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The Troll Wars, Part IV [Updated!]

 

In Part III we learned that someone known anonymously online as “Aaron Worthing,” a self-proclaimed lawyer, was planning to file a legal response to a motion made by Brett Kimberlin who seeks to compel Worthing’s testimony (and therefore, his outing) in Kimberlin’s ongoing legal wrangle with the blogger known as “Socrates”.  

Kimberlin began filing motions within days after winning a default award of $100 and a permanent injunction against Socrates. In his latest filing, for which a hearing to “show cause” is scheduled in a Maryland state court on January 9, 2012, Kimberlin complains that Socrates has continued to defame and interfere against his “business relations” by posting comments about the case on blogs, including this one. Kimberlin has sought contempt sanctions as well as criminal charges be brought against Socrates.


Docket Date: 11/17/2011 Docket Number: 100
Docket Description: MOTION, CONTEMPT
Docket Type: Motion Filed By: Plaintiff Status: Open
Docket Text: PLAINTIFF’S SECOND MOTION TO FIND DEFENDANT “SOCRATES” IN COMTEMPT AND ATTACHMENTS, FILED. (ATTACHMENTS REMOVED AND PLACED IN THE EXHIBIT ROOM)

Docket Date: 11/21/2011 Docket Number: 101
Docket Description: LINE
Docket Type: Docket Filed By: Plaintiff
Docket Text: PLAINTIFF’S NOTICE OF APPLICATION TO MARYLAND STATE’S ATTORNEY FOR CRIMINAL CONTEMPT CHARGES AGAINST DEFENDANT “SOCRATES” AND ATTACHMENTS FILED. (L/P)

Docket Date: 12/09/2011 Docket Number: 102
Docket Description: ORDER, SHOW CAUSE/COURT
Docket Type: Docket Filed By: Court
Ruling Judge: RUPP, NELSON W JR
Docket Text: ORDER OF COURT (RUPP, J./WHITTIER, M.) TO SHOW CAUSE/COURT ON JANUARY 9, 2012 AT 10:00 A.M. FOR THIRTY (30) MINUTES, ENTERED. (COPIES MAILED)

Worthing does not wish to relinquish his anonymity for what he considers a “fishing expedition” by Kimberlin to out him. On his blog last week, he promised not only to reveal his heretofore presumed legal prowess to the world but also to present in his own response to Kimberlin’s motion compelling reasons for the court to dismiss the permanent injunction against Socrates, since it is now in his best interests to do so on his own behalf.

Last night, Worthing posted his response on his website:

http://allergic2bull.blogspot….

Argument

This court should quash the Plaintiff’s [Brett Kimberlin’s] subpoenas, deny Plaintiff’s motion to compel and grant Mr. Worthing a protective order primarily because of the Plaintiff’s misconduct in this case generally, and specifically in seeking this discovery.

First, the Plaintiff, a convicted perjurer has lied to this court in this case twice in the hearing of November 14, 2011, and misled this court on a third point.  Specifically he falsely stated that he was never returned to prison following a parole violation, that he was never a suspect in the murder of Julia Scyphers, and suggested that he had been secretly exonerated of one or more of the crimes he was convicted of.  In light of the Plaintiff’s deception and this newly corrected understanding of the facts, the court should determine that the Plaintiff’s reputation is so poor that it had not been harmed by the defendant.

Second, in filing the motion to compel, the Plaintiff made four statements of fact that were either false or lacked any evidentiary support, and made two statements of fact that were so incomplete as to be misleading.  Further, there is powerful evidence that the Plaintiff seeks this information for an improper purpose, in violation of Maryland Rule §1-311.

Finally, the Plaintiff has committed violations of Mr. Worthing’s procedural rights..  Therefore this court should quash the subpoenas, deny the Plaintiff’s motion to compel and even dismiss the injunction in its entirety, either because it was obtained under false pretenses or because the Plaintiff’s hands are no longer clean.

