This is the first of several overly-restrictive, free-speech suppression, prior restraint, court orders I have collected since 2013. I will be posting each one separately as time permits.
What is unusual about this particular court order is that it was sent by Timothy B. McCormack himself to Linda Ellis and her lawyer, Elizabeth “Betsy” McBride as an example of how they should try to shut me down from ever speaking out or posting on the Internet again! Clearly, he was unsuccessful where I was concerned. But he clearly succeeded with David Simcosky in Washington State.
The core text of the court order has been pasted here for convenience (BOLD is my emphasis):
The parties to this action HEREBY STIPULATE to the following Permanent Injunction against Defendant.
Based on the consent of the parties and the court’s own good judgment it is Ordered:
1. Defendant and any officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and all other persons in active concert and participation with defendant who receive actual notice of this order, are enjoined from:
a. interfering with plaintiff’s contracts or prospective economic relations;
b. posting on web sites, sending letters or otherwise discussing in any way information about plaintiff or its Board of Directors or its employees, vendors, channel partners or attorneys;
c. doing any other act or thing calculated to, rending to, or likely to unfairly compete with the plaintiff or to unfairly harm the value of plaintiff s stock;
2. Defendant will agree never to mention HOST again, publically, to anyone ever again outside his own attorneys, unless by court order; Defendant will not appear or otherwise participate in any message boards or discussion forums that are affiliated with or that specifically discuss HOST or its affiliates or successors or assigns.
3. Defendant agrees to sign a Clarification Letter regarding misrepresentation of specific facts about the plaintiff and any intemperate or offensive communications for which he was responsible in the form attached to the parties settlement agreement The letter will be sent to David Murphy, the Host America Board of Directors, Channel Partners; plaintiff may use or discuss the letter with anyone in its effort to mitigate any damage caused by defendant or as might otherwise be required by law.
4. Each side will bear their own costs and attorneys, fees, except as noted.
5. The case will be removed from the court’s docket and be considered dismissed and adjudicated but the court will retain jurisdiction for enforcement of this injunction and any judgment that might be filed pursuant to the parties settlement agreement; counsel for plaintiff will retain subpoena power for compliance purposes;
6. If this injunction is violated, upon a good cause showing to the court, the following sanctions against the defendant will be imposed:
a. Payment of attorneys’ fees and costs for any follow-up enforcement action;
b. Surrender of any and all personal computers;
c. Agreement to not use the Internet for 10 years, unless for work; and
d. Damages in the amount of $250,000 and $25,000 in attorneys’ fees (in form of consent judgment).
This order shall go into effect immediately and shalt remain in effect until further order of this Court.
Done in Open Court, Dated: 28th of September 2007.
SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE
As some of you know, my opinions have been greatly shaped and influenced by direct experience of my own cases: Ellis v. Chan and the subsequent appeal, Chan v. Ellis which I was handed a unanimous victory and reversal by all seven Justices of the Georgia Supreme Court.
There are two very influential legal papers that have greatly shaped my opinions of the epidemic of abusive restraining orders / civil court orders that illegally and unconstitutionally restrict and suppress the free speech of individuals:
- “One-to-One Speech vs. One-to-Many Speech, Criminal Harassment Laws, and ‘Cyberstalking'” by Eugene Volokh
- “Free Speech and Civil Harassment Orders” by Aaron H. Caplan
Anyone who is placed under an overly-restrictive, free-speech suppressive, prior restraint, court order must read these two legal papers. What is extremely troubling is that it is actually quite common and it happens throughout the U.S. in lower courts (where there is little oversight) against individuals unrepresented by a knowledgeable attorney/lawyer.
I will soon be posting more overly-restrictive, free speech suppression, prior restraint, court orders that have come to my attention.
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