Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

I was the first of several people to hold Bill Schmalfeldt accountable for his cyberthuggery and harassment undertaken on behalf of Team Kimberlin. The Cabin Boy™ and his enablers tried multiple times to spin Schmalfeldt as a victim rather than perpetrator. This I’m Not Making This Up, You Know post from eight years ago dealt with one of their lamest attempts. The email was sent a week before the hearing that resulted in the original peace order granted against Schmalfeldt being extended.

* * * * *

I have just received the following email—

Matt Osborne
Legal Notice

Dear Mr. Hoge:

As Section 3-803 of the Maryland Criminal Law Code allows for a person to make such a request on behalf of another, I am officially and legally asking you to cease and desist all harassment of William M. “Bill” Schmalfeldt of Elkridge, Maryland. This includes referring to Mr. Schmalfeldt by such derogatory and defamatory “nicknames” as “Cabin Boy” or “Oedipal Bill” or anything other than his actual name. This includes the filing of any additional frivolous charges against him. Mr. Schmalfeldt can not preclude you from writing about him, but he considers derogatory nicknames, especially when they are spread by your followers all over the Internet, to be a textbook definition of harassment. Also, as all your previous criminal charges against Mr. Schmalfeldt have been dismissed by the Carroll County, Maryland, State’s Attorney, but you continue to file charges with the expectation that the outcome will somehow be different, Mr. Schmalfeldt considers the continued filing of these charges as harassment and demands that you cease at once.

Failure to abide by this request will be seen as a violation of the above named section, and you can expect Mr. Schmalfeldt to take appropriate steps.

Matt Osborne

I will have no comment on this until after I have consulted with counsel.

UPDATE—After consulting with counsel, I choose to hold my response until 9 December.

* * * * *

Of course, even if Osborne’s claims were true, none of the acts complained of in that email were possible triggers for a Maryland peace order.

BTW, 57F Matt Osborne’s (a)osborneink Twitter account is still suspended.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

I’m so old I can remember when there was a reasonable chance of Twitter acting responsibly to deal with harassment. The TKPOTD for eight years ago today dealt with one of the enforcement actions they took against Bill Schmalfeldt.

* * * * *

I wish to express my thanks to Twitter for suspending the sockpuppet/impersonation @wjjjhoge account.

* * * * *

Fair enforcement of understandable rules by Twitter didn’t last long. In April, 2015, I became one of the first conservatives to be permanently banned from Twitter. They didn’t have all the bugs worked out on banning conservatives in my case, so they wound up reinstating the @wjjhoge account when the false charges filed against me by Brett Kimberlin were dropped.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Back in 2013, Bill Schmalfeldt put out a series of threats to engage in harassment of various bloggers families. Because the Cabin Boy™ had already been harassing families with small children, my Son (who was in his 20s at the time) suggested that Schmalfeldt should try to come after him rather than a picking on little kids. That cased one of the all-time record Feltdowns on Twitter to which I responded with post titled Cabin Boy #BillSchmalfeldt Takes the Bait, Again. It ran eight years ago today. Extended pointage, laughery, and mockification ensued.

* * * * *

I’ve been fortunate that Cabin Boy Bill Schmalfeldt’s attempts at harassing me have been so inept that they actually have been a source of bemused amusement. That hasn’t been the case for other targets such as Stacy McCain or Lee Stranahan. They have been the recipients of massive trolling and harassment directed not only at them but also at their families.

When CBBS has started up on me, I’ve generally let him roll for a while before making some tangentially related comment. He and his buddies and sock puppets will, without fail, jump on that comment. I’ll let them go on for an hour or so and then tweet that they’ve taken the bait. The trolling ends within minutes.

My son read a tweet by CBBS yesterday that implied that he intended to engage in some more cyberbullying of his previous targets. Given that some of those families have young children, my son decided to put himself in between the bully and the little kids.

CBBS took the bait.

He has been going on about being murdered by my son. Of course, Will has never threatened Bill Schmalfeldt. If his guest post had contained any threat, it would never have been on Hogewash!—this blog does not engage in threats, and any threats received are immediately reported to law enforcement.

One rather silly thing that CBBS has done is to put up a poorly altered version of the photo Will posted of himself, replacing Will’s head with Porky Pig’s. (No, I won’t link to it.) Will’s reaction: “What do you expect from a Loonie Toon?”

Hmmmm. Perhaps, CBBS should be more afraid of Judge Doom and The Dip.

For now … That’s all, folks!

UPDATE—Bill Schmalfeldt appears to want to further beclown himself with his unhinged rants about my son and me. That’s fine by us. Neither of us cares what a foolish fellow with diminishingly small credibility has to say about us. More important, every effort he expends spinning his wheels trying to get our attention is energy he doesn’t spend harassing others. That’s a win-win for Will and me.

Have at it with your BS, BS.

FINAL UPDATE—ROFL. Black Betty included a link to this picture in her comment below. I’m posting it here in order to save the Gentle Reader a mouse click. As I type this, CBBS and Breitbart Unmasked are wasting bandwidth with potty-mouthed tweets about Will and me. Good. It keeps them off of someone else’s back.ThecrewBill Schmalfeldt has filed a DMCA takedown notice on the original parody image. This will have to do for now:thecrew2

* * * * *

That was the first of several false DMCA claims by Schmalfeldt, none of which worked out well for him.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Lawfare was one of the tactics that Team Kimberlin used to try punish those of us who have written about them. Intimidation via cyberharassment was another. Two posts from five years ago today dealt with my experience. The first was titled Cyberthuggery; the second was titled [redacted].

