Five years ago today, I posted an episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign that triggered a Feltdown on Twitter by Bill Schmalfeldt about how he had filed paperwork in one of his LOLsuits. Later that evening, I posted this Prevarication Du Jour.
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I don’t believe he’s telling the truth, and here’s why.
The metadata attached to the PACER file for his Answer to my Complaint in the copyright suit shows that the pdf was created by an Eastman scanning system of the sort use by the Clerks office at the U. S. District Courthouse in Baltimore. That is consistent with it having been scanned from the paper copy the Clerk received in the mail.
The metadata attached to the pdf file which the Cabin Boy™ posted to Scribd contains the following information.That is consistent the final pdf having been produced by the program LibreOffice using Version 1.4 of PDF. However, all of Scmalfeldt’s other final pdfs show this in their metadata.All these files were created using Apple’s Quartz and a different version of PDF. BTW, the amended version of his Answer also shows the Apple-based creation data.
That much information is available about the files by simply opening them in Adobe Acrobat and clicking on the Properties menu item. There are other tools that can ferret out more interesting data.
The evidence seems very clear that the first version of TDPS’s Answer and Counterclaims were not created on his Mac. Based on a review of the metadata in the file, it appears to have been created on a Windows machine using LibreOffice and a 28-line pleading paper template.
TDPS might want to review Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(a) and Local Rule 102.1(a)(ii) before he files any further court papers.
UPDATE—One more thing … LibreOffice running on a Mac uses Quartz and Ver. 1.3 of PDF. I just verified that on my Mac.
UPDATE 2—When the Cabin Boy™ posted his Answer and Counterclaims on Scribd, I downloaded a copy in case he decided to send it down the memory hole.As you can see, the file he posted on 4 June was created using LibreOffice. BTW, I’m not the only person who downloaded the file just after he posted it, and I’m not the only person to have noticed that Bill probably didn’t create the file.
UPDATE 3—U. S. District Court for the District of Maryland Local Rule 102.1(a)(ii) states:
When a party is appearing without counsel, the Clerk will accept for filing only documents signed by that party. Attorneys who have prepared any documents which are submitted for filing by a self-represented litigant must be members of the Bar of this Court and must sign the document, state their name, address, telephone number and their bar number assigned by this Court.
Local Rule 101.1(a) says:
Except as otherwise provided in this Rule and in L.R. 112.3 and 28 U.S.C. § 515, only members of the Bar of this Court may appear as counsel in civil cases. Individuals who are parties in civil cases may only represent themselves. Individuals representing themselves are responsible for performing all duties imposed upon counsel by these Rules and all other applicable federal rules of procedure. All parties other than individuals must be represented by counsel.
What all that means is that a pro se litigant can only represent himself and that anyone who represents another person in the court must be a lawyer admitted to practice before the court. It’s OK for a pro se litigant to get a lawyer to write a court paper, but that lawyer has to be a member of the court’s bar and must properly sign the paper. It’s not OK for someone who his not a lawyer to draw up court papers for a third party.
UPDATE 4—One last bit of clarification for those with poor reading comprehension. The likely scenario goes like this: Mr. (or Ms.) X creates the Answer and Counterclaims using LibreOffice and gives the pdf and probably a .docx file to the Cabin Boy™. The Cabin Boy™ prints the file, and the hard copy goes to the court where it is scanned in. The Cabin Boy then uploads the LibreOffice pdf to Scribd. The Scribd file is downloaded by several individuals who find the LibreOffice metadata. I drop a hint on a blog post. The Cabin Boy™ then prepares his amended Answer and Counterclaims using Microsoft Word and tries to BS his way out of being caught.
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The calendar for the latest pool is posted in the break area.