Congratulation, Pattercio!

Popehat reports that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the District Court’s finding in the Nadia Naffe nuisance lawsuit that Patrick Frey blogs on his own and not as a county employee. That was the basis for denying Naffe’s civil rights complaint in her lawsuit. Congratulations and thanks are also due to Ron Coleman and Ken White for their pro bono defense of Patterico’s First Amendment right to free speech and right to freedom of the press.

The Ninth Circuit’s opinion isn’t binding on the courts in the Fourth Circuit, but it should be viewed as persuasive authority by U. S. District Court where Brett Kimberlin is suing Patterico under essentially the same theory as Naffe’s.

Punching Back Twice As Hard

On Friday, Patrick Frey’s lawyer filed a set of motions in the Naffe v. Frey federal lawsuit in the District Court in LA. Ms. Naffe, who seems to be connected to Team Kimberlin, has sued Mr. Frey under 18 USC 1983 for allegedly violating her civil rights by blogging truthful things about her. Here’s what the statue says.

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.

In order for Mr. Frey, who is a LA County Assistant District Attorney, to have been acting under color of law, he would have had to be blogging in his official capacity, but he blogs on his own with a disclaimer that nothing he writes comes from his employer. In any event, blogging truthful things garnered from public domain sources about someone isn’t illegal. It’s not surprising that two of the motions relate to dismissing the suit.

Under California’s Anit-SLAPP statute, Mr. Frey is entitled to ask that Ms. Naffe post a bond in order to continue her suit, and one of his motions does just that. He’s asking that she be required to post a $75,000 bond in order for the suit to go forward. He’s asking for a hearing on 14 February on the bond.

UPDATE—Team Kimberlin tweets a comment within a few minutes.rbrynaert21030111

Pro bono lawyers routinely ask for fees, and they are often awarded.

UPDATE 2–I would remind those who have their panties in a knot because of the title of this post that it’s the advice from Barack Obama (although certainly not original with him) about how one should deal with one’s opposition.