21 July 2015

KingCast and Mortgage Movies Observe an East Coast First Amendment Battle Over Right to Film Public Officials: Pomykacz v. Borough of W. Wildwood, 438 F. Supp. 2d 504 (2006), Tisdale v. Gravitt, 51 F. Supp. 3d 1378 (2014), Gravitt v. Olens, 2015 Ga. App. LEXIS 490 (2015), Tarus v. Borough of Pine Hill, 189 N.J. 497 (2007), King v. McKenna, 2015 Del. Super. LEXIS 323 (2015).

Herein I warn Delaware AG Matthew Denn not to sleep with the political and judicial whores in Delaware who are intellectually disingenuous and light years behind New Jersey and Georgia on the crucial issue of reasonable access to run video of elected officials and government buildings.

Furthermore, I note that Delaware refuses to account for the amount of, and source of, legal funding for the legal defense of publicly-elected officials. Delaware could well be the dirtiest state in the Union.

Most of what you need to see is in this journal entry and in an upcoming video. For now you can listen to this video from 2:20 - 3:45 to get a feel for what's going on here but just 
know that every other case found either a Constitutional, statutory or common law right to run video of public officials. The Defendants are pressing onward in Delaware to say that I cannot avail myself of ANY of those rubrics. Why are they so hell bent you must wonder..... it is because they are dirty to the core, that's why. And they have a Judge in their corner.


Today's global email -- More proof of Judge Robert B. Young's Cultural Hegemony:

(email part two)
"I'm also blown away that Judge Young not only avoided mentioning ANY of my professional background stated in the Complaint, he found a way to issue a Decision that didn't even mention my website too!

He and the Defendants are basically gang-raping me, yessir.

Note how Judge Story started the Opinion in Tisdale v. Gravitt
"The facts in this case are largely undisputed. Plaintiff attended the City Council meeting planning to video record the proceedings to post on her website, AboutForsyth.com. Plaintiff set up her video camera and tripod in the center aisle of the auditorium in City Hall. (Defs.' Statement of Material Facts ("SOMF"), Dkt. [63-4] ∂ 4.)"
Compare and Contrast Judge Young's treatment of me from my Interlocutory and Rule 59 Appeals. The Rule 59 might be premature but better safe than sorry because I'm not missing any Appeals you better believe that:
I.                  Introduction and Proof of Unlawful Bias Against Plaintiff.[1]
                    The Court downplays Plaintiff right from the start of its 25 page Opinion:

Whilst claiming to issue its opinion based only on the Complaint and making all inferences in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the Court nonetheless opines that Plaintiff fancies himself  a “guerrilla” journalist.  “Plaintiff holds himself out to be a type of guerrilla-style journalist.”
But that purported belief is not stated anywhere in Plaintiff’s Complaint. For the Court, Defendants, law students, First and Fourth Amendment scholars and reviewing Court edification Plaintiff’s Complaint read, in pertinent part:
2. Plaintiff is a former daily news reporter and escrow attorney who has closed several dozen commercial real estate purchases and refinances. He has successfully tried several First Amendment Jury Trials and has operated several politically and legally-charged online journals over the past decade, most notably Chris King’s First Amendment Page and Mortgage Movies Journal. 

That is what Plaintiff holds himself out to be as noted in the Complaint and that’s all the Court claimed to be reviewing, so the pejorative “guerrilla” nomenclature is reflective of the short shrift that this Plaintiff ultimately received from the Court. Further.....

*********** (email part one)

Dear AG Olens:

I am a former AAG myself, following the start of my career as editor of a statewide weekly newspaper and reporter for a large metropolitan daily.

Please review my pending First Amended Complaint:

......vis a vis your vigorous defense of Open Government, in which you were affirmed in part last week in Gravitt v. Olens, 2015 Ga. App. LEXIS 490 (2015).  I feel confident you will prove that Defendant Gravitt ordered Reporter Tisdale's cameras silenced.

Attorney General Olens is a long-time advocate of open government. In 2012, he championed the first overhaul of Georgia’s Open Meetings and Open Records Acts in over a decade, which were signed into law with sweeping approval by the Georgia General Assembly. The revised sunshine laws are more user-friendly and provide tougher penalties for violations. Additionally, the updated law allows the Attorney General to bring civil actions for violations of the sunshine laws. This lawsuit marks the first civil action brought by the Attorney General under the revised law.