* * * * *

Louis Armstrong once said that he tried to make sure that his mouth didn’t write checks that the rest of him couldn’t cash. That’s a wise approach.

A cyberthug, OTOH, is a wuss who hides behind the physical disconnection of the Interwebz to talk trash. He’ll tell his target about how he’s going to do this or that and how he’ll [redacted] his target up, but a cyberthug runs away when things get real.

Does this sound like anyone you’ve come across on the Interwebz?

* * * * *

For most of this year, I’ve been allowing almost all of the off-color-to-obscene harassing comments to Hogewash! through moderation, but I’ve been redacting things that don’t meet my editorial standard for propriety. A significant portion of the redacted comments are addressed to Mrs. Hoge or are about her. Quite often they deal with her bout with cancer, suggesting that her case is terminal. One received less than a hour ago suggested that this would be our last Christmas together.

That may be. After all, none of us get out of here alive, and given my problems with cardiovascular disease, I’m a prime candidate for a heart attack. Indeed, with Mrs. Hoge’s progress moving into remission following her round of IV chemotherapy, she’s very likely to outlive me. For now, we both seem healthy enough. With luck, we’ll share many more years together. If not, we will have had a great life together while it lasted. We’ll take what comes.

It’s really quite sad to read these comments. They don’t hurt me—they’re clearly from hurting men who have suffered deeply from failed relationships with women. It’s all so pitiful.

* * * * *

Some of those checks are past due and the holder in due course expects to collect on them.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Of all the lame insults through my way by the members of Team Kimberlin, the one that struck me as the most childish was Bill Schmalfeldt’s Twitter impersonation account reference in this post from seven year ago titled #BillSchmalfeldt Takes a Break.

* * * * *

Or goes into hiding. Or something. PFB201311120200ZHe’s taken his tweets private. That leaves the serial harassment counter set at …S-O-T201311120131ZBTW, the 198 since noon last Friday is not a record. Stacy McCain got over 200 in a couple of days last Thanksgiving.

* * * * *

BTW, the Cabin Boy™ resumed tweeting at me, so when we went for a renewal of the peace order issued against him, we were able to show the judge almost 500 tweets that violated the terms of the court’s order. The judge extended the peace order for an additional six months. Schmalfeldt eventual wound up subject to a dozen restraining orders issued in five states. One was issued to protect a toddler.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

There are days when I wonder why Brett Kimberlin would have wanted Bill Schmalfeldt as part of Team Kimberlin, unless it was simply to use him to harass his perceived enemies. The Cabin Boy™ has often been a pain in the neck (or a couple of feet lower) to deal with, and this Prevarication Du Jour from three years ago today dealt with a series of lies he tried to spread about a rather disgusting image that he probably put into wild himself.

* * * * *

David Edgren has a post over at the Artisan Craft Blog dealing with a recent blog post by the Cabin Boy™ which quotes Schmalfeldt as saying that the emails he sent back in 2015 which had a now-infamous picture of his late wife attached contained “instructions” that the picture not be published.

One of those emails was sent to the Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees and several of his deputies. I was cced. The email to Sheriff DeWees contains no instructions regarding publication of the picture. The Gentle Reader can read that email (with the images redacted) here. The other email was sent to a law enforcement agency in Massachusetts. I haven’t seen it, but I’d bet folding money that it also lacks any prohibition on publication of the image.

Of course, I have never put that image in a blog post here at Hogewash!—it’s not in the blog’s media files to be posted—and if I found it in a comment, I would immediately delete it.

UPDATE—This just appeared in my Twitter Notifications as part of what appears to be a Feldtdown.There are quite a few other possible explanations about how that picture of Mrs. Schmalfeldt made it into the wild on the Interwebz. One obvious possibility is that the Cabin Boy™ published it himself. I’m unaware of any evidence that would prove he did, but it’s still possible. Certainly, there is no evidence that Scott Hinckley or I ever published the photo.

* * * * *

Schmalfeldt published vile and crudely photoshopped pictures of other persons’ family members, but AFAIK, none of his victims ever published actual images of the Cabin Boy’s™ family.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

When Brett Kimberlin launched his campaign of lawfare as a means of brass knuckles reputation management, he set himself up for one of the biggest failures of his career. The rest of Team Kimberlin has been similarly unsuccessful, but none of them as spectacularly as Bill Schmalfeldt. Six years ago today, his ineptitude led me to ask What Does the Cabin Boy Have in Common with OJ?

* * * * *

OJ was acquitted at his murder trial. Bill Schmalfeldt had the first set of criminal charges relating to his harassment of me dropped. Both beat the rap as criminals.

OJ was found to be responsible for the death of his wife and was adjudicated a murderer in a civil trial. Bill Schmalfeldt was found to be responsible for my harassment and was adjudicated a harasser in a civil trial.

A civil adjudication does not bring the same penalties as a criminal conviction, but it is a finding by a court. Bill Schmalfeldt is an adjudicated harasser. His appeals related to that matter have been exhausted, and that finding has not been overturned. None of his whining will change the legal fact that he is an adjudicated harasser.

* * * * *

Of course, Brett Kimberlin went into his lawfare campaign having already been convicted of perjury, drug smuggling, bombings, and other crimes. His poor legal strategy of suing for defamation resulted in a court ruling that he was “defamation proof.” In other words, a court found that his reputation was already so bad when my codefendants and I wrote about him that it was impossible for us to damage it.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Given their vast experience telling lies, you’d think that Team Kimberlin would eventually get enough of a handle on the process to achieve journeyman status. However, it seems that their lack of talent in that area has them stuck an novice levels, and they are usually caught immediately. This post about Prank Calls from four years ago today is a typical example. The original post generated almost 300 comments of pointage, laughery, and mockification directed at the Cabin Boy™.