Further the Plaintiff in this instant matter proposes to infringe upon a most precious Constitutional right: the right to engage in anonymous expression, practiced even by three of the Founders (James Madison, John Jay and Alexander Hamilton) in authoring the Federalist Papers under the pseudonym “Publius”:


Anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of mankind. Great works of literature have frequently been produced by authors writing under assumed names. Despite readers’ curiosity and the public’s interest in identifying the creator of a work of art, an author generally is free to decide whether or not to disclose his or her true identity. The decision in favor of anonymity may be motivated by fear of economic or official retaliation, by concern about social ostracism, or merely by a desire to preserve as much of one’s privacy as possible. Whatever the motivation may be, at least in the field of literary endeavor, the interest in having anonymous works enter the marketplace of ideas unquestionably outweighs any public interest in requiring disclosure as a condition of entry.  Accordingly, an author’s decision to remain anonymous, like other decisions concerning omissions or additions to the content of a publication, is an aspect of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment.McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm’n, 514 U.S. 334, 341-342 (1995) (internal quoatations, citations and footnotes omitted).

While this right to engage in anonymous expression is not absolute, the Plaintiff should be required to demonstrate a substantial relationship between the information sought and an overriding and compelling interest before obtaining Mr. Worthing’s identity. The Plaintiff has failed to make that showing. Every single private, one-on-one communication between Mr. Worthing and [Socrates] is protected by attorney-client privilege. Meanwhile, with every single communication in the presence of third parties, Mr. Worthing’s testimony is not necessary.  Since all of these communications are written and thus speak for themselves and with multiple non-anonymous witnesses, Mr. Worthing’s testimony is not needed for authentication purposes.  Finally, the information in question is of little relevance and value.

If you have followed this series of dairies and have the time, please do indulge in Worthing’s entire response, for it touches on several important legal issues, including matters of obvious importance to bloggers wrt the constitutional protections of anonymous free speech.

As an added bonus, you will also be treated to Socrates doing his “Perry Mason” schtick during his questioning of Brett Kimberlin under oath.


First, the Plaintiff lied in his November 14, 2011, hearing when asked about his parole violation.  In an exchange with [Socrates], the Plaintiff stated that he had not been sent back to prison after violating the terms of his parole:

[SOCRATES]: Were you released and then sent back to prison for a parole violation, for failure to pay compensation to the, Mrs. DeLong, the wife of Carl DeLong, who took his own life after those bombs tore off half his body?

BRETT KIMBERLIN: No, I wasn’t.

This is directly contradicted by publicly available court documents.  First, Mr. Kimberlin was convicted of numerous offenses related to a series of terrorist attacks known as the Speedway Bombings:

Kimberlin was convicted as the so-called “Speedway Bomber,” who terrorized the city of Speedway, Indiana, by detonating a series of explosives in early September 1978. In the worst incident, Kimberlin placed one of his bombs in a gym bag, and left it in a parking lot outside Speedway High School. Carl Delong was leaving the high school football game with his wife when he attempted to pick up the bag and it exploded. The blast tore off his lower right leg and two fingers, and embedded bomb fragments in his wife’s leg. He was hospitalized for six weeks, during which he was forced to undergo nine operations to complete the amputation of his leg, reattach two fingers, repair damage to his inner ear, and remove bomb fragments from his stomach, chest, and arm. In February 1983, he committed suicide.

After being convicted of the bombings and related offenses, Kimberlin was sentenced to a fifty-year term of imprisonment for manufacturing and possessing a destructive device, and malicious damage by explosives with personal injury in violation of 26 U.S.C. §§ 5861(d) and (f), and 18 U.S.C. §§ 844(f) and (i). He received a concurrent twelve-year sentence for impersonating a federal officer, illegal use of a Department of Defense insignia, and illegal use of the Presidential Seal in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 912, 701, and 713, respectively, and a five-year term for receipt of explosives by a convicted felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 842(i)(1). Finally, he was given a four-year sentence by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas on an earlier, unrelated conviction for conspiracy to distribute marijuana.


Therefore the Plaintiff’s statement before this court that he was never sent back to prison due to his failure to honor his obligations to the widow Ms. Delong is a flat-out lie.Further, this lie goes to the heart of the question of whether [Socrates] had defamed the Plaintiff at all.  Indeed, once it is cognizant of these facts, this court might reasonably wonder if it is possible to harm the Plaintiff’s reputation at all.  See e.g. Jackson v. Longscope, 394 Mass. 577 (1985) (holding that a Plaintiff who had been convicted of multiple murders suffered no reputational harm due to false statements in the Boston Globe that he had raped his victims before killing them and had stolen a vehicle, because his reputation was so poor that it could not be further harmed).  Mr. Kimberlin has been convicted of a panoply of crimes including perjury, and setting bombs that terrified his community.

