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ANNOUNCER: (VOICE OVER MUSIC) Around Twitter Town and in the territory of the net—there’s just one way to handle the harassers and the stalkers—and that’s with an Internet Sheriff and the smell of “BLOGSMOKE”!
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ANNOUNCER: “BLOGSMOKE” starring W. J. J. Hoge. The story of the trolling that moved into the young Internet—and the story of a man who moved against it. (MUSIC: OUT)
JOHN: I’m that man, John Hoge, Internet Sheriff—the first man they look for and the last they want to meet. It’s a chancy job—and it makes a man watchful … and a little lonely.
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JOHN: We’re coming up on the end of another year. This one was a doozy. 2014 turned out reasonably well. My codefendants and I had won the nuisance defamation lawsuit The Bomber had filed against us, and at the beginning of this year, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before his federal RICO suit would fail as well. Mrs. Hoge had been diagnosed with cancer, but surgery had been successful, and she was beginning follow up treatment that looked promising. Then, March came along.
SOUND: ROAD NOISE. CAR INTERIOR POV. BACKGROUND
SOUND: CELL PHONE RINGS TWICE.
RULE 5 GIRL: (TELEPHONE FILTER) Hey, John, have you seen Bunny Boy Unread today?
JOHN: No. I’ve been off in the Real World. What’s up?
RULE 5 GIRL: (TELEPHONE FILTER) He’s got a post up about you harassing a kid.
RULE 5 GIRL: (TELEPHONE FILTER) The Bomber says you’ve been harassing his child, and Bunny Boy is running with the story.
JOHN: Sound like Team Bomber is trying to prep things for some big, stupid move. What next?
RULE 5: (TELEPHONE FILTER) A peace order?
JOHN: Why not? *sigh* It’s not like I have anything else to worry about right now. I’ll check it out when I get back home.
SOUND: BACKROUND NOISE OUT.
JOHN: So on the 6th, The Bomber filed for a peace order on behalf of his child, claiming that I had engaged in harassment of the minor by writing about him on the Internet. On Friday the 13th, his petition was denied because there was no evidence to support it.
The next Monday, The Bomber filed another RICO LOLsuit and named me as one of the defendants. It was pretty clear that I had been tacked on as a defendant at the last minute. But there was some good news. The very next day, the first RICO LOLsuit was dismissed. And some bad news, The Bomber appealed the denial of the peace order.
That appeal was heard in the Circuit Court in mid May. The Bomber was not allowed to testify because of his previous perjury conviction, and he was not allowed to represent the child before the court because he’s not a lawyer. Again, there was no evidence to support the petition, and it was denied.
Meanwhile, The Grouch filed a couple of LOLsuits against me. The one in federal court was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, and his attempt to recycle his claims in state court was thrown out for failure to serve most of the defendants and for suing me in the wrong venue.
2015 was having having its ups and downs.
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ANNOUNCER: ANNOUNCER: I just got the last of my Christmas shopping done. Most of the gifts are coming from Amazon, but the stocking stuffers are coming from The Hogewash Store. You’ll find all sorts of interesting goodies available there. Stop by today, and spend some cash to support Team Lickspittle. You can also show your support Team Lickspittle by hitting the Tip Jar or by doing your Amazon shopping via the link on the Home page.
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PRO BONO: He doesn’t know when to quit does he?
AARON: No, he doesn’t. Remember what he said about lawsuits for the rest of their lives after we beat him last year.
PRO BONO: Uh, huh, but these are criminal charges.
JOHN: I’m not surprised. It’s the sort of follow up I expected after he lost the peace order. His attack on my Twitter accounts claiming that I was engaged in targeted abuse were part of the preparation for this.
PRO BONO: Yeah. that’s mentioned in the Application for Statement of Charges, but you didn’t write about the child. I doubt that he’s going to be able to convince the State’s Attorney to go forward. Still, you’re going to need representation, and I’ll handle it.
PRO BONO: How about you Aaron?
AARON: It may be useful to have two different approaches. I’ll stay pro se for now.
PRO BONO: OK, that seems to be working in the second state suit he filed.
JOHN: Uh, huh. Now that he’s served me in that case, when is a response due?
PRO BONO: We’ve got some time yet. We need to settle whether to move for dismissal for failure to state a claim or improper venue or both. There are advantages and disadvantage to each approach. What I can’t figure out is why he added you to that second RICO case.
AARON: That’s easy. He thinks John’s susceptible to extra pressure because his wife is sick.
PRO BONO: (FADING OUT) Could be, but we need to plan …
JOHN: It turned out that the State’s Attorney threw out the criminal cases against Aaron and me. They were based on the same quote—facts—unquote as the peace order petition, which is to say The Bomber’s perjured lies.
That second state suit is still moving along. A half-dozen defendants have been dismissed already for lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim. In the process of dismissing those defendants, the court adopted their argument that The Bomber’s reputation is so bad that it is impossible to defame him. I feel safe in predicting that LOLsuit won’t survive long into 2016.
The Bomber’s second RICO LOLsuit lingers on. It’s more of a nuisance than a real threat.
The best news of the year came in late summer when tests showed that Mrs. Hoge’s cancer is in remission. It’s been a year of ups and downs, but mostly ups.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!
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ANNOUNCER: (VOICE OVER MUSIC) Who knows what drivel lurks in the hearts of men? Perhaps we will find out in a future episode of “BLOGSMOKE”! But for now all of us at LBS wish each of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
MUSIC: SWELL AND CONTINUE TO MUSIC OUT
ANNOUNCER: The Legal Department wishes the following declaimer read: “‘BLOGSMOKE’ is a work of fiction. Anyone who feels it might be about him should read Proverbs 28:1.” Be sure to tune in on Monday at 6 pm Eastern Time for the next intriguing episode of “Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign,” and join us again every Friday at 6 for alternating episodes “BLOGSMOKE” and “Blognet.” This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.