* * * * *

Apparently, Bill Schmalfeldt is aware of prank phone calls that have come to my home phone line.@weltschmerz2015|201501142016ZHmmmm.

I suppose I should check the voice mail for that line when I get back to Westminster to see what’s there.

UPDATE—After checking the voice mail on that line, it appears that calls from at least 10 different local numbers were received within a brief period yesterday afternoon. Calls placed to those numbers resulted in denials that any legitimate calls had originated from them.

* * * * *

Incompetent is as incompetent does.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

In June, 2013, the Circuit Court for Carroll County issued a peace order against Bill Schmalfeldt requiring him to refrain from contacting me in any way for six months. On the evening of 7 July, 2013, I checked my Twitter timeline and found a tweet which I published as the TKPOTD five years ago today.

* * * * ** * * * *

Contacting me via that tweet started the chain of events leading to the first of a half-dozen or so charges (over 360 counts) of failure to obey a peace order and harassment being issued against Schmalfeldt by District Court Commissioners. It was also the first of almost 500 instances of unwanted contacts that led the Circuit Court to renew the peace order in December, 2013.

The real pushback against the Cabin Boy’s™ cyberthuggery was beginning. Within a year, he would have filed and withdrawn his first LOLsuit against bloggers and commenters who wrote truthfully about him and his activities. It’s been downhill for him ever since, and I not through with him yet.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Back in March, 2013, The Dread Deadbeat Protestor Kimberlin called up the venue hosting BlogBash and threatened that a “fiery imam” would lead a massive protest of the event if it was not cancelled. Kimberlin’s protest fizzled, and he was reduced to publishing a few pictures taken across the street from the event in Breitbart Unmasked Bunny Billy Boy Brett Unread. The TKPOTD from five years ago today deals with one of the sock puppet comment that appeared on BU.

* * * * *

I’ve been blessed to have a great deal of forensic help in reviewing physical and other evidence for my upcoming court cases. One of the analysts noticed the following claim in a comment to a post about the recent BlogBash made by someone calling himself “Texas Tim”:

First, thanks to the terrific staff at the Prince George’s Police Department who worked closely with me and my wife regarding security and protests. We came to an agreement on Wednesday not to protest in exchange for a promise of a large police presence at the scene.

Now, let me see if I have this straight. Some guy from Texas was organizing the protest for an event in Maryland. And he worked out a deal about protest vs. police presence. Really? I haven’t found anyone with the PG County Police who was aware of such an arrangement. Perhaps Tim can provide a name and/or badge number.

Tim says that he’s from Texas. Originally? Or did he just live there for a while—say, in the Corpus Christi area for a year or so in the 1979/80 time frame?

* * * * *

The 2013 posts about BlogBash are still up at BU. Considering how some other posts that have gone down the memory hole, it’s surprising that The Dread Deadbeat Publisher Kimberlin hasn’t removed them. He really should.

Perhaps his mind is on other things.

Did I mention that I’m not through with him yet?

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

The TKPOTD from dealt with The Dread Deadbeat Pro-Se Kimberlin’s projection of harassment and false narratives onto the targets of his vexatious LOLsuits.

* * * * *

Harassment and False Narratives are two of the recurring themes in The Dread Pro-Se Kimberlin’s pleadings he files in all his vexatious lawsuits. He’s now filed what he hopes will be his second amended complaint in the Kimberlin v. The Universe, et al. RICO Madness, and both Harass/Harassment and False Narrative(s) appear throughout the 80+ pages of the document.

Care to guess how many times each appears?

To see the answers click “Continue reading.”
Continue reading

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

As a result of a false Application for Statement of Charges filed by Brett Kimberlin in July, 2013, Aaron Walker was charged with harassment under Maryland Criminal Law § 3-803. The charge was subsequently dropped by the Montgomery County State’s Attorney. Brett Kimberlin drafted and Tetyana Kimberlin filed a second false Application for Statement of Charges in May, 2015, which resulted in Aaron being charged with online harassment of a minor under Maryland Criminal Law § 3-805(b)(2). Again, the charge was dropped by the Montgomery County State’s Attorney. Aaron has sued both the State and the Kimberlins. The case against the State was dismissed when the Circuit found that the laws used to charge Aaron were constitutional. Aaron’s appeal is now before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

Aaron asserts that the laws are unconstitutional. First, they punish speech protected by the First Amendment. Second, they attempt to regulate the Internet, something federal courts have ruled is the exclusive province of Congress, not the states.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that the government cannot regulate the content of speech based on a listener’s being annoyed or feeling offended. This was reaffirmed last year in Matal v. Tam, 582 U.S. ___ (2017). Incitement of violence (Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969)) or actual threats (Virginia v. Black, 548 U.S. 343 (2003)) may be punished, but the Maryland statutes go beyond the bounds set by the Supreme Court. Rather than give my layman’s explanation, here is the amicus brief that Eugene Vololkh filed in support of Aaron’s appeal. Read it.

The Illinois Supreme Court recently struck down that state’s harassment statutes following legal reasoning similar to Prof. Volokh’s and Aaron’s.

Of course, the Illinois decision is not binding on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, but it may be persuasive.

IANAL, but it seems to me that the main failing of both Maryland statutes is that they can be read to outlaw even truthful public speech about someone if the person is “alarmed” or “annoyed.” It might be possible for the Legislature to rewrite the harassment statute to limit it to apply strictly to speech addressed to a specific individual. When I sought peace orders based on the harassment statute, my petitions were based on speech specifically address to me. That about v. to distinction, or rather the lack of it, is what led the U.S. District Court here in Maryland to find a portion of the Violence Against Women Act unconstitutional as applied to the defendant in the Cassidy decision. 814 F. Supp. 2d 574 (2011).