I lived in Georgia 5-7 years ago when we contracted with AT&T doing legal review, zoning and permitting for some of the infrastructure your office no doubt uses every day. At any rate the Delaware AG's office seems to agree with you, the Georgia District Court and the NJ District Court in Pomykacz but the Defendants and Judge Young are slamming me right into the ground and making it sound as if I have no clue what I am talking about.  Of course I know what I'm talking about, I've won First Amendment Jury trials and even in law school I authored much of the successful Supreme Court brief in State v. Lessin:

So in addition to the lawsuit I filed a Complaint with the AG's office of Civil Rights and Public Trust because the Law should be the same here as it was in Georgia in Tisdale v. Gravitt as the Court noted in Granting Partial S/J for the same reasons I sought it.

"While no United States Supreme Court, Eleventh Circuit, or Supreme Court of Georgia case explicitly recognized a First Amendment right to film city council meetings, the case law that existed in April 2012 recognized a general right to film public officials, subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions. The Eleventh Circuit recognized in Blackston v. State of Ala. that a restriction on filming in public meetings “touche[s] on expressive conduct protected by the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.” 30 F.3d 117, 120 (11th Cir. 1994) (addressing a prohibition that may not have been “content-neutral”). Plaintiff identifies other Eleventh Circuit cases involving free speech rights to film public officials. See, e.g., Smith v. City of Cumming, 212 F.3d 1332 (11th Cir. 2000) (recognizing “a First Amendment right, subject to reasonable time, manner and place restrictions, to photograph or videotape police conduct”); WSB-TV v. Lee, 842 21 Case 2:12-cv-00145-RWS Document 92 Filed 09/30/14 Page 21 of 41 AO 72A (Rev.8/82) F.2d 1266 (11th Cir. 1988) (recognizing reporters’ First Amendment interest in gathering and reporting news relating to rumors of a sherriff’s use of inmate labor on private property). The First Amendment protects filming public officials, and the Court finds that “broad, clearly established principle” to control the facts of the situation in this case."

"Second, the Court considers whether the policy against filming, announced by Mayor Gravitt, “affirmatively command[ed]” that the deprivation of Plaintiff’s rights occur. Jett, 491 U.S. at 737. While this is ordinarily an issue for the jury’s determination, the Court finds here that no reasonable jury could find that the deprivation of Plaintiff’s rights was not caused by Defendants’ policy against filming. See Allen, 121 F.3d at 646. Mayor Gravitt “instructed that the camera be removed from the Council chamber.” (Defs.’ SOMF, Dkt. [63-4] ¶ 10.) “In response to the Mayor’s directive,” Police Chief Tatum moved Plaintiff’s camera and he and Deputy Police Chief Cook “escorted” Plaintiff out of the room. (Id. at ¶ 15-28.)"

Lastly Plaintiff Tisdale asserted in her Motion for S/J, as I asserted, that Iacobucci was indeed grounded on First Amendment law, while Judge Young incorrectly said it wasn't so that he could railroad me out of Court:

"Thus, Judge Dorrough’s actions touched on expressive conduct protected by the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.”); Iacobucci v. Boulter, 193 F.3d 14, 25 (1st Cir. 1999) (filming public officials in the public area of a public building was “done in the exercise of [Plaintiff’s] First Amendment rights”)."

The Court then cited Glik v. Cunniffe, 655 F.3d 78 (1st Cir. 2011), just as I did.......


OK so in my AG complaint I'm waiting with bated breath

Will AG Denn renounce his statement......

CONCLUSION The DOJ should advise its client public bodies that to outright prohibit any recording of public meetings is highly risky. The law is evolving in a more permissive direction.

.....or will he find that it somehow does not apply in my case, period?

We already have a Judge who completely overlooked any and all of my professional accomplishments that were specifically referenced in my complaint, (i.e. First Amendment Trial attorney, Escrow attorney....) to label me a "geurrilla" journo, a label that I NEVER ONCE MENTIONED in my Complaint.  Yet he claimed to be issuing an Opinion based solely on my Complaint.  As a black man I find this interesting in and of itself given that he ignored my professional history.

Or will AG Denn find that the law does not apply in my case but should be defined in the future to allow video?

Or will AG Denn find that the video is not permitted of public officials at their office, but is permitted in open meetings? That would be in direct contravention of Pomykacz of course, but more importantly that would run counter to the Defendants' arguments that the case is to be analysed under public meetings law that was used in Whiteland Woods?

Remember, I clearly claimed in my Memorandum in Opposition to S/J that the case is not truly analysed under that body of law, but to the extent that it is, then Tisdale -- decided just last year in opposition to Whiteland Woods -- clearly establishes a First Amendment Right to video such events.

Online journalist Nancy Willing runs a journal entitled "The Delaware Way" which is akin to Louisiana's "Big Easy." The way this Court has treated me shows that she's right.

Be well, Sir and I will keep you posted.


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