Rebekah Jones is the former Florida Department of Health employee who was fired for insubordination related to handling of COVID data. She has been charged in Florida with unauthorized access to a computer system, a felony. According to Leon County, Florida, court records, she is now on pre-trial release for that charge and a misdemeanor stalking charge as well. She has recently moved to Montgomery County, Maryland. Although she has never been convicted, she does have a bit of a rap sheet.
Christina Pushaw is a freelance journalist who has written about Jones, and Jones has filed a petition for a peace order against Ms. Pushaw, claiming that Ms. Pushaw has been harassing her. She has also filed an Application for Statement of Charges claiming that Ms. Pushaw has violated the interim peace order that was issued by a District Court Commission, and a summons has been issued for Ms. Pushaw. Jones has been publishing incorrect information about the status of both cases. Let me explain her inaccuracies based on my experience from having been both a petitioner and a respondent on Maryland peace orders.
First, she has characterized the interim peace order as an emergency order. That’s not accurate. The process of obtaining a peace order goes like this. The petitioner appears before a District Court Commissioner who isn’t a judge and rarely is even a lawyer. The Commission evaluates the petition, and if he thinks that the petitioner might be entitled to a peace order if what is being claimed is true, the petitioner next appears before a District Court judge in an ex parte hearing. If the the judge believes that the petitioner might be entitled to a peace order, the judge will issue a temporary peace order which will expire in one week, and a second hearting will be scheduled on the expiration date of the temporary order during which the respondent may offer a defense.
Because Jones appeared before the Commissioner in the middle of the night when no judge was available, the Commissioner issued an interim order which expired in two days, and the ex parte hearing before a judge was scheduled for yesterday. During that hearing, based solely on Jones’ testimony, the judge issued a temporary peace order.
Jones published this on her substack yesterday—
I was fortunate to be able to go early, and I provided a thorough history of this woman’s stalking, harassment, defamation campaign against me, gave the records to the judge (of which there were many), and he granted the order.
She didn’t even show up to the hearing to defend herself.
It was proper that Ms. Pushaw didn’t attend. She had not been served with the interim order, and even if she had been, the temporary hearing is ex parte, meaning that only one of the parties attends. Ms. Pushaw wasn’t supposed to be there. She isn’t required to attend any hearings until she has been served with the temporary order.
Second, Jones has mischaracterized the nature of the summons issued based on her criminal complaint. She wrote this on her substack—
There’s also an order out for her arrest for violating the emergency order issued against her earlier in the week by publicly threatening me online, continuing to stalk and harass me, harassing associates of mine (she told Chris Cuomo he “created a monster”), and attacking me for reporting her to the police for her multitude of crimes.
The summons was issued by a District Court Commissioner based on an assumption Jones’ sworn Application for Statement of Charges is true. It’s a summons. It isn’t an arrest warrant. If it is served on Ms. Pushaw, she will have to respond. Of course, since Ms. Pushaw has not been served with the interim order, she cannot be charged with violating it.
More and more, this is beginning to look like an attempt by someone with something to hide to use lawfare to silence a critic.