Again, IANAL, but I don’t see any way that § 3-805 should survive because it infringes on Congress’ sole prerogative as regulator of the “instrumentalities of interstate commerce.” U.S. v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549, 559 (1995). The federal courts have consistently viewed the Internet as an instrumentality of interstate commerce and as off limits to state regulation. American Libraries Ass’n v. Pataki, 969 F.Supp. 160 (S.D.N.Y. 1997). PSINet, Inc. v. Chapman, 362 F.3d 227 (4th Cir. 2004).

The case in now in the court’s hands. We’ll see how the three-judge panel rules.

UPDATE—2018 JAN 04 05:04:00 UTC tag/federal-preemption
2018 JAN 04 05:04:02 UTC tag/maryland

UPDATE 2—A commenter requested that I post this for reference:


(a)(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2) “Electronic communication” means the transmission of information, data, or a communication by the use of a computer or any other electronic means that is sent to a person and that is received by the person.
(3) “Interactive computer service” means an information service, system, or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server, including a system that provides access to the Internet and cellular phones.
(b)(1) A person may not maliciously engage in a course of conduct, through the use of electronic communication, that alarms or seriously annoys another:
(i) with the intent to harass, alarm, or annoy the other;
(ii) after receiving a reasonable warning or request to stop by or on behalf of the other; and
(iii) without a legal purpose.
(2) A person may not use an interactive computer service to maliciously engage in a course of conduct that inflicts serious emotional distress on a minor or places a minor in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury with the intent:
(i) to kill, injure, harass, or cause serious emotional distress to the minor; or
(ii) to place the minor in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury.

Legal LULZ Du Jour

The Gentle Reader who has been following The Tale of <sarc>Brave</sarc> Sir Robin William for a while has probably noticed how often he claims that his adversary du jour is lying and will surely be facing perjury charges. For example, when I opposed his (later denied) motion to modify the first peace order slapped on him, he claimed to have found 24 lies in my lawyer’s opposition and tweeted this—That his motion was denied and the peace order later extended should be a hint to the Gentle Reader as to who the court found was telling the truth and who the court believed wasn’t.

Immediately after the December, 2013, hearing renewing the first peace order, The Dreadful Pro-Se Schmalfeldt went to the District Court Commissioner in Westminster and filed an Application for Statement of Charges against me for perjury during the hearing. The Commissioner declined to charge me.No, the Cabin Boy’s™ arsenal includes much more than stalking and harassment. False accusations of perjury are among his many weapons. And running away in the end.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

The Dreadful Pro-Se Schmalfeldt insists on making his opponent’s case.TheMerryWidower201511162292ZThe alleged email from Lynn Thomas attached to that tweet contains a no-contact request. At the very least, that tweet prevents the Cabin Boy™ from saying that he never received such a request from Mrs. Thomas.

However, it is more likely that the text of the email is a forgery. The style of writing is very much unlike Mrs. Thomas’s, but it is quite like the Cabin Boy’s™. Indeed, Mrs. Thomas would be unlikely to refer to herself as an “obviously ill woman,” and she would be unlikely to use the term DUMBFUCK, even to describe the Cabin Boy™. Moreover, the Cabin Boy™ has a track record of altering documents, and there appear to be technical inconsistencies between the text and header of the alleged email. Also, there is a piece of evidence external to the email that makes if extremely unlikely that Mrs. Thomas could be the author. It will be interesting to see how the Cabin Boy™ tries to talk his way out of the mess he’s created for himself.

If, as I believe, the alleged email is a forgery, the Cabin Boy will not enjoy the consequences.

UPDATE—A second forensic analysis of the images posted confirms the opinion that the text of the email is a forgery.

Day Off Cancelled

I was going to give Team Kimberlin a day off for Thanksgiving, but circumstances alter cases. I went to bed very early last night, so the call that came in at 8:52 went to voicemail. I didn’t listen to it until I was drinking my coffee this morning.

Team Kimberlin are a bunch of cowards. I’ve been pointing that out since 2012. Threats and insults sent from spoofed IPs, sock puppetry on Twitter, and harassing phone calls sent from spoofed numbers are how these gutless wonders engage those of us who speak and write about them. (Note: It’s interesting that they use the phone harassment quite a bit here in Maryland which one of the states that does not allow voiceprint evidence to be used in court. OTOH, it can be admissible in federal court.)

Last night’s call was a real prize. I doubt that the person whose voice is on the call would actually show up at Hoge Manor for dinner today. He knows what the consequences would be, and, in spite of his ranting about cowards on Twitter, he doesn’t have the audacity required.

According to the caller ID data, the number spoofed belongs to someone I’ve never heard of in Columbia, Maryland and who happens to have a number on the same 596- exchange as my cell phone. Several other recent harassing calls have come from random 596- numbers. Other calls have IDed as from local Carroll County phones, including county government agencies. (Suggestions for Team Kimberlin: You might want to verify whose numbers you’re using. You also might want to google the name Joseph Curran.)

Team Kimberlin should consider these words from George Orwell: Do remember that dishonesty and cowardice always have to be paid for.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Harassment and False Narratives are two of the recurring themes in The Dread Pro-Se Kimberlin’s pleadings he files in all his vexatious lawsuits. He’s now filed what he hopes will be his second amended complaint in the Kimberlin v. The Universe, et al. RICO Madness, and both Harass/Harassment and False Narrative(s) appear throughout the 80+ pages of the document.

Care to guess how many times each appears?

