Professor Jacobson describes Kimberlin’s ambush of Aaron Walker:
That same day, as Patterico documents, Brett Kimberlin obtained a warr[a]nt for Walker’s arrest based violating a prior Peace Order by blogging about Kimberlin (which, as David Hogberg wrote, triggered a “Google Alert” which [K]imberlin claimed was contact prohibited by the Peace Order).
Kimberlin knew how to use the system so that by the time Walker arrived in court on Tuesday, he had no idea there already was a warrant for his arrest.
Kimberlin has used this tactic before. Last year, in a lawsuit against Seth Allen, he had Seth Allen arrested for harassment when Allen showed up to a mandatory hearing in the civil suit.
Now, in that case, the criminal complaint was arguably quite justified, as Allen had mused about killing Kimberlin in an email which was duly and promptly reported to police. If someone made a statement like that about me, I’d go to the authorities too.
But in the process, Kimberlin learned a technique that he later used against Walker: namely, having your critics arrested in civil court.
Namely, this serial litigant forces his critics into his jurisdiction with a frivolous civil action. If Kimberlin’s critics complain that the action is frivolous, he calls that criticism “harassment,” and through a process of seeking frivolous peace orders and/or filing frivolous criminal complaints, obtains an arrest warrant for the critic. When the critic shows up to court as required, he or she is arrested on the trumped-up charges.
Success! The story becomes about the critic’s arrest. The critics look worse because authorities seem to take Kimberlin’s side; and he gets the satisfaction of putting his critics behind bars, even if for a short time.
Alternatively, Kimberlin and his supporters can use the threat of arrest to try to frighten civil litigants into staying out of court. After Allen’s arrest last year, he was very afraid to go back to court, because Kimberlin continually alleged that Allen’s blogging violated a peace order. Kimberlin supporters flooded Twitter with messages declaring Allen was going to be arrested at the next hearing for blogging. Allen almost decided never to go back to court.
It’s a Catch 22 for people who want to blog about public figures. You either go to court and risk arrest on a bogus criminal charge, or stay away and risk default on a bogus civil claim.
The combination of frivolous civil and criminal actions is a creative abuse of process and it’s bound to be repeated — until judges start noticing that Kimberlin repeatedly makes false statements in the course of filing flurries of court actions against his critics.
On a more positive note, Brit Hume has noticed Aaron’s arrest for blogging:
Uh, oh. It seems you can be arrested for blogging in MD if the judge thinks your posts could incite threats.blogs.investors.com/capitalhill/in…
— Brit Hume (@Kimsfirst) May 30, 2012
I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this story.