Some things happen in the real world that are so mind-bogglingly stupid that no one would believe you if you made them up yourself. A major epicenter of such foolishness is The Dreadful Pro-Se Schmalfeldt.
The Cabin Boy™ has been engaged in cyberthuggery for several years. Last year, he began to be held accountable for his mischief when I secured a peace order against him here in Maryland. Earlier this year, he was on the receiving end of a couple of Arizona restraining orders. On Monday, there will be a hearing on a non-contact order in Cook County, Illinois.
TDPS seems to think that it is unfair for him to be held accountable for his harassment. He’s tried to push back when his victims have sought protection. Last December, he tried to file a charge of perjury against me for my testimony against him. That failed. This past spring, he tried to sue 10 people who were calling him out on his thuggery. He withdrew the suit. Now, he is trying to get a Maryland peace order against Patrick Grady, the person seeking protection from the courts in Illinois.There are so many holes in his petition. First, false statements on a document signed under penalty of perjury is not one of the predicate acts for a Maryland peace order. Second, the Maryland statute (Criminal Law § 3-805) defines stalking as an act that includes “approaching or pursuing another.” You can’t do that on the Internet. Unless, TDPS can show that Mr. Grady physically approached him, stalking is a non-starter.
Third, writing about someone on the Internet (baring threats and libel) is an activity protected under the First Amendment and cannot trigger the Maryland harassment statute (§ 3-803) as a predicate act for a peace order. Failing to understand this point is what Judge Cornelius Vaughey so famously got wrong in the second Kimberlin v. Walker peace order case in 2012. Unless TDPS can show how something Mr. Grady published exceeds the limits described by the Supreme Court in Ohio v. Brandenburg, harassment is a dead issue as well.
The Cabin Boy™ would do well to withdraw his petition or, at the very least, fail to show up in court for the final hearing. Otherwise, … well, let’s just say Mr. Grady doesn’t strike we has someone who intends to roll over and play dead.
I am given to understand that, if there is a hearing next Friday, there will coverage by multiple bloggers.