To see the answers click “Continue reading.”
Continue reading

Prevarication Du Jour

I don’t know whether Bill Schmalfeldt is relying his own notorious legal acumen or parroting a line from Acme Legal when he writes this stuff:PFB201311051156Z

The judge did not find that Kimberlin Unmasked had, in fact, defamed The Dread Pirate Kimberlin. His ruling only went to the whether or not TDPK has a sufficiently strong case that he should be allowed to serve his complaint on Kimberlin Unmasked. In order for Kimberlin Unmasked to be adjudicated a defamer, Brett Kimberlin will have to win his lawsuit.

The Cabin Boy, OTOH, has been adjudged to be a harasser. That was part of the process for the peace order issued against him. That had to be proved to a “clear and convincing evidence” standard which is a higher standard than the “preponderance of the evidence” required in a civil suit.

Hold it. Schmalfeldt’s harassment of me has already been proved to a higher standard that required for a civil suit. IANAL, but I think that means if I were to sue him for harassing me, he’d probably be estopped from any defense, I’d get a summary judgment, and the only thing to be tried would be the amount of damages.


Prevarication Du Jour

Bill Schmalfeldt has a post called Hoge Seems to Misunderstand the Purpose of an Appeal over on his teamschmalfeldt dot com blog. He writes concerning the Maryland Legislature and the state’s misuse of electronic communication statute,

They toughened the law in regard to minors.  But left intact the prohibition on Twitter as a source of harassment.

OK, Gentle Reader, here’s the text of the relevant portion of that law—

§ 3-805. Misuse of electronic communication or interactive computer service.
(a) Definitions. —
(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2) “Electronic communication” means the transmission of information, data, or a communication by the use of a computer or any other electronic means that is sent to a person and that is received by the person.
(3) “Interactive computer service” means an information service, system, or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server, including a system that provides access to the Internet and cellular phones.
(b) Prohibited. —
(1) A person may not maliciously engage in a course of conduct, through the use of electronic communication, that alarms or seriously annoys another:
(i) with the intent to harass, alarm, or annoy the other;
(ii) after receiving a reasonable warning or request to stop by or on behalf of the other; and
(iii) without a legal purpose.
(2) A person may not use an interactive computer service to maliciously engage in a course of conduct that inflicts serious emotional distress on a minor or places a minor in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury with the intent:
(i) to kill, injure, harass, or cause serious emotional distress to the minor; or
(ii) to place the minor in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury.

Section (b)(2) is the part recently added by the Legislature for additional protection of minors. There is nothing in the statute that exempts Twitter or other social media from being covered by the law. It’s just not there. Indeed, the 2012 revision of the earlier 2002 version was enacted by a unanimous vote of both houses of the Legislature in order to specifically include messages sent via social media by changing what was covered from “email” to “electronic communication.” Items that are not sent to and received by a person (eg., simply tweeted with no @mention or @reply) aren’t covered by § 3-805 and are not subject to it’s stiffer penalty, but may still be covered by the general harassment statute (§ 3-803).

All violations of § 3-805 are also violations of § 3-803, but is possible to use electronic communications to violate § 3-803 without running afoul of § 3-805.

§ 3-805 is irrelevant to Hoge v. Schmalfeldt. It never was at issue in the case. Only § 3-803 is. Thus, the Cabin Boy is arguing about something that is a non-issue and is getting his argument wrong as well.

He also has a bizarre idea that the U. S. v. Cassidy [814 F.Supp.2d 574 (2011)] case declares that it is impossible to harass someone via Twitter. That isn’t what the case says. It finds that a particular federal statute was unconstitutionally applied in the particular set of circumstances of a particular case. It does not hold that the federal law in question is unconstitutional but that is was wrongly applied. Furthermore, the decision does not address harassment per se, and harassment has never been held to be a protected form of speech.

Neither state law nor federal law nor the First Amendment provide a safe harbor for harassment on Twitter.

#BillSchmalfeldt Is Not a Victim

Lee Stranahan’s family are victims. Aaron Walker’s family are. Stacy McCain’s family are. Ali Akbar is one. So I am. We are all victims of Bill Schmalfeldt’s vile harassment. The difference between the others and me is that I’ve been in a position to hold Schmalfeldt at least partially accountable for his actions.

Cabin Boy Bill whines about how he is abused and harassed by other. That’s nonsense. He’s a bully, the kind who complains that it’s unfair when his target hits him back.

It’s been Bill Schmalfeldt who has posted obscene pictures with the faces of his targets photoshopped in. It’s been Bill Schmalfeldt who has made threats, lame ones mostly, but threats none the less. It’s been Bill Schmalfeldt who has sent harassing tweets after being told to stop contact and after acknowledging that order to cease. It’s been Bill Schmalfeldt who has been adjudicated a harasser. It’s been Bill Schmalfeldt who has had a peace order issued against him. It’s been Bill Schmalfeldt who has tried to be “cute” in skirting the edges of that order and who has strayed across the line.

Sore Loserman Bill is trying to legally escape from that peace order, first, by a Motion to Modify it so that, if he calls what he’s doing “journalism,” his harassment would be exempt, and, second, by appealing the order to the Maryland Court of Appeals. He also says he’s filing a motion to stay the order during the appeal. My only comment on his motions and such is that I’m pleased that my lawyer doesn’t bill me for the time she spends laughing. We will see how things turn out in court.

I’ve received a letter from the State’s Attorney’s Office reminding me to appear at Schmalfeldt’s probable cause hearing in District Court for the first five counts of violation of the peace order. That’s on the morning of 11 September. The information in the Application for Statement of Charges was only enough to establish probable cause that a summons be issued. It is only a small part of the evidence relating to my complaint.

