Monday, December 8, 2008

Let's review the Unconstitutional Court order in Gillenwater v. Denner in further detail.

The Unconstitutional Decision in Gillenwater v. Denner is linked here.

1. It acknowleges that Gillenwater is no longer represented by Counsel then forbids him from contacting opposing counsel. "Gillenwater was further prohibited from having any contact with either Defendant." Well how is he supposed to prosecute his case if he can't contact the Defendants?

2. It also forbid Gillenwater from filing any motions without court permission. "The Plaintiff is further enjoined from filing the Motion for Summary Judgment or any other pleading unless he receives prior permission from the Court." Why not? Has there been a finding that there is anything frivolous in his proposed pleadings? If not, then it is patently Unconsitutional not to let him file. I think if there had been anything frivolous the Court would have identified it. But as there is not, the Court appears to be protecting two wealthy men from a little guy with no money or resources. And that's bullshit. America is a marketplace of ideas, and if we can't get that marketplace in a Court of Law (I know, of all places, right?) then the Judge needs to step down and give the case to someone who is going to be fair and impartial.

3. The purpose of the Court was to protect the Defendants from issuance and dissemination and publication of public facts. "The purpose was to prevent Gillenwater from using any references to the Defendant Jeffrey Denner."

Excuse me, but does anybody see any First Amendment implications here? How can we count the ways? What sort of Judge issues such an edict and then what sort of Judge sustains it?

Judges Lauriat and Charles T. Spurlock, those sort of Judges. One must wonder, how often is this sort of thing happening throughout the Courtrooms of America?

The bigger question is, why?

Judge Peter Lauriat co-authored the Massachusetts Right-to-Know Handbook, in 1984 appropriately enough. He is a Harvard Graduate. The Citizen Media Law Project is a part of Harvard. It is good to know that they will be following this case regardless of these facts because the law is the law, and nothing else matters.

Charles Spurlock presided over some of the case involving defrocked Priest Paul Shanley, in which he proscribed publication of his victims names. The Boston Herald was not pleased.
Attorney Elizabeth A. Ritvo, who represents the Herald, called prior restraint of the press "the biggest harm to the Constitution, from the First Amendment perspective."

In point of fact, Judge Stephen Neel vacated a portion of Spurlock's order instructing the media to retract the already-published names as soon as possible.

At least the Massachusetts Rape Shield Law arguably provided some arguable reason for the Prior Restraint in Shanley.

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