As we await the coming legal “bombshell, this vintage episode provides a reminder of the track record in court—
MUSIC: Theme. Intro and fade under.
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. A serial adjudicated harasser has appealed a peace order, claiming that he has a First Amendment right to engage in what amounts to cyberbullying. His victim is opposing the 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: Footsteps in hallway.
FRIDAY: It was Wednesday, October 9th. It was one of those bright and clear early autumn days in Westminster. We were working the evening 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 3:16 pm when I got to Room S-140. Internet Detail.
SOUND: Door opens.
FRIDAY: Hi, Liz.
SOUND: Footsteps across room. Coffee poured.
FRIDAY: You want a cup of coffee too.
SMITH: No, thanks.
SOUND: Footsteps across room. Chair pulled out.
FRIDAY: Anything left over from the day watch?
SMITH: No. It’s been quiet today.
SOUND: Telephone rings once. Receiver picked up.
FRIDAY: Internet Detail. Sergeant Friday. … Yes, ma’am. … Yes, I had heard that it had been postponed to next week. … Uh, huh. … No. I hadn’t heard about that. … Yes, ma’am. That’s the sort of thing we might have in our records. I suppose you would like us to check. … Certainly. Can we email it, or do you need us to bring hard copies to your office? … By Friday? I’m not sure, but we can try. … Yes. Thanks for calling. … Goodbye.
SOUND: Receiver hung up.
FRIDAY: That was our lawyer friend, XB.
SMITH: What’s she up to?
FRIDAY: Do you remember that peace order that got appealed? She’s the lawyer for the original petitioner on the order.
SMITH: Yeah. The one that finally got Parvocampus.
FRIDAY: She’s filed the answers in the Court of Appeals to the Parvocampus petition for a writ of certiorari, but he’s also trying to get the order modified by the Circuit Court. She’s looking for background evidence that might relate to the modification hearing next week.
SMITH: Modified? How?
FRIDAY: He wants to be able to ignore the terms of the order if he says he engaged in “journalism.”
SMITH: But there’s no exception to the harassment law for “journalism.”
FRIDAY: I guess he thinks he can stick his news into other peoples’ business.
MUSIC: Stinger and under.
FRIDAY: During that shift and the next evening, Liz and I sorted through all the Parvocampus blog posts and tweets that had been backed up. We took everything that related to XB’s client and organized in a set of tabbed binders.
SOUND: Footsteps up steps and across porch.
FRIDAY: October 11th. The evening watch nominally starts at 3:30, but I was in to work early to be able to deliver a package of evidence to XB’s office before it closed for the weekend.
SOUND: Door opens and closes with bell on chain sound. Footsteps in hall.
PARALEGAL: May I help you? Oh, hello, Sergeant. Where’s you partner?
FRIDAY: Hi. Liz and I are working evenings this month. I came in a bit early to drop this package off for XB.
PARALEGAL: Good. She’s been expecting it. I’ll give it to her as soon as she gets back from court.
FRIDAY: I left the evidence with the lawyer’s office and went to work. We heard no more until the next week. October 16th, 11:34 am.
SOUND: Phone rings once. Receiver picked up.
SMITH: Internet Detail. Detective Smith. … Oh, hello. Yes. He’s here. … Joe, line 1 for you.
SOUND: Receiver picked up. First receiver hung up.
FRIDAY: Sergeant Friday. … Hello, XB. … That’s good news. Congratulations. … Really. … Well, perhaps next time. … OK … Uh, huh. Goodbye.
SMITH: Good news?
FRIDAY: Yeah. The judge ruled that Parvocampus didn’t present enough of a case to support his motion. He denied it without XB having to present her client’s side.
SMITH: Wow! I guess the Court of Appeals will be next.
FRIDAY: Somehow, I don’t think they will find him very appealing.
MUSIC: Up and under.
NARRATOR: On October 21st, the Court of Appeals ruled in the matter of Willie Parvocampus’s appeal of a peace order. In a moment the results of that ruling.
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NARRATOR: On October 21st, the Court of Appeals denied the Parvocampus petition for a writ of certiorari, ending the case as far as the state courts were concerned. Parvocampus did not exercise his right of appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, and the peace order, which was extended for an additional six months, is still in force.
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.