“Kimberlin committed a truly monstrous crime.  He planted a bomb in a high school parking lot-an act that was random, brutal and targeted at children.”  Editorial, The Friends of Brett Kimberlin, Washington Times, January 24, 1995, at A16.

In most ordinary persons’ minds, those bombings were acts of terrorism and especially after September 11, 2001, there is no person more despised in decent circles than the terrorist.

Further, he has denied compensation owed to a grieving widow-a woman who had been widowed by his own criminal conduct.  At its heart, defamation law is not about protecting the world from every inaccuracy, but only the inaccuracies that harm a person’s reputation.  Based solely on facts established in court records, Mr. Kimberlin’s reputation is so poor it would be difficult, if not impossible, to harm it.  If there is no harm to his reputation, then he has failed to prove any defamation occurred.  Even if this plain fact, obscured in part by the Plaintiff’s dishonesty before the tribunal, does not justify setting aside the default judgment against [Socrates], this court should dismiss the injunction against [Socrates] as being obtained by deceit.

Expect, dear readers, that this morning we will see the battle re-engaged across several blog fronts (for reference, links to these blogs are posted in The Troll Wars, Part III) and most immediately on Twitter, as the combatants seek the so-called higher ground of their endless spinning.

UPDATED

Another in a string of grate moments for the Fake Left: the “Gaped Crusader” blog, after an incredibly ugly, ominous (in a pathetic, unintentionally humourous sort of way) and threatening final post, has been whitewalled.

http://gapedcrusader.blogspot.com/

Yr. intrepid reporter wonders now about the, uhm, ongoing viability of the “Just Call Me Lefty” site which two days ago taunted “Aaron Worthing” as the “Coward of the County.”

Worthing returned the favour of a bitch slap to “Lefty” as part of his epic legal filing:

 

In a particularly unhinged post, this anonymous author wrote, apparently disapproving of Mr. Worthing’s participation in the Everyone Draw Mohammed Day protest (with apologies for the coarse language):

You Sir are one sick and twisted piece of total shit. You are garbage. You smell so bad I want to vomit when you come near. You want or believe we should have the right to offend? I am sure you are the light at any party. You remind me of that offensive guy everyone tries to run from when he walks in the door at a party. The guy who wears shit on his shoes so he can make people sick from the smell. Or the guy who shits in his pants so others will get sick of smelling it as you walk by. You set up a blog to offend people in the worst way, and you set it up as a coward would, unable and unwilling to stand up for yourself while doing it. In this man’s army they call you what you are when you do such things, and that is that you are a COWARD, a stinking yellow belly, that is what you are Aaron (Fake Name) Worthing… A stinking coward. You probably got your ass beat at school like your good friend and butt buddy Patrick Frey. The both of you are stinking cowards who hide behind their computer screens and offend people for fun while you start fights with those who can’t find you or even know who you are, and doing it all in the name of fun.

http://justcallmelefty.blogspot.com

This would be the same blog that published recordings from [Socrates’s] hearings, apparently illegally.

Socrates counter-attack currently appears to be a full-on rout of the opposition, at least to-date, in the court of the infoboobtubes.

In the denouement, the Rockville, Maryland Courthouse will substitute for the Appomattox, Virginia Courthouse in this most ungodly, uncivil war between the internet trolls of the Whiteysphere.

Which begs the musical question:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

 

UPDATE 2

Socrates has now himself filed a series of five motions with the court, seeking to have the default judgement award reduced to $1 and no court costs. He also seeks to have the permanent injunction dismissed and be allowed to testify at the January 9, 2012 hearing via telephone.

Further, Socrates now requests that Brett Kimberlin be deemed by the court a public, rather than private person, for purposes of this litigation and finally, has asked the court to award him $100,000 for all the trouble he has been put through because of Kimberlin’s lawsuit and the  aftermath.

http://davefromqueens2.blogspo…

 


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