I’ve tried to maintain a cheerful attitude through all this and meet Schmalfeldt’s usually risible behavior with the derision it deserves, but that isn’t always easy. For example, since the peace order was issued, I’ve received over 150 emails in the form of attempted comments to this blog from Schmalfeldt and his buddies on Team Kimberlin. I’ve posted some. Many are banal. Quite a few are obscene and talk about members of my family. It is sometimes difficult to maintain my composure in the face of such grotesque perversity.

Stay tuned.

#BillSchmalfeldt and Venue

Cabin Boy Bill seems to think that the lawsuits he might be stirring up will be heard in Maryland. That does happen to be true in my case. However, if he reads the DMCA law, he will discover that the court with jurisdiction in each case is on the defendant’s turf. That would be Virginia for ViralRead, Texas for Lee Stranahan, and an undisclosed location (but not Maryland) for Stacy McCain. I’m not sure where Kimberlin Unmasked and Daley Gator are, but I know they’re not in Maryland.

Looks like the Sore Loserman wants some frequent flier miles. Maybe he can use a rocket provided by Acme.

The only reason that any of these folks would come to Maryland would be to pursue criminal charges against Schmalfeldt. Given that his bogus DMCA notices are communications directed to and received by particular individuals at a particular addresses and that his threatening tweets are also specifically addressed and given that they are sent without a legal purpose, they would constitute harassment under Maryland law if sent after notice to stop contact. Some of those individuals have already put Schmalfeldt on notice, so at least some of the individuals could press charges.

The first law of holes is to stop digging—not to buy a steam shovel.

UPDATE—The Daley Gator hails from Texas too.

Is #BillSchmalfeldt Appealing?

The anonymous blogger I call “Coleman” has written the following in a comment over at his hate blog dedicated to Aaron Walker (No, I won’t link to it.):

As far as I know Bill’s case will be put on appeal and will probably be over turned due to the federal ruling on Cassidy.

Fine. If that’s the way that Kimberlin wants to waste his time and money, he can. (Does anyone know how he affords all this on $19,500 a year?)

So what is this Cassidy case that Coleman mentions? United States v. Cassidy [814 F.Supp.2d 574 (2011)] was a case tried in federal district court in Baltimore. Judge Titus found that the application of the Violence Against Women Act was unconstitutional in that particular case. He did not find that the law was facially unconstitutional but only as applied to William Cassidy’s behavior as alleged in the indictment.

So how does that impact Maryland’s harassment statute? IANAL, but the lawyers I’ve talked to say probably not at all. Maryland’s law has been upheld at every level of appeal in the State’s courts. When it was appealed the the U. S. Supreme Court, the Supremes refused to hear the case. Harassment is not protected by the First Amendment, and the states have the right to punish it.

Both Brett Kimberlin and Bill Schmalfeldt have tried to make a big deal out of the idea that because their actions were chargeable under the misuse of electronic communications law, they aren’t covered by the general harassment statute also. That’s simply wrong—as Judge Stansfield ruled in Hoge v. Schmalfeldt when granting a peace order.

You know, for a bunch of folks who are supposed to be Internet savvy, it’s surprising that Team Kimberlin acts as if they haven’t heard of the Streisand Effect.

My Side, Part 2

Gentle Reader, here’s the second installment in my side of the story of my adventures with Team Kimberlin.

As those of you who have been following the Saga of The Dread Pirate Kimberlin and Team Kimberlin will remember, Cabin Boy Bill Schmalfeldt spent months harassing Lee Stranahan and his family with disgustingly crude filth, including incessant and impertinent questions regarding the death of a child during childbirth. On Monday, 11 February, Lee came to Maryland from Texas to file a harassment charge against Schmalfeldt. I picked Lee up at BWI airport, took him to dinner, took him to the District Court Commissioner’s Office, put him up for the night at my house, and dropped him back at the airport on Tuesday morning. BWI is just off of one of the routes I take to work.

On 14 February, I received 40 tweets in less than one hour from @BreitbartUnmask ranting about Lee Stanahan, Aaron Walker, and me. Just after midnight on 15 February, I posted a notice on this blog and on Twitter addressed to @OldUncleBastard, @BreitbartUnmask, and @OccupyRebellion demanding that they stop communicating directly with me. Note: The date/time stamps on the tweets in this post are in GMT; I’ll convert important ones to Eastern Time for clarity.cease tweet

Later that day, Schmalfeldt sent a tweet via his @OldUncleBastard identity referencing my demand. He was clearly on notice.

OldUncleBastard @Xcitizen10 @BreitbartUnmask A commentator on @wjjhoge’s blog post explains what the right wing mafia cabal wants.
6:37 PM Feb 15th from web

Click on that link yourself and see. The time stamp on the tweet converts to 1:37 pm Eastern Time.

He continued to send tweets to my @wjjhoge account. Between the tweet cited above and around 7:27 pm on 18 February, 2013, Schmalfeldt sent 11 more tweets to @wjjhoge. Because of this continued messaging following my demand to cease as well as other matters, I filed an Application for Statement of Charges on 18 February, 2013. Schmalfeldt was charged with both Harassment under §3-803 and Misuse of Electronic Communication under §3-805. Even though he was on notice and had had criminal harassment charges filed, Schmalfeldt kept sending me tweets and addressed a blog post to me—not a post about me, one addressed to me.

At midday on 18 February, 2013, during his Internet radio broadcast, Schmalfeldt made the following threat at around 1:02:40 into the program:

It’s all horseshit. It’s all absolute horseshit. And I and my family have been put through pain and suffering because Lee Stranahan has a grudge. Because somebody, in my opinion, is paying Lee Stranahan to file these charges against me, in the hopes that I will either break or die.  I got some fucking news for you, Stranny [pause] Walker, Hoggy, Frey [pause] and Frey [pause] beware the Ides of March.

