ANNOUNCER: From Westminster, it’s time for —
SOUND: Skype rings once. Receiver picked up.
JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.
C.P: (Telephone Filter) Mr. Atsign, my name is Carole Puller. I believe you may be able to help me.
JOHNNY: How so, Ms. Puller?
C.P.: (Telephone Filter) The subject of an article I published online is trying to get a peace order against me. She’s claiming that I’m harassing her by truthfully reporting on her criminal record.
JOHNNY: You don’t live in Montgomery County, do you?
C.P.: (Telephone Filter) No, I don’t, but she does.
JOHNNY: Tell me more.
MUSIC: Theme up and under.
ANNOUNCER: The Lickspittle Broadcasting System presents W. J. J. Hoge in the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous free-lance Internet investigator …
JOHNNY: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!
MUSIC: Theme up to music out.
JOHNNY: The following is partial extract of the tweets sent and received during my investigation of the Déjà Vu All Over Again Matter.
JOHNNY TWEETS (Synth Voice) @[namewithheld] Yes, I’ve seen this before.
C.P.: (Telephone Filter) (Fading Up) … and they said you’d handled similar cases.
JOHNNY: I have. It’s been a few years, and several were in Montgomery County.
C.P.: (Telephone Filter) So you’ll take the case?
JOHNNY: Yes. It sounds intriguing. What exactly are the claims she’s making?
C.P.: (Telephone Filter) I don’t exactly know. I haven’t been served with any paperwork. All I’ve seen is something she posted showing a case number and a date for hearing. Oh, and she’s filed some sort of criminal charge.
JOHNNY: Well, there are some things I can’t help you with. You need to talk to a lawyer, and a lawyer will probably advise you to stay away from any hearings until you have been served. One thing I can do is attend any hearings your lawyer advises you to avoid to listen to the testimony she offers.
C.P.: (Telephone Filter) (Fading Out) Great. I’ll let my lawyer know you’re …
JOHNNY: And so I found myself in Silver Spring sitting in a diner a few blocks from the District Courthouse drinking coffee and going over my case notes.
ANNOUNCER: Mmmm, coffee! When the recording session for this episode breaks up, I’m heading over to the coffee pot and filing up my Johnny Atsign Travel Mug for the drive home. Johnny Atsign Travel Mugs are exclusively available along with lots of other goodies at The Hogewash Store. Stop by today and spend some of your hard earned cash in support of Team Lickspittle. Or hit the Tip Jar. They’re both ways you can support the Team.
JOHNNY: Court sessions in the days of Covid are part Zoom and part Real Life. It turned out the only other person who had been sitting the mostly empty galley of the courtroom was the petitioner in the case that had brought me to the courthouse, …
CLERK: Calling Zones v. Puller.
JOHNNY: … and the women stood up and walked to the plaintiff’s table. Here are sometime of the things she told the judge.
ZONES: … she created a stalker website she called Zones Manifesto dot com where she posted pictures of my family and a bunch of crazy QAnon stuff …
… after getting the order, she openly threatened me on line …
… I have a list of all of the things she has tweeted at me since then … including seven that were this morning …
… they organized a harass-a-thon yesterday because I was coming to court today to try not to get me to show up, um, encouraging other people to harass me. She still runs the harassing accounts on Twitter and the website …
JOHNNY: Nothing Zones said matched with any of the evidence I had turned up in the matter, so I went back to the diner to take advantage of their free wifi.
SOUND: Quiet restaurant background
WAITRESS: Hon, you’re back.
JOHNNY: I liked the coffee.
WAITRESS: I’ll bring you another cup.
JOHNNY: I pulled out my laptop and found the Manifesto website. There was nothing on it providing any evidence that it was operated by my client, and the “family pictures” appeared to be mugshots from Zones’ previous arrests. The QAnon stuff appeared to consist almost completely of court records and other Floirida state documents.
Zones referred to being threatened by my client after my client had received the interim peace order, but my client had not been served with the order.
A review of my clients Twitter account showed that she had only sent three tweets that morning, and none of them even mentioned Zones let alone were directed to her.
And as for some sort of harass-a-thon, it seemed she was referring to a blogburst suggested by one of my clients in a former matter. That had consisted of bloggers publishing document information about Zones, her criminal history, and her current political activities. All of that was clearly protected speech under the First Amendment. And my former client had previously told me he hadn’t had any contact with Ms. Puller prior to the blogburst.
It was clear that I needed to order a copy of the hearing audio for my case records.
I had an interesting report to file.
SOUND: Restaurant background out
JOHNNY TWEETS: (Synth Voice) @TZones Imagine a world in which you have to live the consequences of your own acts and the First Amendment protects people talking about it.
ANNOUNCER: Now, here’s our star to tell you about the next intriguing episode of our story.
JOHNNY: Next? They sunshine is the best disinfectant. We’ll shine some on a Florida fundraising filing. Join us, won’t you?
Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!
MUSIC: Swell theme and under
ANNOUNCER: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign, starring W. J. J. Hoge, is transcribed in Westminster. Be on the lookout for the next exciting episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign.
MUSIC: Theme up to music out.
ANNOUNCER: Johnny Atsign is a work of fiction. If anyone thinks it’s about him, he should read Proverbs 28:1.
This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.