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| | |-+  City of Hawthorne (NJ) v. Phillip Speulda
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Author Topic: City of Hawthorne (NJ) v. Phillip Speulda  (Read 1304 times)
CARLHAYDEN
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« on: July 07, 2011, 07:44:12 am »
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City of Hawthorne (NJ) v. Phillip Speulda (and the First Amendment)

Does the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and press apply in Hawthorne, New Jersey?

Well, the thugs that operate of the so-called “police department” of that burg don’t believe it does.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/crime_courts/124654139_Harassment_charges_filed_against_candidate.html
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Ernest
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 09:29:46 am »

The first amendment doesn't give people a right to engage in defamation, CARL.  Judging by what was in the link you provided, Speulda may have crossed the line separating campaigning and defamation. Without seeing the brochure at the heart of the controversy, I can't reach an opinion as to whether the brochure presented his opponent in a false light.

Such cases are more commonly handled through tort law instead of criminal law, but each state is different.
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Verily
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 01:22:43 pm »
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The case is harassment, not defamation, Ernest.

It is an interesting question whether this constitutes harassment. My understanding is that this case was somewhat more extreme than the article suggests, but we shall see.

Also, Hawthorne is a Borough.
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Ernest
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 01:31:47 pm »

The alleged method of harassment was defamation, Verily.  If what Speulda is alleged to have done does not constiute defamation, I fail to see how it could be classified as harassment.

The act of targeting known supporters of a political opponent with negative advertising can't possibly be considered harassment independent of the content of the negative ad.
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CARLHAYDEN
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2011, 01:30:01 am »
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The first amendment doesn't give people a right to engage in defamation, CARL.  Judging by what was in the link you provided, Speulda may have crossed the line separating campaigning and defamation. Without seeing the brochure at the heart of the controversy, I can't reach an opinion as to whether the brochure presented his opponent in a false light.

Such cases are more commonly handled through tort law instead of criminal law, but each state is different.

I realize that you inflexibly disagree with everything I post.

However, it may be difficult for you to understand but, American law recognizes truth as an absolute defense (does John Peter Zenger mean anything to you).

Also, in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 276 U.S. 254 (1964), which is probably another case you seem to be ignorant about, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the standard for public officials (expanded to public persons in latter decisions) must prove malice as an element necessary for libel.

« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 12:12:01 pm by True Federalist »Logged

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Ernest
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2011, 12:10:38 pm »

CARL, in the link you gave, it is quite clear thar Van Deusen is claiming that the brochure presents fact in a false light and that the brochure was spread with malicious intent.  If the allegations are correct, then it would meet the standard for libel.  Whether the allegations are correct is for a jury to decide if the case ever comes to trial, not a couple of internet posters with incomplete information who live hundreds of miles away from where the case is taking place.
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CARLHAYDEN
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2011, 03:22:09 pm »
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CARL, in the link you gave, it is quite clear thar Van Deusen is claiming that the brochure presents fact in a false light and that the brochure was spread with malicious intent.  If the allegations are correct, then it would meet the standard for libel.  Whether the allegations are correct is for a jury to decide if the case ever comes to trial, not a couple of internet posters with incomplete information who live hundreds of miles away from where the case is taking place.

You really got things wrong, as usual.

You desire to criminalize communications with which you disagree is not terribly suprising.

However, the United States has a strong prohibition on prior restraints.

The rest of your assertions are sheers lies (again, not suprising).
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Ernest
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2011, 05:07:16 pm »

You desire to criminalize communications with which you disagree is not terribly suprising.

So if someone engages in spreading malicious lies (as was alleged here, but will likely be difficult to prove unless there is considerably more to this story than was given in your link) that should not be considered a criminal act?

However, the United States has a strong prohibition on prior restraints.

True, but this case has nothing to do with prior restraint, CARL.  It deals with an alleged act of harassment in which the accused is being dealt with after the supposed harassment took place.  Indeed, no charges were filed until after the election during which the harassment allegedly took place.

The rest of your assertions are sheer lies (again, not suprising).

Name one assertion I have made about this case that is a lie.  Just one.  At best, you have misinterpreted my words.  At worst, you are again engaging in baseless assertions of your own about me.
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CARLHAYDEN
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2011, 05:31:59 pm »
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You desire to criminalize communications with which you disagree is not terribly suprising.

So if someone engages in spreading malicious lies (as was alleged here, but will likely be difficult to prove unless there is considerably more to this story than was given in your link) that should not be considered a criminal act?

However, the United States has a strong prohibition on prior restraints.

True, but this case has nothing to do with prior restraint, CARL.  It deals with an alleged act of harassment in which the accused is being dealt with after the supposed harassment took place.  Indeed, no charges were filed until after the election during which the harassment allegedly took place.

The rest of your assertions are sheer lies (again, not suprising).

Name one assertion I have made about this case that is a lie.  Just one.  At best, you have misinterpreted my words.  At worst, you are again engaging in baseless assertions of your own about me.

Well, lets take you allegations one at a time.

First, you stated:

"So if someone engages in spreading malicious lies (as was alleged here, but will likely be difficult to prove unless there is considerably more to this story than was given in your link) that should not be considered a criminal act?"

Sorry, but what was alleged was "harassment," not that the statement was a lie. 

Indeed, you seem to acknowledge that when you note that "but it will likely be difficult to prove."

Also, while this may come as a flash to you, but the burden of proof in a criminal case is even greater on the plaintiff (prosecutor) than in a civil case.

So, NO, this should NOT be considered a criminal act.

Oh, and while you have made wild (and mutually contradictory) arguments, I have cited legal precedent.

Here's another:

State v. Hoffman, 149 N.J. 564 (1997).
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Ernest
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2011, 10:06:44 pm »

First, you stated:

"So if someone engages in spreading malicious lies (as was alleged here, but will likely be difficult to prove unless there is considerably more to this story than was given in your link) that should not be considered a criminal act?"

Sorry, but what was alleged was "harassment," not that the statement was a lie.

And I also said:

If what Speulda is alleged to have done does not constitute defamation, I fail to see how it could be classified as harassment.

No contradiction at all.  The alleged method of harassment was defamation.

Indeed, you seem to acknowledge that when you note that "but it will likely be difficult to prove."

Also, while this may come as a flash to you, but the burden of proof in a criminal case is even greater on the plaintiff (prosecutor) than in a civil case.

So, NO, this should NOT be considered a criminal act.

Oh, and while you have made wild (and mutually contradictory) arguments, I have cited legal precedent.

Here's another:

State v. Hoffman, 149 N.J. 564 (1997).

Other than the fact that the case mentions NJCC 2C:33-4 which defines harassment for the purposes of New Jersey, I fail to see why you provided this cite. Indeed, if anything it refutes your assertions as it lays out a three prong test for a violation under subsection (a) of that law.

Quote
A violation of subsection (a) requires the following elements: (1) defendant made or caused to be made a communication; (2) defendant's purpose in making or causing the communication to be made was to harass another person; and (3) the communication was in one of the specified manners or any other manner similarly likely to cause annoyance or alarm to its intended recipient.

I fail to see how defamation, if it can be proven to have occurred, would not meet that standard.

And yes, I am abundantly aware that criminal cases are more difficult to prove than civil ones.
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2011, 09:56:59 am »
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Ernest, why are you wasting your time?  Spare yourself the mental agony.
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