Here is an mp3 file of the threat.

If Schmalfeldt were not associated with Team Kimberlin, I would have taken that threat as empty bloviating. But, given his connection to Kimberlin, the persons threatened, and our upcoming schedules, we all took the threat seriously. You see, the Ides of March fell during the Conservative Political Action Conference this year, and three of the persons threatened planned to be at CPAC and to attend BlogBash. BlogBash is a blogger party/awards ceremony that is loosely associated with other events, one of which is the CPAC. As it turned out, there were additional threats made to BlogBash which caused the PG County Police to beef up security around the event. So I was not the only person to take such a threat seriously.

After he was charged on the 18th, he sent an additional 31 tweets. This the last of those tweets, time stamped at 8:17 am ET, Schmalfeldt sent out prior to being served with the peace order:

LiberalGrouch I wonder what @wjjhoge got by way of payment. Something to comb out the poop flakes from his beard? Hah. I kid. I’m a kidder. I kid that way.
1:17 PM Feb 17th from web

Aside from the juvenile attempt at potty humor, this tweet implies that I have been lying about being paid to blog or making money off donations or that I’ve been helping my friends Lee Stranahan and Aaron Walker from any motivation other than friendship. Let me state this very clearly: Until I recently set up a tip jar after my retirement from working full-time, I had never been paid to write anything on this or any other blog. Even today, I have never received any donation or benefit from any of the bloggers or organizations I have promoted on this or any other blog. This blog is a hobby and an expensive one. I have personally borne all of the expense associated with it, including legal costs. I’ve been able to do this because, until the end of May, I have had an above average income working in a very senior engineering position. I’m getting old and have now retired from full-time work. I’ve put up a PayPal tip jar and and Amazon Associate’s link. In the first two weeks, I’ve earned almost as much money as I net from 0.2 hour of part-time work at my current billing rate. If I’m lucky, I may earn enough to keep up with the web hosting expenses for this site.

On 19 February, 2013, the Breitbart Unmasked website published a post with Schmalfeldt’s Liberal Grouch byline. This was not a post about me. It was a post addressed to me. The about versus to is an important distinction. Bill Schmalfeldt, or anyone else for that matter, has a First Amendment right to write and speak about me (assuming he can stay with in the bounds of defamation or illegal threats), but he has no right to speak to me. I have a right to be left alone. The headline addressed the post to me by name:

Stranahan. McCain. Akbar. Worthing. Hoge. Frey. THIS IS ON YOU!

The post contains the following:

Will it make you feel more like a man instead of some crawling thing, Hoge?


Hoge. You are filth. You add nothing to the world. You are a stain. You know it. I know it. And that is why I must be killed.

Neither I nor, so far as I know, any of the others addressed in that post have ever threatened Bill Schmalfeldt.

Because these annoying and alarming communications directed to me continued after I had demanded that they stop, continued after the demand was tacitly acknowledged, and even continued after I had filed a harassment charge, I filed for a peace order on 21 February, 2013, and a temporary order was granted by Judge Rasinsky. According to the report from the Howard County Sheriff’s Office (as reported to me by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office), Schmalfeldt was served at approximately 9:15 am on 22 February, 2013. At or around 9:17 am on that date, he sent the following tweet:

LiberalGrouch A person who I will refer to by the pseudonym “Hoggy” has served me with a Peace Order. Two very nice Sheriff’s deputies just dropped by.

During the hearing for the permanent peace order on 28 February, 2013, Schmalfeldt authenticated all of the tweets, blog post material, and audio presented to the Court. However, Judge Rasinsky did not understand that Schmalfeldt had sent a tweet that acknowledged the notice to cease and desist, and Schmalfeldt lied, saying that he had received no notice. Lacking notice, Judge Rasinsky did not issue the permanent order, but he put Schmalfeldt on notice to stop:

The warning I want to give you is very specific, and it’s not an unusual warning for me to give. The battle line is drawn. He doesn’t want to hear from you, and that means no specific things addressed to him. If I was convinced that you had been put on notice and there were a course of conduct specifically addressed to him, I believe that that is something in the ordinary context of events that this statute would cover. Ah, I didn’t write the statute, but it’s constitutional up to this point, and it can circumscribe various freedoms that you might, in fact, have. Plus, it can also subject you ultimately, as it already has, to a criminal case where you may or may not win, I don’t know, [inaudible] look at the criminal case. I have it here. [inaudible] You’ve got to ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” You may conclude that it is. Some people, ah, are willing to go to jail for their beliefs, but I see that as a risk in this, ah, ongoing exploration of Internet First Amendment rights. Just a thought to share with you. I’m not going to grant the Peace Order for the reason I stated, but you are on notice, and hopefully, ah, you’ll abide by the conditions that Mr. Hoge has imposed in terms of your contact with him, and, ah, continue your debate in a peaceful, civil, and legal manner.

While I was exiting the courtroom after the hearing, I overheard a very loud conversation between Tae Kim (Schmalfeldt’s counsel), Bill Schmalfeldt, and Brett Kimberlim informing them that they had been lucky that day but could expect to go to jail if they kept up the harassment. This conversation was also overheard by two other witness.

Judge Rasinsky explicitly rejected Schmalfeldt’s contention that as a journalist he has a right to continue to “ask questions” of someone after being told to cease and desist. However, in another peace order hearing in Howard County (Walker v. Schmalfeldt), Judge Zwaig ruled, in what seem to be an odd extension of New York Times v. Sullivan, that Aaron Walker was enough of a public figure that he had to put up with Schmalfeldt’s harassment. In both cases, Schmalfeldt’s lawyer argued that he was a journalist entitled to some sort of special protection.

