for yourself, Joe.
SOUND: Chair pushed back.
FRIDAY: Excuse me, ma’am. Can we get a copy of this file?
DEPUTY CLERK: Sure. Let me have it. I can make you a copy.
SOUND: Copier. Multiple pages.
FRIDAY: The Petitioner’s paperwork is due today. Is there a chance that it’s not in the file yet?
DEPUTY CLERK: That’s unlikely. He called us last week and told us he would not be providing any further supplemental material.
DEPUTY CLERK: Here you go.
SOUND: Chair pushes back.
SMITH: We’d better head back to the office.
SOUND: Footsteps across lobby.
FRIDAY: Well, you were right about one thing.
SMITH: What’s that?
FRIDAY: Having everything in one building is convenient. When the Court of Special Appeals kicked the case upstairs, it only had to move one floor.
SOUND: Elevator bell. Door opens.
MUSIC: Stinger and under.
FRIDAY: 4:06 pm. After slow drive in the rain to Westminster, we made it back to the office.
SMITH: I’ve reread this file several times. There’s simply nothing new here that the Petitioner didn’t raise in his appeal of the original peace order.
FRIDAY: Uh, huh.
SMITH: The Court of Appeals denied his first petition for certiorari last year. I can’t see any reason that he’s offered them to change their minds.
FRIDAY: Did you inventory it paperwork against the checklist of required documents for a cert petition?
SMITH: No. Why?
FRIDAY: Here’s the list. Is everything there?
SMITH: Ummm. Let’s see … Oh. Yeah, it’s incomplete.
FRIDAY: Let’s get this scanned and a copy emailed to the Respondent. He says he’s never been served with any of this.
SMITH: You’ve gotta wonder how this guy can make so many mistakes.
FRIDAY: It’s almost Shakespearian.
SMITH: What do you mean?
FRIDAY: A Comedy of Errors.
MUSIC: Up and under.
NARRATOR: On May 15th, the Respondent’s answer to the petition for a writ of certiorari was due to the Court of Appeals. In a moment, the status of the petition.
ANNOUNCER: Are you a loyal supporter of Team Lickspittle? While there’s a lot of neat stuff to spend your money on at The Hogewash Store, sometimes you have to buy something useful. When that happens, feel free to hit the Tip Jar.
NARRATOR: Because the petition was incomplete and offered no new facts or law to support an appeal, the Respondent elected to forego an answer to the petition. The matter is now before the Court of Appeals. Should the Court grant the petition, a round of briefing will precede any oral argument or ruling.
MUSIC: Theme up and under.
ANNOUNCER: You have just heard Blognet, a series of authentic cases from official files. Technical advice comes from the office of the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Department.
MUSIC: Theme up to music out.
ANNOUNCER: Blognet is a work of fiction. Anyone who thinks it’s about him should read Proverbs 28:1.
Be sure to tune in on Monday evenings at 6 pm Eastern Time for the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous Internet investigator—Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign. This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.