One of the finest examples of the Dunning-Kruger Effect is the Cabin Boy’s™ estimation of his understanding of legal principles. This Prevarication Du Jour from four years ago today deals with his misunderstanding of the rather simple concepts behind Maryland’s harassment and peace order statutes.
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Bill Schmalfeldt seems to think … no, that’s the wrong word … Bill Schmalfeldt seem to believe that I am under some obligation to block his various accounts on Twitter and other social media.Schmalfeldt is an adjudicated harasser who has had a peace order (see below) issued against him. It orders that he SHALL NOT contact (in person, by telephone, in writing, or by any other means), attempt to contact, or harass me. What does that mean?
Contact means any sort of interaction not just communication.
In person requires that he stay away from me. If, for example, he were shopping in a store and I walked in, he would be required to leave if necessary to avoid me. He is the one obligated to break contact.
By telephone means no phone calls. The Cabin Boy is supposed to refrain from calling me. I am under no obligation to change my phone numbers or leave my phone off the hook. Aside: the case law that makes each separate contact a separate violation stems from the case of a jerk who kept hitting the redial button on his phone, Triggs v. State, 852 A.2d 114 (2004).
In writing includes all forms of written communication. No notes slipped under the door. No mail. He not supposed to send me anything. I don’t have to stop my mail delivery or start using a blind post office box.
Any other means means just that. Contact via smoke signals, ham radio, semaphore flags, even Twitter and blog comments, are all prohibited. He is supposed to refrain from contacting me. I don’t have to change my email address. I don’t have to stay off the 20 meter amateur radio band. I don’t have to disable any functionality on my blog comment system. I don’t have to block him on Twitter.
The Cabin Boy is supposed to leave me alone. Moreover, he isn’t even supposed to try to contact me, and that includes getting someone else to deliver a message for him.
There are very few exceptions for such things as service of legal process and in-court communication.
Finally, he’s not supposed to harass me. That includes engaging in the sort of behavior which caused the peace order to be issued, i.e., continuing to contact me without a legal purpose after having been told to stop. Note that the judge explained to him that meant and that the Cabin Boy has chosen to ignore those instructions.
But the net is this—Bill Schmalfeldt’s criminal behavior resulted in a peace order. If he is inconvenienced by it, that’s his problem and not anyone else’s.
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The Cabin Boy™ likes to claim that he’s only lost in court when lies have been told about him. In the case of the first peace order, he claimed that my lawyer lied by stating that @mentions on Twitter cause tweets to be delivered to the @mentioned account. Of course, that’s true. When he tried to appeal that peace order, he claimed that my lawyer lied by stating that there was not exceptions in the Americans With Disabilities Act which exempted Schmalfeldt from the harassment statute. Of course, that’s true too. In the case of the extension of that first peace order, he claimed that my lawyer lied by claiming that an image of two men engaging in anal sex with my face photoshopped onto one of them was pornographic. Of course, the image was pornographic, and the Cabin Boy™ bragged on Twitter about it being obscene.
I’ll leave to the Gentle Reader to form his own opinion about who is a liar.