During early March, Schmalfeldt had continued communicating with me in spite of Judge Rasinsky’s warning. I filed for a second Peace Order. At the final hearing on 25 March, 2013, Judge Ellinghaus-Jones ruled that because the communications were electronic, she could not issue a peace order. After beating that peace order, Schmalfeldt, believing that he could do whatever he pleases, kept up tweeting. During that hearing, Mr. Kim argued the neither his client nor I were journalist but that we were a couple of old cranks having a shouting match on the Internet.

So as of the end of March, Bill Schmalfeldt was able to brag that he had beaten three peace orders. Once by lying and twice by alternately claim that he was or wasn’t a journalist. In mid April, the Carroll County States Attorney’s Office decided not to prosecute any of the charges filed against Scmalfeldt that were related to the peace orders, their reason being that if I couldn’t convince a District Court judge to a clear and convincing standard, they wouldn’t convince the same judge beyond reasonable doubt. The State’s Attorney’s Office did tell me that the charges could be refiled if I were to win a peace order on appeal.

Because I believed that I had air-tight documentation to refute the lie about not being on notice, I appealed the first peace order to the Circuit Court. During the District Court hearings, I had represented myself. I hired a lawyer (Zoa Barnes) to handle the appeal. As part of that appeal, she subpoenaed documents that might be shed light on Schmalfeldt’s motivation to harass me. His lawyer filed a Motion to Quash the subpoenas. The Gentle Reader who has been following this saga may remember that Schmalfeldt was subpoenaed for documents and as a witness for the Hoge v. Kimberlin peace order appeal in May and that he didn’t bother to provide the documents or show up to the hearing. Mr. Kim also filed a Motion to Dismiss based on the same electronic-harassment-isn’t-covered argument that worked in the District Court.

It didn’t work with Judge Stansfield today, and he quickly threw out the Motion to Dismiss. Rather than argue the Motion to Quash, my lawyer asked if Schmalfeldt had brought the subpoenaed document. He hadn’t, so the judge ruled the motion moot, and the hearing began.

After opening statements by the lawyers, I took the stand and outlined for the judge (with greater detail) the facts you’ve just read. On cross examination, Mr. Kim tried to make the case about my “wanting to get” Brett Kimberlin. I replied that the case was based on Bill Schmalfeldt’s behavior toward me. And the petitioner rested.

Bill Schmalfeldt took the stand on his own behalf. He misrepresented Twitter’s Rules and Best Practices about the use of @Replies, but my lawyer had already introduced Twitter’s actual rule into evidence, so the judge was not misled.

During his closing argument, Kim brought up a federal case, U. S. v. Cassidy, that he tried to use a precedent for a First Amendment defense of Schmalfeldt. As Ms. Barnes pointed out, that case was not gemane; it deals with whether Internet harassment is covered under the Violence Against Women Act.

Judge Stansfield ruled in my favor. He found that Bill Schmalfeldt engaged in a continuing pattern of conduct to harass or annoy me, that he continued to do so after being told to stop, and that he did so without any lawful purpose. He also found that Bill Schmalfeldt was likely to continue that behavior and, on that basis, he issued a peace order.

What does that mean?

First, Bill Schmalfeldt has been adjudicated as a harasser.

Second, if he doesn’t leave me alone for the next six months, he can be charged with a crime.

What does it not mean?

It doesn’t mean that the First Amendment is trouble, at least not because of this ruling. Bill Schmalfeldt is still free to write about me so long as he steers clear of threats or defamation. He simply needs to stop addressing me directly.

It does not mean that any Twitter user is in any jeopardy as long has he abides by Twitter’s Rules and Best Practices if he has been told to stop bothering someone else.

As I’m finishing this post, the Cabin Boy is frothing at the keyboard about how his loss in court may shutdown Twitter and end online journalism.

My final word is this—


UPDATE—One more thing … Bill Schmalfeldt has written in the past of how the District Court judges dealt with me. I wish to state that much of what he wrote is categorically untrue. At all times while I was in their courtrooms, Judges Effinghaus-Jones and Green acted professionally and treated me with respect. Indeed, I was particularly impressed with Judge Green’s demeanor and the kindness he showed to everyone who appeared before him.

#BlogHoCoSAO: The Wrap Up

Thanks to everyone who participated. One thing that I’ll note is that no one seems to have received a substantive response from either Mr. Broccolino or any of his staff. One of the participants called me during the early evening yesterday to say that he had tried to call Wayne Kirwin of the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office all day, but his calls were always directed to voice mail.

Either Mr. Kirwin was very busy today, or …

I wonder if Mr. Broccolino intends to run for reelection next year.

#BlogHoCoSAO Participants

This is a list of those blogs known to be participating in Everyone Blog About the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office Day.

Monitor’s Access
R. M. Nixon (Deceased) / Dead Republican Party
Tanny O’Haley
The Other McCain and here
Batshit Crazy News
Grumpy Opinions
Ameryx le Gallois
The Lonely Conservative
Raging Against the Rhetoric
Joyce Junior
Allergic to Bull
Patterico’s Pontifications
Kimberlin Unmasked
Donlyn Turnbull
They Don’t Fool ME!
The Camp of the Saints
Michelle Malkin
Evi L. Bloggerlady
Lee Stranahan
Zilla of the Resistance
Lowering the Boom
Da Tech Guy’s Blog
Conservative Animal
Political Fireball

Thank you to everyone who participated.