Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


I was the first person to hold Bill Schmalfeldt accountable for engaging in online harassment. In February, 2013, I filed a petition in the District Court of Maryland for a Peace Order against Schmalfeldt, and my petition was denied. Now, in Maryland one is entitled by law to one appeal of an adverse judgement, and that appeal is to the next higher court in the system. Appeals from the District Court go to the Circuit Court in the county where the District Court trial or hearing was held. Appeals from cases originating in a Circuit Court go the Court of Special Appeals. Once, a first appeal is exhausted, one may file a petition for a writ of certiorari with the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, but that court does not have to grant a second appeal.

When that first peace order was granted on appeal by the Circuit Court, that was the end of the appeal process as far as the lower courts were concerned. However, Schmalfeldt filed an appeal with the Court of Special Appeals. That court kicked the paperwork upstairs (literally, the Court of Special Appeals is on third floor and the Court of Appeals is on the fourth floor of the State Law Library and Courthouse in Annapolis), and the Court of Appeals treated his pro se filing as a certiorari petition, which the court denied.

When the peace order was extended, Schmalfeldt appealed again—to the wrong court. Again. This post ran five years ago today.

* * * * *

Petition Docket No. 29 for the September, 2014, term of the Maryland Court of Appeals is Schmalfeldt v. Hoge, the Cabin Boy’s™ appeal of the extension of the peace order in place against him. His appeal paperwork (such as it is) is shown below. A respondent is allowed 15 days in which to answer a petition for a writ of certiorari. That time begins running either when the petition is completely filed (with any supplement) or, if no supplement is filed, when the time allowed for its filing runs out. The Cabin Boy’s™ time ran out yesterday without his filing a supplement, so I have until 13 May to file my answer.

I went by the Clerk’s Office at the Court of Appeals to see what he had actually filed. Since he has not raised any new issues of law and since the Court denied his petition for certiorari the last time around, I see no reason to file anything further. I doubt the Court will change its mind about the validity of Schmalfeldt’s legal arguments. There’s always the chance that they might, but the odds are small. Even if they grant his petition, all that means is that he has permission to appeal, not that he has won.

Let me make a couple more points.

First, the Gentle Reader should note that the Cabin Boy™ is only appealing the extension of the peace order. Even if he were to win his appeal, the original order would still stand, so he will be an adjudicated harasser regardless.

Second, a peace order is a civil proceeding. Maryland’s expungement statute applies only to criminal proceedings. Thus, peace orders cannot be expunged.

UPDATE—Fixed a typo. 13 April should read 13 May.

* * * * *

Of course, the Court of Appeals threw out that appeal as well.

Everything proceeded as I had foreseen.

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