Brett Kimberlin actually tried to argue that the First Amendment right to petition the government protected his right to lie on a criminal complaint. The TKPOTD for seven years ago today, reported on how well that claim stood up in court.
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During the oral argument for the Kimberlins’ failed motion to dismiss the Hoge v. Kimberlin, et al. lawsuit because they were alleging it was a SLAPP suit, The Dread Pro-Se Kimberlin tried to argue that the First Amendment protected his right to say anything in a complaint filed with a public official. Of course, that’s nonsense. Neither the First Amendment nor the Maryland Declaration of Rights protects perjury in a criminal complaint.
While TDPK was trying to make his case, Judge Hecker posed some hypothetical questions along these lines—
Suppose Mr. Hoge went to the Sheriff’s Office and falsely told them you were a pedophile. Would the First Amendment protect him from being sued for defamation?
Suppose your lawsuit had not ended in a directed verdict, and Mr. Hoge had had to present a defense. Would he have been able to use the First Amendment as a defense in that case?
TDPK seemed to have difficulty answering those questions.
In the end, Judge Hecker came to the same conclusion as Judge Mason did in the Walker v. Kimberlin, et al. case—if TDPK’s theory of the law were correct, the tort of malicious prosecution could not exist. For that and other reasons he found that my suit is not a SLAPP suit and denied the Kimberlins’ motion.
And that proceeded as I foresaw.
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He really should have found a better source for legal advice.