1st Amendment Challenge to Police Cronyism
This article is part of our Pro Se Litigant series archives, case: Torres v. Torres – Discover Jeremy Carter
A Pro Se litigant, the last line of defense in a hearing that could affect the protections guaranteed to all U.S.Citizens.
Jeremy Carter, a Cape Cod Attorney at the firm of Wilkins and DeYoung, who advertises his political connections on the Internet, wants a story removed from the New England Watchdogs’ website, a website that uses the same Internet used by Mr. Carter. The story alleges that those advertised political connections on Mr. Carter’s web page have been used to influence the Falmouth Police Department.
Attorney Jeremy Carter represents Debtmerica, LLC, a multi-million dollar Debt Repair company located in Santa Ana, California, among other defendants, in a case now before the Barnstable Superior Court in Massachusetts. Mr. Carter filed an Ex Parte motion (Ex Parte meaning,without the other side being present) with the Court dated August 19, 2011, to stop the Plaintiffs from posting public court records on the Internet, which are already available to the public at the Barnstable Superior Court. Further, his motion asks for the removal of the article entitled, “Good Old Boy Political Network: Alive and Well on Cape Cod”, (reprinted here with permission from www.newatchdogs.com), from the New England Watchdogs’ website. While Mr Carter claims that the motion he filed was “to protect” a defendant, Mr. Carter mentions himself in his motions numerous times. Is it a smoke screen? You decide!
This is a major issue at stake, and one that could affect all U.S. citizens. Was Mr. Carter personally motivated to get the Court to ignore the 1st Amendment and to order the New England Watchdogs (who is not named in the lawsuit), to remove their “Good Old Boy Political Network: Alive and Well on Cape Cod” story from their website? He claims in his motions that the story makes “inappropriate and untrue” allegations, yet does not cite even one such statement in his motions. The story fairly reports allegations that Mr. Carter’s political connections were used in an attempt to get the Falmouth Police to evict the Plaintiffs as well as to prevent them from making a living by denying them access to the buildings used to warehouse various products owned and sold by them.
The worry to all of us: if an attorney can, without filing his own lawsuit, bring personal legal actions before the Court while hiding behind a client’s lawsuit, this will, we believe, create a new class of privileged citizens, called attorneys. This new class could not only deny us all the right to confront our accusers, it would literally allow unknown parties, not under oath and protected from cross-examination, to obtain court orders fully enforced by the Police, against anyone of us.
If this is not the case, will Mr. Carter be sworn in at the hearing?
Only you, our readers, can decide if Mr. Carter is attempting to protect his client in the case, or if the motion was brought to protect Mr. Carter’s own self-interest. When reviewing Mr. Carter’s webpage at http://wilkinsanddeyoung.com/lawyer-jeremy-m-carter.html we could not help but
notice his advertisements, as was claimed in the Plaintiffs’ Memorandum in Opposition to Mr. Carter’s motion :
- Former Selectman of the Town of Mashpee
- Former Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigations
- Former Mashpee Police Officer
- Currently serves as Town Moderator for Mashpee
Mr. Carter’s credentials, if as advertised, are quite impressive, but also appear to add significant credibility to the article’s concerns about the “Good Old Boy Network” and the affect of those connections with the Falmouth Police Department. In the Plaintiffs’ Memorandum in Opposition, the Plaintiffs state their claim quite clearly:
Not one of the above advertisements can be taken in any other way than was their intention, which is to set forth that Mr. Carter is well connected politically, and offers his services as a “Lobbyist” to those who can afford it.
Now Mr. Carter comes before this Court and asks that it order that the Plaintiffs take down a news website that published a factual and fair story on cronyism within the Falmouth Police Department, and he does so without even one claim made with specificity. It’s clear that he wants this Court to set aside the First Amendment and remove the story simply because he doesn’t like the true facts to be made public. We assert that Mr. Carter truly believes there are two classes of citizens now before this Court: he, as a politician and attorney, and us, as the impoverished Pro Se litigants, the conditions for said impoverishment, are the main subject of the above-named action. Any reasonable person could only conclude Mr. Carter’s intentions; that advertising his products, his products being his political connections as set forth above, using the Internet should be allowed, while at the same time, a fair and balanced story directly relating his advertised products to the Falmouth Police Department, using the same Internet, should not be allowed.
The Plaintiffs’ Memorandum, we believe, clearly sets forth how the “shield of the law” now extended by the Internet, saved them from being forced to leave the state. This really brings home just how important this landmark hearing can be to all U.S. citizens as well as to government, in assisting them in making decisions that protect the rights of their citizens. We validated that on August 10, 2011, the Boston Office of the Massachusetts State Government, did in fact visit the New England Watchdogs’ website. This visit was during the same time-frame that Falmouth Police Chief, Anthony J. Riello received a certified letter on this subject containing links to a website which contains true copies of the public documents on file with the court in the case. In the Plaintiffs’ own words:
The Plaintiffs argue that this case, and the ”Shield of the law” now extended by the Internet, is exactly what the framers of our Constitution envisioned to protect the people from bad acts by those that have, or were put into power. The Plaintiffs strongly argue that if it had not been for the specific rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Plaintiffs, through the direct action of the Defendant Sophie J. Torres and her Counsel, would have been locked out of their storage facilities and thereby been forced to leave the state, as the Falmouth Police would have arrested them for lawfully entering their premises which contain their assets which are used for their living expenses. The Plaintiffs assert that it was only the news interest in this case that persuaded the Falmouth Police Department to get advice, not from the Plaintiffs or Mr. Carter, but from their own legal advisers. We know for a fact, that newatchdogs.com was accessed by the Boston Office of the Massachusetts State Government on August 10, 2011, and once independent advice was received, the Plaintiffs have not been harassed by the Falmouth Police when removing their assets from the premises.
The hearing on the very subject of the publishing of public court documents on the Internet was already heard in Palms Technology vs. Datawatch, Middlesex Superior Court Civil Action #98-5570 (1998), the Honorable Herman Smith presiding; Allowed. The Plaintiff Jesse E. Torres III was represented by Victor Polk of Bingham Dana, one of New England’s largest law firms at that time. Now that he stands before the Court Pro Se, will the arguments be any less valid?
This is part one in what we believe will be a very important story that could affect all of us. Will wealthy litigants, with their politically connected attorneys, be able to deny easy public access as constitutionally guaranteed to court documents? Could this lead to closed trials? Will attorneys be allowed to obtain court orders for their personal benefit without the benefit of due process of law? Or without even being named in the court cases?
The Plaintiffs’ Memorandum in Opposition states:
The Massachusetts Courts are now themselves, making public and available on the Internet, public court documents. The S.J.C. in summary stated, While it clearly raises issues of privacy, it is at the very foundation of our judicial system, that our Court System and the cases before them, be public and available to all citizens.
How did this even get before the Court?
The Plaintiffs have filed various motions, memorandums and affidavits, in summary requesting an Evidentiary Hearing in lieu of the scheduled hearing. The difference is that witnesses can give testimony and evidence reviewed rather than oral arguments made by attorneys who are not under oath and cannot be cross-examined. The Plaintiffs’ pleadings are dated August 25, 2011. We will write a follow-up article as soon as we hear if the Plaintiffs’ motions were allowed.
An update to this story: Court Documents on Internet – 1st Amendment Upheld!
- For true copies of the Court documents in this case:
- For all pleadings in this specific matter by the Plaintiffs:
Reprinted with permission from www.newatchdogs.com